Review: 2019 Samsung Galaxy Buds truly wireless ear buds


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Erin Lawrence

samsung galaxy buds, 2019, review, how, sound, wireless

You use them every day. They’re your little piece of privacy wherever you go — whether you’re listening to music on the subway, watching your favorite show on a plane or catching up on your favorite podcast while your family, friends or roommates buzz around you. When you lose a favorite pair, it’s almost heartbreaking. If you need a pair and don’t have them, it can ruin your day.

If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about headphones and ear buds. These tiny pieces of technology have become crucial for daily life. Unfortunately, like most necessities, they can get expensive if you buy a quality pair, which is why it’s so important to make a wise choice when it comes to purchasing your next headphones or ear buds.

If you’ve been considering Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, here’s everything you need to know before you click ‘Add to Cart.’

Review: 2019 Samsung Buds

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are the next generation of ear buds, offering users (says Samsung) a seamless, wireless connection (no more tangled earphones in the bottom of your purse or pocket). Samsung promises great sound, and a comfortable design that means they should fit just about every ear with ease, and comfort— enough to wear all day long.

The buds, and I got to test out a citrusy greeny-yellow colour that was easy to spot in my bag, come in their own, small, pocket-sized carrying case, which not only gives you access to your buds any time you want to use them, but also charges them on the go. Totally easy, right?

samsung galaxy buds, 2019, review, how, sound, wireless

Setting up and pairing Samsung Buds

The great thing about Samsung Galaxy Buds, and what makes them so unique, is their ease of connectivity. You just have to open the Galaxy Buds case near your Samsung phone or tablet (I tested these with the new Samsung Galaxy S10+ (read the review of that soon) and they instantly pair up (Yay!), so you can start listening to your audio of choice faster and easier. Worth noting, however, that the connection pop-up window only appears on Samsung mobile devices running Android 7.1.1 or larger; you’ll also need to download the Wear app.

Though the Buds are supposed to instantly recognize and connect to my Galaxy S10+, they didn’t and I had to go into the Bluetooth menu to manually link them. I later saw they needed a software update, so perhaps that was why.

Fortunately, you can use these with just about any smartphone. I also tested them on my Apple iPhone XS Max and they paired instantly with that too. Here’s how:

  • Make sure the Galaxy Buds are inside the charging case.
  • (Close the charging case. If the battery indicator light doesn’t flash you’ll need to charge the earbuds for at least 10 minutes before they’ll pair to a phone or tablet.)
  • When you open the charging case the earbuds will automatically enter Bluetooth pairing mode .
  • Using an iPhone you’ll go to your Bluetooth menu and look for “Samsung Buds” then tap to connect. It worked perfectly.

samsung galaxy, buds, review, how, sound, review, worth it

Are Galaxy Buds comfortable? Comfort and styling

First off, I love the looks of these earbuds. They’re more compact than previous Samsung earbuds (IconX, anyone?) though they do still bear some resemblance to the IconX. They’re available in the fun lemon-lime shade I mentioned, as well as black and white.

These earbuds are pretty comfortable right out of the box and come with additional tips/fins so you can get a perfect fit. They feel nice in the ear; they aren’t too big that they feel like you’ve stuffed a walnut in there, and not to small so they feel like they’ll fall out.

The case is super compact too and easily fits in a jean pocket, for example. One of the best features of these is the sound isolation; the tight fit blocks noise from bleeding in, making for a better listening experience. They also have Ambient mode.

Special Features: Ambient aware

Of course, not every time you’re listening to your favorite tunes out and about do you completely want to block out the world. Sometimes that’s just not a good idea if you’re crossing the street or walking near traffic, waiting for your flight to be called, or in a social environment where you’d like to hear if someone shouts your name.

To turn on the buds Ambient feature, you’ll need to go into the Wear app and look for the setting, then you can toggle it on or off. When you turn on the buds’ Ambient Aware feature you can control how much surrounding noise you let in, so you never miss a conversation, car honk or announcement when you need to.

samsung galaxy, buds, review, how, sound, review, worth it

You can control how much ambient sound to let in, and you can also turn on Voice Focus, which makes voices stand out better.

Overall this feature works great and I love it on headphones. It gives me the flexibility and safety of being able to still hear what’s going on around me while enjoying my audio.

