Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review: AirPods competitor ramps up the performance

The Galaxy Buds Additionally is obtainable in 3 hues.

Sarah Tew/CNET

When I place collectively a checklist of best legitimate wi-fi earbuds of 2019 in a YouTube online video, I took some heat from fans of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds (

$107 at Amazon

) for not including them in my roundup. I preferred the Galaxy Buds, I mentioned, but I assumed they have been missing in a pair of locations: They sounded decent for their price — but not good — and they just weren’t excellent for producing calls in noisier environments because callers complained about listening to far too substantially qualifications sound.

Table of Contents


  • Improved sound, with dual drivers that produce far better bass overall performance.
  • Boosted battery existence (11 hours).
  • Significantly far better for producing calls
  • New iOS app for Apple customers
  • USB-C and wi-fi charging

Do not Like

  • Identical design as normal Galaxy Buds.
  • Priced better than the former product.
  • No lively sound canceling
  • Only IPX2 water-resistance

But now Samsung will get a do-more than in the kind of the Galaxy Buds Additionally, which have launched along with the firm’s new Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. The new Buds Additionally glance effectively the identical as the originals, but they have some advancements on the within raise overall performance considerably: Their battery existence is rated at 11 hours for new music playback (up from 6), and they pack enhanced drivers for far better sound and an extra microphone in each bud to enable with external sound reduction though producing calls. 

At $150, they price $20 a lot more than the Galaxy Buds. And they’re not bundled with Samsung’s new telephones, but the $150 preorder credit score with the Galaxy S20 Additionally and S20 Extremely (when ordered by using Samsung’s web page) proficiently knocks the price down to absolutely free. (United kingdom and Australian charges are TBA.) Alas, though they aspect the identical sound-isolating design, they will not offer lively sound-cancellation like Apple’s AirPods Pro do. 

Available in three coloration selections (black, light-weight blue, white), the Galaxy Buds Additionally have the identical proportions as their predecessor and glance approximately equivalent. On the other hand, they weigh 6.3 grams (.2-ounce), or .7-gram a lot more than the Buds. Which is because they have a much larger battery and two-way drivers (with a woofer and tweeter) as opposed to a one driver. The battery circumstance, which costs by using USB-C and wirelessly with any Qi-compatible charging pad, is also geared up with a much larger battery (a three-moment charge in the circumstance offers you just one hour of juice). And of course, all of those new Samsung telephones have the Wireless PowerShare aspect, so you can prime off your Galaxy Buds Additionally just by resting the circumstance on the phone’s backside.

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The other noteworthy adjustments are multidevice pairing — an generally neglected aspect that numerous men and women appreciate — and an iOS app geared to make the Galaxy Buds Additionally a lot more welcoming to Iphone (

$699 at Apple

) proprietors. At start, the app garnered numerous negative reviews from current Galaxy Buds proprietors because it isn’t going to look to be compatible with the initial Galaxy Buds. But I assumed the app was high-quality.

The app offers iOS customers entry to firmware upgrades, EQ options for tweaking the buds’ sound and “ambient sound” options that let you to alter the buds’ transparency stages (off, medium or significant), allowing sound in from the outside planet into the buds. In the app, you can also decide to have ambient sound on when producing calls. That permits you to listen to your voice in the earbuds though speaking. (This is sometimes referred to as Sidetone.)  

Android customers use Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app and get a handful of smaller functions not obtainable to iOS customers, the biggest of which are just one-contact Spotify entry from the buds themselves and a gaming manner to “lower audio hold off for vivid, synchronized gaming sound.” I made use of the buds with an Iphone 11 Pro and a Galaxy S9 Additionally (

$643 at Amazon


The Galaxy Buds Additionally hold the identical contact controls as their predecessor. They operate properly and are fairly responsive, though my double-taps to advance a keep track of forward sometimes turned into triple taps that ended up restarting the keep track of I was listening to (you triple-tap to skip again just one keep track of). In the app, you get some selections for customizing the contact controls, including adjusting volume with a long press. You can find even an “experimental” environment that allows you to use the edge of the buds for volume and the centre for other controls.

The Galaxy Buds in good shape my ears properly, and the Galaxy Buds Additionally felt incredibly very similar in my ears. These are very compact buds (they stick out from your ears a little, very similar to Jabra’s Elite 75t) and must in good shape most ears properly. The only problem I experienced was with the ear recommendations. With these styles of sound-isolating earphones it can be critical to get a tight seal to get ideal sound excellent. I bought a very excellent seal with the largest of the included recommendations, but factors enhanced when I switched to my possess ear recommendations (just one of the advantages of reviewing a great deal of headphones is that I have a great deal of ear recommendations lying close to). The types I made use of have been rounder and little broader than the included recommendations, which must operate high-quality for numerous people’s ears. The Samsung recommendations — three sizes are included — are a little a lot more convex shaped. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Sarah Tew/CNET

I opted to use the middle-dimension wing tip (three sizes are included) and bought a awesome protected in good shape. Though these have only IPX2 water-resistance, they are sweat-resistant (to a diploma) and can be made use of at the fitness center and for jogging. That mentioned, competing types like the Jabra Elite 75t (IPX5) offer better water-resistance ratings and some are totally watertight. 

I was amazed with the sound. It is really in-depth and easy, with deep, properly-outlined bass. The sound is richer and a lot more roomy than that of the initial Galaxy Buds. Very well-respected Austrian audio business AKG, which Samsung obtained when it purchased Harman, is driving the audio. Whilst the initial Buds have been also “tuned” by AKG, these are a awesome improve more than the originals — and appropriate there with what you get with Jabra Elite 75t, if not even a contact far better. Like a great deal of headphones these days, there is a tad of presence raise to enable make your new music sound a lot more in-depth and enjoyable but which sales opportunities to some faint sibilance in the highs. You can toggle amongst a handful of EQ options — “Tender, Bass Improve, Dynamic, Obvious and Treble Improve” — but I trapped mainly with the “Regular” EQ environment, which seemed the most well balanced.

The buds glance the identical as their predecessor but weigh marginally a lot more, many thanks to new elements on the within.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Aside from the far better battery existence, the other overall performance enhancement you’ll most appreciate is the call excellent. The included external microphone for far better sound reduction through calls will help accurate the earphones’ biggest weakness. The Galaxy Buds might not operate fairly as properly as the AirPods Pro or Anker Liberty Air 2 for producing calls, but they’re considerably enhanced in this area from the initial Galaxy Buds. In our test calls from the New York Town streets, external sound from website traffic was proficiently minimized and my voice could be listened to clearly.

I will also add that my wi-fi connection remained rock-reliable through my two days of screening. New York Town can be notoriously hard on legitimate wi-fi earbuds with interference problems. But I did not experience any dropouts or glitches. I also did not see any dilemma with audio syncing when working with a variety of online video streaming apps (I attempted YouTube, Netflix and DisneyPlus).     

In the long run, I will not feel these will slow the revenue of AirPods, but the Galaxy Buds have only become a far better alternative for Android customers and might even gain some fans who use iOS gadgets. Ideally, they are going to come down in price a little bit — I would have preferred to have seen the initial Galaxy Buds go to $99 and have these priced at $129. But if you do go the preorder route for your new Galaxy telephone and can proficiently get these for “absolutely free,” you is not going to be disappointed.