Let’s get straight to the point about the Galaxy Buds+. They’re not perfect, but if you want a pair of wireless earbuds that will last all day (and long into the night) without needing a refill, stop reading this review and hit the buy button.
Samsung has focused on the battery life with its new Galaxy Buds+ and the result can only be described as epic. Once full, these earbuds will keep going for over 10 hours and even when they do run low a quick charge from the bundled carry case will give you another 11 hours of instant playtime.
As a comparison, Apple’s new AirPods Pro only last around four hours before the alert begins ringing in your ears that power is getting critically low.
That sounds good on paper, but it’s the current lockdown that has truly highlighted just how great the Galaxy Buds+ can be. We’ve found ourselves chained to our kitchen table for hours on end while we write about the latest gadgets and the Galaxy Buds+ have never run out.
During normal working hours, we’d usually be removing the buds from our ears and refilling them on a regular basis as we head into meetings, or chat with colleagues.
But that’s not happening right now and the Buds+ simply aren’t fazed by the frankly ridiculously long hours of usage. It’s mightily impressive from Samsung and if battery life is your main concern we really wouldn’t look anywhere else.
Other things that make the Buds+ worth your money is a very comfortable fit, easy connection to your smartphone (yes, that includes the iPhone) and a unique app which allows you to change and tinker with numerous audio settings, including Ambient sound and how much bass or treble you want boomed into your ears.
The mini charging case, that adds those extra hours of usage, is also well-built with its glossy finish offering a satisfying feel when you hold it in your hands and boosting the battery is simple as the buds snap snuggly into the case – something that can’t be said for some of the more fiddly rivals.
Of course, these are wireless earbuds after all, so another equally vital feature is how they sound. Generally, we’ve had no complaints with the Buds+ offering a decent level of audio quality. If you’ve been using the wired headphones bundled with your phone before this, you’ll be perfectly happy with the way these sound.
The 2-way speaker system powered by the team at AKG packs plenty of punch and you get a decent level of depth no matter what your taste in music.
However, place them up against Apple’s Pro offering and you suddenly realise things are not in the same league. Not only do the AirPods Pro offer noise cancellation, which means you get a fully uninterrupted experience, but they also offer a much cleaner sound.
The Buds+ bring slightly more bass to your ears but this can lead to songs sounding muddy and certainly not as crystal clear as when listening on the more expensive Apple rivals.
Along with the audio being ever so slightly off song, another niggle we have is with the controls on the sides of the Buds+.
Although Samsung has been clever by allowing you change the function of these sensors with the companion Buds app for your phone, we’ve found them really frustrating to use and have now given up trying to make them work.
The touch sensors are often erratic – sometimes leaping into action with the slightest touch and then not working at all when you decide to press them again.
Another bugbear is that, unlike Apple’s AirPods, it’s not that easy to connect the Buds+ to numerous devices. If you only use them with your smartphone then this probably won’t be of any concern but for those who like to switch between their PC, tablet and music player it can become a serious frustration.
One final thing to note is that Samsung has stuck with an IPX2 rating. That’s compared to some other firms offering IPX4 or better. If you work in an office all day then this won’t be a worry but you might want to look elsewhere if you want some earbuds for a sweaty workout at the gym.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ review: Final Verdict
If you want a pair of earbuds that offer endless battery life, the Galaxy Buds+ should be top of your (online) shopping list.
These things just keep on going and make Apple’s costlier AirPods Pro look mightily inferior when it comes to sheer battery power. They also offer a comfortable fit, clever charging case and a pretty affordable £159 price tag – especially when compared to the £249 it costs to own Apple’s AirPods Pro.
Sadly, for all positives, Samsung’s new Buds+ aren’t perfect and some might be annoyed that the South Korean firm hasn’t added noise cancelling to its wireless buds.
Although battery life is important when placed against the AirPods Pro there’s simply is no comparison when it comes to audio quality with Apple winning hands down. Admittedly, the Pros cost a lot more than the Buds+ but there’s no reason why Samsung couldn’t have offered a standard pair of Buds+ and a more premium option with noise cancellation.
Overall Samsung has created a solid audio product that can’t be beaten if you want to listen to music without worrying when they’ll need a refill.