Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 evaluation: No-brainer buds

MSRP $150.00

“Good luck beating the Galaxy Buds 2 for the worth.”

Execs

Compact

Snug

Efficient ANC

Good sound

Strong Battery

Cons

Annoying contact controls

Many Android-only options

It’s getting actually robust to say one thing intelligent on the prime of a wi-fi earbud evaluation. There are simply so lots of this stuff now. 5 years in the past? No drawback. True wi-fi earbuds have been of their infancy and we have been all very excited that wires may be gone perpetually. As we speak? Nicely, let me put it this fashion: I’ve obtained about 14 pairs of true wi-fi earbuds on my desk proper now and that’s simply what confirmed up during the last couple of weeks.

My level is that wi-fi earbuds at the moment are a commodity. We all know this as a result of you possibly can decide up a pair for about $25 on the native pharmacy. That being the case, all of the Galaxy Buds 2 have to do is … nicely, not suck, to place an admittedly crass level on it.

At $150, the Galaxy Buds 2 not solely don’t suck however they’re certain to make lots of people very blissful. Whether or not or not the Galaxy Buds 2 must be a no brainer buy could be debated, nevertheless it’s simple that these wi-fi buds are about to fly off cabinets.

Right here’s why.

Out of the field

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The Galaxy Buds 2 are available a compact field — nearly all the packaging is recyclable. Contained in the field, I discovered a small, white, square-ish wi-fi charging case (some have known as it a squircle) with the Galaxy Buds 2 nestled inside, together with massive and small silicone eartips (the medium suggestions are already put in on the buds), and a USB-A to USC-C charging cable. There might have additionally been some product literature buried in there, however I shortly discarded the field and moved alongside.

The Galaxy Buds 2 I obtained got here within the graphite coloration, with the innards of the wi-fi charging case matching that coloration. The buds (and case innards) are additionally out there in white, olive, and lavender.

Battery life, match, options

Samsung claims the next battery efficiency for its buds and the case with a mixture of ANC on and off in addition to speak time.

ANC on:  As much as 5 hours of playtime and as much as three.5 hours of speak time
ANC on:  As much as 20 hours of playtime with charging case and as much as 13 hours of speak time with charging case
ANC off:  As much as 7.5 hours of playtime and as much as three.5 hours of speak time
ANC off:  As much as 29 hours of playtime with charging case and as much as 14 hours with charging case

Samsung additionally claims the Buds 2 will give about one hour of playtime off a 5-minute cost and about 2.5 hours with 10-minutes of cost time. I can confirm each of those claims as conservative as I obtained just a little greater than the claimed time throughout each checks I ran.

Over the course of the 4 days that I’ve needed to check the Galaxy Buds 2 to date, I’ve by no means gotten any lower than 5 hours of playtime with ANC on, seemingly as a result of I by no means maxed out the out there play quantity. The 2 charging cycles I ran by way of gave me 5.three and 5.5 hours, outperforming Samsung’s claims.

I’ve not but been in a position to deplete the charging case’s battery, however I’ve managed to get two full recharges from it and, in line with the case’s battery meter, I ought to simply get yet one more, substantiating Samsung’s battery efficiency claims throughout the board.

The Galaxy Buds 2 are among the many most snug wi-fi earbuds I’ve worn.

Given the dimensions of each the Buds 2 and their charging case, I take into account this battery efficiency completely tremendous and proper according to the AirPods Professional, although it’s price stating the AirPods Professional efficiency doesn’t actually change a lot with ANC on or off.

Match

Caleb Denison/Digital Traits

So far as match goes, the Galaxy Buds 2 are among the many most snug wi-fi earbuds I’ve ever worn. Manner higher than the bulkier Galaxy Buds +, and infinitely higher than the awkward, bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Stay.

Their compact form might not match all ears, however they suited my medium-sized ears simply tremendous. And after I say the Buds 2 are snug, I imply it. They by no means bugged me in any respect; no fatigue after longer listening periods, no ear sweats … nothing to complain about.

I even wore the Buds 2 to mattress and loved each final second of ambient rain sounds till I handed out. After I woke, the buds have been nonetheless in my ears. I feel that story bodes nicely for safety, however I received’t go as far as to say that full-on exercises received’t handle to discover a solution to dislodge them. Energetic/sport earbuds these will not be, although they do include an IPX 7 score to maintain them protected from gentle publicity to moisture. However for on a regular basis use, I don’t see them falling out of most people’ ears. They even handed my consuming check. Often masticating a half-raw facet of beef will exert sufficient mandible movement to dislodge even essentially the most well-secured buds, however by some means the Galaxy Buds 2 didn’t budge. Go determine.

Options

How nicely the Buds 2 match has loads to do with how they sound, which I’ll get to in a second. However it is a good time to debate a number of the options out there to Buds 2 house owners if they’re paired with an Android Cellphone. I’ll speak to you iPhone house owners in search of AirPods alternate options in a second.

Exterior management of the Galaxy Buds 2 is on the market by way of the Galaxy Wearable app, which is presently solely out there for Android. You possibly can change the Buds 2’s EQ, activate/off numerous contact controls (however not customise them) run an earbud match check, flip noise canceling on/off, and modify the depth of the Buds’ ambient sound function, amongst different area of interest options, as pictured under.

Frankly, I may survive with out the EQ management or the variable ambient mode depth management. However one function I’d not be capable to get alongside with out as a non-Android consumer is management over the Buds’ contact controls as a result of, as I’ll talk about shortly, I’d moderately don’t have any contact management in any respect than contact controls I can’t … management.

