It has become a custom of sorts for all major brands including Samsung to introduce wireless buds alongside flagships. At its big-ticket Unpacked event, Samsung introduced Galaxy Buds alongside its Galaxy S-series flagbearers. Galaxy Buds succeed last years Icon X buds and are relatively more affordable.
Is Samsung cutting back on hardware this year? Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds? Well, to answer that we have been testing these wireless earphones for some time now, and have framed our opinion and in this Samsung Galaxy Buds review.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Price
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Specification
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Box Contents
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Design and Fit
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Setup and Connectivity
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Features and Touch Gesture
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Audio Performance and Mics
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Battery Life and Charging
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Availability
Samsung Galaxy Buds cost in India
Samsung offered these new wireless buds for free with its Galaxy S10 series at the time of pre-booking and launch. If had you missed that offer, you can get these new true wireless buds at Rs 4,999 with the New Galaxy S10 Plus, S10, and S10E. Otherwise, the Galaxy earbuds MRP for the Indian market is Rs 9,990 which also makes it one of the cheapest true wireless earphones in the market today.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Specs
- Wireless earbuds
- 5.8pi Dynamic Driver
- Touch controls
- Accelerometer, Proximity, Hall, Touch, Ear on/off detection
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Charging case with USB-C and wireless charging
- Earbud: 58mAh / Charging case: 252mAh
- Weight 5.6g (per earbud) & 39.6g (case)
- 17.5 x 22.5 x 19.2 mm (earbuds)
- 70 x 38.8 x 26.5 mm (case)
- Black, White, Neon Yellow
Samsung Galaxy Buds Unboxing: What’s in the box
Samsung has kept things simple. The new wireless buds are packed in a small eco-friendly package along with a charging case, additional silicone tips, and a USB Type-C cable. For additional help, there’s an instruction manual and warranty card packed inside.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Design and Fit
Samsung has built on the design language that it established with the Icon X wireless earphones. Having said that, Samsung has further refined it for the new Galaxy Buds by further shrinking down its footprint and weight. We have the Samsung Galaxy Buds in all-white which looks sleek.
The earbuds are compact and can be comfortably carried around in the compact charging case. Like Icon X, these buds bear magnetic pins on the side that connect them to the case battery for charging.
To craft these sophisticated earbuds, Samsung has predominantly used plastic to further reduce the weight. The outer housing of the buds is given a pearlescent treatment, which gives them a premium feel.
I have been using the Galaxy Buds as my daily driver while commuting to and from work and for jogging late at night. Samsung’s craftsmanship ensures that these buds are extremely comfortable and sit tight.
The most remarkable thing about the Galaxy Buds is how securely they fit in your ears without compromising on comfort. This was one issue that we persistently face with the last years’ IconX – they tend to slip out while we are running or are engage in any physical activity.
Samsung also offers additional wingtips and buds which can be swapped without any expertise. On the downside, the new Samsung buds are so compact that you can’t really reposition them in your ear without accidentally touching the top panel.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Setup and Connectivity
Paring it with a Samsung phone is a piece of cake. All you have to do is turn on Bluetooth on your phone and then open the Galaxy Buds case. You will be greeted with a connectivity card, simply tap on ‘Connect’ and you are done.
When you pair them for the first time, they will prompt you to download Samsung Wearable app for additional features. For other non-Samsung phones, one can scan for Bluetooth devices from Settings the traditional way and select Galaxy Buds to pair.
The Galaxy Buds support Bluetooth 5.0 and offer excellent range indoors. I moved around in my office space while my phone sat on my desk and I didn’t face any choppiness or drops. Initially, there were some issues of sudden signal drops in one of the two buds while playing music which Samsung fixed via a software update.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Features and Touch Gestures
Samsung’s companion app – Galaxy Wearable – is what you need to unlock most of the funky functions. With the app, you can keep an eye on depleting power, equalizer, and configure the touchpad options. The app also lets you monitor firmware updates and has a ‘Find My Buds’ option.
Let’s start with the Equalizer. Here Samsung offers five settings – Dynamic, Bass Boost, Soft, Treble Boost and Clear which will tilt sound signature in your flavor. During my review, I primarily used the Galaxy Buds with equalizer set to ‘Dynamic’.
Like Icon X, the Galaxy Buds also come with an Ambient Sound mode and can be activated from within the companion app. It amplifies your surroundings and filter external noise just so you aren’t completely blocked from outside noises and event happening around you.
