More than looks, trust is really important when it comes to truly wireless earphones.
Samsung’s Gear IconX was one of the few good truly wireless earphone at its time, but it wasn’t up to the mark and not fancy enough to convince a buyer to put his/her money into it.
Android users splashed their money on Jabra or Bose while Apple fans swore by the AirPods. In the meanwhile, Samsung took its time and rectified the missing parts on its newest Galaxy Buds.
We tested these for two weeks straight to see whether they’re trustworthy and if they justifies the surprising ₹9999 price tag. Let’s dig in?
DESIGN: COMFY AND SUPER SECURE
The Galaxy Buds arrive in capsule-like box which is quite cute and small, but not as small as the AirPod’s TicTac-like case. The box can easily slip into your jeans pocket or coin pocket without too much stretching. Unlike the AirPods case, taking the buds out from the box isn’t a one-hand job and can be a little fiddly at times. You’ll need to use both hands to take out the buds and wear them if you don’t want them falling off and breaking.
The Galaxy Buds are now 30% smaller than the Gear Icon X and are also much lighter and comfortable to wear too. Make sure you choose the perfect silicon bud size and wing tip for extra comfort and fit.
Do the AirPods have colours to choose from? Nope. The Galaxy Buds come in two colours to choose from - White and Black (and Neon Yellow which is available abroad). The White one which we have look pretty attractive thanks to its pearl-like finish on the touchpad and since we’re brown skin-toned, these really stand out and make an appearance to the common eye whilst commuting via public transport.
We’re happy to report that these don’t only stay locked in your ear but also feel super comfy to wear the entire day. Whether you’re an athlete or an office goer, you can pull an entire marathon, pick up weights, walk your dog or hang outside trains (not advisable) without any tension. We trust them.
CONNECTIVITY: QUICK AND CLEAN
Just because AirPods are meant for iPhones, it does not mean that the Galaxy Buds are meant for Samsung phones. #JustSaying. These Buds work with all Android devices with Android 5.0 and above and work pretty darn good. All you need is the Galaxy Wearable app, a quick Bluetooth pairing and you’re set to dive into wireless audio nirvana.
Good news, these also work with iOS devices via Bluetooth but misses out on the app functionality. If you don’t mind that, the Buds will work on its default setting and you can’t make the full use of it. Bummer.
We didn’t face any audio latency while watching videos or any stutters on phone calls. Everything from playing music, calls or basic motion activity felt like it’s working like a wired earphone (oops). Even the speaking to the other person on the phone felt easy, clear and crisp. Thumbs up to that!
FEATURES: AWESOME AMBIENT MODE
So, how do you use them? Single tap on either earphone to play/pause music. Long press either earphone to increase (right) or decrease (left) volume. Double tap either earphone to switch tracks or answer/end phone calls. Triple tap either earphone to summon Bixby / Alexa / Google Assistant.
If you don’t have a Samsung phone, download the Galaxy Wearable app and pair the app with the Buds. Use the app or drag the notification bar to check battery status, manage notifications, control the Touchpad or find the Buds if lost or misplaced.
The Ambient Sound feature is quite cool if you’re travelling in trains or freelancing at coffee shops. Once turned on you can stay aware of your surroundings by not cancelling out any background noise. It comes in handy if the Starbucks guy is calling out your name or the lady at the station is announcing the next train. It might not work pretty well in really crowded areas though. Do the AirPods have this awesome feature? Nope, not at all.
There’s also a custom equaliser which lets you choose the audio preset you prefer. If you like vocals then keep it on Dynamic or Clear and if you’re a basshead then switch to Soft ot Bass Boost.
SOUND: CUTS THROUGH THE NOISE
Samsung may have taken care of the design bit, but it left the sound part to AKG. The Galaxy Buds are tuned by AKG Audio and are made to deliver a very fine and balanced sound signature which may seem a bit sharp to some users. Sound quality wise it does seem to like the treble a little more than the bass, but you can always pull open the Galaxy Wearable app and adjust the audio preset right from the Equaliser.
Unlike the AirPods, these tiny buds isolate the background noise even if there’s no sound playing. And if you’re wondering if these sound better than the swanky new AirPods, then yes, these do sound better and feel much more immersive since it fits completely inside your ear.
BATTERY: WIRELESS LIFE
The Buds last for about five to six hours on a single charge and the box houses another six to seven hours of juice, which gives it an average around figure of 10 hours.
However, the AirPods can last a little longer since it’s got slightly more battery.
Samsung jazzed up the Galaxy Buds with a touch of wireless charging inside the box along with the usual USB Type C route. Just place the case on any Qi-enabled wireless charging pad or any smartphone with reverse wireless charging abilities (like the Galaxy S10 or Huawei Mate 20) and you’re good to go. A speedy 15-minute charge will add about 1.7 hours to their play time. Not bad at all.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Verdict
Samsung’s AKG tuned Galaxy Buds are pretty darn good for the price. If you consider its rivals and their price tags, this one offers a much impressive package for ₹9999.
We’d have to actually nitpick if we had to find faults, but if you look at it from an overall aspect, whether you’re a man or woman, left handed or right, these are the buds for you Android users. If you’re an iOS nuthead, we’d ask you hold on till an iOS app comes out or you rather save up for the new AirPods.