Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review: AirPods competitor ramps up the performance

The Galaxy Buds In addition is out there in 3 hues.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When I put alongside one another a listing of greatest accurate wi-fi earbuds of 2019 in a YouTube online video, I took some warmth from lovers of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds (

$107 at Amazon

) for not such as them in my roundup. I liked the Galaxy Buds, I explained, but I believed they ended up missing in a couple of spots: They sounded good for their cost — but not excellent — and they just were not fantastic for building calls in noisier environments for the reason that callers complained about listening to also a lot background noise.

Table of Contents


  • Enhanced sound, with dual drivers that supply much better bass effectiveness.
  • Boosted battery lifetime (eleven hours).
  • Considerably much better for building calls
  • New iOS application for Apple buyers
  • USB-C and wi-fi charging

You should not Like

  • Very same design and style as normal Galaxy Buds.
  • Priced better than the preceding design.
  • No active noise canceling
  • Only IPX2 water-resistance

But now Samsung will get a do-about in the type of the Galaxy Buds In addition, which have released along with the company’s new Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. The new Buds In addition search primarily the very same as the originals, but they have some improvements on the within boost effectiveness significantly: Their battery lifetime is rated at eleven hours for music playback (up from six), and they pack enhanced drivers for much better sound and an more microphone in just about every bud to aid with exterior noise reduction when building calls. 

At $a hundred and fifty, they price tag $20 extra than the Galaxy Buds. And they’re not bundled with Samsung’s new telephones, but the $150 preorder credit rating with the Galaxy S20 In addition and S20 Ultra (when requested through Samsung’s web page) properly knocks the cost down to cost-free. (British isles and Australian rates are TBA.) Alas, when they characteristic the very same noise-isolating design and style, they you should not supply active noise-cancellation like Apple’s AirPods Professional do. 

Out there in 3 shade selections (black, light blue, white), the Galaxy Buds In addition have the very same proportions as their predecessor and search nearly equivalent. Even so, they weigh six.3 grams (.two-ounce), or .7-gram extra than the Buds. Which is for the reason that they have a larger sized battery and two-way drivers (with a woofer and tweeter) as opposed to a solitary driver. The battery case, which costs through USB-C and wirelessly with any Qi-suitable charging pad, is also geared up with a larger sized battery (a 3-minute cost in the case provides you one hour of juice). And of course, all of those new Samsung telephones have the Wi-fi PowerShare characteristic, so you can leading off your Galaxy Buds In addition just by resting the case on the phone’s bottom.

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The other noteworthy variations are multidevice pairing — an generally overlooked characteristic that quite a few people respect — and an iOS application geared to make the Galaxy Buds In addition extra pleasant to Iphone (

$699 at Apple

) homeowners. At launch, the application garnered quite a few damaging reviews from latest Galaxy Buds homeowners for the reason that it isn’t going to look to be suitable with the original Galaxy Buds. But I believed the application was wonderful.

The application provides iOS buyers accessibility to firmware upgrades, EQ settings for tweaking the buds’ sound and “ambient sound” settings that let you to alter the buds’ transparency amounts (off, medium or higher), allowing sound in from the outdoors entire world into the buds. In the application, you can also choose to have ambient sound on when building calls. That permits you to listen to your voice in the earbuds when talking. (This is in some cases referred to as Sidetone.)  

Android buyers use Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable application and get a handful of small features not out there to iOS buyers, the largest of which are one-touch Spotify accessibility from the buds them selves and a gaming method to “lower audio hold off for vivid, synchronized gaming sound.” I made use of the buds with an Iphone eleven Professional and a Galaxy S9 In addition (

$643 at Amazon


The Galaxy Buds In addition continue to keep the very same touch controls as their predecessor. They function well and are fairly responsive, while my double-taps to advance a observe forward in some cases turned into triple taps that finished up restarting the observe I was listening to (you triple-faucet to skip back again one observe). In the application, you get some selections for customizing the touch controls, such as changing volume with a prolonged push. You will find even an “experimental” placing that allows you to use the edge of the buds for volume and the middle for other controls.

The Galaxy Buds in shape my ears well, and the Galaxy Buds In addition felt incredibly related in my ears. These are rather compact buds (they stick out from your ears a little, related to Jabra’s Elite 75t) and need to in shape most ears well. The only difficulty I experienced was with the ear guidelines. With these forms of noise-isolating earphones it’s very important to get a tight seal to get best sound excellent. I bought a rather fantastic seal with the premier of the provided guidelines, but items enhanced when I switched to my personal ear guidelines (one of the positive aspects of reviewing a large amount of headphones is that I have a large amount of ear guidelines lying all around). The ones I made use of ended up rounder and little broader than the provided guidelines, which need to function wonderful for quite a few people’s ears. The Samsung guidelines — 3 dimensions are provided — are a little extra convex shaped. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Sarah Tew/CNET

I opted to use the middle-size wing suggestion (3 dimensions are provided) and bought a good safe in shape. While these have only IPX2 water-resistance, they are sweat-resistant (to a degree) and can be made use of at the gym and for jogging. That explained, competing versions like the Jabra Elite 75t (IPX5) supply better water-resistance scores and some are entirely water-resistant. 

I was impressed with the sound. It is in-depth and sleek, with deep, well-defined bass. The sound is richer and extra spacious than that of the original Galaxy Buds. Properly-respected Austrian audio corporation AKG, which Samsung obtained when it bought Harman, is behind the audio. When the original Buds ended up also “tuned” by AKG, these are a good upgrade about the originals — and ideal there with what you get with Jabra Elite 75t, if not even a touch much better. Like a large amount of headphones these days, there is a tad of presence boost to aid make your music sound extra in-depth and interesting but which potential customers to some faint sibilance in the highs. You can toggle between a handful of EQ settings — “Tender, Bass Improve, Dynamic, Distinct and Treble Improve” — but I caught largely with the “Typical” EQ placing, which appeared the most balanced.

The buds search the very same as their predecessor but weigh somewhat extra, many thanks to new components on the within.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Aside from the much better battery lifetime, the other effectiveness improvement you are going to most respect is the call excellent. The additional exterior microphone for much better noise reduction in the course of calls will help accurate the earphones’ largest weak point. The Galaxy Buds may well not function fairly as well as the AirPods Professional or Anker Liberty Air two for building calls, but they’re significantly enhanced in this region from the original Galaxy Buds. In our examination calls from the New York Town streets, exterior noise from targeted visitors was properly minimized and my voice could be listened to evidently.

I will also increase that my wi-fi connection remained rock-stable in the course of my two days of testing. New York Town can be notoriously complicated on accurate wi-fi earbuds with interference challenges. But I didn’t practical experience any dropouts or glitches. I also didn’t observe any problem with audio syncing when employing various online video streaming apps (I tried out YouTube, Netflix and DisneyPlus).     

In the end, I you should not think these will gradual the sales of AirPods, but the Galaxy Buds have only turn into a much better solution for Android buyers and may well even make some lovers who use iOS products. Ideally, they are going to appear down in cost a bit — I would have liked to have viewed the original Galaxy Buds go to $ninety nine and have these priced at $129. But if you do go the preorder route for your new Galaxy phone and can properly get these for “cost-free,” you will never be unhappy.