Earbuds/In-Ear

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Review

Last updated: 5 days ago, Jul. 31. 2020
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    In this Samsung Galaxy Buds+ review you’ll find out what they’re good for and when you shouldn’t get them.

    Our Conclusion

    The overall score: 3.9 out of 5 points.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are Samsung’s upgraded attempt to catch some of the true wireless earbuds market. Since the upgrade is minor, if you already have the 1st generation Galaxy Buds, you don’t need to upgrade.

    While they don’t come with active noise cancellation, they offer most features a modern consumer would want. You get responsive touch controls, a couple of EQ presets some customization and decent sound quality.

    Plus, they’re quite comfortable, so you forget you’re wearing them. These are versatile earbuds that you can use for daily and workout listening (thanks to IPX2).

    If you’re looking for comfy, true wireless earbuds that sound decent and aren’t too expensive, then Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are a great choice.

    PROS & CONS

    • Comfortable with a stable fit
    • Quality charging case
    • Responsive touch controls with tone prompt
    • Auto turn-off feature when taken out of ears
    • Limited control options
    • Only preset EQ signatures without full equalization
    • Jack of all trades, master of none

    Check related articles:

    The most comfortable earbuds

    Best Bluetooth earbuds in 2020

    Absolute 50 best headphones right now


    Specifications

    Type: In-ear headphones
    Connection: Wireless Bluetooth
    Back-design: Closed-back
    Driver size: woofer & tweeter
    Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 6g per earbud
    Cable length: n/a
    Microphone & controls: Touch controls, 3 mics per earbud
    Water-protection: IPX2 – sweat-resistant
    Bluetooth: v5.0
    Battery life: 7.5 h per charge, over 20h with the case
    Charging time: 3 minutes for 1 hour, full under 2h
    Active noise-cancelling: No
    Charging cable: USB-C
    Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC
    Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
    Microphone type: 1 internal, 2 external microphones
    Mic design: n/a
    Mic mutable: No

    What’s in the Box?

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ unboxed

    • Samsung Galaxy Buds+ earbuds
    • 3 pairs of silicone ear tips and ear cushions (S, M, L)
    • Charging /carrying case
    • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
    • User manual

    Comfort & Fit – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect

    High comfort with a stable fit, but not perfect. Read below to find out more.

    The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ look similar to other true wireless earbuds. You get to choose from 3 sizes of silicone eartips and cushions that attach to your outer ear.

    Right off the bat, the fit is fantastic. They don’t budge or move much. You can easily use them for working out or shake your head to the rhythm. Though, you do have to rarely readjust them to keep them feel right.

    But the cushions with a fin can irritate the outer ear if you wear them for too long. Thankfully, you can replace them for cushions without the fin that touches your ears. Those are much more comfortable while the fit doesn’t suffer much. You get 2 different types, see the picture.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ earbud slevees

    You get 2 types of earbud sleeves. 2 pairs have a find, 1 doesn’t.

    The Samsung earbuds feel very light, and it’s easy to forget about them. You can feel them only when you move your ears. If you speak expressively or smile widely, the buds move, and this is when you get the feeling the buds might fall out. After a short readjustment, they feel right again.

    Nonetheless, if you listen to music without moving your ears much, you can wear them for hours. In our test, we’ve worn them for 4 hours straight without irritation. Comfort is high, but not perfect.

    Having a phone call doesn’t affect the fit either. Galaxy Buds+ are superb for phone calls on the go.

    You can wear them on your commute, or even do light exercise with ease. That’s why these are one of the most comfortable earbuds.

    Noise Isolation – 3.5/5 Almost Great

    Good passive noise isolation with the right eartips that will block a lot of the ambient noise, but not as much as the best in-ear monitors.

    Generally, in-ear headphones come with effective noise isolation. The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ block more background noise than on-ear or over-ear headphones.

    But, compared to other true wireless earbuds, the isolation is about average.

    The silicone ear tips are somewhat smaller and don’t create the same airtight fit like some other in-ears. Medium eartips usually fit me fine, but in this case, I choose large ones.

