Samsung Galaxy Buds is a comfortable wear but it can be better

- Anuj Bhandari, Kathmandu

Apr 9, 2019-

After two years since Apple introduced its Airpods, Samsung has also jumped on the bandwagon and launched Galaxy Buds. These earphones are the first pair of wireless buds from the South Korean multinational conglomerate although it has introduced multiple models of Bluetooth earphones in the past.

Apple Airpods were first launched in 2016 and the second generation was introduced in March 2019. Since its launch, it has definitely defined the market for wireless earphones. It was about time that Samsung came with their version of the product. So, when Galaxy Buds were introduced alongside its smartphone, Galaxy S10, I was one of the enthusiastic buyers.

I really liked its build. Its small body has a heft to it, and it feels sturdy. The company has also included different sized wingtips and eartips in the box, so one can really get comfortable as per their own liking. For me personally, the buds are really comfortable to wear. I feel that they fit right on my ears and have never fallen off.

The box or container that houses the buds also has a sturdy quality.

The magnetic lid prevents the buds from falling off even if the box accidently hits the floor. I was also impressed by its wireless charging. The buds can charge without cables if you have a wireless charging pad, or even the Galaxy S10 with its power sharing.

In order to check its sound quality, I tried the buds with a couple of devices. With a non-Samsung phone, the sound quality was just average with no bass at all. But even when I connected to Galaxy S10, the bass was still only above average. So, if you want the bass to sound good, you will have to enable the bass boost functionality on the Galaxy Wearable app, after which the sound becomes more amplified and better but still not up to the par. The Sony earphones I bought for $30 has better bass.

Apart from that, the treble is good, you have an option to boost the treble as well, but you will have to opt out from bass boost for that.

The conflict of design versus sound is clearly explained by Becca Farsace’s review of the buds on the Verge, “There’s no mistaking that the sound is coming from a very small source and being shoved directly into your ears.”

But on the other hand, the design helps in noise cancellation, which is an advantage. Nonetheless, for that price, the sound quality isn’t great.

The other thing an earbud has to excel in is the quality of the microphone. Although I have heard complaints from other users over the microphone’s functionality, I haven’t faced any problems while taking calls.

The reflective side of the buds is where the control center lies. It allows you to play or pause with a single tap, answer a call or play the next track with double tap, and revert to the previous track with a triple tap. The touch and hold feature are remappable as well. But I would have really liked ‘swipe’ feature to change volume, with the double tap for triggering voice command, which is the Google Assistant, and not Bixby. The touch sensitivity is not that great either; many times it didn’t even register the tap. Also, taking off one of the buds doesn’t pause the song you’re listening to.

There is also the half-baked Ambient sound feature that lets the mic record the surrounding sounds and stream it to your ear. It basically sounds like someone is speaking from a bad quality mic, and if you’re listening to music, it doesn’t even work.

However, the silver lining for this device lies on its battery prowess. The battery life is around 5-6 hours and with the box or the case, Samsung has promised around  seven hours more.

With the wireless future and technologies getting smarter, the buds really have a huge potential. With its additional feature of being able to connect to any Android smartphone unlike Apple’s Airpods, this is supposed to be an instant hit on paper. But Samsung really needs to upgrade a few half-baked features and shortcomings on the device, may be for its second edition.

Published: 09-04-2019 10:48

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