Samsung Galaxy Buds – Which are the Buds for you?

Samsung, Tech

As Samsung releases the Buds2, It is time to reflect on the long list of wireless earbuds that the company has released since 2019. In just the past two and a half years, Samsung has released the Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+, Galaxy Buds Live, and the Galaxy Buds Pro. Now, with the release of the Galaxy Buds2, you’ve got a ton of options to choose from. But which is the best for you? Let’s get into it.

Samsung Galaxy Buds review: imperfectly acceptable - The Verge

Samsung Galaxy Buds:
Current Price: $84.99
Battery Life: 7 hours, 11 hours in case
Noise Cancelling: No
Ambient Mode: No
Wireless Charging: Yes

The Samsung Galaxy Buds are Samsung’s first attempt at a truly wireless earbud design. They feature silicon tips, rubber wingtips, and an in-ear design (a defiant step in the direction of Apple’s stems). A pill-shaped charging case thicker than the AirPods or AirPods Pros, but it’s very pocketable.

Who are these for:
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are a great entry-level set of wireless earbuds. They have a very full sound, a good in-ear fit, good battery life, call capability, and a best-in-class battery. They can be used for working out but if the workout is especially sweaty, they begin to slip out of my ears.

The Galaxy Buds are best for easy listening, light workouts, and indoor phone calls. The Galaxy Buds are easy to recommend for people who want a decent set of wireless earbuds with a good fit at a great price.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Samsung Galaxy Buds review image 1

Samsung Galaxy Buds+
Current Price: $99.99
Battery Life: 11 hours, 22 hours in case
Noise Cancelling: No
Ambient Mode: Yes
Wireless Charging: Yes

As the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are an improvement on the original Galaxy Buds. From a design perspective, they are identical to the Galaxy Buds (outside of the glossy finish on the buds and case, making it look a little more premium). These buds have a fuller sound than their predecessors. The biggest differentiator for these headphones is the battery life. The Buds+ offer an industry-leading experience in this department, with 11 hours of playback time and 22 hours when charged with the case. As someone who often forgets to charge earbuds, I was amazed whenever I did charge them because there was almost always charge in the battery.

Who are these for:
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are one of the best value earbuds on the market. They connect well with non-Samsung phones and they connect very quickly with a Samsung phone; giving Apple a run for its money. They fit well, they last longer than much of the competition, and offer a discreet fit in the ear. In my opinion, these are the best non-noise cancelling headphones on the market. If you can stand the price jump from the Buds, I would go for it. But If you are looking for noise cancelling in your wireless earbuds, continue below.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live True Wireless Earbud Headphones Bronze  SM-R180NZNAXAR - Best Buy

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Current Price: $99.99
Battery Life: 6 hours/21 hours with case (ANC + Bixby); 5.5 hours/20 hours (ANC); 8 hours/29 hours (ANC + Bixby off)
Noise Cancelling: Yes
Ambient Mode: Yes
Wireless Charging: Yes

There’s no way around it, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are some weird earbuds. Samsung developed the Galaxy Buds Live to solve a problem a lot of people have with earbuds: a lot of people just don’t like having a silicone tip shoved down their ear canal. Samsung’s solution was to create enough of a sound stage around the ear canal without actually pressing an ear tip into it. The result? An earbud that is very confusing to fit into one’s ears but once they’re in, they sound better than expected.

The Galaxy Buds Live are also Samsung’s first wireless earbuds to feature noise cancelling – an attractive feature to many. Unfortunately, Samsung’s first attempt at noise cancellation is little more than a fluke. Because these earbuds were specifically designed around not creating a seal on the user’s ear canal, the noise canceling has pretty much no effect. If you were looking at these earbuds specifically for their noise cancellation capabilities, you should probably look elsewhere.

Also, the name Buds Live is frustrating for noise cancelling earbuds. The name implies that they are supposed to let sound in, not keep it out. The Buds Live come off as the art school stepchild of the family; interesting in concept but not in practical use. The one redeeming quality of these buds and why you might consider them over the Buds and Buds+ is a smaller case and the eye-catching design (especially if you get them in Mystic Bronze).

Who are these for:
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are for the person who REALLY doesn’t like earbuds lodged in their ears, and is specifically looking for an open-back headphone design, but in a pair of wireless earbuds. If you’re one of those people and don’t care much for noise cancellation, these could be worth a look. They also look quite unique, if that’s something that matters to you.

Overall Rating 6/10

Front Zoom. Samsung - Galaxy Buds Pro True Wireless Earbud Headphones - Phantom Black.

Samsung Buds Pro

Current Price: $149.99
Battery Life: 5 hours with ANC on (18 hours with charging case), 8 hours with ANC off (28 hours with charging case)
Noise Cancelling: Yes
Ambient Mode: Yes
Wireless Charging: Yes

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro should have come out when the Buds Live came out as they are the logical iteration to the Buds+. They feature actual noise cancelling, a smaller case, a smaller form factor, better microphones, no wind interference on calls, and industry-leading dust and water resistance.

The best advice I got on these earbuds is to change the silicon tips. The ones that Samsung provides do not fully seal the ear canal, which makes the noise cancelling very frustrating until you find the right tips. I muscled on a large set of my Sennheiser wired earbuds silicone tips and I was so much happier with the headphones. I actually think the noise cancelling is better than the AirPods Pros, although they are not quite as comfortable. The battery life on these is pretty good with noise cancelling on too, lasting about 6 hours.

The only change that I would have asked was to keep the wingtips from the Buds / Buds+, as they did create a more secure experience with the earbuds. These do take some readjusting from time to time, but once you figure out how to fit them into your ears, you won’t have to adjust them as often. Regardless, these are the Pros for a reason. The noise cancelling really improves the earbud experience, the mics are much better than previous Galaxy Buds, and they feature a tight form factor; nothing dangling out of your ears.

Who are these for:
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are the most premium Samsung earbuds you can buy. They make the right corrections to the Buds Live and give the customer what they want. If you are looking for an everyday noise cancelling earbud and the price makes sense, I think these are a great buy. If you can go without noise cancelling in exchange for a better fit, battery life, and price, I would go with the Buds or Buds+.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 bring ANC in a lightweight body - GSMArena.com news

Samsung Galaxy Buds2

Current Price: $119.99
Battery Life: six hours, Seven hours in case
Noise Cancelling: Yes
Ambient Mode: Yes
Wireless Charging: Yes

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are the latest iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Buds. They are sleek, offer interesting colors (my favorite is the olive), and include noise cancelling at a competitive price.

These headphones appear to be the diet version of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. Less bells and whistles – specifically the IPX8 water and dust resistance and Samsung specific features like voice detection to prompt ambient mode. The noise cancelling on the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 is underwhelming when compared to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. At times, it was difficult to tell when noise cancelling was on or off.

Samsung is really hitting its stride with the design of the earbuds themselves. They are very small, fit nicely in the ears and are comfortable. Additionally, the color options give some flair that are not often provided in other sets of earbuds. They really fit well in the ears.

Who are these for:
For those who want Samsung noise canceling on a budget and prefer exceptional comfort and design over the power of the noise cancelling. If noise cancelling is factored into your earbud buying formula, I would turn my attention more towards the Galaxy Buds Pro for $30 more. While the design is marginally less attractive, the noise cancelling is better. A discerning buyer should try both before assuming that the noise cancelling is the same.

Overall Rating: 9/10