Launched together with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series smartphones and thus has flown under the radar, the Galaxy Buds+ true wireless in-ear headphones (available on Amazon, Lazada and Shopee) is the successor to last year’s Buds.
With its “plus” moniker, you probably can guess the Buds+, which costs $30 more than the original, offers incremental upgrades.
In terms of design though, it looks exactly like the original Buds. The earbuds still have a minimalist design with a triangular touchpad on their exterior and are housed in the same pillbox-shaped charging case. But they ditched the Buds’ matte texture for a glossy one.
Most of the upgrades are under the shell. First, the Buds+ features a dual-driver speaker system with a woofer and tweeter, instead of a single driver of the original, for improved audio quality.
The Buds+ also has one more outer microphone than the Buds, which has one outer and one inner microphone. The two outer microphones of the Buds+ work with the inner microphone to block out ambient sound during calls.
Also, Samsung has managed to squeeze in more battery life – the Buds+ lasts a whopping 11 hours – to nearly double the six hours of the original. Its wireless charging case also gets a bump up to 270mAh, from the original’s 252mAh, which doubles the Buds+’s battery life to 22 hours.
The Buds+ comes with its own dedicated iOS app. The app does lack some features such as Spotify launch, but most features, such as firmware upgrades and equaliser settings, that are found on the Android’s Galaxy Wearable app are available on the Galaxy Buds+ iOS app.
The Buds+ also sports a new blue colour in addition to the black and white colour options.
Three pairs of different-sized ear-tips and ear-wings are included. After finding the right-sized pairs, the earbuds stayed put in my ears during a jog and even when I tried shaking my head vigorously.
Plus, the Buds+ is lightweight and really comfortable to wear. I wore the earbuds all day and forgot I was wearing them. And its slim profile – there’s nothing glaring protruding out of your ears – and sleek looks are sure to attract admiring glances.
However, the Bud+ does not come with active noise cancellation (ANC), which is probably its major downer. While the earbuds have a good seal that can block out most of the distractions in the office and in cafes, it is not as sound-proof as ANC in-ear headphones.
But conversely, you can let in even more ambient noise by using the app – useful for when you are jogging outside and want to be alert to your surroundings.
The Buds+ has a water-resistant rating of IPX2, which means it is only sweat resistant. You probably don’t want to wear it under a drizzle.
In terms of audio quality, I found the bass more punchy than the original’s. Vocals are sharp with different instruments of a track sounding distinct and clear. It delivers a very balanced audio output that will suit most listeners.
Call quality is crystal clear – I could be heard loud and clear at the other end whether using my iPhone 11 Pro Max or a Samsung Galaxy Note10+.
Probably the best part of the Bud+ is its amazing battery life – 11 hours of music playback, as advertised.
In comparison, the Apple AirPods Pro lasts 4 hours 30 minutes while the Sony WF-1000XM3 goes to six hours, albeit both figures are with the headphones’ ANC function turned on, which eats up more battery.
Even if compared to its closest rival, the Jabra Elite 75t, which does not have ANC and lasts for around 7.5 hours, the battery life of the Buds+ is still amazing.
But the Buds+ lacks Elite 75t’s ability to be paired with two devices at the same time, which can be convenient as you can connect to your laptop for work and to your smartphone to receive calls.
– Best-in-class battery life
– Improved audio quality over its predecessor
– Great call quality
– Really comfortable
– Dedicated iOS app
– No active noise cancellation
– Cannot be paired to two devices at the same time
– Only IPX2 water-resistance rating
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.0
WEIGHT: 6.3g (each earbud), 39.6g (charging case)
BATTERY LIFE: 5/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
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