The Samsung Galaxy buds continue getting great reviews across the various target markets. The small, light and comfortable earbuds are the real combination of connectivity, sound, in-ear comfort and amazing controls.
Despite the fact that they have maintained the traditional silicon tip, they come with a touchpad on the outside that takes care of controls. Tap to pause or play, double and triple-tap to skip track. A touch and hold gesture can be switched between turning on or temporarily piping ambient sound into the earbuds. Take both earbuds out and the music automatically pauses.
The Galaxy Buds sound pretty good too, with reasonable sound isolation and a well-rounded tone most will like. They’re fairly balanced, not overly dominated by bass or treble, with good separation and punch where needed. The buds are capable of uncomfortable volume levels when cranked right up and there’s a limited EQ available in the Galaxy Wearable app. Audiophiles might turn their noses up, but they sound good compared with the competition at this price.
In terms of charge, the last up to six hours of continuous playback with an additional seven hours in the case. In practice that means having to charge them once a week for the commute via the USB-C port or even wireless charging on any Qi-compatible pad or phone.
Bluetooth connectivity between the buds and to the phone is rock solid, regardless of whether you’re using a Samsung or other phone. They can be used as a stereo pair, individually and hot-swapped between left and right in mono without skipping a beat, even when on a call – something only Apple’s AirPods have been capable of until now. The Galaxy Buds support AAC and Samsung’s proprietary scalable codec for high-quality music, with no noticeable lipsync issues even when connected to a non-Samsung device. Call quality is good, but a little distant similar to when you’re on speaker phone.
When paired with an Android phone you can also get the Galaxy Buds to read out notifications, which is far more useful than it sounds; if you limit the number of apps, that can interrupt your music to just a few. There’s no iOS app for changing settings, which means you need at least one Android, PC or Mac in your life to make sure they’re up to date.
Lastly, the carrier case looks amazing too. It flips open and closed with a satisfying snap, is small enough to fit in almost any pocket. Basically, the Galaxy Buds offer the best combination of sound, connectivity, size, comfort case and price, making them the best buy currently in the market.