True wireless earpieces have been the true revolution of 2019. But we’re now in 2020 and the game needs to move forward just a little bit.
ANC is the new buzzword but the Buds+ shy away from it like tourists from a cruise liner these days. But not all is lost. Now with a dual-driver and triple microphones, they sound better to you and to your call partner. The form factor is tiny and without a stalk, like on the AirPods; it’s easy to forget that you’re even wearing them after a while. Comfort will depend on how you customise the fit to your own orifices, and Samsung has packed in enough options in the box to find your earmate.
The improvements in the sonic fireworks are instantly audible. There’s a bit more definition to the low-end while the mids are clear and highs maintain sparkle without causing fatigue. The Weeknd’s powerful voice comes across impressively with the reverb adding to the drama on Call Out my Name, but wear them loose or improperly and you will lose much of the magic. And that’s the caveat here. Since there is no stalk to signal a “this way up” orientation, you may tend to wear the Buds+ more casually. Especially since they tend to fit in the ear canal in multiple ways!
11 strong hours isn’t a bad claim, but with a case its size, we would have expected it to hold more charges. A total of 22 hours is reported and we didn’t have any trouble going through the entire day without having any anxiety, with some charge still left in the Buds themselves. Pairing and monitoring is as easy as flipping open the case; now you can even pair them with an iOS device if you can be coerced into downloading the partner Galaxy Buds app from the App store.
It may sound like a one-up on the AirPods Pro, but there are few things missing here and an addition that is, well, debatable. The touch controls on the outer surface of the Buds+ can accept simple commands with one, two or three taps, but each of those taps digs or upsets the fit of the Buds, making it counterproductive. Also, there is no ANC or a reassuring IP rating, so you have to be mindful of how close you get to the waterfall on that trek. But, passive blocking of ambient sounds is quite good and you’ll miss ANC only during flights or peak hour train commute.
Samsung’s earbuds are not going to compete with Apple’s finest, but they can get a bit irritating in your ears if you get too touchy. There’s no ANC, but the passive blocking is good enough just like on the Jabra Elite 75t and this also makes the Buds+ more accessible. In short, the new Buds+ are a highly recommendable pair of true wireless earphones.