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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review

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Samsung is known for quickly launching new wireless earbuds, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, which was released in 2021.

JUMP TO

Release Date and Price

Design

Features

Audio performance

Battery life

Should they be bought?

The Buds 2 are a sequel to the Galaxy Buds that were released in 2019. They offer many improvements from sound quality to fit to active noise cancelling.

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in White at Amazon for US$89.82

These improvements make them a great choice for original Galaxy Buds owners looking for new wireless earbuds. They also compete with the Apple AirPods. You’ll find more features on Android, and specifically Samsung, smartphones than any other type of device. However, they can be used with both iOS or Android.

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The two-driver design and well-balanced soundstage of the Buds 2 were a great feature. However, there are some weaknesses to the Buds 2. The Buds 2’s noise cancellation isn’t the best. Also, the frequency range starts at 80Hz. This means you won’t feel or hear any thumping bass. Launch doesn’t include an assistant that can listen all the time.

While none of these are major issues, they make the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 slightly less effective in audio and ANC performance than other wireless earbuds. For two examples, see our Sony F-1000XM4 review or Beats Studio Buds reviews. For more information, take a look to our best wireless earbuds guide.

It is also worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have been discontinued. The tech company has now launched the latest true wireless earbuds. You can read our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 PRO review.

These earbuds may not be the best for you, depending on your smartphone and the level of noise cancelling you require. However, we believe that everyone will enjoy the features, performance, and cost, even though there are better options.

Continue reading to see our complete Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review

The Galaxy Buds 2 is the latest Samsung earbuds. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, price and release date

  • Now
  • $149.99 / PS139.99 / AU$219

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 were revealed at Samsung’s Unpacked 2021 online event. They are available for purchase at $149.99 / PS139.99 / AU$219. Our Galaxy Z Fold 3 phone reviews was published the same day.

These Buds cost the same as the original Samsung Galaxy Buds when they were launched in 2019, except that they are cheaper in Australia. This Samsung Galaxy Buds review will provide more information.

Our Beats Studio Buds review will show you a pair that is truly wireless and at a similar price. Many of the same features are shared by Beats buds. They are just as good as Studio Buds and even better than Apple’s most loved earbuds, Apple AirPods.

These are not the only earbuds Samsung has made. There have been many others. It can be confusing to shop around for true wireless earbuds. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a new set of Pro Galaxy buds. This makes it even more confusing.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are available in four colors: Lavender (Olive), White (White), and Graphite. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: design

  • Available with four colors
  • Intuitive touch
  • IPX2 water resistance

The Galaxy Buds 2’s design is one way to distinguish them from their siblings. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are most similar to beans. However, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is closest to pebbles. They are small, round and super smooth. They slide easily into a round plastic case and fit in a pocket.

The Buds will be displayed in one of the following colors once you open the case: Lavender (Olive), White (Graphite), and It’s important to note that while the Buds and the interior of the case will be a distinct color, the exterior of the case will remain white.

The new Galaxy Buds 2 are 15% and 20% smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. This makes them more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. They are a bit more difficult to hold and can slip out from their cases and into your ears easier.

The Buds are magnetically charged to attach to the charging pins. This won’t happen often, but it’s a good idea to be careful when removing them from their cases or putting them back inside.

The Galaxy Buds 2 is 15% smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and 20% lighter. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Galaxy Buds 2’s IPX2 water resistance is a weakness. This means that they are only suitable for moderate to vigorous workouts. They could get damaged if you take them outside in the rain, snow, or on the beach.

SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDDS 2 SPECS

Acoustic design: Closed

Weight: 5g

Drivers Dynamic two way speakers

Battery Life: 5 hours for earbuds, 15 hours for charging case

You can control your Galaxy Buds using their built-in touch controls, or by using your smartphone. The controls are intuitive: play / pause with one tap; skip forward with two taps; three taps to rewind. A recent firmware update made the buds even more intuitive. You can double-tap the edge to adjust the volume.

You’ll also find two additional silicone eartips inside the box and a USB cable to charge the Buds. Although the silicone tips may not be as comfortable as foam eartips, they provide a good seal and can be tested with the Galaxy Wearable app. They are also easy to replace if lost.

What else has changed in the originals’ case? The Galaxy Buds 2 use a dual-driver design. They have one mid-range driver, and one tweeter for the higher registers. This is similar to the Galaxy Buds Pro. Inside and outside of the earbuds, there are microphones. Three of them in fact. These microphones help to cancel noise and improve call quality.

The Galaxy Buds 2’s design has one flaw. They are only IPX2 water resistant. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: features

  • Active noise cancellation
  • No always-listening voice assistant
  • Support for AAC, SBC, and Samsung’s Scalable Codec

The noise cancellation is a key feature of the Galaxy Buds 2 and must be discussed when talking about it.

You can turn on noise cancellation by touching the touchpad of either earbud. The Galaxy Wearable app allows you to customize the function to do other things, such as summoning your virtual assistant. However, we recommend that at least one control is set for noise cancellation. Recent firmware updates have also made it possible to activate ANC even if you only use one earbud.

We’re disappointed that Samsung did not include an assistant that can listen to your voice in the Galaxy Buds 2. This could make them less appealing for people who don’t want their voice assistant to be activated by pressing a button.

You can press the noise cancel button again to switch to the ambient mode. This pipes outside audio into your Buds. Although it may seem like the opposite of what you would want, it can be very useful if you need to have a conversation or wait for your flight number. You can now activate ambient mode while you’re calling, as well as the ability to hear what’s around you, even if you are not on the phone.

