October 19, 2021

Samsung Galaxy Earbuds – Complete review

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Together with the flagship smartphone Galaxy S10 +, S10 and S10e, Samsung introduced the new fully wireless Galaxy Buds headphones. This is not the first such model in the company’s portfolio. In 2016, it introduced IconX headphones, and in 2017, they updated IconX 2018. But for more than a year, Samsung kept silent about new fully wireless headphones, and showed them just now. Let’s see how Galaxy Buds differ from their predecessors and whether or not AKG sound appeared in them.

Samsung galaxy earbuds specifications

Type: Wireless earbuds
Control: Touch controls
Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity, Hall, Touch, Ear on/off detection
Weight: 5.6g
Color: Black, White, Neon Yellow
Battery: Earbud: 58mAh / Charging case: 252mAh
Connection: Connection

Galaxy Earbuds Package

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Headphones are delivered in a small box, inside which is also a charging case, ear cushions of several sizes, as well as clips for easy mounting.

Design and usability

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Samsung Galaxy Buds stick to the usual formula. Headphones are in the form of earbuds, which must be installed in our auricle. Rubber tips that are included in the ear canal can be replaced, and the configuration includes three different sizes. Finding the size that best fits is crucial because it affects not only how comfortable they feel, but how well they sound. On the opposite side, the rubber wings are slightly pressed against the ear lobe and provide additional contact. Again, they are replaceable, and you get several wings of different sizes in the kit.

Throughout the test, I never felt like Galaxy Buds was about to fall out of my ears. They are very light and I feel comfortable even when I wear them for several hours in a calm atmosphere. However, I feel their presence is much stronger when I perform intensive classes, for example, I run. This is probably not the most comfortable headphones for training, as they do not have a high level of resistance to water.
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Galaxy earbuds are made in three colors: black, white and bright yellow, which can be seen on you from a distance of a kilometer. We noticed that the white model reflects light with a subtle pearlescent effect, very similar to that present in the white Galaxy S10 +. With the same color performance, these two devices are perfectly combined with each other.

While Samsung Galaxy Buds are not used, they can be stored in a case with a specific shape, which also serves as a charger with a built-in battery. Headphones snap into it with magnets, which minimizes the likelihood that you install them without full contact with the charging terminals. This happened to last year’s IconX. The case itself is slightly larger than the Apple AirPods, but smaller than the covers from many other alternative manufacturers. It fits completely into the pocket for the details of my jeans.

Connection and management

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For wireless connections, Galaxy Buds uses Bluetooth 5.0, with headphones that support A2DP, AVRCP and HFP profiles, as well as AAC, SBC and proprietary Samsung codecs.

To connect Galaxy earbuds to another device, you need to press and hold the touch panels on the outside of both headphones. A similar system has already managed to use the company Sennheiser in the model Momentum True Wireless. And it is worth noting that this is not the most convenient way with which the headphones can be switched to the connection mode, but Samsung managed to better implement it. Since the touch panels in Galaxy Buds are not as sensitive and can better recognize touches. From the first time, of course, it is not always possible to perform the desired action, but the percentage of errors here is less than in Momentum True Wireless.

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The owners of Samsung smartphones are more fortunate, they will not need to go through the entire connection procedure, it will be enough to open the charging case and the Smart Things application will automatically determine that the headphones are nearby. Then you just need to press one key on the smartphone screen and you can listen to music.

After connecting, Galaxy Buds are very easy to switch between sound sources, without having to first disconnect them from one device to connect to another.

Samsung Galaxy Buds

It has already been mentioned above that the control in Galaxy Buds is realized through touch panels that are located on the outside of the headphones. They have a small area, so you have to press them carefully, because it is not always possible to perform the desired action from the first time. But in general, as for such compact headphones, Samsung managed to squeeze the maximum out of touch control. With it, single-tap, the user can start playback or pause it, double-switch to the next track, triple to the previous one. A long press on the right earpiece can increase the volume, and on the left one it can be reduced. In this case, the same action can be assigned to launching voice commands or a function that turns on microphones so that the user can hear surrounding sounds through music.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Samsung Galaxy Buds

For those who do not want to use touch controls in the headphones, it is possible to completely disable it.

