Galaxy Buds review: everything but the basics
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Galaxy Buds review: everything but the basics


– This video’s about disappointment. It’s like I was so ready for the future to change my present, yet
here I am stuck in the past. – Disappointed! – You know, there’s always next time. But right now, this is not the future, and if anything, it’s
a teeny tiny step back. This is a Galaxy Buds review. (mellow hip hop music) So I’ve been waiting for technology to slim down, cut cords,
and be forgettable in a way for a long time, and
these $129 Galaxy Buds were my shiny gleam of hope towards that in the Android ecosystem. (mellow music) Now, I’ve tried AirPods. I didn’t like all the ambient noise. And although the Jabra Elite
65ts have good audio quality, they just don’t stay in my ears. So for someone who’s either wearing or carrying headphones
around almost all day, I was excited to try the Galaxy Buds. But once I started living
in this cord-cutting future, I realized the importance
of the necessities. Like headphones have three jobs, right? They need to take calls,
they need to play music, and they need to be comfortable. Anything past that is a luxury. And although I want
that luxury in my life, I’m not willing to give up
the necessities to have it. But let’s first talk about the
luxuries of the Galaxy Buds because it does pretty much nail those. Now, coming from the Jabra Elite 65ts, these buds feel like feathers. Like, the Jabras are just
way too big for my tiny ears and every time I put them on, I’m just like “Becca, in the name of tech, you must keep wearing these.” To seat the Galaxy Buds in your ears, it’s as easy as a little twist and once you get used to that motion, you kind of feel cool doing it. Because they just sort of click into place using the shark fin-esque bit on top and the earbud tip, it’s
surprisingly comfortable. And if it’s not, there’s three
other different sized tips and fins for fitting included in the box. The case is super small and light with a USB-C port or the
ability to charge wirelessly. Now, I am a wireless charging super-fan, I just love it so much. So, for me, that’s a great feature. Not to mention if you have an S10, S10E — or for my European friends,
a Huawei Mate 20 Pro — you can just pop this right on the back and via the Wireless PowerShare feature, they’ll charge. I really don’t think you guys are giving this Wireless PowerShare
feature enough props. This is super cool. I’ve been traveling all week and when I left, I only had
to bring one USB-C cable. Every night, when I plug in the S10 Plus, I just pop these on top and everything charges at the same time. That’s freakin’ cool and I’m all about it. Anywho, the Buds claim six
hours of music listening battery life off a single charge, which I found to be true. And then seven additional hours when charged via the case. Since I was charging them
with my phone each night, I never really had a problem
with the battery dying. I even found the touch controls to be easy to use and responsive. You cannot change the single, double, or triple-touch settings, but I changed my long press to trigger the Google Assistant. I do wish Samsung had gone with swipes for volume adjustments like the Pixel Buds have, simply because tapping on a
headphone that’s in your ear is kind of loud and abrasive. But let’s get back to fundamentals because that’s where the future
just isn’t beating the past. First, Bluetooth. Now, I’ve
tested these on a Pixel 3, an iPhone X, a Galaxy S8, and S10 Plus. And I found that they by far
are best on Samsung devices. And before the latest
Galaxy software update, there were definitely Bluetooth dropouts across all of those devices. But the video lag on non-Samsung
devices is still real. Second, let’s talk audio quality. It’s fine. You’ll definitely want to go
into the Galaxy Wearable app and adjust the EQ settings. I kept mine set to dynamic
for some richer tones and just a little more bass, but even with the EQ adjustments on, I was never blown away
by the sound quality. In switching between the
AirPods, Galaxy Buds, and Jabra 65ts, I found the Jabras to have far superior bass and range. I even found myself suffering through the pain of wearing them in order to keep listening. Next, I tried the AirPods, and while they are pretty colorful and full of bass for their size, you’re just not immersed
because of the design and the lack of isolation. But the Galaxy Buds, well,
there’s absolutely no mistaking that the audio is coming
from a very small source and being shoved directly into your ears. It’s just flat and tinny. But where the Galaxy Buds really fall flat is the microphone quality. I talk on the phone a lot and it’s mostly because I’m
way too impatient for texting and I’m really bad at spelling, and well, the list goes on. But, it’s impossible to
make a call in these, nobody can understand me. So, let’s dive in and do
some real testing together because you guys need to see this. Okay so, I have the Jabra
Elite 65ts, I have the AirPods, and I have the Samsung Galaxy Buds. I also have an S10 and the S8. I’m going to be using the S8 connected to all three of these buds to call the S10. The S10 is going to be connected
to an H6 Zoom audio recorder via this giant, kind of crazy cable that plugs in from the aux port into the recorder. Let’s hit the road and
let’s test these guys out. So when you’re talking on
the Galaxy Buds inside, it’s not the worst. But when you bring in the Jabras or you start talking on the AirPods, or you just go back to talking on a phone, you start to realize there’s going to be a bigger problem here. Can you hear me now? Probably not. Now, when you take the
Galaxy Buds outside, that’s when the problem
really starts to show up. And the Jabras, they’re a little better but they still really hurt my ears. But the AirPods, because of this stem, it gets the mic a lot closer to my mouth, so it sounds a little better, right? So that’s when I end up just going back to using my phone because I want the other person
on the end of the line to actually hear what I have to say. “Hey, what’s up?” (mellow music) Another
feature that uses these not-so-impressive mics
is the ambient sound. Now, turn that on to go full robot. Literally, it sounds exactly
what I image robots hear because the buds are
taking in the ambient sound via the external mic and broadcasting it through the earbud. It’s bad, you probably won’t use it, but it does make you feel like a robot. Now, the funny thing about all of this is that Samsung is typically known for nailing the necessities. Their devices last a really long time, their screens are beautiful to look at, they’ve even kept the headphone jack, which, thank you Samsung. But, with these Galaxy Buds,
they totally lost sight of those necessities. Wireless charging, a
great and compact design, these are all things I want, but what I need is good audio quality and a solid microphone. And, yes, the AirPods exist and they are most of those things, but as soon as you connect
them to an Android device, you lose way too many features
to justify their price. Which is why I was so excited
about the Galaxy Buds. Maybe next year, Samsung. Alright, Jabra Elite 65ts,
AirPods, Galaxy Buds, what do you guys like, what are you using, what do you want to be using? Drop a comment down below,
and we’ll see ya next time. Thanks, guys.

