Samsung introduced the Galaxy Buds together with the Galaxy S10 series at the end of February 2019 at the unpacked event. The Samsung Galaxy buds is the successor to the Samsung Gear IconX from 2018, but the buds offer other features.
With the Samsung Galaxy Buds, Samsung brings a new True Wireless headphone on the market.
Before we go into the details, you can see below the most important features of the Galaxy Buds at a glance:
- ergonomic shape
- compact charging case with wireless charging and USB-C
- Sound optimized by AKG
- two microphones for clear calls
- Total battery life of up to 13 hours (6 hours headphones, capacity for 7 hours in case)
- Bluetooth 5.0
The Galaxy Buds look like a smaller version of the Gear IconX, because the touchpads and the case are shaped like a guitar pick. With 5.6 grams per earphone or 40 grams in total, the Galaxy Buds are relatively light.
Apart from the glossy touchpads, both the headphones and the charging case are kept matt. The latter is pleasantly slim, but the workmanship is only average. The magnetic closure is a bit too strong and the opening to unfold too small, so opening with one hand is hardly possible.
Samsung indicates a music playback time of up to six hours for the headphones, with telephone calls it is five hours. The battery in the case should last for another seven hours. This means that the total runtime is about the same as the Skullcandy Push, but other products offer more in this regard.
After all, the manufacturer is now not only on its smartphones but also in the Galaxy Buds now on a USB-C port for charging. Alternatively, this can also be done via wireless charging. If you own a Galaxy S10 model, a Mate 20 Pro or a Huawei P30 Pro, you can also place the headphones in the charging cradle on the backs of the cell phones and charge the buds wirelessly.
The earplugs sit relatively loosely in the case, a little better if a larger bracket is attached to them. There are three pieces included, as well as three different rubber inserts.
As already mentioned, the Samsung headphones are lightweight and have different ear and ironing attachments. If you turn the Galaxy Buds back a bit after insertion, they fit perfectly. They then sit bomb-proof and fall neither when running nor with a strong shake of the head from the ears or become looser.
The ergonomic shape of the headphones and the optional stirrups are great for stopping. Even after prolonged use of the buds, they always sat pleasantly in the respective auricle. They are also more compact than many other True Wireless headphones and therefore do not protrude so much from the wearer’s ears.
The AKG imprint on the case is deceptive because unfortunately, the sound of the headphones is generally very flat and also quiet. The sound unfolds only from at least 50 percent volume, from about 75 percent, the sound spectrum sounds wider, the maximum volume is achieved very quickly. We liked the headphone sound a little better on the “Dynamic” EQ setting in the Galaxy Wearable app. We tested it mainly with a Galaxy S8 , but also with S10 and iPhone X .
Compared to the AirPods, the Galaxy Buds are not identical in terms of sound, but on the same level. The latter shield the outside world a bit better and have slightly more bass, but the Apple headphones are louder and have a wider sound.
However, we were surprised by the fact that the wired AKG headphones included with the Galaxy S10 are subjectively even slightly better than the Buds in terms of audio quality and can play music almost twice as loud.
Sonically, the Galaxy Buds get only a sober “good”, which is true for many True Wireless headphones. You often hear or hear that wired in-ear headphones just sound better.
However, this comparison is a bit of a lapse, because it’s like comparing a thin convertible to a full-fledged gaming notebook just because the price is the same. In both cases, each class has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In the case of True Wireless headphones, the portability of sound quality is preferred. This is no longer a compulsive rule, for example, Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless master both very well, but also cost a much larger sum than the average competition.
Cheaper counterparts, such as the nearly 80-euro Zolo Liberty sound but also better than the wireless Samsung headphones and on top of that offer a longer total battery life.
Price and availability
Pre-orderers of the Galaxy S10 and S10 + received the wireless headphones as a bonus. They are only available on the market since 29 March 2019. The recommended retail price is 149 euros and there are three different color options (white, yellow and black) to choose from.
The Galaxy Buds are priced pretty much in the midfield compared to other True Wireless headphones. In the upper price range, there would be Apple’s AirPods 2, which cost 179 or 229 euros, depending on the load case. Even more expensive is the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless with around 290 euros. The Skullcandy Push for 130 and the Zolo Liberty (not the Plus model), for example, are cheaper than the Samsung headphones for almost 80 euros.