Samsung offers four models of Galaxy Buds headphones, all of which are true wireless. The models include the Buds Live, which doesn’t block the ear canal and allows you to hear your surroundings without the need for microphones, the classic in-ear Buds+, and the highest model, the Buds Pro headphones. The Buds Pro headphones offer two levels of ANC and IPX7 water resistance, as well as surround sound and the ability to track the listener’s head position using a gyroscope and accelerometer. The newest addition to the series is the Galaxy Buds 2, which are the smallest and lightest Samsung headphones and have many useful functions for everyday use. In many ways, they are similar to the Buds Pro. Many believe that the Galaxy Buds 2 will be the best option for the widest group of people, as long as they are willing to buy at this price range.
Main advantages and disadvantages of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Advantages of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:
- Small and light case
- Each earphone weighs only 5 grams
- The headphones are comfortable and do not fall out of the ears
- Intuitive and hassle-free operation
- Sufficiently effective ANC
- Good quality of voice calls
- Ambient sound mode can be useful
- Battery life is good for this type of headphones
- Wired and wireless charging
Disadvantages of Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:
- only IPX2 standard
- Noticeable desynchronization of sound and image on PC (I did not notice it on a Samsung smartphone)
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 comes in a compact case that is always white on the outside, regardless of the color of the headphones. The case features a USB C port and a charging indicator on the exterior. Upon opening the case, you will find two magnetic earbuds and an additional indicator light that signals when the headphones are in pairing mode. The case has no buttons, and the headphones can be operated with touch controls.
Along with the headphones, the box also includes a USB C to USB A cable and different sizes of rubber ear tips for a comfortable fit. The case has its own built-in battery which is necessary for charging the earbuds. It can charge the headphones up to three times before needing to be charged itself.
The case with the headphones weighs a total of 52 grams, with each earbud only weighing 5 grams. In other words, the combined weight of the case and headphones is similar to that of a wristwatch, such as the Watch 4 Classic, without the strap. You can easily carry the case and headphones in your pocket without feeling weighed down, making it a convenient way to have your headphones on the go.
These headphones are truly wireless, meaning that each earphone functions separately and is not connected by any cable or headband. You can even use a single earphone and leave the other one in the case, especially when taking voice calls.
Samsung claims that the Galaxy Buds 2 are the smallest and lightest headphones they’ve ever created. The weight and size of the headphones themselves are among the smallest and lightest. For those who are sensitive to the weight of in-ear headphones or would prefer them to be as unnoticeable as possible while wearing them, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is an excellent choice.
Each headphone features a two-way design where a different membrane is responsible for high and low tones. Each earphone has three microphones – two external and one inside the housing. Each headphone also has a proximity sensor that detects whether or not the headphones are inserted into the ear.
The comfort level of wearing headphones is a highly individual matter since the design of the ear canal varies slightly for everyone. In my case, I didn’t feel any discomfort or fatigue. I only had to adjust the position in my ear sometimes, but not very often. I have never experienced the earphone falling out of my ear its while using it. In my opinion, they are very comfortable to use. The headphones are also useful during sports and when worn around the neck, for example, with a scarf, they do not get caught or fall out.
My only comment on the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, which are great for everyday use and sports, is the relatively low IPX2 sealing standard.
Smart functions, applications, pairing
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are headphones designed specifically for use with the Samsung ecosystem. When you open the case for the first time, your phone will immediately ask you to pair the headphones without the need for any manual intervention. Once paired, you can view information about the charge level of each earphone whenever you open the case. You can also view the charge level and operating mode of the headphones on the Buds application on the Galaxy Watch 4, without the need for manual pairing. Surprisingly, even on a Windows desktop, you are offered a quick pairing option, just like on the phone.
By default, the Galaxy Wearable app operates the headphones, just like the watch. However, you can also check the charging of the headphones and case, turn off touch functions, and switch noise cancellation to audible ambient sound from the Bluetooth menu and connection settings for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 headphones.
If you want access to all the functions, settings, and software updates, you will need the Galaxy Wearable application. This is where the “find my headphones” feature comes in. When you remove the headphones from the packaging, you can choose whether the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 should actively reduce ambient noise or amplify ambient sound so you can hear what is happening around you.
You can enable touch functions, and by default, a single tap will pause or resume a song, a double tap will go to the next song, and a triple tap will go to the previous one. Touching and holding the earpiece switches noise cancellation to ambient sound, but you can also turn on the Bixby assistant and increase or decrease the volume. The assigned function may be different for the left and right earphones.
The settings offer various equalizer options, including normal, bass boost, gentle, dynamic, clean, and treble boost. You can also choose to have notifications read aloud through the headphones. Additionally, you can decide whether to enable ambient sound amplification during voice calls.
In the Labs section of the settings, you can find experimental options. One recent update added a feature where you can control the volume by double-tapping the edge of the earpiece. This is a useful addition as it doesn’t interfere with the other gestures and functions available.