100 Comments

  • thomas k

    Sony SBH54/56 Bluetooth headphones adaptor – the convenience of Bluetooth with the freedom to use any headphones you want. The 54 and 56 (as opposed to the earlier MRW600) have a mic and speaker so you can actually use it (like a tiny Zoolander phone) to take a call when headphones aren't plugged in. FM radio, too.

  • Deeme Eonad

    Just bought the galaxy buds
    Made a phone call with it my freind couldn’t here me assumed I still didnt figure out how to u use it yet
    Then saw this video and it made sense

  • Disruptic

    I have the buds and I called my friend and told him to record it and it sounded as good as my phone's mic if not better

  • TheBlackJacksItalia

    We did it reddit, we found the only human on earth that thinks airpods sound better than galaxy buds.

  • Jordan Luers

    Headphones do not HAVE to take calls… that’s what a phone is for… they DO need to play audio and be comfortable

  • Woojiniee 2001

    So far, most reviews I have watched from far more credible reviews state the the Galaxy Buds are either better than Airpods or equal to Airpods. But then again this is the Verge. If it ain't Apple, they hate it.

  • Karl Green

    I wish I saw this before I bought these SAMSUNG GALAXY BUDS. I think you're spot on about the mic quality. For music they're adequate to good. But phone call quality is not good from my experience so far.

  • www

    I returned my Buds because the sound kept skipping when I had my phone in my pocket and was walking. The kid in the shop told me it was my phones Bluetooth which was the issue. Buyer beware.

  • andres salgado

    I had the 65t but the left one went out. Now I’m on Jaybird vista and I love them. It’s like the 65t but refined in every way.

  • Caleb Garcia

    Now I the review was pretty harsh overall regarding audio quality is ok is not excellent but your not dissatisfied with the sound quality and they are comfortable the only thing in my opinion they are not good for taking calls but everything else is good

  • Crypto Jihadi

    LOVE the buds BUT the mic was useless for phone calls. It wasn't until the last upgrade where they are FINALLY usable to make a call, but still not great. Too bad. They are perfect otherwise.

  • Danny's Vlogs

    For Samsung users there's a Dolby Atmos sound thing that can enhance the audio on these bad boys. The mic is fine as long as there's no wind blowing at you. Everyone can hear me fine and other than that the battery life is pretty long.

  • Oshri Maidanik

    HORRIBLE PRODUCT! The galaxy buds, it has a major Bluetooth connection issue, choppy sound at the moment u put it in the pocket. The Samsung galaxy buds is an inferior product compared to 3 years ago Bluetooth headphones. It has major connectivity issues! I try it with Samsung s9, redmi note7, oneplus6. and with 3 different in-store Samsung galaxy buds. DO NOT BUY!

  • Joshua Lucas

    This emphasizes the importance of crowd-sourcing opinions. It's wrong, but it's still an opinion. Respect her perspective y'all.

  • grass fadri

    What can i do if i want to talk in a game, but my friends can't hear me so well? Is there somewhere in the settings a controll to manage that?

  • Andrew Cisneros

    I have some Google pixel buds and people have told me my audio quality on calls is pretty good. I'd like to hear them compared to Galaxy's mic.

  • Emily Gessner

    I had the have a and then changed it to the buds. It was a great desicion, I think the jabra is too expensive for what it's worth.

  • Rafal Iwanczuk

    I actually had a very different experience with the Buds. I haven't tried a ton of similar products, since I'm mostly used to bigger headphones. However, I also needed a more practical and discreet option for when I'm not at home.

    A friend of mine had purchased the AirPods, so I took the opportunity to try them out. My curiosity quickly faded out, as I discovered they weren't much more than wireless EarPods, for me personally. The sound quality is good, better than the Galaxy Buds, but actually less enjoyable because of the amount of ambient noise they let inside. Also, the fact they don't fit my ears properly is stressful; it's not like they fall off all the time, but the're not secure enough to make me forget about them.

