Giving tough competition to the Apple AirPods, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ have some nifty features, isn't restricted to Galaxy devices or Android smartphones, and most importantly, is available at an aggressive price point.
Most of the true wireless buds follow the same design language - two wireless buds sitting in a compact charging case. The only difference is the shape and size - of both the buds as well as the case. The Galaxy Buds+ has got an oval-shaped charging case housing two compact, circular buds. There is an LED indicator inside the case displaying the charging status of the buds, and one outside shows charge status of the case. Red indicates below 30 per cent charge, yellow ranges between 30 to 60 per cent whereas green means above 60 per cent charge. Both the case and top of the buds have a glossy finish, which attracts finger impressions.
The sleek earbuds with swappable wingtips are lightweight, ensuring a secure fit. Unlike AirPods, Buds+ easily tucks inside the ear, are comfortable to wear for a longer duration, making it ideal for workouts as well as work calls.
Making it easy to operate, the Buds+ houses touch controls where a single tap plays and pauses the music. Double-tap answers and ends calls or can be used to play the next track. A triple tap takes to previous track whereas long pressing declines a call. I was able to customise the action for touch and hold from settings.
Galaxy Buds+ can be paired with a smartphone using the traditional old way - turn on Bluetooth, look for buds and pair. Or else, the smart advanced way using the Samsung Wearable app available on both App Store and Play Store. The latter was quick to pair as all I had to do was select the Buds+ and follow instructions. The app quickly guides through the controls on the Buds +. The experience isn't as neat and seamless as of pairing the AirPods with iOS devices, but it isn't half bad.
The app offers a host of settings - tweaking ambient sound level, adjusting equaliser, displaying battery status. For equaliser, there was no option to change the settings as per my preference. I had to choose between the presets including normal, bass boost, soft, dynamic, clear and treble boost. Of all, I found the normal equaliser setting the best.
Since the AirPod Pro, noise cancellation is the next big thing in wireless earbuds. However, not every company has been able to integrate this feature. While the Galaxy Buds+ lacks active noise cancellation, the secure seal and fit isolates outside noise. Using ambient sound levels in the app, I was able to reduce the surrounding noise. But given the price, I am not complaining.
As wireless earbuds are easy to misplace, the 'find my earbuds' is a welcome addition. Just by hitting start button within app settings, the earbud started beeping (when paired), making it easy to locate one. Samsung has also added some experimental features which can be turned on from the Lab option with the app. This includes double tap earbud edge for controlling volume, extra-high ambient volume and gaming mode.
Technology innovations have helped Samsung pack a lot more in the compact size. Tuned by AKG, each Buds+ houses a dedicated tweeter and woofer. However, the audio output was a mixed bag. While listening to music, vocals were well pronounced but it lacked bass. With certain soundtracks, the treble was piercing. Sound quality while answering calls was good but at times callers did complain about sound distortion.
The buds along with the case gave close to 20 hours of battery backup. As soon as the buds slide in, they start charging from the case. Coming down to the case, it has a Type C port at the rear, and it also supports wireless charging. It works with Qi wireless charge and can be juiced up using phone's reversible wireless charging as well.
With the market flooded with true wireless buds across different price points, the Galaxy Buds+ retailing for Rs 10,490 is a good buy.
Also read: Review: Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro