The million-dollar question is can Samsung continue to improve on its innovative wireless buds design? With the arrival of the Galaxy Buds2, the answer is YES.
Introduced as a nice complimentary accessory alongside Samsung’s latest flagship phones, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3, the Galaxy Buds2 are the successor of the tech giants Galaxy Buds but with some vast improvements and that help make it easily one of the best wireless buds on the market not called the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, which we previously reviewed and is currently our favorite wireless earbuds on the market.
The Galaxy Buds first arrived in 2019 and have seen five different designs, including the Galaxy Buds2. Each version boasts significant improvements that set them apart from previous designs.
Design & Quality
The Galaxy Buds2 easily wins in the design and fit department. The Galaxy Buds2 is Samsung’s smallest and lightest design yet, providing the wearer with a more discreet, secure, and insanely comfortable fit, unlike previous iterations setting the Galaxy Buds2 apart from Samsung’s competitor’s true wireless buds.
The Galaxy Buds2, like the Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+, and Galaxy Buds Pro, utilize silicone tips to help provide a secure fit to help seal in sound. Still, with the Galaxy Buds2, a smaller design, that is even more evident. Another huge plus is including a fit test now via the Galaxy Wearable’s companion app, which will help wearers find the right size silicone tip to use.
The Galaxy Buds2 comes in a similar jewelry box case like the Galaxy Buds Pro that Samsung seems to have fallen in love with, and we’re not mad at that becuase it does fit very well in your pockets. The case also serves as a charger for your buds and can be charged wirelessly, which is always a huge plus in our books.
Noise Canceling, Microphone & Sound Quality
The smaller size is not the only improvement the Galaxy Buds2 has over its predecessor. It now also has active noise cancellation…finally. Now while it’s not as good as the Galaxy Buds Pro’s ANC feature, it still manages to get the job done. Voice quality during phone calls also is outstanding, with the mics clearly picking up everything said during voice calls and those annoying Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings. Samsung claims Buds2 has a “machine learning-based solution that filters out a variety of distracting background noises,” which we assume contributes to voice clarity.
As far as sound quality, that doesn’t take a hit thanks largely to Samsung’s continued partnership with acoustics engineering and manufacturing company AKG owned by Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung. Like the Buds Pro, the Buds2 features a two-way driver design with a woofer and tweeter. The bass knocks, and the treble is boosted, so songs like Chloe’s “Have Mercy” or Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later” ring off in your ears, almost giving you your own mini-concert vibes.
The Buds2 support AAC, SBC, and Samsung’s Scalable codecs, and while in use, we barely experienced any dropouts and interruptions, a huge plus.
Like the Buds Pro, the Buds2 takes a hit in this department and falls short of the Galaxy Buds+’s exceptional battery life. According to Samsung, with ANC active, the wear can get up to five hours of continuous playback, with the charging case stretched to 20. With ANC off, it bumps up to 7.5 hours (29 hours including the case) which is solid and should get you through the day but is still a significant drop compared to the Buds+’s 11 hours of straight play time.
The Galaxy Buds2 is Samsung’s most affordable pair of truly wireless earbuds yet starting at $149.99, which can be brought down to $109 with an eligible trade-in. The addition of ANC and a great fit definitely make them a worthy successor of the Galaxy Buds, but some sacrifices had to be made at a lower price. Sadly the Buds2 does not feature automatic switching between Samsung devices. The IPX2 is very disappointing, meaning you have to be very careful not to get them wet during a sweat-inducing workout or bike ride.
When it comes to the case, it’s definitely if it’s not broke, don’t fix it situation, BUT we wished like the buds themselves, they also came in different colors. A white case doesn’t fit well with everyone and just changing the inside of the case to reflect the color of the Buds2 falls flat. The Thom Browne Edition (which we reviewed) is very attractive because it fits the American designer’s aesthetic.
Despite the Buds2 few flaws, it’s still one of the best truly wireless buds on the market, and we can’t see anyone being disappointed with them. Once again, Samsung manages to deliver another solid entry into its Galaxy Buds series, which leaves us wondering what the company will do with the Galaxy Buds Pro2?
Photos: Bernard Smalls / Samsung Galaxy Buds2