The Samsung Galaxy Buds are only one of the various models that seek to topple the Apple AirPods’ monopoly on truth wireless earbuds market. Alongside their successors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, they create up a wider portfolio of Samsung true wireless earbuds, including two generations of the Gear IconX.
What separates the Galaxy Buds from the IconX, however, is that the latter does away therewith Gear branding and makes these earbuds a part of the Galaxy family alongside the new Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10e – three handsets which supply up a neat trick with the Buds, but more on it later.
That said, if you’ve held out this long to shop for a pair you must probably consider the new Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus – a more premium model that does not cost rather more and uses a dual-driver design to supply better sound quality still as a bigger built-in battery that increases the whole listening time to 11 hours per charge.
It’s even rumored that a replacement version of the Galaxy Buds is on the way. The so-called Galaxy Buds were spotted during a name application by Dutch website Galaxy Club.
Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Buds were released on March 8, 2019 for $149 (£139 / AU$249 / AED 479/ R2,499), making them slightly cheaper than Apple’s AirPods.
If you had pre-ordered a Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus or Galaxy S10e, you would possibly have also gotten a free pair of Galaxy Buds thrown in, but unfortunately this offer ended on March 7 or while supplies lasted.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Buds look very attractive, with a slick all-white design comprising two earbuds and a charging case.
The earbuds themselves look sleek and compact, with subtle rubber wingtips for a secure fit. You get small, medium, and enormous wingtips and eartips within the box, so you ought to be ready to find a mixture that matches your ear snugly.
While the buds feel rather dainty once you first put them in, and in danger of rupture , they’re surprisingly stable and cozy to use.
The lack of wires pulling them down means they stay within the ear through a surprising amount of head turning or bobbing, and that we found they survived gym sessions and runs also as a healthy amount of rocking out.
One cool design feature is that the use of a pearlescent material on the outer housing of the buds, which reflects the sunshine beautifully and has an almost holographic effect.
Aside from wealthy , the housings act as touch controls, which may be wont to play/pause your music, skip tracks, answer and end calls, and launch Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby on compatible devices.
You can customize the long-press action for the Galaxy Buds via the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app (Android only), choose between volume (up on the proper , down on the left) or launching Bixby (long continue either bud).
The touch controls are convenient, but you’ve got to be supremely precise together with your taps, applying enough pressure on the flat a part of the buds for them to register your action. On multiple occasions we missed the mark, or didn’t apply enough pressure, which lead us to having to undertake again (sometimes multiple times).
While this is often a mere inconvenience when you’re sitting at a desk it becomes more of a problem when you’re on the move and your hand is a smaller amount steady – like, say, when you’re at the gym or out on a run. the great news is that you’re going to become better attuned to the system over time through use and can eventually recover – although we still don’t have a 100% success rate.
Samsung Galaxy Buds charging case
Now onto the charging case; it’s extremely compact, and may easily slide into your pocket when you’re listening on the go.
If you’ve used the Samsung Gear IconX, you’ll notice that the entire package here is far smaller than the last-gen earphones. In fact, it’s 30% smaller and that’s bound to make a difference when you’re keeping these in your pocket.
The case generally feels quite sturdy, with a snap shut lid, and magnets that hold the earbuds in situ when they’re not in use.
On the surface of the case you’ll find a little LED that indicates what proportion battery the case has, whereas an LED inside the case tells you ways much charge your earbuds have left.
On the rear of the case, there’s a USB-C charger port – the Galaxy Buds accompany a USB cable so you’ll charge the case. The buds themselves have six hours battery life, while the charging case provides a further seven – pretty good for true wireless earbuds.
The Samsung Galaxy Wearable app tells you ways much battery the buds have left once you pull them out of the case, but it doesn’t tell you ways much charge the case has, unlike the Apple AirPods – instead you’ve got to believe the LED on the surface of the case to inform you ways much battery you’ve got left.
One of the foremost interesting features here is that the incontrovertible fact that you’ll wirelessly charge these headphones in their case. meaning if you’ve got a Qi compatible wireless charging pad – if you’ve got one for your phone, it’s probably exactly that – you’ll just place these on and they’ll agitate .
It’s especially useful considering the new Galaxy S10 range comes with two-way wireless charging.
That means you’ll found out the feature on your Galaxy S10 phone and place your headphones on the rear of the device to urge them charged up also .
Samsung Galaxy Buds app
A few extra features are often found within the Galaxy Wearable app, including an equalizer, which allows you to modify between different presets, including ‘Bass Boost; we didn’t feel the various presets had an enormous effect on the soundstage of those buds, but it’s a pleasant touch nonetheless.
Through the app you’ll also activate ‘ambient sound’ feature, which mixes in ground noise to the music using built-in microphones on the buds – a handy feature if you employ want to the utilization the Galaxy Buds when running and wish to listen to some external noise for safety reasons.
It also can balance out noises like rumbling traffic, while boosting nearby voices, which allows you to remain aware of environmental noises without compromising the standard of your music.
While this is often a useful feature, we did encounter problems with ambient sound in windy weather. In these weather , the sound of the wind was amplified, creating an uncomfortably shrill whistling sound.
If you misplace your Galaxy Buds, you’ll also use the ‘Find My Earbuds’ feature to trace them down. once you enable this feature, the Galaxy Buds play a continuing tweeting noise so you’ll find them quickly.