We are disappointed that Samsung did not include an always-listening assistant in the Galaxy Buds 2. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The control settings aren’t the only thing you can adjust in the Galaxy Wearable App. You also have the option to change the EQ and see how much battery is left on your case or earbuds. You’ll also find the Earbud Fit Test, and the Find My Buds option. However, you will need to log in with a Samsung account.

The only problem is that these features are not available in the Android version. It hasn’t received an update yet for iOS, so customization will be impossible until that version is updated.

Ending on a high note: codec support includes both the standard SBC and AAC codescs as well as Samsung’s Scalable Codec, if connected to a Samsung phone. This codec provides significantly better audio quality than the basic SBC codec, making the Buds an excellent choice for Galaxy phone owners.

The Galaxy Buds 2 boast a stunning sound curve that amplifies the bass, mids, and highs. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: Audio performance and noise cancellation

  • Improved Audio
  • ANC could have better
  • High quality call quality

Samsung and AKG have it right: every generation of the Galaxy Buds gets closer and closer towards that sonic sweet spot. The Galaxy Buds 2 are no exception.

Their sound is what we love the most. It has a beautiful sound curve that amplifies the bass, mids, and highs. They only miss out on the subbass (below 80hz), and the higher registers (11,000Hz or above), which can be a little harsh at higher volumes.

The sound quality is excellent, with a noticeable increase in bass for EDM and Rap and a clear mid-range for R&B and rock. Stereo separation is excellent, so you can hear great effects in songs such as Baba O’Riley’s by The Who. The soundstage is also much larger than what we had on the original-generation Galaxy Buds.

These earbuds sound great, despite a few minor quirks.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 has a lot to improve on their active noise cancellation. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The active noise cancellation is an area where the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 has room for improvement. While we are happy to see it in the entry-level Galaxy Buds 2, it is still lacking in comparison with market leaders. Take a look at our Bose QuietComfort Buds Review for more information.

You won’t hear music or ANC playing in your room. However, you will be able hear outside noises. They are good for office work but not for long flights or for busy jobs.

Samsung has had some success improving the quality of calls through its earbuds, even though ANC is still a work in progress. Galaxy Buds 2 utilize machine learning to remove background noise from phone calls. Friends who spoke to us said that they sounded clearer than using regular smartphones for the call.

Even though there were some crackling issues on our end, these earbuds still performed better than any other we have tested. They are also good companions for office if you make lots of phone calls.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: battery life

  • Total battery life : 29 hours
  • Auto pausing
  • Support for wireless charging

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will last about five hours if active noise cancellation is turned on. It should last a bit longer if it’s off. The case contains at least three additional charges that will last you for at most 20 hours with ANC turned on or 29 hours if it is left off.

 

Battery life will vary depending on how the earbuds are used. If you use the earbuds for listening, you can expect a battery life of 3.5 hours with ANC enabled and 13 hours without it. If you use them to have conversations, you will get 3.5 hours with ANC off and 3.5 hours with the case, or 3.5 and 14 hours respectively with ANC turned on.

A proximity sensor is an inside feature that allows you to optimize your battery life. It will detect if the buds are not in your ear canal and automatically pause the music. You’ll be able to save juice and not have to charge your earbuds as often by pausing music like this.

This generation also supports wireless charging with compatible Qi chargers. This is a great perk for phones with wireless charging, and those who already own a charging pad. However, it doesn’t make a difference if you still need to use the USB-C port at the back.

Fast-charging is the only thing missing from this charger. However, you will still be able to get good charging speeds. We were able to charge the case with a 12% rate after just 10 minutes of charging, which is more than an hour of listening. This is not as fast as other fast-charging headphones that can charge at 25% and 50% in just 15 minutes. However, it’s still not terrible.

Do I need the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 or not?

 

If you own a Galaxy smartphone, the earbuds will be a great option. (Image credit: TechRadar)

If you are…

You have a Galaxy smartphone

The Galaxy Buds 2 work well with Samsung Galaxy smartphones as well as other Android devices. You can quickly pair them with your Samsung Galaxy smartphone or other Android devices using the Galaxy Wearable app.

The first-generation Galaxy Buds are still being used.

Galaxy Buds 2 is a worthy upgrade due to its numerous improvements in audio and feature sets.

Looking for something to wear to work

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 work well as office earbuds. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 offer sufficient noise cancellation to make it almost impossible for you to hear people around you. Their battery life should last you at least two or three days without you needing to recharge them.

If they are not…

Are you a frequent traveler?

You might consider the Galaxy Buds 2’s rivals if you need noise cancellation of a high standard. Bose QuietComfort Earbuds currently rank as the best noise cancelling earbuds. They are a bit more costly, but they are well worth it for those who commute or travel long distances.

If you don’t want to be able to use it,

You’ll need to search elsewhere if you want an assistant that listens and responds whenever you speak. The Google Pixel Buds offer Google Assistant support to Android users, while iOS owners can use AirPods or AirPods Pro to get the same experience.

Already have the Galaxy Buds Live and Buds Plus?

If you have the Galaxy Buds Live and Buds Plus, there is no reason to upgrade. Both offer noise cancellation and noise reduction. They also have many of the same features as the Galaxy Buds 2.

Also, consider

 

Are you still not convinced by our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Review? We have three additional pairs of wireless earbuds that are truly wireless that you might also like.

Apple AirPods Pro review ” data-widget-type=”deal”>

Apple AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro is a better choice if you are more of an iPhone lover. They integrate well with iOS devices and provide Spatial Audio support.

Sony WF-1000XM4

We recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4 as our top pick for true wireless earbuds. They offer excellent sound quality, great noise cancellation, and tons of quality-of life features.

Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0

Are you on a tight budget? The Lypertek buds offer incredible sound quality for the price. However, PurePlay Z3 2.0 is well worth looking at.

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