    With the right eartips for you, you won’t hear most of the surrounding noise. You can focus on your work or watching your favorite YouTube videos.

    Noise leakage is minimal too. Which is a good thing if you don’t want others to know what you’re watching.

    Bluetooth – 4/5 Great

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ have Bluetooth v5.0 and typical wireless performance that’s expected of modern true wireless earbuds.

    With Bluetooth 5.0, you get the latest and most power-efficient version that is bound to work for a long time.

    Connecting the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ for the first time is super easy. You take them out of the box and find a new device on your smartphone. Tap pair, and you’re pretty much done. It works the same way on Android and iOS.

    You get the range of around 33f (10m) and uninterrupted signal over 1 wall. Though, a wall in between makes it more sensitive. If you try to readjust them and cover the earbuds with your fingers, you often get distortion. That doesn’t if there’s no wall in between.

    Once you put 2 walls as an obstacle, the music stops playing regularly. They don’t disconnect, but it’s impossible to listen to music.

    On the other hand, you can keep your phone in your pocket, and you’ll never experience any interruptions. Bluetooth works as you’d expect, and that’s a good thing.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ side indicator

    The buds generally work over 1 wall, but lose connection over 2.

    Is There a Delay when Watching Video?

    Technically, there’s a short delay of audio since the Galaxy Buds+ are using SBC and AAC codec, though it’s not noticeable to the human eye. You can’t notice 3 – 6 ms, so you can easily watch movies or Twitch streaming.

    Battery – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect

    You get a long battery life per charge with around 7.5 hours. Plus, a super quick 3-minute charge gives roughly 1 hour of music. That’s excellent performance.

    In our test, we play music from 100% to the point they shut down at a healthy medium volume. Galaxy Buds+ lasted 7.5 hours before the right earbud died with the left side at 10% according to the app.

    It’s plenty of power that will satisfy even the most demanding user. You can even take them

    Even if you take one short break in between and put the earbuds in the charging case, they fill up again. You’re rarely going to run out of battery life.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ charging earbuds

    They charge fast and you can even use Qi wireless charging for the case.

    The wireless charging case holds an additional 10 hours+ of power when you need it. And, when the case is empty, plug in the USB-C for a couple of hours, or put on a Qi wireless charging mat and they’re full again.

    The only problem is…

    …when you don’t have access to electricity for days and can’t fill up the charging case. Which, I assume, almost never happens.

    You can see the battery level of each earbud in the Galaxy Wearable app, so you know exactly when one side is going to die on you.

    Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ last long, charge super quick, and come with substantial reserves in the case. What more do you want?

    The only reason why they don’t get 5/5 is because PowerBeats Pro last even longer.

    Durability – 4/5 Great

    High quality, polished plastics with high-end materials, and IPX2 water resistance are more than enough for daily use.

    While the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ aren’t considered workout earbuds they still have basic IPX2 protection. Granted, that’s not much, but it means they’re sweatproof, and leaving them outside on a light rain won’t damage them either.

    When taking the Galaxy Buds+ into your hands, they feel like premium buds. The polished finish on the touch controls looks sleek and minimalistic. You can wear them with any outfit and look good.

    Although you only get basic silicone eartips, you can upgrade them with memory-foam tips that offer better isolation and sound quality.

    As for the charging case, it’s oval shape can fit into a pocket and feels solid. The lid mechanism feels premium and flips open for easier use. It’s suitable for high-end true wireless earbuds (not like PowerBeats Pro’s case).

    Plus, you get a 1-year limited warranty from Samsung.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ closed charging case

    The case feels solid and it’s just big enough to fit into a pocket.

    Features – 3.5/5 Almost Great

    Galaxy Buds+ come with quick charging, auto turn-off feature, EQ presets, touch controls, ambient mode, and some customization. But some things are missing.

    While you don’t get active noise cancellation, passive isolation is quite good when you use the right eartips. You can block most of the background noise, so you can listen to music in louder places too. Though, it won’t be the as with real noise cancelling earbuds.