This is a feature that we found very handy while we used our Buds for anything other than listening to music. From the app, you can set the level of sound that gets through and there is an option to enable make out voices more clearly from the surrounding. The option helps you avoid interruptions and can prove really beneficial in public places like airports or railway station where you have to attentive to announcements made through public addressing systems.
Coming to touch gestures, both the Galaxy Buds feature a touchpad on top but gestures have been tweaked when compared to last generation Icon X. Unfortunately, they aren’t as intuitive anymore. Even though getting used to play/pause function (a single tap on either of the two earbuds) was easy, it becomes complicated when you need to perform actions like increasing or decreasing volume and changing tracks using touch controls.
It is very seldom that I get these gestures correctly. The good thing is, it does offer an option to customize the long-press function for both buds. More options are expected with future updates from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Audio Performance and Mics
Samsung Galaxy buds are backed by Broadcom Wireless’ BCM43014 chipset and they have been tuned by AKG experts to offer great sounds without wires. at the time of this review, we tested these on Samsung Galaxy S10+ (review), Apple iPhone XS (review) and Huawei Mate 20 Pro (review). once again, like the Icon X 2018, the Galaxy Buds also lacks Qualcomm’s aptX HD and aptX LL codecs which meant for best output one has to rely on Samsung’s Scalable codec.
This was also evident during our performance test. Galaxy Buds perform best with Samsung’s own phones.
What really impressed us about these new wireless earbuds is the details and clarity that they offer. The vocals are sharp, an acoustic instrument like guitar, violin piano, and cellos sound clear, making a pleasant listening experience.
While the treble occasionally sounded shrill, the sound was decent overall for a truly wireless pair of earphones. The Galaxy Buds can get very loud but are best used at moderate volumes. The lows left me craving for bit more. The bass here lacks thump that could get your blood pumping. Baring that the Galaxy Buds produces solid audio.
Moving on, let’s talk about the Galaxy Buds mics or call quality. Samsung packs so-called dual adaptive microphones – two mics on each bud (one inside and one outside). As per the company, the outside one is used to understand and cut down surrounding noise while inner mic catches your voice so that the person on the other side hears you clearly.
Despite the claims, my experience has been a mixed bag. With the Galaxy Buds put on, my friends and families complaint the voice is not as sharp and it seems as if I am speaking from a certain distance. Having said that, I am not ruling out that this could be a problem with my individual unit.
ALSO READ: Redmi Note 7 Pro Review
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review: Battery Life and Charging
The first generation Samsung IconX Buds faired poor in terms of battery life. The 2018 IconX eliminated heart rate sensor and faired better. This year, the battery backup sees remarkable improvement. Both the buds include a 58mAh cell which we often found deliver close to 6 hours of backup while listening in the peak volume. The heart rate sensor has also been removed.
Though it is worth pointing out, that rocky connection or constant interruptions deplete the battery faster.
The pill-shaped Samsung’s charging case includes 252mAh battery which can top up the earbuds for an additional 7 hours which should come handy especially while traveling.
Samsung also smartly adds wireless charging to the Galaxy Buds case and they can be charged wirelessly from phones that support reverse wireless charging such as the Galaxy S10 series and Huawei Mate 20 Pro. In fact, you can turn on Power share on Galaxy S10 and charge the buds and phones simultaneously.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Review Verdict: Should You Buy It?
If you are planning to buy Samsung flagship devices then The Galaxy Buds qualify as compelling companion device you shouldn’t miss. There are a lot of positives here that tilt the decision in their favor. This time Samsung has managed to get most things right in terms of design, sound, comfort and certain quality-of-life features.
Using the Galaxy Buds with Samsung Phones is as simple and seamless as using AirPods with iPhones. The tiny footprints mean the earbuds fade into the background, be it in your pockets or in your ears.
With the wide-open soundstage, the Galaxy Buds charm you with their solid well-segregated audio. Having said that, these are not the absolute best that money can buy. Nonetheless, these Galaxy Buds works for me in most scenario perfectly. Mostly because they are super convenient to use.
- Appealing design
- Lightweight & comfortable
- IPX2 certification
- Easy pairing
- Wireless charging
- Wide sound stage and audio quality
- Touch Controls
- Lack of universal codec like AptX
- No Internal storage
Where can I buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds in India?