Samsung Galaxy Buds + Review
With a beaming 3.5 mm headphone output, which until recently was a fixed part of smartphones, the wireless headphones are on the rise. However, the most popular Apple AirPods have strong competition. Whether from Samsung and their Galaxy Buds + or Huawei and their FreeBuds 3. The latest Galaxy Buds + have brought with them significant improvements, thanks to which I can no longer recommend last year's generation. So what's the difference?
When I tried last year's Galaxy Buds, I was surprised at how much I liked them. Until then, I was used to wireless headphones, but classic, over the ears. The small drawers never fit me, so I was glad that the manufacturers started to emphasize them. This year's version of Galaxy Buds + brings interesting news that you are guaranteed to like, especially if you listen to music through Spotify.
Let me start by saying that you can get Galaxy Buds + for free with Galaxy S20 + or Galaxy S20 Ultra. All you have to do is pre-order the devices. You will not receive them for free later.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: At first glance, not much has changed
At first glance, not much has changed on the headphones. They look very similar, even so that you could mistake them for last year's version at a glance. However, a closer look reveals that Samsung has added a second external microphone, the case is brighter and inside there are raised indicators to mark the left and right headphones. Galaxy Buds + are available in white, black and blue.
Like other manufacturers, Samsung has packed three sizes of extensions for all ear sizes in the Galaxy Buds + package, as well as hooks for a better grip, for example during sports. I have liked Galaxy Buds since the first generation that they are inconspicuous and extremely light. After a while, you will literally forget that you are wearing them, which is definitely better than having an Apple AirPods or Huawei FreeBuds 3-style earphone in your ear.
Galaxy Buds + costs € 179, which is definitely not a small amount. It's about the same as the Huawei FreeBuds 3, but they lack an ambient noise reduction system. The advantage is high-quality physical isolation of the surroundings thanks to silicone extensions, but active suppression is lacking.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: Phenomenal battery life
The biggest improvement of the headphones is definitely their battery life. This is such a big improvement that the first generation looks like a beta version against them. Although the headphones are lightweight, they are 0.7 grams heavier. Samsung has inserted a larger battery in them, which is able to offer almost 50% more battery capacity. For one charge, you will listen to music for 11 hours, which is enough for one of the longest flights or train rides.
You charge the headphones in the same way as in the first generation, through the case. You can charge the case itself with a USB C cable or wirelessly. Charging with the PowerShare function in the Galaxy S10 + and Galaxy S20 + has worked very well for me. The wireless charger works even better and the cable, of course, is the best. However, in addition to better battery life, the headphones hide several other improvements.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: Better sound again
Galaxy Buds + have undergone a change inside as well. One converter was replaced by two, which immediately affected the quality of the reproduced sound. As I mentioned above, a second external microphone has been added to improve the sound quality when making a phone call.
The first generation of Galaxy Buds had several disadvantages. One of the biggest weaknesses we encountered during first-generation testing was the fact that sometimes the sound was delayed by what you were watching or what you were playing. We have not seen such a problem with the new generation so far.
The sound quality itself is noticeably better, but not to such an extent that I would feel that I am using completely different headphones. Galaxy Buds + better reproduce especially the middles and highs, with which the first generation is quite troubled. Audio quality is severely limited by the fact that the audio track is transmitted via Bluetooth. During the test, I also tried to compare Buds + with the included USB C headphones, which sounded better. However, they had a cable that personally bothered me so much after wearing Buds + that I wrapped them back and went back to the wireless solution.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: Connectivity and Features
I expect wireless headphones for almost € 180 to offer a seamless smartphone connection system and a whole range of in-app options. That's exactly what Galaxy Buds and Buds + offer. However, the Galaxy Wearable application has undergone slight, mainly cosmetic, changes.
The biggest improvement is the ability to see what percentage of the battery remains in the charging case. FINALLY. Among other things, you can find the Laboratories section in the application, which contains experimental functions. After my best experience with latency, I was most interested in the Game Mode feature, which reduces latency to a minimum. This is perfect especially when playing fast games like PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty.
As with Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds + has a Surround Sound feature to choose from, which lets the surrounding sounds into the headphones, as the name suggests. There are three levels of playback sound. Thanks to this, you will have an accurate overview of your surroundings on a busy street.
A very nice addition to the application is the ability to hear your own voice during a call, which you may not always use, but sometimes it can come in handy.
Despite the fact that the main equipment of the application also includes an equalizer, I lack the freedom to adjust according to my own piece. Samsung has pre-programmed several modes, such as Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clean and Treble Boost, but that's it. I would really like to be able to adjust the equalizer to myself directly in the Galaxy Wearable application and no longer have to worry.
Of course, you can also set the equalizer in the applications that offer it, but it is certainly not part of all applications, which can freeze. On the other hand, pre-programmed equalizer settings will fit the vast majority of users. However, the more demanding customers may remain disappointed.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: Spotify at the touch of a button
As Spotify is one of the most popular music streaming applications, Samsung has decided to incorporate it directly into the headphones. You can start Spotify by simply holding down the left or right handset. You can set this in the application in the Touch Pad section. The rest of the controls are pretty basic, and that's just fine.
One tap to play or pause a song, double tap to play the next song or answer / end a call, and three taps to play the previous song.
Samsung Galaxy Buds +: Verdict
If you own the first generation of Galaxy Buds and the only thing that bothers you is the short battery life, Galaxy Buds + are an attractive choice. If you don't own Galaxy Buds yet and you really like them, this is also an ideal choice for you. Especially if you want to enter the world of wireless headphones with decent sound delivery, excellent durability and a well-designed application.
Samsung has improved the battery life so significantly that the "+" at the end of Buds clearly deserves the headphones. The headphones have also undergone slight improvements under the hood, which Samsung did not mention during the presentation, but it is noticeable.
Those of you who want Galaxy Buds + and at the same time want a new top smartphone are in the category of lucky people. Samsung is adding them to pre-orders for the Galaxy S20 + and Galaxy S20 Ultra. You can combine pleasant with useful.
The only group of people I recommend to wait for are those who have the first generation of Galaxy Buds and battery life is not a big problem for them. Otherwise, you have my recommendation, Buds + are an excellent piece of technology that you will be very happy with.
Samsung Galaxy Buds + is a new generation of wireless headphones that Samsung has introduced along with the Galaxy S20 line of devices. They offer significantly better battery life, better sound and several software enhancements that you'll be excited about. However, the competition is very strong at € 179.