Equalizer feature

You can adjust how your music sounds with the equalizer dial. It offers different sound settings like Soft, Dynamic, and Clear. Bass Boost provides the most noticeable difference, but you can test out what works for you.

Special Features: Adaptive Dual Microphone

The buds have an outer mic, so that you can use them to make recordings via apps on your phone or tablet, or to simply talk on your phone or on a messaging app like Skype. The state-of-the-art ‘adaptive dual microphone’ can smartly recognize your surroundings to block out background noise, so you never have to shout to be heard again.

How’s Samsung Buds call quality?

The phone call quality is good on both ends. It’s easy to hear the person on the other end, and they said I sounded clear and easy to understand.

samsung galaxy, buds, review, how, sound, review, worth it

Special Features: Audio Notifications

Samsung Buds will send you audio alerts via the buds for a whole host of apps. You can choose which ones you want during set up, including calls, alarms, emails, Instagram and plenty more.

Touchpad controls

  • Tap the right ear bud to play or pause a track
  • Double tap to skip or answer or end a call
  • Triple tap to skip backwards
  • Touch and hold to decline a call. You can also set this feature to do what YOU want it to do.

Special Features: Instant Pairing and Seamless Connections

As noted, one of the best things about Samsung Galaxy Buds is just how easy it is to pair them with your device, seamlessly. Just open up the carrying case and the pop-up window displays, letting you know the buds are connected to your phone or tablet. Then, you’re good to go.

You can also switch devices seamlessly as well, by picking your paired device from a drop-down list, so you can go from listening to music on your phone to a video on your tablet, without delay.

Are Galaxy Buds waterproof?

Ever had a mishap where your ear buds or headphones get a little too wet and they stop working altogether? With the Samsung Galaxy Buds, this is a thing of the past. The IPX2 Protection means that your earbuds are water resistant, so there are no worries about moisture, whether you’re walking in the rain or sweating up a storm during your work out. (Do note that you shouldn’t submerge these earbuds in liquid.) Since these ear buds were loaners, I opted not to test this feature.

Sound quality of Samsung Buds

Once connected, the Galaxy Buds provide audio from AKG, with a wide range of sound and plenty of bass.

The bass is actually pretty good, as is the overall sound, though it can dip into sounding a bit … thin with some music. Initially I felt like these Buds seemed to be missing that richness and resonance that other headphones can provide, but after spending some more time with them, I fee like they sound is quite good and will be just great for most folks.

When I tested them with the iPhone, I found I needed to have the volume on 75% just to get a decent basic volume level. With these I was surprisingly able to crank them to 100% and it was totally bearable with (also good to note) no distortion.

Test Playlist:

  • Be Faithful – Fatman Scoop
  • Tenderoni – Chromeo
  • Warm Shadow – Fink
  • Dreams – Beck
  • My Type – Saint Motel
  • Daniel Welsley – Ooh Ohh
  • Deadmau5 – Ghosts n Stuff
  • Kinnie Starr – Discovered
  • Benny Blanco – Can’t get enough

Watching videos – is there any lag with Galaxy Buds 2019?

samsung galaxy, buds, review, how, sound, review, worth itOne of the biggest problems with truly wireless earbuds is often that they experience a lag when watching videos. With the Galaxy S10+, there was no lag whatsoever.

I also tried watching YouTube with the iPhone, and here there was a slightly noticeable split second lag. In this case it wasn’t so noticeable that it would drive me mad, but it was there. I’ve definitely seen headphones that have it way worse.


When I connected the Buds to the iPhone, they connected instantly as soon as I put them in (after initial pairing). I didn’t get any dropouts using it with the iPhone or with the Galaxy S10+. Yay!

Samsung Buds Battery Life

Samsung Buds promise up to six hours of cordless freedom at full charge. There’s another seven hours of battery life in the charging case, and you can charge them with the cable or wirelessly (Qi) so you’ve got plenty of options for juice.

Overall review of Samsung Buds

You can’t go wrong with the comfort and styling of these headphones. The Ambient Aware mode and the sound isolation are also pretty great features as far as I’m concerned.

The sound quality is very good overall. I think Samsung’s got it right  with a good balance of comfort, quality and an affordable price.

You can purchase the Samsung Galaxy Buds in white, black or yellow, for $199CAD.

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