Samsung Galaxy Buds app

Samsung Galaxy Buds app

Samsung Galaxy earbuds works not only with Samsung smartphones, but also with any on Android (from version 5) and on iOS devices. They are connected to the iPhone like a normal headset, there will be no control customization, ambient sound, DSP / EQ settings, but standard play / pause / rewind / answer calls work, and you can activate voice control or Siri with a long touch to the right headset. With Android, everything is better: Galaxy Wearable application (formerly Samsung Gear) and a plug-in for connecting Galaxy Buds are available to users of this OS. What Galaxy Wearable can do with this plugin:

  1. connect a new headset
  2. connect previously connected
  3. monitor the charge level of the case and each “headphone”
  4. update headset software
  5. tune the buds (5 presets)
  6. activate / deactivate and adjust ambient sound intensity
  7. trim the headset touch control
  8. find lost galaxy bud

Galaxy earbuds Sound

On the Galaxy Buds box and on the charging case, there is an inscription Sound by AKG, which Samsung, after purchasing Harman International Industries (owned the AKG brand), uses to emphasize the sound quality in its devices. At the same time, Samsung doesn’t say whether Harman uses the device to create headphones with the words Sound by AKG, but they note that the company’s specialists help to tune their sound. Anyway, as for the compact wireless model, the Galaxy Buds in general sound good, although not without remarks.

With a good margin of volume, they provide a wide stage, a well-developed middle and sufficient upper range, but low frequencies are lost. As a result, the sound is smooth and you can even say universal, but without good bass, which in principle can be attributed to most compact wireless headphones.

As mentioned above, Samsung used proprietary audio codecs for their devices, and for the rest: SBC – as the standard A2DP profile codec, as well as AAC for the iPhone. The presence of aptX was undoubtedly a plus for this model, but it is worth noting that there is no striking difference in sound quality, especially for compact headphones, between SBC and aptX, the latest codec wins in delays at the expense of a higher bitrate: 352 Kbps vs. 328 Kbps / s from SBC.

Intra channel landing gives the Galaxy earbuds good noise isolation. And although there is no active noise cancellation in this model, a sensitive microphone is installed in each headset. They are used, firstly, for voice commands to a virtual assistant, and secondly, in order to listen to music without cutting off external sounds. The latter will be useful while running or cycling.

Charging case and autonomy

Samsung Galaxy Buds
Each Galaxy Buds headset is equipped with a 58 mAh battery, which is enough for a little more than 5 hours of uninterrupted music playback. Headphones are charged through a special case, which also has a built-in 252 mAh battery. Last enough for another 7 hours of listening to music. In this case, the headphones support fast charging, 15 minutes in the case they add 1.5 hours of work.

The case itself can be charged via the USB Type-C port, but also supports wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy earbuds competitors.

Samsung Galaxy Buds is the heir to the Samsung Gear IconX 2018 headset. They look similar, but they don’t have a built-in memory player and a fitness tracker, but they are compatible with any android smartphones and cheaper.

Samsung Galaxy earbuds has a lot of competitors, I will list the most famous ones, without going into technical details:


The Samsung Galaxy Buds are available on Samsung official store on the price 129,99$ and on the Amazon you can buy it for  149 EUR.

Recommended article: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless – Ultimate Headphone Review

Samsung Galaxy Buds video on Youtube

Also, we found a small video review on Youtube, which helps you with your choice.

Answers to popular questions about headphones Samsung galaxy buds

How does Samsung Galaxy Buds differ from IconX?
When choosing between Galaxy Buds and Gear IconX, it is important to remember the following: Galaxy Buds support wireless charging in all its forms, but Gear IconX does not. Also, new Samsung wireless headphones differ in battery capacity: in new headphones, it is only 58 mAh versus 252 mAh in old ones. At the same time, Galaxy Buds have become more compact compared to Gear IconX. Samsung also improved speech recognition in noisy places.

