Technophile

The Galaxy Buds+ are a big improvement over the original

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on June 17, 2020 Published on June 17, 2020

It’s that time of the year when last year’s buds will have flowered and faded and new buds will start appearing. Well, even if they don’t flower, new buds are coming from all directions. The ever so popular Galaxy Buds now have a new avatar, the Galaxy Buds+.

Looking at the original Buds and the Buds+ together, you will almost not see any difference and that’s a good thing. The old Buds were popular because they provided a good and comfortable fit and overall worked well. They were also not very expensive and that tradition continues with the Buds+.

In terms of physical appearance, other than the fact that my older pair of Buds was white and the new Buds+ are a shiny black, there is very little to tell them apart. In fact, they even weigh about the same. Just about a gram heavier than the original, the Buds+ adds so much more in terms of battery-life and in fact a dual driver. More about that in a minute.

While the Buds+ are also made of all plastic, they do not look or feel cheap in any way. In fact, the shiny black and the case gives them a nice overall look and feel. Like with the original, it comes with three sets of ear-tips and wings as well. Getting a good seal is one of the important factors for a true wireless headset or earbuds and it is easily achieved with the Buds+. Once you have a good fit, much of the ambient noise around you is cut off, giving you passive noise isolation. In fact, other than being on an aircraft, this set would work for a lot of people for general use and save money in the bargain because good audio quality plus active noise-cancellation does cost more.

The Buds+ are comfortable to wear for long durations and while they are not waterproof, they are IPX2 rated so will suffice for most workouts; just that they cannot be submerged or taken into a shower.

Long battery life

Coming back to the physical appearance of the Buds+ vs. the Buds, inside the case where it indicates the left/right buds there is now a little silicone bump which almost looks like a micro-switch but is actually just a marking which is more prominent. The internals have changed dramatically. First of all the battery has been increased: the new battery along with other improvements now gives you almost 11 hours of playback. Also, just less than five minutes in the case and you get another hour’s worth of listening. The case of course can be charged with a USB-C charger or via a Qi charger wirelessly.

The single most important aspect of a headphone is sound: the Galaxy Buds+ have benefited in that department by Samsung owned AKG. While the original Buds were also tuned by AKG, the Buds+ have in addition seen thee implementation of a dual driver. This makes a big difference in the sound quality with the earphones delivering a much deeper bass and rich treble at the same time. The Buds+ also have an additional microphone, making an improvement for voice calls as well. When compared with the older Buds, the sound does most certainly feel richer and in many ways more popular. It is the kind of sound that will suit many users. For me, the old sound had less bass and for usage that I had it was just perfect.

Finally, it is interesting to see Samsung providing features and upgrades via the supporting app for the Buds and Buds+ . One of these is Spotify integration. The gestures on the buds can be user-configured to launch Spotify. Very convenient indeed: leave the phone in your pocket and launch your music by a long-press on the left or right bud, whichever you decide to configure. Additionally, ambient modes can also be tweaked via the app.

I find the low setting for ambient sound is more than enough to keep you aware of your environment while on a run or a walk. It does enhance sounds in a strangely clear manner almost improving your hearing. Samsung has also introduced a “labs” section in the app where new features should appear. While there is also an app for iOS, the features tend to be targeted to Android phones. Spotify integration has not yet made it into the iOS app, but it works fine with Android phones. I do believe that when using a Samsung device you get even more features but did not have a device to test it with.

Price: ₹ 11,990/-

Pros: Familiar design, great battery-life, comfortable, good sound, good VFM

Cons: No multipoint support, no aptX, not waterproof

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Published on June 17, 2020
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