Samsung obtained the sound dialed in proper for the Galaxy Buds 2.

So, to the few of you on the market who personal iPhones and are pondering the Galaxy Buds 2 seem like a great AirPods Professional different? They may very well be. Simply perceive that what you get out of the field is what you get and also you received’t be capable to change something. For essentially the most half, that’s tremendous. However in case you are in any respect involved with setting off contact controls by chance — say you’re a power earbud adjuster or simply play together with your ears loads — chances are you’ll need to steer clear.

Sound high quality and ANC

Caleb Denison/Digital Traits

Given my prior expertise with Samsung’s wi-fi buds, I didn’t go into this evaluation with excessive expectations. I’ve discovered prior iterations of Samsung’s wi-fi earbuds to sound a bit flat and uninspiring. Fortunately, I feel Samsung obtained the sound dialed in proper for the Galaxy Buds 2. The self-proclaimed audiophile in me sort of cringes at that assertion, however the realist in me is aware of that most individuals who strive the Galaxy Buds 2 are going to like them.

An audio critic will let you know that the Galaxy Buds 2 have just a little an excessive amount of bass; that the bass will get in the way in which of a number of the particulars within the higher midrange and decrease treble areas and obscures essential transients just like the pluck of guitar strings or the clang of a drumstick hitting a journey cymbal. That is all true, and it completely doesn’t matter.

Samsung goes after a mass market with the Galaxy Buds 2 and has formed their sound to attraction to the plenty. Positive, the bass is just a little fats at instances, and that may have an effect on perceived readability infrequently, however I feel most people are going to place the Galaxy Buds 2 of their ears and be completely happy with how full, punchy, and vigorous they will sound. There’s a little bit of a push within the higher treble area that offers them loads of sparkle, and the midrange, whereas just a little recessed, nonetheless provides vocals loads of presence.

In different phrases, the Galaxy Buds 2 sound greater than satisfactory. They really sound fairly rattling good, even when they do get just a little heavy-handed with the bass infrequently. They undoubtedly sound adequate to justify their price ticket.

ANC, Ambient mode, name high quality

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As for the lively noise canceling (ANC), the Galaxy Buds 2 are available a bit shy of AirPods Professional-level noise abatement. If I used to be taking an extended flight and counting on earbuds to close out the roar of an AirBus’ engines, I’d flip to the AirPods Professional, Sony WF-1000Xm4, or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. However for shutting out the world to offer the buds a combating likelihood at making your music, podcast, or audiobook the focus, the Galaxy Buds 2 are a lot proficient. To make certain, these are the very best noise-canceling buds I’ve heard from Samsung but, although admittedly I slept on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Professional.

Ambient mode works simply tremendous. It isn’t as if I’m not carrying earbuds, however I can simply handle to listen to sufficient of what’s occurring round me that I don’t really feel the necessity to yank the earbuds out. Positive, I really feel like just a little little bit of a device ordering a mocha at Starbucks with the Galaxy Buds 2 in my ears set to Ambient mode, however I can hear the barista ask if I’m certain I don’t need whipped cream on prime of my oat milk and later butcher my identify simply tremendous. And isn’t that what ambient mode is all about?

Name high quality leaves just a little to be desired, however then that’s the case with most wi-fi earbuds I strive, irrespective of what number of microphones and A.I. processing will get crammed into the combination. I hear the whole lot in gorgeous high quality, however these on the opposite finish of telephone or video calls commented that I sounded a bit skinny and digitized. Possibly sooner or later our headphones will seize sound in addition to they reproduce it, however that day just isn’t heralded with the arrival of the Galaxy Buds 2.

Pet peeves

I’ve obtained one beef with the Galaxy Buds 2, and that’s their contact controls. I’m not a fan of any surface-based contact controls since they’re too simply set off. One can’t a lot as contact the buds to regulate them or resecure them within the ears with out by chance altering ANC mode or pausing a monitor. It’s flat-out annoying. Thankfully, Android customers can flip the contact controls off in the event that they need to. Anybody with out entry to the Galaxy Wearable app — together with these on iOS — will likely be slap out of luck.

My take

I feel Samsung lastly nailed it with the Galaxy Buds 2. They’re snug, provide strong battery life, high quality sound, respectable ANC, and they’re priced about proper. Positive, you will get competing earbuds for much less, however not with Samsung’s identify stamped on them, and possibly not sitting proper subsequent to the telephone you might be about to purchase down at your wi-fi service’s retailer. For Android customers, they’re a no brainer. For Apple customers, in all probability much less so. Particularly with the AirPods three on the way in which.

Is there a greater different?

Probably not! There are many different true wi-fi earbuds that match and even undercut the Galaxy Buds 2’s $150 worth level, however few if any of them provide the identical combo consolation, tiny type issue, strong sound, and high quality ANC, and most of them are from manufacturers that you just in all probability have by no means heard of.

How lengthy will they final?

Assuming the buds don’t get misplaced outdoors their case (and outdoors the vary of the finder function) I feel the Galaxy Buds 2 will final so long as their batteries do, which is to say a great three or 4 years for most people. An IPX 7 score will hold them from succumbing to rain or sweat, however don’t plan on going to the water park with them and anticipate them to outlive.

Must you purchase them?

For those who’re an Android consumer, sure. For those who’re an Apple consumer, in all probability not. Having the ability to management the buds with the Galaxy Wearable app is vital to comfort and that isn’t out there on the Apple App Retailer, a minimum of not on the time this evaluation was written.

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