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Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro: A Tough Call!

Huawei and Realme have both recently released new affordable wireless earbuds – the Huawei FreeBuds 6i and the Realme Buds Air 6 Pro. While they are similarly priced, there are some key differences to consider when deciding which one to purchase.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how they compare in terms of design, sound quality, features, battery life and more to help you determine which earbuds are the best fit for your needs and budget.

Before diving into the main review, let’s take a quick look at the key differences between the Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro:

SpecificationsHuawei FreeBuds 6iRealme Buds Air 6 Pro
DesignMatte plastic caseGlossy plastic case
Drivers11mm dynamic driver11mm woofer + 6mm tweeter
Sound QualitySlightly better overallMids may sound a bit better
Noise CancellationMore effective ANC 3.0Up to 50dB noise reduction
BluetoothBluetooth 5.3, LDAC, AACBluetooth 5.3, LDAC, AAC
Battery Life (with ANC)5 hours (35 hours with case)7.5 hours (40 hours with case)
Water ResistanceIP54IP55
LatencyAround 80msAs low as 55ms
ControlsTouch & swipe gesturesTouch controls
Companion AppHuawei AI LifeRealme Link
Special FeaturesSlide to adjust volumeDual Mode, in-ear fit test
Price (approx.)$99$70-80
Best DealCheck on AmazonCheck on AliExpress

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro: In-depth Review

Design and Comfort

The Huawei FreeBuds 6i have a matte plastic case that is more resistant to scratches and scuffs compared to the glossy case of the Realme Buds Air 6 Pro.

Both cases have an LED indicator light, USB-C charging port, and a button on the side to reset the pairing.

The earbuds themselves are very lightweight and comfortable to wear. The FreeBuds 6i are slightly larger but still feel secure and stable in the ears even during intense workouts.

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro Design

One advantage of the FreeBuds 6i is that you can slide your finger along the stem to adjust volume, while on the Air 6 Pro you have to use the touch controls which is a bit less convenient.

In terms of durability, the Air 6 Pro have a slightly higher IP55 water resistance rating compared to IP54 on the FreeBuds 6i, but in practice, both held up fine for runs in light rain and heavy sweat.

Sound Quality and Features

Both earbuds support the high-quality LDAC Bluetooth codec and have “Hi-Res Audio Wireless” certification. This means you can expect excellent sound quality for music listening.

The Air 6 Pro has a dual driver setup with an 11mm woofer and 6mm tweeter, while the FreeBuds 6i has a single 11mm dynamic driver.

To my ears, the FreeBuds 6i have a slight edge in overall sound quality. While the Air 6 Pro may sound a touch better in the mids, the FreeBuds 6i driver seems better tuned and remains cleaner sounding at higher volumes.

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro

That said, the default tuning on both is fairly balanced and may be a bit too “flat” sounding for some. You’ll likely want to use the EQ in the companion apps to boost the bass if you prefer a warmer, bassier sound. The FreeBuds 6i respond better to EQ adjustments in my experience.

Both earbuds have active noise cancellation (ANC). Huawei claims the FreeBuds 6i use an “ANC 3.0” system while Realme says the Air 6 Pro can reduce noise up to 50dB.

In practice, the FreeBuds 6i seem to be more effective at blocking out background noise. This does take a bigger toll on battery life though.

Microphone Quality

The Realme Buds Air 6 Pro seem to have an advantage when it comes to call quality.

While both earbuds have decent microphones, the noise suppression on the FreeBuds 6i tends to degrade voice quality while the Air 6 Pro are able to maintain clearer voice transmission even in noisy environments.

Hopefully, Huawei can improve this with a firmware update.


Both earbuds have Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. Pairing is easy with the fast pairing feature on compatible Huawei and Realme phones. The Air 6 Pro will also support Google Fast Pair once the global version is released.

You can use either earbud independently in mono mode. Multipoint connection is also supported on both for connecting to two devices simultaneously.

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro

Connection stability was solid on both in general. The one issue is that when using the high-res LDAC codec, the range is quite limited, so you need to keep your phone close. In the default AAC mode though, both maintained a stable connection.

The Air 6 Pro seem to have slightly lower latency when gaming – 55ms vs 80ms on the FreeBuds 6i according to my measurements. Huawei still needs to optimize the latency performance on the FreeBuds 6i.

Companion Apps

Both earbuds have feature-rich companion apps available on Android and iOS. The Huawei AI Life app and Realme Link app allow you to view battery status, customize touch controls, update the firmware, and access a full EQ.

The Realme Link app does have a few extra features like a “Dual Mode” low-latency gaming mode and an in-ear fit test. But the core functionality is very similar between the two apps.

Battery Life

The Realme Buds Air 6 Pro have slightly better battery life, rated for 7.5 hours of continuous playback with ANC on (vs 5 hours on the FreeBuds 6i) which extends to about 40 hours with the charging case (vs 35 hours for the FreeBuds 6i).

In my experience, the real world difference was around 1.5 hours more use time on a single charge for the Air 6 Pro.

Neither earbuds supports wireless charging which is disappointing at this price point. You can only charge them via USB-C.


The Huawei FreeBuds 6i have an MSRP of $99 while the Realme Buds Air 6 Pro are priced around $70-80 (depending on current promotions).

Best Deals:

Huawei FreeBuds 6i: View on AliExpress

Realme Buds Air 6 Pro: View on AliExpress

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs Realme Buds Air 6 Pro: Final Verdict

So which one should you buy? It’s a very close call as both represent excellent value for money.

The FreeBuds 6i have a slight edge in sound quality and noise cancellation, but the Air 6 Pro are no slouch either and pull ahead in battery life and latency performance.

If you prefer longer battery life, more effective mics for calls, and gamer-friendly low-latency, go for the Realme Buds Air 6 Pro.

If sound quality and noise cancellation are higher priorities and you can live with 1-2 hours less battery life, the Huawei FreeBuds 6i are the better pick, especially if you can find them on sale.

You can’t go wrong with either of these earbuds and the one that suits you best will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Let me know in the comments which one you would choose and why!

You may also like to see:

Realme Buds Air 6 Pro vs Buds Air 5 Pro

Huawei FreeBuds 6i vs FreeBuds 5i

Realme Buds Air6 vs Air6 Pro

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