More than looks, trust is really important when it comes to truly wireless earphones.
Android users splashed their money on either 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 to see whether they’re trustworthy and if they justify the surprising MYR 499 price tag.
Comfy and Secure
The Galaxy Buds arrive in a capsule-like box which is quite cute and small, but not as small as the AirPod’s TicTac-like case. The box could easily slip into your jeans pocket or coin pocket without you realising it being there. 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 to risk damaging them.
The Galaxy Buds are now 30% smaller than the Gear Icon X and are also much lighter and comfortable to wear too. The Galaxy Buds come in two colours to choose from - White and Black. The black one which we have looks pretty attractive thanks to its matte finish on the touchpad and is rather low key.
We’re happy to report that these will not 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 or walk your dog without worrying about the earbuds falling out or getting in your way.The fit would of course, need to be adjusted according to your ear canal with the correct wingtip and earbud size for the best experience.
Fast and Simple Connections
These Buds work with all Android devices with Android 5.0 and above, and they work really well. All you need is the Galaxy Wearable app, a quick Bluetooth pairing, and you’re set to dive into wireless audio bliss. The connection between the earbuds and your phone is automatic (so long as you keep your Bluetooth on) and instantaneous.
Amusingly enough, the Galaxy Buds also work with iOS devices via Bluetooth but misses out on the app functionality. If you don’t mind that, the Buds will only work on its default setting without features such as audio customisation.
While using the earbuds I 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 I was using a wired earphone. Speaking using the handsfree mode to the other person on the line felt easy, clear and crisp.
So, how do you use them? A single tap on either earphone to play/pause music. A long press on either earbud to increase (right) or decrease (left) volume. Double tap on either earphone to switch tracks or to answer/end phone calls. Finally, triple tapping will summon Bixby / Alexa / Google Assistant.
If you don’t have a Samsung phone, you can just simply download the Galaxy Wearable app and pair the app with the Buds. Use the app or drag the notification bar to check its battery status, manage notifications, control the Touchpad remotely, 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 to know when the barista is calling out your name for your coffee while you are listening to your music or audio. But it is rather situational and might not work pretty well in really crowded areas.
There’s also a custom equaliser which lets you choose the audio preset that you prefer. If you like vocals then keep it on Dynamic or Clear, and if you’re a basshead then switch to Soft or Bass Boost. Listening to it in the Dynamic mode is the best in my opinion, as even with Bass Boost you lose the clarity of the higher frequencies of the audio you are listening to.
Samsung has taken care of the product design but left the earbuds’ audio tuned by AKG Audio which delivers a very fine and balanced sound signature. Sound quality-wise, it does seem to like the treble a little more prominent than the bass, but it makes up for it by accentuating the mid and higher range of the audio perfectly.
The Buds last for about five to six hours on a single charge, and the charging box houses another six to seven hours of juice, which gives it a battery life average of 10 hours.
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.
Samsung’s AKG tuned Galaxy Buds can be quite pricey but if you’d like a seamless non-intrusive wireless audio buds that are NOT Apple Airpods, then the Galaxy buds are for you. In the bigger picture, whether you’re a man or woman, left handed or right, these are the ideal earbuds for you Android users (if you are willing to splurge).