It’s like I was so ready for the future to change my present, yet here I am stuck in the past. You know, there’s always next time. But right now, this is not the future, and if anything, it’s a teeny tiny step back. This is a Galaxy Buds review. So I’ve been waiting for technology to slim down, cut cords, and be forgettable in a way for a long time, and these $129 Galaxy Buds were my shiny gleam of hope towards that in the Android ecosystem.
Now, I’ve tried AirPods.I didn’t like all the ambient noise. And although the Jabra Elite 65ts have good audio quality, they just don’t stay in my ears. So for someone whos either wearing or carrying headphones around almost all day, I was excited to try the Galaxy Buds. But once I started living in this cord-cutting future, I realized the importance of the necessities. Like headphones have three jobs, right? They need to take calls, they need to play music, and they need to be comfortable.
Anything past that is a luxury. And although I want that luxury in my life, I’m not willing to give up the necessities to have it. But lets first talk about the luxuries of the Galaxy Buds because it does pretty much nail those. Like, the Jabras are just way too big for my tiny ears and every time I put them on, I’m just like Becca, in the name of tech, it’s surprisingly comfortable.
And if it’s not, there’s three other different sized tips and fins for fitting included in the box. The case is super small and light with a USB-C port or the ability to charge wirelessly. Now, I am a wireless charging super-fan,I just love it so much. So, for me, that’s a great feature. Not to mention if you have an S10, S10E or for my European friends, a Huawei Mate 20 Pro —you can just pop this right on the back and via the Wireless PowerShare feature, they’ll charge. I really don’t think you guys are giving this Wireless PowerShare feature enough props.
This is super cool. I’ve been traveling all week and when I left, I only had to bring one USB-C cable. Every night, when I plug in the S10 Plus, I just pop these on top and everything charges at the same time. That’s freak in cool and I’m all about it. Anywho, the Buds claim six hours of music listening battery life off a single charge, which I found to be true. And then seven additional hours when charged via the case. Since I was charging them with my phone each night,I never really had a problem with the battery dying.I even found the touch controls to be easy to use and responsive.
You cannot change the single, double, or triple-touch settings, but I changed my long press to trigger the Google Assistant. I do wish Samsung had gone with swipes for volume adjustments like the Pixel Buds have, simply because tapping on a headphone that’s in your ear is kind of loud and abrasive. But let’s get back to fundamentals because that’s where the future just isn’t beating the past. First, Bluetooth. Now, I’ve tested these on a Pixel 3, an iPhone X, a Galaxy S8, and S10 Plus.
And I found that they by far are best on Samsung devices. And before the latest Galaxy software update, there were definitely Bluetooth dropouts across all of those devices. But the video lag on non-Samsung devices is still real. Second, let’s talk about audio quality. It’s fine. You’ll definitely want to go into the Galaxy Wearable app and adjust the EQ settings. I kept mine set to dynamic for some richer tones and just a little more bass, but even with the EQ adjustments on, I was never blown away by the sound quality.
In switching between the AirPods, Galaxy Buds, and Jabra 65ts, I found the Jabras to have far superior bass and range. I even found myself suffering through the pain of wearing them in order to keep listening. Next, I tried the AirPods, and while they are pretty colorful and full of bass for their size, you’re just not immersed because of the design and the lack of isolation. But the Galaxy Buds, well, there’s absolutely no mistaking that the audio is coming from a very small source and being shoved directly into your ears.
It’s just flat and tinny. But where the Galaxy Buds really falls flat is the microphone quality. I talk on the phone a lot and it’s mostly because I’m way too impatient for texting and I’m really bad at spelling, and well, the list goes on. But, it’s impossible to make a call in these, nobody can understand me. So, let’s dive in and do some real testing together because you guys need to see this. Okay so, I have the Jabra Elite 65ts, I have the AirPods, and I have the Samsung Galaxy Buds.
I also have an S10 and S8.I’m going to be using the S8connected to all three of this buds to call the S10. The S10 is going to be connected to an H6 Zoom audio recorder via this giant. But when you bring in the Jabrasor you start talking on the AirPods, or you just go back to talking on a phone, you start to realize there’s going to be a bigger problem here. Can you hear me now? Probably not.
Now, when you take the Galaxy Buds outside, that’s when the problem really starts to show up. And the Jabras, they’re a little better but they still really hurt my ears. But the AirPods, because of this stem, it gets the mic a lot closer to my mouth, so it sounds a little better, right? So that’s when I end up just going back to using my phone because I want the other person on the end of the line to actually hear what I have to say.
Hey, what’s up? Now, turn that on to go full robot. Literally, it sounds exactly what I image robots hear because the buds are taking in the ambient sound via the external mic and broadcasting it through the earbud. It’s bad, you probably won’t use it, but it does make you feel like a robot. Now, the funny thing about all of this is that Samsung is typically known for nailing the necessities.
Their devices last a really long time, their screens are beautiful to look at, they’ve even kept the headphone jack, which, thank you Samsung. But, with these Galaxy Buds, they totally lost sight of those necessities.
Wireless charging, a great and compact design, these are all things I want, but what I need are good audio quality and a solid microphone. And, yes, the AirPods exist and they are most of those things, but as soon as you connect them to an Android device, you lose way too many features to justify their price.
Which is why I was so excited about the Galaxy Buds. Maybe next year, Samsung.