The touch controls on the headphones work smoothly and consistently. I have never accidentally triggered any of the gestures, except for occasionally pausing the playback while adjusting the earphones in my ear. The gestures are easy to remember and don’t cause any mistakes.
When you take out one earphone, the music doesn’t pause, but it does when you remove both. To resume playback, you must touch the earpiece as it won’t happen automatically. I personally prefer this solution as it avoids frequent unwanted interactions.
However, if you pair the headphones with a device that isn’t a Samsung Galaxy or doesn’t have the Galaxy Wearable app installed, you won’t have access to settings or software updates. Nonetheless, all the touch functions on the headphones will work the same. If you’ve previously set up a gesture on another device, such as touching and holding to turn ANC on or off, it will still work. Just keep in mind that quick pairing with other devices won’t work, and you’ll need to manually enter the Bluetooth menu and enable device search. To pair the headphones, open the case and hold your finger for three seconds on both headphones simultaneously to enter pairing mode. Nonetheless, I’m glad that all the touch functions on the headphones work consistently, regardless of the device it is paired with.
Basic features and sound
In terms of sound quality, the headphones are good for music-focused environments and very good for everyday use while on the go, such as listening to music on the street or on public transport. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 offers a pleasurable listening experience.
The active noise cancellation is of good quality. It is particularly helpful when on a busy street, making it easier to focus on the audio. However, it is not the best ANC available, especially compared to over-ear models. Nonetheless, it is adequate for everyday use and performs its job effectively.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 comes with an interesting ambient sound mode that allows you to conduct conversations without taking off the headphones. The microphones pick up ambient sounds and transmit them to the headphones, making you aware of your surroundings and any approaching vehicles. There are three levels of sensitivity, and the mode works well in most situations except for windy conditions. When cycling, it’s best to use this mode only at a leisurely pace because strong winds amplify the gusts and drown out other sounds.
During voice calls, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 work exceptionally well. Interlocutors reported hearing me clearly, and I could even carry on a conversation while cycling, even when the ambient sound mode was drowned out by the wind. Of course, gusty winds are always a big problem, and the one-earpiece mode is ideal for such situations.
I didn’t experience any connectivity issues while using the headphones. They worked perfectly right out of the box, and both earpieces worked well together without any sound delays or hearing sound in only one ear. Additionally, the headphones had good distance coverage, and I didn’t lose connection to the phone throughout the entire apartment and two walls, which is impressive considering the connectivity issues that some True Wireless models have had in the past, especially in cities and outdoors.
As for the sound delay, I didn’t observe any desynchronization when using the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in conjunction with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 smartphone. However, when I connected the headphones to my PC, I noticed a three-tenths-of-a-second delay between the sound and image, making it noticeable when watching videos or movies where the actors’ lips and speech did not match.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 headphones can be charged either wirelessly or with a USB C cable. When it comes to battery life, Samsung claims that the headphones can last for 5 hours with active noise reduction (ANC) mode and 7.5 hours without it. The headphones can be fully recharged three times with the case. This means that, with charging from the case included, the headphones can last for up to 20 hours with ANC and 29 hours without it. In terms of voice calls with exclusive ANC, the headphones can last for 3.5 hours on their own and up to 13 hours with charging from the case.
Samsung also states that just 3 minutes of charging is enough to provide 40 minutes of playback, 5 minutes of charging is enough for 60 minutes of playback, and 10 minutes of charging is enough for 150 minutes of playback. These charging times are for non-ANC mode.
Based on my personal experience, the manufacturer’s claims regarding battery life hold up. With normal use, it is difficult to completely drain the headphones in one go. It would require a longer journey to do so. Despite their small size and weight, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 headphones provide comfortable and sufficient battery life. However, if someone needs a longer battery life, any type of headphones other than True Wireless will work several times longer.
These Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 headphones are perfect for everyday use. They are not difficult to operate, have no connectivity issues, and all their functions work smoothly and predictably. Additionally, they are extremely small, lightweight, and comfortable to wear. The headphones perform excellently when listening to music and making voice calls, and their ANC feature comes in handy when you’re in close proximity to a busy street. In everyday use, you can’t go wrong with them. I recommend the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 to any smartphone user looking for True Wireless headphones. If you are also in the Samsung ecosystem and own a Galaxy smartphone, tablet, or watch, you will benefit from quick and convenient pairing and switching between devices.
If you don’t need extra intelligent features, ANC, or True Wireless headphones, you can find similar-sounding in-ear headphones at a lower price. However, they belong to a different product category. With Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, everything works intuitively and seamlessly, just as it should. I have no significant reservations about them, apart from a noticeable delay after connecting to a PC.
We love: they are small and light
We don’t like: lag compared to the PC image
Who is Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 for :
- For those who use the Samsung ecosystem
- For those looking for exceptionally light, small, and comfortable headphones
- For those who want to talk via headphones
Who is not Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 for :
- Not necessarily for those who want to use them mainly with a PC
- Not for those who want very long battery life
- Not for people who don’t like in-ear headphones