While we are still waiting for Apple to launch the third generation AirPods, Samsung is already releasing the Galaxy Buds 2, its new pair of truly wireless headphones. They basically replace the Galaxy Buds Plus and join Samsung’s TWS family, including the Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds Live. The Galaxy Buds 2 takes inspiration from the design of the Galaxy Buds Live and adds Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). But how do Galaxy Buds 2 work and should you spend 11,999 rupees on them?
I used the Buds 2 for a week, and here’s what Android smartphone users can expect from Samsung’s entry-level wireless headphones.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 price in India: Rs 11,999
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review: Design and aesthetics
The Buds 2 look quite familiar to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus and Buds Pro. These are egg shaped heads with a glossy finish and are available in multiple color finishes. In fact, the Buds 2 are 15% smaller and 20% lighter than the Buds Plus. The Buds 2 come with a small charging case which is portable and supports wireless charging. The case comes in a glossy white color, while the interior is matched to the color of the headphones you choose.
What I liked about the Buds 2 is that they are lightweight and stay in my ears. I had complained about the inadequacy of the previous generation Galaxy Buds, but the Buds 2 felt safe. The size is small and there is no stem on Apple AirPods.
I liked how they felt without using extra wide ear tips to get a perfect seal. The wireless headphones are available in three sizes of silicone tips. They are easy to swap out so that you get the perfect fit.
I wore them in different situations while exercising in the morning, attending Zoom calls, and listening to music in the evening after work. They have a good build quality; Plus, an IPX2 water resistance rating means they’ll be perfect for training and racing. There is a tactile surface on both buds, and while responsive, there were times when the buds would accidentally register commands while adjusting them in my ears.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review: configuration and application
The Buds 2 is designed to work with Android smartphones and iPhones. However, there is no dedicated app for iOS users, so pairing will be done via Bluetooth. I think the Buds 2 should be used better with an Android smartphone or a Samsung Galaxy phone. I have paired the Buds 2 with my Galaxy M52 and the process is straightforward. Hold the case open on a Galaxy phone and wait for the screen to pop up and connect. In Samsung’s Wear app, you can customize the controls and turn Active Noise Canceling (ANC) on / off or ambient sound on or off. There is also an option to disable touch controls on buttons, which could be a useful feature for many. Other features built into the app include: the ability to find the location of each earbud through the app, equalizer controls, earbud fit test, and Bixby voice alarm clock.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review: sound quality and ANC
Let’s talk about the raw spec, okay?
The Buds 2 have a dual driver setup, with each bud receiving a dedicated woofer and tweeter. They also have three microphones and AKG tuning for audio. These certainly aren’t the best wireless headphones I’ve heard, and Samsung doesn’t claim that either. Still, they sound pretty good. Whether it was pop, rock, hip hop or podcasts, it all felt balanced. I never felt the need to change the EQ. The Buds 2 are better in the bass and there is a certain level of clarity. I’ve listened to country music a lot these days, and everyone from John Mayer to Miranda Lambert sounded like I expected. The acoustic guitars as well as the layering of vocals had a distinct presence.
The Buds 2 come with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and that’s a defining feature. Having ANC in wireless buds is often projected as “better sound”, which is so wrong. Active noise cancellation is a great feature to have if you travel frequently. It’s hard to say how effective ANC is on a pair of headphones. Samsung claims the Buds 2 reduce external background noise by 98%. By walking to a nearby metro station, the Buds 2 managed to block out a lot of outside noise. But don’t expect the ANC level to be as good as Sony’s AirPods Pro or premium TWS. Ambient mode is another cool feature that, when activated, lets you hear your own voice when listening to a call. Call quality impresses on the Buds 2. Microphones work well for attending Zoom / Teams calls and meetings.
Samsung claims up to five hours of battery life for wireless headphones with ANC on and 7.5 hours with off. Additionally, the case can charge Buds 2 and extend battery life to 20 hours when ANC is on or 29 hours when ANC is off. The battery life on the Buds 2 is good, but it all depends on how long you listen to music on these headphones.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review: should you buy them?
The Buds 2 can be considered if you live in the Samsung ecosystem or have an Android smartphone. They don’t come cheap, although the Buds 2 are touted as truly entry-level wireless headphones. The design is nice, they fit well, the sound impresses and the ANC is good if not great.
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