    And that's really what I was looking for. I needed something small and lightweight, which sounded good and made the world quieter. You see, I have been using the AKG-tuned earphones included with my S9+ for the past year. I've been mostly okay with them, but I had two major complaints: the cable, and the fit. The cable is obvious; however, their fit is the biggest issue: I found those earphones to be hard to fit correctly and create a perfect seal. Even then, if they happen to move ever so slightly, it's not easy to lose this seal – which makes all bass disappear entirely.

    None of these things happened with the Galaxy Buds. Super easy to put in my ears, the seal is flawless and they just stay there. Their sound quality isn't remarkable, but it's better than I expected from a product this small and relatively inexpensive. Then, all features just add up to the experience; they have more than enough battery life for may daily usage, and I can charge them wirelessly. The case is small enough to fit in that small right pocket in all my jeans, no tangled wires at all, instant pairing. Microphones are bad, but I'd confidently say that phone calls aren't among the most used features on my phone, so I wouldn't really have noticed – and G Assistant still understands me.

    I my day to day life, I do really forget they're even there. I mean, I know I can get better sounding wired earphones, or even full size headphones for the same price. However, I don't know of any other product that gives me this level of versatility.

  • Kwan Kwan

    You should try the Sony ear duo or the Sony SBH82D ~ especially for the comfortness n good quality sound , the mic really good.

  • aswarmer

    I got told the mic was going to be great, and it's the feature I NEED…

    … I'm already a bother to repeat myself, and first time accuracy is very important to what I do.
    I'm probably going to return them, but don't know what to replace them with. I guess I could wait for Gen 2?

  • ToeNailBreaker

    I was debating what to but with my $150 Samsung credit for preordering the Note10+ . Thanks to this video I went with the Gear Watch 46mm LTE, nough said.

  • Amee Divine

    I may be a little late coming into this discussion but here's my view. So far I've used the Airpods and as much as I love my iPhone, the airpods didn't really cut for me. I don't like the design of it to be honest, I guess my impulsiveness got in the way and so I bought it. I also did not like that it's not a bud. They always, always tend to slip or fall off my ear especially when I'm chewing or moving too much.. so instead, I bought tips and ear anchors thingy just to make sure they don't fall off but the hassle of removing them after each use is ridiculous. I love the fact that the buds come with interchangeable tips (kudos!) As for the sound quality, it's almost the same between Airpods and the Buds and honestly when she tested it on the video earlier, it was not that bad. But hey, in this day an age, people text way more than calling. Oh, I'm using these buds with my Oppo Reno Z because I hate Samsung phones. Sure, they are nice to look at and stuff but after prolonged use, the lag issue ALWAYS comes back.. no matter what Samsung model it is. I don't know why, but that happened. I'm gonna test this with my iPhone too because, why not. As long as I get to hear my music while I work, I'm good. I think if someone is looking for a more superior sound quality, wired earphones will give you that.

  • WestCoast Michael

    Another puff piece for Apple. Hey, I like Apple and Samsung, they are both superb companiesand I float between the two as I get bored with their respective systems. But I tire of the Verge bashing all that is not Apple. And judging from the 1/3 down votes, I would seem to be not alone.

  • Justin Burgess

    I just got mine yest and I have the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and all I can say is these are amazing! I go almost 24/7 with headphones on and too not even realize their in your ears and you can forget about them is huge and you wouldnt think they would put out the sound quality compared to other similar types of headphones cause of how small they are but I was shocked and I have a pair of dre beats solo and couldnt believe how close to being of the same quality they were when you fig their around $150 cheaper! I highly recommend these even if your not using them on a samsung product they are still great and you cant really tell the difference.

  • Dean Hayden

    I've been using the Galaxy buds for a while and I haven't experienced these issues the sound is great and the bluetooth connection is strong i will say the call quality isn't the best but it isn't the worst when on the phone I never get any complaints there comfy and light and easy to use when it comes to it these a perfect earbud out there for everybody just have to find the right one

  • Toxic Word

    I own a pair off galaxy buds and i can say the mic quality is not good. But the audio quality is very good in my opinion. I use it with my Galaxy note 8 and it sounds better than the AKG earphones i got in the box.

  • Rampi Sarmiento

    This review is isn't fair. I had zero issues. And completely blow everything else. Out of the water. How can you be disappointed with these for $130. It's more than justified that price.
    Only thing I agree on is the swipe VS tap. Zero Bluetooth issue. Calls were clear. There's something wrong with your set up.

  • Antonio Claudio Michael

    I'm still rocking the Motorola rokr s9 s10 and s11 headsets for music I think the jabra sounded better when you were doing the talking demonstration better then both the air pods and galaxy buds

  • endless nameless

    I have an iPhone XR and I use the galaxy buds. I actually absolutely love these and the software is FAR superior to AirPods, not to mention that they actually stay in your ears. I’ve literally never had a problem with latency or dropping.

  • byron346

    Awesome idea using the audio recorder. Pretty useful for me! Now, I read there has been some software updates, telling your opinion a out those would be nice

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