Like AirPods For Your Galaxy Phone

Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Announced along-side the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip phones, the Galaxy Buds+ is the successor to the Galaxy Buds, and are to Galaxy de-vices what AirPods are to iPhones. The model we have is decked entirely in white and has pearly sheen to its neat round edges. It also comes in black, blue, red, and pink.

At $268, it isn’t as expensive as Sony’s WF-1000XM3 and Sen-nheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2, so it’s not surprising that construction is completely plastic. Fortunately, it doesn’t feel cheap, and are surprisingly light-weight.

They have no problems fitting and staying in my ear, and noise isolation performs pretty much as expected. They are barely noticeable in-ear and has a rated battery life of up to 11 hours. In a battery rundown test with the music playing at full volume, the Buds+ lasted me just under 10 hours, which is truly remarkable.

The charging case only holds one ad-ditional charge though, but it does support fast charging with 60 minutes of listening time in just 3 minutes. If you have a Qi-certified wireless charger, the Buds+ happily supports wire-less charging too.

Unfortunately, the Buds+ are only IPX2 rated as opposed to IPX4 on many other true wireless earbuds. This means that it can only withstand splas-hes from certain an-gles, so maybe don’t take it to the gym.

If you have a Galaxy phone, setting up is dead simple. Simply bring the Buds+ next to your phone and open the charging case, and a pair-ing prompt should appear. For other devices, manual Blue-tooth pairing methods apply.

There’s a Buds+ app for both Android and iOS with several nifty, but limited features. It has a rudimentary equalizer with some presets, but you’re out of luck if you want finer control.

“Ambient sound” lets in noise from your surroundings, which is great to help you pay attention to potential hazards on the road, but it doesn’t work as well if you have your music volume turned up.

Android users will appreciate Spotify integration, where the Buds+ can sum-mon upon activation, immediately playing a song that the algo-rithm gods think you’ll like. I’m not super adventurous when it comes to choosing music, but I can see it be useful for people who just want to pop in earbuds and start listening.

My personal favour-ite feature of the app is “Find My Earbuds”. If you’re within Blue-tooth range, it will cause the earbuds to play a piercing chirp on loop when activated.

There are a few annoyances that can hopefully Samsung can fix. First, there is no way to turn off auto pause when you pull a bud out of your ear. Some people like it, some people don’t, so it’ll be nice to have an option to toggle that. Touch control customisation is also very limited. You can choose to turn touch controls off entirely or choose what happens when you tap-and-hold, but you can’t remap any of the oth-er tap commands.

The Galaxy Buds+ touts a new dual-driv-er system that in-cludes a tweeter and a woofer. In theory, this produces a great-er range with better clarity. Throw the AKG branding into the mix and it’s reasonable to expect better-than-av-erage sound quality.

Generally, the earbuds produce very consumer-friend-ly sounds with strong-er emphasis on bass and mid-range vocals. They’re not particular-ly stunning, but more than good enough for regular commutes and casual listening.

The flaws of the Buds+ start to show when you move into pieces that demand finesse. For example, the Buds+ failed to do justice to the 10th An-niversary Concert Cast of Les Misérables, where the seminal end of Act I – One Day More – fell flat instead of closing with a bang.

Call quality on the Buds+ is surprisingly good though. Speak-ing with a normal voice was enough for other parties to hear me, and not once did I have to raise my voice.

While the overall sound is not as good as high-end earbuds like the AirPods Pro or Momentum True Wireless, don’t for-get that it’s much cheaper; positioned instead as an upgrade to stock smartphone buds. Since this is Samsung we’re talking about, I won’t be sur-prised to see a more premium or “pro” Gal-axy Buds in the near future.

Incredible battery life aside, the Buds+ doesn’t really have any other standout feature, but it doesn’t have glaring flaws either. Perhaps the biggest thing hold-ing us back from recommending the Galaxy Buds+ whole-heartedly is that there’s no shortage of cheaper alternatives like the Soundpeats TruEngine 2.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
The subtle shimmer of the earbuds are quite beautiful to behold.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
Decent true wireless earbuds, especially if you also own a Galaxy phone.
My Reading Room
An app for both Android and iOS helps enhance the overall user experience of the Galaxy Buds+.
My Reading Room