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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Review: best wireless earbuds for Android users?

Jun 08, 2020 15:08 IST

Samsung's first-generation Galaxy buds had three issues - subpar bass output, average battery life and less than impressive call performance. The new Galaxy Buds+, on the other hand, don't face any of those issues. In fact, they happen to be one of the best truly wireless earbuds available right now. Let's start right off the bat with sound quality. The audio output on the Galaxy Buds+ is impressive, mostly thanks to the new 2-way dynamic speaker system. This means now there's both a tweeter and a woofer inside each earbud, ensuring that genres like Rap, Hip Hop and Metal offer booming bass, punchy lows and clear mids. You can also boost the bass and treble to your liking with the customisable equaliser in the Galaxy Wear app. There are six presets to choose from, but the standard profile is your best choice. Sadly, the Galaxy Buds+ skip out on Active Noise Cancellation, a feature found on Apple's AirPods Pro. This feels like a missed opportunity, but it's not a deal-breaker as the earbuds are snug enough to passively block most of the outside world. However, if you want to be aware of your surroundings, which is always a good idea, then you can enable the Ambient Sound Mode to allow exterior sound in via the earbuds. It can even be programmed to the touch controls on each earbud. Talking about touch controls, you can tap either bud to perform various tasks - single tap to play or pause a track, double-tap tp play the next track or answer a call, and triple tap to play the previous track. Meanwhile, long presses are customisable and can be used to control volume levels and summon your phone's voice assistant. Another noteworthy feature is cross-platform pairing, which means the Galaxy Buds+ are Apple friendly and work just fine with an iPhone. The Galaxy Buds+ look identical to their predecessors, the Galaxy Buds. They share the same shape and look of the old ones, right down to the glossy touch-surface. It seems most of the design changes were made to the pill-shaped charging case, and even those are hardly noticeable. Basically, it looks glossier, and the L & R indicators are now engraved, instead of being printed on the case. With each earbud weighing just 6.3g, they're hardly a burden to wear, and the in-ear shape offers a secure fit, so you don't have to worry about them accidentally slipping out. Although it does takes a little bit of practice to insert the earbuds without activating the touch panel. Beyond sound, comfort, and functionality, the most important feature when it comes to true wireless buds is battery life. The Galaxy Buds+ hold their own here with 11 hours from a single charge and a further 11 hours in the charging case – a total playtime of 22 hours. That's almost an entire day worth and also 5 hours more than the 2019 Buds model. The case itself charges through USB C and delivered an hour worth of listening time with a three-minute top-up. Nice! Wireless charging is also available, and if you happen to own a Samsung Galaxy S10 or S20 smartphone, then the case can also be charged through Wireless PowerShare. Alternatively, the case is Qi-certified, so any Qi wireless charging device will do the job. All in all, the Buds+ are a perfect example of a company learning from its past mistakes. Samsung took some things that were a wee bit on the weak side with the original Galaxy buds and improved upon them massively. As a result, you are now being offered far better audio and call quality, and fantastic battery life. That said, the Galaxy Buds+ aren't perfect, of course. They lack certain high-end audio codecs and don't have proper water-resistance, it's just IPX2. But most annoyingly though, the music doesn't pause when you take an earbud out. That's like a standard feature on most wireless earbuds at this price point. Still, despite those few blemishes, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are easy enough to recommend. They're a great option for both Android and iOS users. But just how Apple AirPods work best with an iPhone, the Galaxy Buds+ are tailor-made for a Samsung phone.

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