Review: Galaxy Buds easily beat Apple's AirPods but are years late to the game Overview: Galaxy Buds simply beat Apple's AirPods however are years late to the sport Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are very late to the race, however they arrived in model. Boasting a plethora of options AirPods customers have been asking for, these actually wi-fi earbuds do not disappoint for the cash.

Galaxy Buds
Galaxy Buds

Galaxy Buds are particularly made to work with the brand new line of Galaxy S10 smartphones, although you are not restricted to only these. You should utilize these with some other telephone — iPhone included — however you lose out on a number of of the added options. Due to that, for this evaluate, we tried them out with our Galaxy S10+.


Within the field, you can find the Galaxy Buds themselves and a small field of equipment. The equipment embrace a charging cable in addition to a number of alternative ear suggestions and wings to tailor them to your ears.

Ours had been charged proper out of the field, so we instantly acquired to begin setting them up.

A simplified setup course of

In comparison with different headphones, Samsung has tried its finest to simplify the setup course of for the Galaxy Buds. There isn’t any holding buttons and leaping into Bluetooth menus. Simply open the case close to your Galaxy S10-series system, and a easy card will seem asking if you wish to join the earbuds.

Galaxy Buds pairing process
Galaxy Buds pairing course of

Faucet join, and the pairing course of kicks off and not using a hitch. Sadly, whereas it’s robust from the get-go, the automotive rapidly goes off the rails.

As quickly as we began the setup course of, a sequence of 4 Android alert packing containers appeared asking for varied permissions that wanted granted. Not for the headphones, however for the extra Samsung Wearables app. Issues like location, telephone calls, and so on should be granted. Then, we had been moved over to the Samsung Wearables app the place the headphones continued to load for nearly a full minute earlier than permitting us to proceed.

Then a further 4 safety packing containers appeared for added permissions equivalent to to music, contacts, and so on. The method is muddled and in depth earlier than we even get to configuring the earbuds.

As soon as we’re by way of the switching apps and permissions, we lastly get to customise our Galaxy Buds.

Galaxy Buds settings
Galaxy Buds settings

Within the middle, is a digital knob that can be utilized to regulate the equalizer. You possibly can tune the sound profile to your style, whether or not boosting the bass or emphasizing the treble. We love this characteristic and will simply hear the distinction between the choices, although it wasn’t as pronounced as we might like. At this worth level, the earbuds simply haven’t got sufficient vary to essentially make big swings within the lows or highs.

Samsung additionally lets you customise the long-hold gesture on every earbud. Select between quantity, the summoning the digital assistant, or toggling ambient sound. Sadly, you aren’t getting management over the only, double, or triple faucets of that are used to play/pause, subsequent observe (or reply a name), or again a observe (or decline a name).

You may as well management which notifications come by way of the earbuds, so that you solely get pestered by the stuff you care about.

Lastly within the Samsung Wearables app, you possibly can try to find the earbuds. Discover My Earbuds will trigger every earbud to emit a smooth chirping noise, serving to you find it. Sadly, it is vitally faint and when put the earbuds in a sofa cushion, we could not hear it in any respect. It’s a good characteristic to have, however onerous to hold out.

Battery and charging

To energy up the Buds, you should utilize the included USB-C to USB-A cable. We would favor a sole USB-C to USB-C cable, however the Galaxy S10 telephones ship with a USB-A quick charger so we perceive the selection Samsung made to imitate that as now energy adapter is bundled with the Buds.

Galaxy Buds wireless charging
Galaxy Buds wi-fi charging

Alternatively, you should utilize any wi-fi charger to high them off. This is available in extraordinarily useful — much more so when used with the Galaxy S10 telephones.

The S10 line has a characteristic known as Wi-fi PowerShare that turns the telephone right into a wi-fi charging pad for added gadgets. Simply swipe down from the highest of the telephone and toggle this characteristic on every time you wish to use it. Then place the Galaxy Buds proper on the again of the telephone.

With the ability to cost the Buds while you’re out — with no cables obligatory — is superb. Particularly because the battery is so small it will not considerably deplete your telephone.

The battery on the Galaxy Buds is rated for about six hours of steady use. Which means inside every Bud is a six-hour battery. The charging case has a battery of its personal which is ready to provide a further seven hours of use, for a complete of 13 hours complete run time.

General, the battery life is not nice at solely 13 hours. It’s spectacular how a lot you should utilize them with out recharging, however complete time is low. Fortunately, that wi-fi charging makes up for it. Why fear in regards to the battery life when you possibly can rapidly high it off wherever you’re and never give it some thought.

