You’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Apple AirPods, when brands like Xiaomi, Realme and Oppo launch seemingly identical products at a much lower price. With a healthy skepticism, I used the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ for a few weeks. Now, as I type my review, I can only think of reasons why the Buds+ are worth their asking price!
Lightweight, sleek design and a comfortable build
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ use the same design as the first generation Buds, except for the casing, which is now curvier and glossier. The earbuds have a pearlescent top and when sitting in the case, they look like a pair of cuff links. The Buds+ have adjustable silicon eartips.
The Buds+ design eschews the stems of the AirPods and the AirPods Pro – a design that many brands like Oppo, Redmi and Realme have adopted for their budget TWS earbuds.
The Samsung earbuds pop very neatly into the case and into your ears. The nubs of the earbuds adjust in your outer ear, and can barely be seen. For me at least, the Buds+ fit like they were tailored for me – I was wearing them while going for a run, while working, for making calls, and they never felt uncomfortable or like they’d fall off. In fact, they are so light that once I literally forgot I had them on, and only realised when my mother was giving me an earful and I couldn’t fully hear what she was saying. That’s also because of the noise isolation the earbuds provide, but more on that later.
The Galaxy Buds+ come with additional eartips in three different sizes.
The only concern I have with the design of the Galaxy Buds+ is that they are IPX2 splash resistant, which means they are ok to be worn at the gym or otherwise, but I wouldn’t take the chance of wearing them in the rain or at the beach.
As for the case of the Galaxy Buds+, it’s really light, comfortable to hold in the palm of your hands and if you are wearing anything baggy or a jacket, the case will easily fit in your pocket. It can be charged using a Type-C cable.
The Buds+ have a touch-sensitive surface that needs a little getting used to
The outside of the bud, which is the glossy, pearlescent surface, is touch-sensitive – it understands long press, single, double and triple taps. Using the taps, you can pause and play music, change tracks, answer and disconnect calls, activate your smartphone’s smart assistant, and adjust the volume.
While you do get used to the capacitive touch buttons eventually, initially, you may be a little confused about how much pressure you need to apply to the surface. Also, I realised that the Buds+ respond quicker to touch commands when connected to a Galaxy device compared to an iPhone.
The Buds+ and their case can get you through a 3-day vacation on a single charge
Referring to vacation may sound cruel and wistful, but if you were to be away from home for say, two to three days, then most likely you’d be able to get through them on a single full charge of the earbuds and their case, depending on use.
If you have used the previous generation Galaxy Buds, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in battery life with the Buds+. The Buds+ themselves have 11 hours of charge, and the case offers an additional 11 hours. While this is commendable for the buds, the case could have offered more. For perspective, the Apple AirPods Pro case offers 20 hours of battery life.
The Buds+ support fast charge; in three minutes of throwing them into the case you can get hour-long battery life.
Notably, though, every time I used the earbuds through the charge cycle, the right bud always powered down much before the left. I once recorded a difference of 20 minutes between the two.
Setting up and connectivity of the Buds+ is easy-peasy
The Galaxy Buds+ are Bluetooth 5.0 compatible. I didn’t face any connection drops while using the earbuds.
The earbuds also support multi-device pairing. If you connect you Buds+ to more than one device, they will connect automatically and won’t need you to re-pair them every time.
Setting up the Buds+ can be done either via the Bluetooth settings on your phone or you could also download the Galaxy Buds Plus or Galaxy Wearable app. The apps are available on both the Google Play store and Apple App Store.
While the setup through the Bluetooth is fairly effective, if you connect via one of the apps, you can tweak some of the features like the ambient noise settings via the app. The apps are easy to use and are worth a shot.
The Galaxy Buds+ and the sound of music
The Buds+ are tuned by AKG. They have a crisp and unhindered audio output with high bass response. I heard Beyonce’s Black Parade on the Buds+ for the first time, and the earbuds definitely added a greater sense of impact at every beat, thud and yeah!
The sound isolation of the Buds+ is good. It worked well for me with the default ear tips, but if you think ambient sounds are too loud, you may want to try a different ear tip.
The microphone quality on the Buds+ is impressive. It has a three-microphone setup, two on the outside and one inner mic – all of these mics work together to transmit clear audio.
The Galaxy Buds+ are for you if you want a pair of good-sounding buds that you don’t have to charge daily
The Galaxy Buds+ aren’t entirely issue-free. They don’t have noise cancellation or a built-in voice assistant. Still, they’re worth their asking price. Launched at Rs 13,999, since the Buds Live came into the market, the Buds+ have been retailing at Rs 9,990 on Amazon. The Buds+ have great battery life, a sleek design, nice audio output, and their companion app adds value.
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