Honor Earbuds 3 Pro: One minute review

Yes, they do look a lot like Apple AirPods Pro and no Honor Earbuds 3 Pro review worthy of its Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity can ignore that fact. But rather than join the ever-growing pile of lackluster knock-offs, in many key areas the new Honor earbuds actually took what was great about the Cupertino giant's AirPods Pro and then made it better. And not just for Honor smartphone owners.

Thus, the promised temperature sensor health monitoring technology never materialized – Honor failed to beat Apple on that point. But what about that? Look beyond that and there is much to celebrate.

Despite the familiar shell and toothbrush head design of the Earbuds 3 Pro, under the hood Honor stood out by implementing the world's first dual coaxial driver design with an 11mm dynamic driver and piezoelectric ceramic tweeter. . Basically it's a tweeter situation inside the driver; the two individual drive units are built concentrically so that they emit sound from the same point or axis. And it could have been a disaster. Only it's the opposite. It's a resounding triumph and heralds its swift inclusion as one of the best true wireless earphones on the market.

Honor took the form of the pro-suffixed AirPods and added on-device volume control to the stems, a more customizable and enjoyable noise-canceling experience, a simple and elegant new app (provided you don't have an iPhone), and whatnot. more importantly, it delivered fuller, meatier bass, a wider soundstage, and a better, more detailed sound experience overall. And it managed to do it all at a more acceptable price than Apple's Pro alternative.

Two line review? Honor has just made one of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market. Well done, Honor.

The Honor Earbuds 3 Pro look so much like an Apple "Pro" product that people will end up wondering. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Honor Earbuds 3 Pro review: Price and release date

  • €170 / €199 (about €178, AU$367)
  • Posted on February 28, 2022

At €199 in Europe and €170 in the UK, Honor's Pro suffixed earphones are aggressively priced when you consider that Apple's AirPods Pro launched at €249 / €249 / AU$399. That said, buyers expecting a price similar to the August 2 Honor Earbuds 2021 Lite (at $60/£70) will have to shell out a bit more cash if they want the latest, and frankly, superior Honor earbuds.

But here's the rub: Although Honor parted ways with its parent company, Huawei, in November 2020, that didn't appear to fully free the now-independent Chinese smartphone maker from the ongoing US-initiated trade ban. , against Huawei, in April. 2020. This is a roundabout way of saying that you may not be able to buy them in the US, and really, that's a shame.

Honor Earbuds 3 Pro cover on the side, to show the USB-C port

Honor's Earbuds 3 Pro's case charges via USB-C and really does look like a pebble. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Honor Earbuds 3 Pro review: Features

  • Bluetooth 5.2 and well-equipped, intuitive app support for Android
  • Four effective profiles for noise cancellation and environmental awareness
  • On-ear volume control and two-device pairing

First of all, the easy-to-use, stylish and well-designed Honor AI Space app is only available for Android. And that supremely iOS-like quick pairing feature, where you simply open the lid of the box and an image of the pairing-ready Honor Earbuds 3 Pro pops up, only happens if you're using an Honor device. But we tested these earphones with an Honor Magic 4 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Apple iPhone 11 and even without quick pairing (Samsung) or app support (Apple), we found these earphones more than resilient to the competition in other areas.

That said, this is a set of headphones that is definitely made for Android. While no app is required to toggle between the 'noise-canceling', 'off' and 'awareness' profiles, you just need to long-press on either earbud - access to the Honor AI Space app unlocks four new noise-canceling profiles. of noise Tap 'noise cancellation' in this Android-only app and you have four 'modes' to choose from: 'smart', which claims to moderate the noise level in your environment; 'cozy', which is described as suitable for quiet environments such as an office; “moderate” for noisier environments; and "ultra" for situations where constant noise cancellation is needed, such as on a plane. And they are also very effective. We're strolling down a city street with bus engines deployed and "smart" cars, steady, the general hum of road activity largely drowned out, and more importantly, not to the detriment of our music. .

Elsewhere the buttons include Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and up to 24 hours of battery life when paired with the charging case, which, handily, also offers two hours of playback with a five-minute quick charge. The juice in the buds isn't particularly impressive, with six hours of playback on a full charge without noise cancellation or four with noise cancellation implemented, but that's acceptable given the fast charge feature, and the app gives very clear indications of the remaining battery in each earbud and in the case, to help you be prepared for long trips.

