South Korean tech giant Samsung made a stir in the world of wireless earbuds last year when they released the original Samsung Galaxy Buds. Lauded as being ahead of the game, but also lacking in some important categories (namely, battery life and touch control issues), there was a slight feeling of disappointment. Even though Samsung had produced a fine set of headphones, they just maybe had missed an opportunity to create a piece of brilliance.
Samsung are back with the all-new Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, and holy moly do they deliver the goods. This redesigned pair of wireless earbuds may look the same as their older brother, but it’s inside where the changes have been made. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus sound fantastic and feel fantastic. Plus, the battery life is class-leading, and they are packed with heaps of features.
The combination of all these factors, at an extremely reasonable price, makes these some of the best wireless earbuds currently on the market. Although these are marketed primarily at non-iOS users (with some features only working with Android systems), these work great with iPhones also. So, let’s find out more in our comprehensive Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Review…
What Do You Get In The Box?
Included in the original purchase price are three pairs of silicon wingtips and ear tips, a USB-C charging cable, the Qi wireless charging carry case, and the user manual. All standard stuff, although you do get the wireless charging case for free, unlike Apple, which charges extra for AirPods wireless charging case.
What About The Design & Build Quality?
As mentioned earlier, the new Buds Plus are a carbon copy, aesthetically that is, to their predecessor. And you know what? We think they made the right decision, with the outward design being one of the huge plusses of last year’s design!
The all black, half-matte/half-polished, high-grade plastic that makes up the outer casing of our test pair give off feelings of minimalism mixed with luxury. Black not to your liking? No worries, as these are available in multiple colors, with red and pink the most recent to be released.
The oval-shaped carry case looks as sleek as ever. And the magnetic latch does a good job of keeping the case closed while carrying them in your bag or pocket. It is slightly larger than the AirPods case, and the positioning of the earbuds inside them can be confusing at first. However, this issue disappeared after a few days of use.
The three sizes of wingtips and ear tips included should ensure you find a snug and comfortable fit pretty easily. During gym sessions and running, they never felt loose. This is a huge bonus for any pair of completely non-wired earbuds.
One downside is the IPX2 waterproof rating. Although still better than regular AirPods (which don’t have any waterproof rating at all), we think this is one of the few missed opportunities in this set.
In terms of voice sound quality, the introduction of a third microphone really helps. And is a giant leap from previous models. We even used a pair of these record a podcast, and the outcome was acceptable. Very impressive.
Both earbuds have fully redesigned touch panels. These panels have the ability to be remapped easily when connected to the Galaxy Wearable app. We found them easy and intuitive to use, a marked improvement over the classic Galaxy Buds. Simply tap to play/pause or to answer a call, double-tap to skip forward a song or to end a call, or triple-tap to go back a song.
The app is a must get for all users, as it also grants access to one of the coolest included features, direct Spotify use! Simply tap and hold whichever panel you have pre-programmed, and you will instantly be launched into a random recommended playlist.
But what’s wrong with a little bit of that every now and then? Especially when the service works so well. And to be honest with you, a few of us at the office have openly admitted to missing this feature….
There most definitely was! With the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus leading the rest of the competition by more than a nose. This was a welcome surprise after the issues of the previous models battery. Samsung claim an 11 hour charge time, which we were at first very skeptical of.
But how wrong we were, with the Buds Plus lasting a crazy 11 hours 32 minutes on a single charge in our tests. Add that to the full charge held in the case (which itself charges fully in just two hours), and you have almost a full day of charge at your fingertips!
Dead headphones are almost totally a thing of the past! It takes just three minutes of charging for the Buds Plus to go from zero charge to over one hour of playback time!
How About The Sound?
We are really happy to report that sound is up there with some of the best wireless earbuds on the market! For the audiophiles out there, it may be better to stick to over-ear headphones. However, for the rest of us, these great little earbuds will do an excellent job reproducing what the sound engineer mixed. And the AKG tuned 12mm drivers are superb at producing a consumer-friendly sound.
However, there is a small tendency for the lows to be a bit “full” or loud. But that plays straight into the hands of many popular genres such as hip hop, RnB, and pop. This means that the bass line is going to be a bit clearer, and the drums will have a bit of extra punch. Still, a huge improvement over last year and up there with the best set of wireless earbuds on the market.
While listening to “Mr. Blue Sky” on the morning commute, we loved the way the bassline popped through cleanly and how smooth the vocals sounded as they rang through. The bass-heavy track “Keep their heads ringin’” by the one and only Dr. Dre, was seemingly made to be listened to through these headphones, with just the right balance of sound.
For audiobook and podcast listening, the Buds Pro does a great job of delivering clean and clear mid frequencies. And keep separate voices clear and easy to distinguish.
If you are in a situation where hearing your surroundings is important, just open the Galaxy Wearable app and tap the Ambient Aware 2 feature. Then the ambient sound around will be automatically mixed into the soundscape. This is done elegantly, with levels staying acceptable throughout our testing.
You also have the option of controlling the volume of both the outside sounds and the regular volume.
In terms of sound isolation, as long as you select the correct ear or wingtip to suit your ear, then the overall isolation of these headphones should be very effective. Although there is no specific controllable ANC feature.
Class 1 Bluetooth with 5.0 firmware power the 30 ft (10 meter) range of these headphones. Unfortunately, we don’t see the inclusion of the aptX codec support, but the AAC and the scalable Samsung codecs do a fine job. We had very few connection drops in our week of testing, and never felt like connecting or stay connected was an issue.
Connection strength is reliable, and latency is also not a concern.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Pros & Cons
- Excellent audio quality.
- Improved call quality thanks to a third microphone.
- Comfortable fit.
- Excellent pricing for what’s on offer.
- May be too bass-heavy for some, but not as bad as much of the competition.
- No active noise cancellation.
Need something with better active noise cancellation? No problem, check out reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds on the market.
You may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Durable Earbuds, the Best Earbuds under 50 Dollars, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, or the Best Earbuds under 100 Dollars currently available.
In the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, the company have succeeded in bettering an already good product. These are truly a worthy opponent to the AirPods, and the perfect replacement for anyone using an Android phone or tablet.
When taking into account all the features, the app, and the design quality, we are not sure you will find a better set on the market right now! So what are you waiting for, get yourself a pair, and enjoy the music!