Galaxy Buds battery status
Galaxy Buds battery standing

To view the battery life, simply open the Galaxy Buds case subsequent to the telephone, and a card will slide into view letting you realize the standing. This card is not as properly built-in as we might like although. As quickly because the battery card comes into view, a second alert seems on the highest with the amount, then a 3rd alert seems under with one other battery standing. It’s simply an excessive amount of. The cardboard dismisses itself rapidly too, which can depart you opening and shutting the case a second time to get the alert to seem as soon as extra.

Jamming out

As we relaxed to take heed to music by way of our Galaxy Buds, we had been rife with anticipation. Samsung has been selling the sound as designed by AKG, a properly revered audio firm that ought to have the ability to inject some superior sound into these inexpensive earbuds.

Apple Music playlist
Apple Music testing playlist

AKG, because it seems, is owned by Samsung. So we could not take the corporate at its phrase that the sound would blow us away.

After fairly a little bit of listening to our customary audio testing playlist (add it to your Apple Music profile above) we had been in the end left a bit underwhelmed. That is not to say the sound is dangerous by any means, slightly below our elevated expectations. They sound excellent for his or her worth vary, however actually not above it. We’re holding off for the complete comparability to AirPods under, however as a spoiler — sure, these do sound higher than AirPods.

Bass was punchy on trendy music and the mids had been properly established. The highs weren’t as brilliant as we like although and there’s some distortion at larger volumes. As we listening to music, we did have the sign drop on us a few times as we simply occurred to rotate round in our chair, however in any other case stayed linked as we walked across the workplace.

The match was additionally wonderful and cozy. We solely had minor points as we ran across the fitness center. Our points largely stemmed from the wings of the Buds that had been considerably shorter than we might favor. The totally different sizes did not assist a lot both however we like these on the MW07, Bose, or different true wi-fi earbuds higher.

Since we’re speaking of audio high quality, we took some telephone calls too. Voices had been reported to be fairly clear and did not decide up an excessive amount of ambient noise when strolling down the road.

Towards AirPods

Evaluating these two headphones is hard. AirPods are iconic and wildly common — and had a multi-year lead. However every set of headphones has sure options that solely work with their respective platforms which does not make it precisely a good struggle. We would like to offer another steering that merely “select the headphone that matches your smartphone.”

Galaxy Buds and AirPods
Galaxy Buds and Apple AirPods

If you evaluate straight characteristic for characteristic, AirPods get clobbered in virtually each manner it counts. Audio high quality of the Galaxy Buds is healthier. The latter can be in a position to cost wirelessly which makes its battery life preferable (even whether it is much less general).

As finest it may, Samsung tried to duplicate Apple’s easy setup course of which is a begin and may presumably be refined by way of updates, as may the customization of the faucets — a characteristic Apple already permits.

AirPods battery status
AirPods battery standing

We did favor the precise design and case form of the AirPods over the Galaxy Buds. Apple selected a shiny end which is simpler to grip. Its design also can extra simply open one-handed. Galaxy Buds have a matte end which might be slippery to open and is close to not possible to do one-handedly. The tradeoff with every is that the matte end on the buds collects dust faster whereas the AirPods gather many microabrasions that make them look worn.

Taking a look at direct integration into the OS of alternative, Apple wins right here as properly with the method a lot easier and chic. The alerts do not disappear till you dismiss them or transfer the AirPods away from the telephone. The AirPods settings are additionally positioned proper inside the Settings app and never in a further AirPods app.

One characteristic we hope Apple to steal is the ambient audio mode that enables exterior audio to be handed by way of to your ears. That is nice for speaking to individuals together with your earbuds in or strolling down the road, nonetheless in a position to hear visitors.

The race is simply heating up

As we mentioned, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds arrived to the race a bit late — and that is the rub. We aren’t evaluating two telephones that launched a few months aside. We’re evaluating earbuds that had been launched years aside. It’s no shock that the Galaxy Buds so simply bested the AirPods in so many various methods, although there have been some missteps.

AirPods charging case
AirPods charging case

Close to all the things included within the Galaxy Buds ia anticipated with the second iteration of Apple’s iconic earbuds. Wi-fi charging, improved audio, and higher sound isolation are all however assured. Even options Samsung did not embrace equivalent to extra well being options might be within the playing cards.

Samsung might presently be forward on this race, however they’re about to get lapped.

Score: four out of 5

The place to purchase

AirPods are out there now for $159, however have largely remained out of inventory whereas Apple nonetheless tries to maintain up with demand two years in.

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are on sale for $129, with orders anticipated to ship by March 29 from Samsung straight, or inside two to 4 weeks at Amazon.

Apple’s AirPods 2 have not been formally introduced however are rumored to debut someday in 2019, probably in Spring.

Galaxy Buds had been simply one of many new wearables that Samsung introduced throughout its media occasion. Additionally they confirmed off the Galaxy Watch Energetic and the Galaxy Match.


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