Another feature worth mentioning here is the on-ear volume control. Well, you don't think you can change the donne, you know that you don't have to do the ballast, or you'll do it for your AirPods Pro for controlling your music, more than you can do it, it's a considerable advantage over time. Not having to take your phone out of your bag to turn down the music on a crowded train: huge.

One last thing to note is the much-hyped promised temperature sensor feature, because it's not there. The claim was that you could take your temperature by pressing the earpiece three times. The ability to track continuous measurement over time and trigger an "abnormal temperature alert" has also been widely reported. But you won't find any of that in the app, or when you press the buttons. To put it bluntly, your headphones still can't tell you that you're hot.

Why this quick spin? Well, Honor previously claimed that its AI temperature algorithm has an 80% chance of getting an error of ±0,3 degrees Celsius or less in a lab environment; however, the actual margin of error may vary by person and environment, and to give credit where credit is due, the company has always stated that the product should not be used for any medical purpose.

When Honor announced that its temperature-monitoring sensors would definitely be included in its new headphones (and thus beat Apple), it warned the announcement that the technology hadn't yet received regulatory approval.

Honor told us, “In all markets where Honor operates, it strictly complies with local laws and regulations. Considering these factors, the introduction of features and products in the markets will also vary according to the requirements of the market.

Therefore, Honor Earbuds 3 Pro will not have a temperature sensor in the UK and Europe markets."

Putting that aside, the fact that the Honor Earbuds 3 Pro don't have the promised temperature sensor in the UK and European markets is the only minor issue in a full feature set.


The Honor Earbuds 3 Pro case is pocket-sized and held shut with strong, reassuring magnets. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Honor Earbuds 3 Pro review: Sound quality

  • Detailed and expansive soundstage across all frequencies
  • Powerful, vivid bass and textured vocals
  • A new class leader for Android devices in sound

Arguably the biggest difference between the AirPods Pro and the Honor Earbuds 3 Pro is how much better the latter sounds. Let that sink in for a moment. It's also not a minor or incremental improvement on Apple's higher-end offering.

We stream music from Tidal and Apple Music from our iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S22 and Honor Magic 4 Pro. The bass floor through Stormzy's Vossi Bop and Dave's PSYCHODRAMA is deeper, more alive and more punchy thanks to Honor headphones. The voices are also more expressive; Dave's woefully haunting lyrical stylings shine a little brighter thanks to the extra ounce of texture and realism that the Honor headset can uncover.

The soundstage is also a bit more expansive in frequencies, although it's a closer trip. Ultimately, it's the extra details – the sharper leading edges of notes, the emotive quality of vocals – that make the Honor Earbuds 3 Pro the clear winner during our listening.

Honor's new (and potentially risky) dual-driver coaxial design has been integrated with all the skill of a surgeon's unflinching hand, making the Earbuds 3 Pro sound more engaging, enthusiastic, and sparkling through easy highs. to handle than their AirPods counterparts. Any reservations we might have had about controller settings are quickly overridden as we hit our toes in time for the relentless, uplifting musical strands found in System of a Down's BYOB, all of which are masterfully mastered by Honor. Earbuds 3 Pro.

Play Debussy's Deux Arabesques, played by Mehahem Pressler, and the three-dimensional keys soar through the registers with enough space around each well-timed high note to feel musically pleasing and truly played by singing, breathing human hands.

Apple AirPods Pro and Honor Earbuds 3 Pro on black background

Guess the Honor product! (Okay, it's the top one. But note the more rounded, slightly brighter case.) (Image credit: TechRadar)

Honor 3 Pro Headphones Review: Design

  • Available in white gray
  • Only 5,1g per earphone
  • So AirPods Pro-esque is almost fun

There is no way to avoid it. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Honor had some pretty good things to say about Apple's AirPods Pro when it designed the Earbuds 3 Pro. It's alarming to see how similar the two offerings are side by side.

That said, Honor is still a bit better here in some respects. In addition to white, Honor launched a silver colorway and, along with a button…

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