    An ambient sound mode called Ambient Aware2 enables you to hear more of your surroundings, especially human voices. But in reality, the effect is modest. It slightly pronounces voices but doesn’t make that much of a difference.

    On the other hand:

    The touch controls are great. They’re very responsive, and every time you press them, there’s a tone prompt that lets you know you’ve pressed them.

    You can customize what the pressed do, but you’re limited in the number of functions you can have at the same time. Originally, the long press activates a voice assistant. In our case, we made it into volume controls.

    But you can’t have both.

    You have to either pick voice assistant, ambient sound switch or volume control. More options would be better.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Galaxy Wearable app

    The Wearable app allows you some customization, although limited.

    Also, when you take the Galaxy Buds+ out, they turn off automatically. Once you insert them again, they turn on but don’t start playing music automatically.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work every time. Mostly it works. But sometimes, the buds need to be reset in the carrying case, and another time the controls don’t work. It’s a bit of a hit and miss.

    On the other hand, you get to choose from 5 sound EQ presets when you install the Samsung Galaxy Wearable and Buds+ app. More on EQ under sound.

    And, you also get the “find my earbuds” function when you lose them. The Galaxy Buds start beeping loudly for easier search.

    Microphone Quality / Call Quality

    With 3 microphones in each earbud, the microphone quality is quite good. Most people won’t know you’re using true wireless earbuds, but they do pick up some background noise.

    Check the microphone test to see what call quality to expect below:

    Sound – 3.5/5 Almost Great

    Good sound quality geared towards a general audience with some EQ options. You can listen to all genres, but won’t experience Hi-Fi epiphanies.

    It shows Galaxy Buds+ are general-consumer oriented. They come with a balanced sound signature that tries to do everything for all music genres.

    Moreover, the soundstage is limited to the center of your head.

    The highs are quite detailed but don’t have the sparkle of better headphones. It sounds good, just not life-like.

    The vocals are the centerpiece but sound somewhat veiled. It’s like there’s a thin veil over them that’s masking their true expression.

    The bass and sub-bass are present. There’s even some extension but won’t surprise you with its power and definitely can’t compare to bass earbuds.

    Still, the 5 EQ presets can help find you the sound you like better. But they’re limited. You get to choose from:

    • Bass boost
    • Soft
    • Dynamic
    • Clear
    • Treble boost

    They make a small difference, but having full EQ control would be better. It’s just not robust enough.

    And, you have to install 2 apps. Galaxy Wearable app and one specific to Galaxy Buds.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ in charging case

    All in all, Samsung Galaxy Buds+ have a good audio quality that lacks the fidelity of higher-end earbuds. If you keep your expectations limited since these are general-audience earbuds. Then you won’t be disappointed. But not blown away either.

    If you’re looking for decently sounding earbuds that you can enjoy for all music genres, but don’t expect high fidelity, then the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ fit the job.

    Why Buy Samsung Galaxy Buds+?

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ in the case

    Jack of all trades, but a master of none.

    After the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ review, we can confidently say these are dependable and easy-to-use true wireless earbuds with long battery life. The Galaxy Buds+ do everything you want from modern earbuds.

    But just like they’re good at everything, they aren’t great in any category except comfort.

    If you want do-it-all wireless earbuds for a moderate price and don’t expect sonic fidelity or the best water resistance, then the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are one of the best options right now (at around $150 price point).

    Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Alternatives

    Jabra Elite 75t (review): These cost slightly more but offer full EQ options with better sound quality. Plus, you can control more things hands-free. And, if you’re into working out a lot, get the Elite Active version that’s fully waterproof.

    Echo Buds: They cost a similar price but come with considerably shorter battery life and a bunch of bugs. It’s shorter due to Bose active noise reduction. Unfortunately, ANC isn’t that good. You’re better of getting Sony WF-1000XM3.

    Apple AirPods Pro (review): are more expensive active noise cancelling earbuds that work great with an iPhone. The premium Apple buds are quite a bit different. For a higher price you get ANC and Apple design.

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