Apple Airpods are currently the most popular pair of true wireless earphones in the market. An idea that initially seemed like a joke for the price is doing really good for Apple. This year Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds along with its Galaxy S10 lineup priced for Rs 9,999 here in India. Now these definitely falls under premium earphones category but there is a market for it in India. I had a chance to use the Galaxy Buds for just over a week on a Non-Samsung device and here is what you should know if you are planning to buy the Galaxy Buds with a non-Samsung device.
Design and Comfort
When you talk about Samsung, you can’t really go wrong with the design and build quality. The South Korean giant pioneered smartphone design long before other manufacturers even started to focus on it. What does this mean? Well, the Galaxy Buds are extremely well built, thanks to the premium quality polycarbonate materials used. Now some might argue that polycarbonate feels cheap, however, we have to keep in mind that these are true-wireless earphones so the lighter they are, the better.
I am also a fan of the design here. There is a small wing tip that helps the Galaxy Buds fit snugly in the ears and make them extremely comfortable. They are very light on the ears so they are perfect if you are into long listening sessions. The quality of the ear-tips is top-notch although a right fit would always make things better.
The outer surface of these earphones comes with touch controls which works just fine even if you are on a Non-Samsung device. A single-tap will play/pause the music, a double tap lets you go to the next track while a triple tap goes to the previous track. If you tap and hold, Google Assistant will pop up and it also works when your phone is on standby. But something doesn’t feel natural and it took me some time to get used to the controls. Samsung could have done better in terms of touch controls.
Functionality and Convenience
True-wireless earphones are more about convenience and functionality than sound. Atleast that’s what I think. I will talk about sound in the later part of this article so let’s pick convenience for now. Just like most of the true-wireless earphones in the market, the Galaxy Buds come with a charging case.
To start with, the size of the charging case is not that big and is quite pocketable. It has decent build quality and it charges with a USB Type-C cable which is a big plus as the Galaxy S10 also comes with Type-C port for charging. Placing the earphones inside the case is a cakewalk and as soon as you do so, they start charging. I know this is quite obvious.
Further, as soon as you put the earphones to your ears, you hear a subtle sound feedback indicating that the earphones have detected the fit. Although they don’t stop playing when you take them out. Is there a way to do it? Let me know in the comment section below.
Connecting these earphones was a breeze and I would highly recommend you download the Samsung Wearable app along with the Galaxy Buds plugin. It gives you a host of new features like the ability to customize the equalizer according to your liking and fiddle with notifications settings. One thing which is not possible, though, is connecting these earbuds with multiple devices.
How do they Sound?
Yes, true-wireless earphones are mostly about convenience and functionality but you got to care about the sound when you are spending Rs 9,990 on a pair of wireless earphones. So how do they sound?
Alright, here is a thing, I feel the Galaxy Buds sound just good enough for a true wireless earphones but they are not the best at this price range.
If we talk in the audiophile terminology, the Galaxy Buds have a balanced output and I literally mean it. No too much of bass, not too much of treble and equally balanced mids. Sure you can boost up the bass from the equalizer but it is not as punchy as I would have liked. If you are a bass-head , you might want to reconsider your options.
The soundstage on these earphones is decent and you would love to listen to those 8D versions of your favourite songs. I don’t know if that’s actually a thing.
Apart from listening to my favourite genres of music, I spent most of my time listening to Pop music especially Daft Punk, Bruno Mars etc. Apart from this, a lot of Bollywood music and bits and pieces of EDM was also a part of my testing playlist.
All in all, I really liked the sound output from the Galaxy Buds and that was quite expected to be honest. Wasn’t it? I mean, Samsung is on par with Apple when it comes to hardware and the seamless integration with the Android ecosystem (non-Samsung) is really one of the strong selling points of the Galaxy Buds here.
One interesting thing is that you also get a toggle for Ambient Sound in the Samsung Wearable app. I did test it out while shopping in a store trying to listen to the announcements and advertisements and it was kind of a hit or a miss for me. So what really happens is that the Galaxy Buds will amplify the ambient sounds so that you are aware about what’s happening around you even if you are plugged into the earphones. There is also a separate toggle to amplify voice sounds and that made things a lot better. Not sure if people will use this feature but it is good to have it nevertheless.
I did also take a bunch of phone calls and this is where Samsung failed to impress me again. The person on the other side of the call mostly complained about too much ambient sound and that is natural for a true-wireless earphones as the microphone is also at your ear level. Apple Airpods with that stem has the microphone much closer to the mouth.
Battery life for a true-wireless earphones is kind of tricky because you have to wait for the charging case to run out of battery before you can test the battery life of the actual buds itself. So how long does the Galaxy Buds usually last on a single charge?
During my testing, they lasted for about ~6 hours of play time. But, to be honest, this is a vague figure because you will keep the buds in the case as soon as you are done listening to them.
The case, however, charges from a USB Type-C which is a good thing. It took about 1.5 hours for the case to go from 0 to full charge and it offers 7 hours of additional battery life.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds?
It depends what you actually want from your next pair of true wireless earphones. The Samsung Galaxy Buds sound good to start with and offer a seamless experience across Android ecosystem. Most of the features that you would find on a Samsung device will remain intact on a Non-Samsung device as well.
However, if you are looking for the best sounding earphones at this price, then you might want to look at other options. You can look at Jabra Elite 65T, Sony WF – SP700N for that extra bass and there are also options from Nokia and some budget options from Noise.
What do you think? Will you buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds for Rs 9,999? Let us know in the comment section below.