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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ TWS Earphones Review: The Good Just Got Better
Samsung, continuing the tradition, unveiled the Galaxy Buds+ alongside the flagship Galaxy S20-series smartphones. The new TWS earphones are currently selling at Rs. 11,990 and bring some significant improvements over the last year's model. Not much has changed in terms of the design but the Buds+ offer better battery life, balanced audio delivery, and improved microphone performance for crystal clear voice calls. The Galaxy Wearable companion app has also been upgraded to offer better support for the new Galaxy TWS earphones.
- Crisp And Balanced Audio Delivery
- Long-Lasting Battery
- Secure Fit
- Excellent Call Clarity And Microphone Response
- Wireless Charging
- Lacks Adequate Water Resistant Rating
- No aptX Support
- Unimpressive Ambient Mode
We used the new Galaxy Buds+ for over a week with the Galaxy S20+ and other Android smartphones to evaluate the connectivity, battery life and the audio performance. Here's what we found out.
Same Old Pill-Shaped Capsule With Wireless Charging Support
Like last year's Galaxy Buds, the Buds+ also ship in the same pill-shaped tiny capsule which now has a glossy finish. It's made of sturdy plastic and easily fits inside your jeans pockets. There's a Type-C charging port at the back of the case and an indicator light at the front. The capsule is also Qi-certified for wireless charging. If you have the latest Galaxy device (with reverse wireless charging support), you can use the handset to wirelessly charge the Buds+ at your convenience.
I have been using the Galaxy S20+ to wirelessly charge the earbuds. While the charging speeds are slow, the feature comes quite handy when you don't have a power plug around you, especially when you are travelling. For color options, the Galaxy Buds+ is available in black, white, and blue color variants.
Galaxy Buds+ Design And Wearing Experience
The Buds+ offer a secure fit due to their in-ear structure. They are fairly comfortable to wear if you prefer the in-ear design; however, if you have been using half-in ear design buds, you will start feeling slight discomfort after 20-30 minutes of continues usage. The Buds+ ship with three pairs of wings and silicone ear tips in the box to help you find the best fit depending upon your ear shape. The buds are lightweight and do not fall off even if you are running or doing an intense workout in the gym.
It's disappointing that the Galaxy Buds+ offer the lowest rating for protection against water damage. These are just IPX2 certified which means you cannot subject them to submersion or even heavy water sprays. The Mi Wireless Earphones 2 offer higher IPX4 rating at Rs. 4,499. Moreover, the budget Realme Buds Air Neo also offers IPX4 rating at much lower price-point.
Galaxy Buds+ Offers Most Intuitive Controls
The touch controls play a crucial role in the true wireless earphones form-factor and I must say that Samsung has done a great job in designing them for the Galaxy Buds+. The outside of the buds adorns touch panels that help you perform basic operations and most importantly, let you control volume levels, a feature mostly ignored by the TWS earphones makers. The touch panels are also customizable offering great flexibility in daily routine. You can also lock the touchpad to prevent accidental touches.
· A single tap on either of the buds plays or pause the music
· Double-tap plays the next track and also lets you answer or end a call.
· Tap thrice to play the previous track.
By default, the long tap will simply decline an incoming call; however, you can tweak the function for both the buds to perform a specific operation. You can choose from four different options- Voice command, Ambient sound Volume up/down and Spotify. It is worth mentioning that if you chose to set the left earbud to lower the volume, the right bud will automatically set to volume up function.
Connectivity And Setup
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ connect to your devices by using Bluetooth 5.0. I paired the buds with a variety of devices, across the platforms and experience a very stable connection. As far as codec support is concerned, the wireless buds support SBC, AAC, and Samsung's proprietary Scalable Bluetooth codecs. There's no aptX codec support, which is a let-down at this price-point.
If you prefer a balanced sound output, you will simply love the Galaxy Buds+. The audio produced by these true wireless earphones does not lean towards any particular frequency creating a very balanced overall sound signature. Listening to high-resolution files on the Buds+ is a delight. The well-defined soundstage creates a very enjoyable listening experience. I also did not experience any distortion even while listening to music at 100% volume.
The Buds+ feature 2-way speaker setup which is powered by the AKG-tuned drivers. The setup ensures crisp high notes and rich treble response. Importantly, the low-frequency response is also very good. The woofer powering the Buds+ produces deep and crisp bass. The bass feels tight and does not overpower other frequencies, exactly how I like my headphones to be; however, it might not be the case with everyone and especially with serious bass heads that prefer head rattling bass delivery.
The sound delivery is immersive in general but these buds sound best when paired with Samsung handsets. The scalable codecs make these buds sound to the best of their potential. For non-Samsung devices, the Galaxy Buds+ use the conventional AAC and SBC codec and tries to compensate for the loss by impressive audio tuning algorithms.
That being said, these earbuds will serve you best if you own a Galaxy device. But that doesn't mean they will prove to be a bad investment for non-Samsung users. They generate expansive soundstage that brings the best out of tracks you tune in to for a pleasant listening experience.
Equalizer, Find My Phone And Other Useful Features
Samsung also lets you customize the audio output from the companion app. The Galaxy Wearable app offers five additional presets- Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble boost in addition to default preset- Normal. The presets are quite effective in making required adjustments to different frequencies in music being streamed. The app also offers some other useful features like Find my phone, Read notifications aloud, touchpad settings, etc. You can also reset and update the Buds+ firmware from the application.
Crystal Clear Clarity Over Voice Calls
The Galaxy Buds+ proved to be an excellent pair of true wireless earbuds for voice calls. The buds+ offer superb call clarity over regular phone calls and WhatsApp calls. The adaptive 3-mic system comprises of two outer mics which work in tandem with the inner mic to block out surrounding sounds while you're on a call. The result is crystal clear audio delivery to the other person on call. During my review duration, not even once any caller complained about my voice quality. The ambient mode, accessible from the Galaxy Wearable app, also works over voice calls but it's not implemented well and is mostly unimpressive.
Full-Day Battery Life
The battery life is good if not exceptional. Each bud is powered by an 85mAh battery cell and the case has a 270mAh battery unit. The earbuds alone can last for 10 hours (results may vary upon your usage pattern involving volume level, calls made, touch panel's usage, etc.) on one full charge which is truly impressive but the charging capsule adds just one full cycle. Now if you compare the numbers to even budget earbuds like the Realme Buds Air and the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, their respective charging cases offer three to four charge cycles.
If Samsung could have provided a slightly bigger battery cell with the case, the Buds+ would have easily delivered the best-in-class battery life on TWS earbuds format. Nevertheless, you will still get a full day's backup when you combine the 10-hour backup from earbuds and another 10-hour from the case that provides one full charge cycle. The latest Galaxy devices will give you an additional advantage as you can refuel the Buds+ battery on-the-go with the help of reverse wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves on basics by bringing in rich and balanced audio, crystal clear voice calls and solid battery life. The immersive audio experience is complemented by a feature-rich application that lets you customize audio delivery, buds' touchpad and offer some other useful features that enhance the overall user experience. The lack of LDAC and aptX codec for non-Samsung devices at this price-point is a letdown; however, the Galaxy Buds+ compensates for the loss by offering good audio tuning.