Do Galaxy Buds fall out of ears?
During testing, Galaxy Buds never fell out of my ears, and in my opinion, they “sit” in their ears, even too tightly. On the other hand, Samsung notes that the “ears” are designed for sports, and therefore this mount is justified.

Can I connect the Samsung Galaxy Buds to the “iPhone”?
Yes. To do this, go to the Settings menu on the iPhone, select Bluetooth Galaxy Buds in the Bluetooth menu and click “Connect”. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Wereabale application for iOS is not available, so you can not update the software on the headphones or, for example, adjust the equalizer.

Is there water protection in the Samsung Galaxy Buds?
Headphones are protected from accidental splashes and moisture: for example, sweat, but you should not swim in them.

How to enable pairing / search mode and connect Galaxy Buds to another device (TV, laptop)?
If you want to connect headphones to several devices (for example, a smartphone and a laptop), then before connecting, you need to switch the headphones to pairing or searching mode. This is very easy to do:

  1. Insert headphones into your ears (this will be more convenient)
  2. At the same time, touch the two headphone sensors with your fingers.
  3. Hold your fingers on the headphones for a couple of seconds
  4. Done! Headphones are available for connection to the second device.

To connect to a laptop running Windows 10, you must put the headphones in search mode and on the computer:

  1. Open Start menu
  2. Select Options
  3. In the window that opens, go to the Devices section
  4. Next, click Add Bluetooth or another device.
  5. In the new window, select Bluetooth (mice, keyboards, audio and other devices)
  6. When Windows detects headphones, select them.

How to find out the battery charge of the case from Galaxy Buds?
If the charge of the headphones can be easily seen in the Galaxy Wearable application, then with the charge of the case it is not so simple. You will not find the amount of the remaining interest anywhere. Instead, Samsung equipped the case with two indicators. One – inside the case:

It displays the charge of the headphones as follows:

  • Lights continuously in red. Headphones are charging.
  • Lights continuously in green. Headphones charged up to 100%
  • Flashing red. Headphone charge is not possible due to overheating.

As soon as we close the case, the second indicator turns on for a few seconds:

The color of this indicator tells us the approximate charge of the case:

  • Lights continuously in red. Charging case
  • Lights continuously in green. Case is 100% charged
  • Flashing red very fast. The charge is impossible due to overheating
  • Slow flashing red. Very low battery
  • Lights in red for 5 seconds after the case is closed. Less than 30% charge left
  • Lights yellow for 5 seconds after closing the case. The charge remains from 30% to 60%
  • Lights green for 5 seconds after the case is closed. Charge left over 60%

Do Galaxy Buds support gesture control?
Not. Headphones are controlled by touching the touch panels. As mentioned above, a single touch, double and triple touch, as well as a long touch (touch and keep your finger about 1-2 seconds) are supported.

Recommended article: Huawei FreeBuds🎧 Review: Really Wireless Sound

Voice Commands in Galaxy Buds

Samsung developers have announced the next update for Galaxy Buds wireless headphones. With it, devices can be controlled by voice commands.

After downloading and installing the update file, a virtual assistant will be available to Galaxy Buds users. Of course, we are talking about the “pocket” assistant of Samsung – Bixby, which, it must be admitted, has not yet gained great fame among fans of the South Korean brand.

With the help of a virtual assistant, you can control the function of suppressing ambient noise, make a request about the level of charge of the headphone battery, and so on. But the disadvantage is that at the moment Bixby with headphones Samsung only understands two languages ​​- Korean and American versions of English.

Our verdict

Galaxy Buds – new fully wireless headphones Samsung, in which the company did not introduce additional features. They do not have a heart rate monitor, the ability to track physical activity and internal memory, as in previous models of Gear IconX and IconX 2018. But this allowed us to make Galaxy Buds more compact and convenient in everyday use, without sacrificing autonomy. At the same time, the sound quality in this model is at a good level. Thus, Galaxy Buds should take a closer look at those who are looking for fully wireless headphones for everyday use.

Good stuff

  • design
  • small size and weight
  • comfortable fit
  • good sound
  • autonomy
  • wireless charging

Bad stuff

  • Touch control is not always convenient
  • Ambient Sound may be better
  • No high water protection

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