15 April 2019
True wireless earbuds are fast becoming a trend now. While Apple’s AirPods are one the most selling wireless earphones, Last year Samsung came up with Gear iConX buds and this year, along with its latest flagship Galaxy S10 Series, Samsung announced it’s all new Galaxy Buds, which are being offered as a bundle for a limited or at a subsidized price, depending on which market you’re in.
The new Galaxy Buds are being sold separately at a retail price of USD 129 in the US or Rs. 9,990 in India. These earbuds are available in three different colour options, Yellow, Black, and Alpine White and can be wirelessly charged via the Samsung Galaxy S10 series phones. We’d been using testing these earbuds for over a month and find out detailed Samsung Galaxy Buds review.
The Galaxy Buds come in a small package which includes:
- Charging case
- The pair of buds
- USB Type C charging cable
- Extra tips and sport fins
- And a manual, in case you need one
The Galaxy Buds look like a piece of futuristic tech the moment you take them out of the box. The box itself looks like a small pill case and can easily go un-noticed once put in the pocket. The best part is that this tiny carry case comes with an extra battery to charge the earphones on the go. The earbuds themselves are small and triangular in shape with an ergonomic design. They fit really well in the ear and the little rubber wings on top offer a better grip.
Both the earbuds have a touchpad on the outer shell which can be used to play pause music or to respond to calls. The case and the earbuds both are white in color, which though looks good but is prone to getting dirty and scratched easily. The buds and the case are made of solid plastic which feels good and sturdy.
The case has an LED light which glows red when charging. Apart from this LED, there are absolutely no indications for the amount of battery left in the case or the buds.
I’ve used a lot of wireless earbuds and always had a fear of them falling off when I’m walking or working out. But the Galaxy Buds fit comfortably in the ear canal and I’ve had to fear of the falling off. Unlike a lot of other earbuds, I could wear the Galaxy buds while traveling or working out in the gym for long durations without fatigue.
In terms of weight, these buds weigh just 5 grams each and are perfectly sized. Once worn, these earbuds are not easily noticeable. In fact, I even wore them under the helmet when riding the bike and used the google map’s voice navigation without any issues at all.
Straight out of the box buds offer a good six hours of backup. The case can charge up the earbuds with its in-built battery and offers another 5-6 hours of backup. This case itself can be charged wirelessly using the Galaxy S10 series phone or via the USB type C port.
Pairing these Buds with a Samsung Galaxy S10 series phone is fairly easy and simple, you just need to flip open the case near the device and it automatically gets connected. For the devices of other brands, the connection process is like pairing any other Bluetooth device. I initially faced Bluetooth connectivity drops though it looks like it was fixed via an OTA update.
There is a dedicated Galaxy Wearables application which can be downloaded off the play store and it offers a set of options which can help you customize the output as per your liking. An audio equalizer which allows you to switch between different presets ranging from Bass Boost to Dynamic to Treble Boost. Honestly, I didn’t feel a considerable difference in the audio even after switching between different presets.
The App also offers an option to control the ambient noise and can boost nearby voices between traffic and others. This means that you do not have to remove the earbuds to hear to a co-passenger while driving a car. 'Find my buds' is another cool feature which can help you locate your buds, in case you’ve absent-mindedly put them somewhere and now having a hard time tracking them.
The touchpads present on the outer shell are convenient, however, aren’t the most responsive. These can be used to control music, respond to calls or even summon the digital assistant. In my case, I used it to ask Google Assistant a few queries every now and then and it worked perfectly fine every time. Sadly, you cannot control volume using these touchpads and you’d end up hitting the touchpad every time you adjust the buds. The moment you remove one earbud from your ear, the audio automatically switches to the other one you're wearing and the buds pair up again automatically once worn again. The Galaxy buds are IPX2 certified, hence, they're safe against sweat or occasional exposure to water.
Talking about audio performance, these buds are ‘sound by AKG’ products, I found the audio pretty flat. Lack of strong bass is pretty evident, hence they aren’t meant for audiophiles, but for occasional listeners, it isn’t a deal breaker. Audio quality while answering to calls was also fine but there were cases when the person on the other end complained about muffled audio. These buds also don’t offer the best of noise cancellation as compared to the costlier earphones or headphones, however, for wireless earbuds, it is impressive.
I’ve not tried any other truly wireless Bluetooth earbud which is as light and as comfortable as these Galaxy Buds. With the overall performance and their pairing with Samsung Galaxy S10 series’ devices, they can seriously give Apple AirPods a run for their money. And mind you they don’t fall off easily, unlike AirPods. Though the connectivity issues are more or less sorted thanks to the software update from Samsung, it’s the lack of Bass and a smaller battery in the charging case (though the case is perfectly sized, mind you) that just stops Galaxy Buds form being the perfect true wireless earbuds.