Samsung just unveiled two new foldable phones, the revamped Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, and the Galaxy Buds 2 wireless earbuds in its August Unpacked event. And, today I’m going to share my experience and impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. But, before we start, let’s take a look at the specs of the Galaxy Buds 2 real quick.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Specifications:
- Earbud: 17 x 20.9 x 21.1mm; 5.0 gram each
- Charging Case: 50.2 x 50.0 x 27.8mm; 41.2 grams
- Color options: Graphite, White, Olive, Lavender
- Chipset: BES2500ZP
- Sound driver: Dual-driver
- Audio codecs: AAC, SBC, SSC
- Noise cancellation: Yes, ANC with Ambient mode
- Mic: Yes, 3 + Voice Pickup Unit
- Connectivity: Bluetooth v5.2
- IP rating: Yes, IPX2 (earbuds only)
- Playback Time:
- Earbuds: Up to 5/7.5 hours (ANC on/off)
- With case: Up to 20/29 hours (ANC on/off)
- Talk Time:
- Earbuds: Up to 3.5 hours (ANC on/off)
- With case: Up to 13/14 hours (ANC on/off)
- Control: Touch-based control
- Charging: Fast Wired Charging, Qi Wireless Charging
- Companion app: Samsung Wearable (Android | iOS)
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Impression:
Design and Comfort
- Lightweight, minimalistic design
- IPX2 water resistance
With that out of the way, let’s now talk about the earbuds themselves. Though Buds 2 is supposed to be a follow-up to 2020’s Galaxy Buds Plus, it would be pretty fair to put it against the more expensive Buds Pro, since their spec sheets reveal a lot of parallels between the two. So, I’ll also be bringing up the Buds Pro time and again in this quick tour of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.
Pocketable and elegant case
Starting with the charging case, the Buds 2 comes in this pocketable design that weighs just 41.5 grams. It has a glossy all-white exterior which makes it prone to scratches and smudges. But on the inside, you get a matte finish that matches the color of earbuds. You can choose from four colors options here – White, Black, Purple, and Green.
If all this looks familiar, that’s because the Buds Pro comes in a similar-looking case as well. Still, the new case is lighter at just 41.5 grams, and thus, more portable and prone to scratches and smudges.
Moving on to the earbuds, they are pretty lightweight, weighing just 5 grams each—so light that you might forget about them having in your ear once you start grooving to the music.
The ear tips fit securely and throughout my limited usage so far, it hasn’t invited any concerns regarding discomfort either. I also like how Buds 2 doesn’t stick out much from the ears.
Once you get accustomed to the Galaxy Buds 2, resorting back to Buds Pro is not easy. Buds Pro is heavier and thus, uncomfortable to listen to for long hours, at least for me. On the other hand, I did not find its fit as good as the Buds 2.
However, I would not suggest using them during a workout or other activity where the earbuds are vulnerable to humidity since Buds 2 only has an IPX2 rating contrary to IPX7 certification on the Buds Pro.
- Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity
- Samsung Wearable App
In terms of connectivity, these earbuds enjoy the newer Bluetooth 5.2 protocol—opposed to Bluetooth 5.0 on the more expensive Galaxy Buds Pro. As expected, the Bud 2 pairs with the Galaxy Wearable app, which also lets you play around with different ANC modes, control options, and audio presets.
It retains the Auto Switch feature that was first introduced with the Buds Pro. Essentially, this is like a multi-point connection but is exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy ecosystem of devices. Using this, the Buds 2 can quickly switch between Galaxy tablets, smartwatches, and mobile phones.
Like with other entries in the Galaxy Buds umbrella, the Buds 2 also has touch-enabled controls. You can play/pause music, skip a track, or return to the previous one with a single, double, and triple tap, respectively.
It also supports touch-and-hold gestures for quickly switching between ANC and ambient mode. Inside the Galaxy Wearable app, as I noted earlier, you can even configure it for volume control and to wake up the voice assistant.
Moreover, Galaxy Buds Pro also has a tap-to-edge control that was later added through a software update. However, it is yet not available in the Buds 2. Even if Samsung pushes it later through the OTA update, I don’t think it will be quite effective as the curved design of Galaxy Buds 2 makes it difficult to reach the edge.
Little Slow to react
Nonetheless, I did notice a slight delay between my touch input and earbuds registering it. However, there has not been a single instance where Buds 2 has failed to register my touch input so far.
Also, the convex structure of the touch-sensitive area means your fingers naturally settle to the surface without any difficulty.
- Dual-driver setup (tweeter + woofer)
Getting to audio, the Galaxy Buds 2, like the Buds Pro and Buds Plus, boasts a dual-driver setup with a dedicated tweeter and woofer. As for the sound quality, I haven’t had the time to thoroughly test them yet. But listening to a couple of songs, there are a few things I would want to point out.
Having tested the budget Realme Buds Air 2 Neo, I could notice the wider soundstage of the Buds 2 right away. In addition, the instrumental sound separation is quite good as well. However, these earbuds ultimately won’t amount to much when compared to premium TWS earbuds like the Buds Pro.
I also found Galaxy Buds 2’s sound signature to be favoring the highs as the audio comes off relatively brighter even under the default EQ. The bass is present, although is not as thumpy as many would like. Other than that, the audio quality is reminiscent of the expensive Buds Pro. But let me once again remind you that I’m reserving my final verdict on these earbuds for the full review.
- 3-mics + Voice Pickup Unit
- 3-three level Ambient sound
As aforementioned, these are ANC-capable earbuds. I tested them on my commute to the office and found them to be fairly effective. While I could hear the vehicle’s engine rumble quite clearly, it managed to subdue the noise of the surrounding traffic greatly.
There’s also the Ambient Sound mode, which is Samsung’s take on transparency mode. Since Buds 2 lacks Voice Detection like the Buds Pro, you will have to manually turn on the Ambient Mode every time.
I also found that human voices sound unnaturally robotic when turning them on. But this has always been how Samsung chooses to implement ambient audio, so complaining about it isn’t going to do any good. Furthermore, you can choose from low, moderate, and high ambient modes—although I must say I haven’t noticed that big of a difference between the three.
- 61mAh cell on each bud
- 472mAh on charging case
Moving on, each earbud packs a 61mAh battery and boasts a total playback time of 5 hours with ANC turned on and 7.5 hours with ANC turned off. The 472mAh battery on the case takes those numbers to 20 and 29 hours, respectively. Similarly, the front houses a LED indicator for charging while there’s a USB Type-C port on the back. Samsung has even included fast charging and wireless charging support here.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Impression: Conclusion
In my limited time with the Galaxy Buds 2, I’m quite impressed by their overall quality—with their lightweight design and comfortable fit especially standing out. The sound and ANC quality also seems to be on par with the more expensive Galaxy Buds Pro. However, we will be coming with a detailed comparison between these two earbuds quite soon, so stay tuned for more.
- Meanwhile, check out our early impressions of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.