“The Galaxy Buds are a valuable pair of real wireless earphones.”
Six hours of battery life
Light, comfortable fit
Wireless charging case
Only 7 hours of battery in a case
This review was last updated by Nick Woodard, employee of Digital Trends A / V, on June 5, 2020.
It’s an exciting time for real wireless earbuds. With new chips that promise more compact designs and better battery life and finally make it real products, there are more reasons than ever to shorten the life of your handset.
Samsung Galaxy Buds is one of the first true next generation wireless headphones to hit the market and features the latest technology. With a battery life of six hours, a wireless charging case and a lightweight, nimble design, there’s a lot to love about the company’s newest buds.
Most impressive is that the Galaxy Buds feature set is available at an affordable price of $ 129. The buds were even bundled with pre-orders for the S10, S10 + or Fold phones. The combination of technology and value made the Galaxy Buds one of the best wireless earbuds you can currently buy, at least until the Galaxy Buds + came on the market.
Out of the box
The Galaxy Buds come in a small box with the charging case, a long USB Type-C cable, three sets of silicone earplugs and sports fins, and a small instruction manual. When you open the case, it immediately becomes clear that Samsung’s successor to the 2018 Gear IconX is significantly smaller and lighter than its predecessor, so that it can sit more comfortably in your ears.
An ergonomic triangular design integrates the comfortable rubber ear fins and the soft rubber ear plugs and offers a very solid fit and an excellent seal. While Apple’s ear-tip-free AirPods can be a bit rough during longer listening sessions, the Galaxy Buds are almost unnoticed after insertion.
First and foremost, Samsung headphones offer a solid battery life of six hours per charge – one hour more than comparable Apple and Jabra models. It was impressive at the time of his debut, although the bar has now been raised. The Galaxy Buds + offers 11 hours of playback, while the Edifier TWS NB offers five hours of noise reduction and 11 hours without this feature.
Unfortunately, the impressive playback time is not answered with a lot of juice in the case itself, which is our only real criticism of the Galaxy Buds. The Galaxy Buds case offers only seven hours of extra battery life, while competitors offer 20 to 30 hours or more.
The most convenient real wireless earbuds we’ve ever tested.
This is less of a concern for Galaxy phone owners as the case includes the ability to charge wirelessly from the back of new Galaxy phones (or a standard wireless charging pad). However, this means that you won’t be able to spend days at a time without finding a charging station or outlet. However, plugging in your headphones after 13 hours of play isn’t a big deal for most of us, and it’s a low price for all the other properties of the buds.
In addition to good battery life and a wireless charging case, the Galaxy buds offer a number of cool functions. Changing songs or adjusting the volume is done, for example, using intuitive touch controls that can be adjusted in the Samsung Wear app. The app also lets you choose between five different equalizer settings to customize the sound of the headphones to suit your ears and your taste in music.
However, perhaps the most useful feature of the app is “Find my earbuds”, which does exactly what you think it does and prevents you from digging through the sofa cushions or jeans pockets when the buds disappear.
The Galaxy Buds particularly impress with the use of the two on-board microphones integrated in each headphone. When you make a call, the headphones can analyze how loud the sounds around you are. To do this, use the microphone on the outside of each headphone when the ambient noise is quieter and the microphone near the inside of the headphone when it is louder. You can also use the microphones to whistle the sound of the outside world while listening to Samsung’s ambient noise mode, which even includes a function that uses filtering to emphasize the sound of human voices.
Both ambient noise mode and call mode worked well during testing, so employees could be heard over music without removing the earbuds, and able to call both quiet and noisy rooms without missing a beat. Call quality isn’t as good as Apple’s AirPods, but it does the job.
Dan Baker / Digital Trends
Ambient sound mode is great for situations like running or cycling where you want to jam but don’t want to miss a scream or car horn when you need to hear it. And that’s not the only way Samsung has targeted its latest earbuds to those who like to sweat: The Galaxy Buds have IPX2 protection, which means they’re protected from dripping water (or sweat). This isn’t as good as the IP56 rating of Jabra models like the Elite Active 65t, but given the fact that Apple’s more expensive AirPods don’t offer any water resistance, this feature is welcome. You’ll have to pay $ 250 for the AirPods Pro to get Apple water resistance.
I took the headphones for 5 miles on a treadmill and found that they were great for training. Their lightweight, compact design keeps them in place, and thanks to the IPX2 rating, you don’t have to worry about them breaking a sweat.
The ergonomic design of the Galaxy Buds and the soft silicone earplugs allow them to seal very well in your ears, achieve warm bass and low mid-range, and avoid hard, thin sounds at the top.
There is no pair of real wireless earphones that we have tested that feel so liberating.
During my time with the headphones, I heard a variety of pieces of music and played everything from the Beatles to Kendrick Lamar. Overall, the headphones performed well on all pieces of music and offered a relatively flat response despite the playback, even with large differences between the genres.
My preferred equalizer mode was the “Dynamic” setting, which allows the sound to be adjusted to best suit what you are listening to. The “Soft” mode and the “Clear” mode were also interesting. The former allowed you to hear things with a rounder, less harsh sound signature, and the latter just brought out a hint of the acoustic guitar and cymbal.
Although I preferred Dynamic most often, it was nice to have a choice when it came to adapting the sound to the music. One option I wanted was standard on all wireless headphones.
The Galaxy Buds don’t offer the vivid clarity that we’ve experienced from real wireless headphones like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 or the Master and Dynamic MW07 and MW07 Plus, but they deliver a pleasant and customizable sound for well below half the price could easily be enjoyed every day. In fact, their sound is just as good or better than that of the more expensive Apple and Jabra models.
The stable Bluetooth 5.0 connection also made it great when cleaning my living room and kitchen, so I could just put your phone on a table or counter and forget it.
To listen to your favorite music in all styles on the go, the Galaxy Buds absolutely serve their purpose, and the lightweight design underlines the luxury of not having cords. Frankly, there are still very few real wireless earphones that we have tested that feel so liberating.
Samsung offers a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
With a host of great features, a battery life of six hours and a fantastic list price of $ 129, the Galaxy Buds are currently the most compelling true wireless earbuds on the market.
Is there a better alternative?
The Galaxy Buds + are the obvious option here, with improved battery life and other features for an additional $ 20. The aforementioned Edifier TWS NB may fit even better because it offers good active noise cancellation for $ 10 less.
You should also consider Amazon’s Echo Buds. They’re a great alternative if you’re already deep in Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem.
Other close competitors to the Galaxy Buds – Apple’s AirPods and Elite Active 65t and Jabra Elite 75t – offer steeper sticker prices, although you may find the earlier Jabra model at a discount once the 75t arrives.
How long will they last?
Samsung has made long-lived products in the past, and we don’t expect the buds to be different. With replaceable earplugs and ear fins, we expect a long lifespan.
Should you buy them
Yes. If you are looking for comfortable, real wireless earbuds with excellent battery life, good sound and an affordable price, you have come to the right place.