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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Feb 27, 2020 at 07:22 am
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.7
Neutral Sound
7.7
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.9
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are a decent improvement over 2019's Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless. They look and feel identical, and have the same great premium and sleek design. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is almost perfectly neutral and well-balanced, and their companion app is now available for iOS as well as Android; giving you access to five different EQ presets to customize their sound. Their 13.5-hour battery life from a single charge is very impressive, especially for a pair of truly wireless headphones, so they should easily last you an entire day without needing to charge them in their case. Unfortunately, their touch-sensitive controls may not be for everyone, as you may accidentally press buttons or have difficulty using them while wearing gloves.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are decent truly wireless in-ears for mixed usage. Their impressive battery life should easily last an entire day of use, and they do an alright job at blocking out background noise. They're quite small and lightweight and don't enter the ear canal too deeply, so most people should find them quite comfortable even during extended listening sessions. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is well-suited for a wide variety of content and genres, and they're even stable enough to wear while working out.

7.7 Neutral Sound

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are a good pair of headphones for neutral sound listening. Their out-of-the-box sound profile is extremely well-balanced and neutral-sounding. Unfortunately, their passive soundstage is bad, though this is standard for closed-back in-ear headphones.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.7 Commute/Travel

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are good headphones for commuting. While they won't help much with blocking out the low rumble of plane or bus engines, they're quite comfortable so you should be able to wear them during longer flights without feeling any fatigue. Their 13.5-hour battery life is also quite impressive, so you shouldn't have to charge them during a long travel day.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
8.3 Sports/Fitness

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are great headphones for sports. They're quite comfortable and feel very stable in the ear, even during more strenuous workouts. They come with three different sizes of stability fins and silicone tips, to help you find a good, secure fit. They're also rated IPX2 for very light water resistance, though this isn't something we currently test for.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
7.0 Office

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are decent headphones for office use. They're comfortable enough to wear all day, and their 13.5-hour battery life means you should be able to wear them on your daily commute, as well as a full day in the office without needing to recharge them. Unfortunately, they aren't the best at blocking out background noises, though they do a great job with background chatter and the sounds from an AC unit, which is important for office use.

See our Office recommendations
5.9 Wireless Gaming

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ aren't recommended for wireless gaming. They're Bluetooth-only, so they aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, the latency will likely be too high for gaming.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
5.8 Wired Gaming

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are Bluetooth-only headphones that can't be used wired.

6.6 Phone Calls

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are okay for phone calls. Their microphone's recording quality is unremarkable, and like with most truly wireless headphones, your voice like won't sound too clear or understandable. On the upside, the microphone does a surprisingly decent job with noise handling, so even in moderately noisy environments, people should be able to hear you somewhat clearly.

  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.7 Neutral Sound
  • 7.7 Commute/Travel
  • 8.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.9 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.8 Wired Gaming
  • 6.6 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Impressive 13.5-hour battery life.
  • Comfortable and stable design.
  • Well-balanced sound profile is well-suited for a wide variety of content and genres.
Cons
  • Only one additional charge from charging case falls short of competition.
  • Disappointing control scheme with touch-sensitive controls.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ look identical to the previous version. They're quite small and don't protrude out of the ears as much as some other truly wireless in-ear options. The earbuds have a glossy plastic finish and look quite premium. While they're available in black, white, red, or light blue, we purchased the white version which have an iridescent-like effect on the touch-sensitive surface.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus feel the same in your ears as the first version, which is to say that they're quite comfortable. They shouldn't put pressure on your inner ear and don't enter your ear canal too deeply. They're also very lightweight so you should be able to wear them for extended periods and barely even notice they're there.

5.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

Update 03/13/2020: Upon receiving feedback from users, we confirmed that the app contains "Lab Features" which are experimental features that allow you to enable new controls and features. These include the ability to use the edge of the touch controls on the headphones to adjust your volume. This review has been updated to reflect these changes. The control scheme of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus is slightly disappointing. Their easy-to-use touch-sensitive controls mean that you don't have to push the earbuds further into your ear when you press a button, which is nice, but unfortunately, it makes it easy to accidentally press a button, and difficult to use the controls while wearing gloves. The headphones give a bit of audio feedback when pressing buttons, which is nice, and the controls give you access to the most common music/call related controls. You can also customize a long press to a few things, including volume adjustment, which is great. You can also set the edge of the earbuds' touch sensor to adjust your volume up/down with a double tap.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.4 "
W 1.0 "
H 1.0 "
Volume 1.4 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like most truly wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are very small and can easily be tossed into pockets or a bag. Even their charging case is on the smaller side and should fit into most pockets.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.1 "
W 1.6 "
H 1.0 "
Volume 3.4 Cu. Inches

The charging case for these headphones is almost identical to the one for the previous version. The only difference is the hinge will now stay open at any angle, which feels a bit more secure. It feels quite premium and well-made and is made from solid and good quality plastic. It also supports Qi-enabled wireless charging, which is nice.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus feel quite well-made overall. Both the case and the earbuds themselves are made from good quality and dense plastic and feel like they should be able to easily withstand a few accidental drops or bumps. They're rated IPX2 for basic water protection, though this isn't something we test for.

8.0
Design
Stability

These headphones feel very stable in the ear. They come with three different sizes of tips and stability fins to help get a good fit, and they should stay in place even during more strenuous workouts, like running.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds+ headphones
  • Charging case
  • 3 tip options
  • 3 fin sleeve options
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.27 db
Treble Amount
-1.17 db

The out-of-the-box sound profile of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ is incredibly well-balanced and neutral. It follows our target curve almost perfectly and these headphones will be well-suited for a wide variety of content or genres, from podcasts to jazz.

9.6
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.08 dB

Like most in-ear headphones, the frequency response consistency of these headphones is outstanding. Once you achieve a proper fit using the included tips, you should experience consistent bass and treble responses every time you use the headphones.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.47 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10.75 Hz
Low-Bass
-0.24 dB
Mid-Bass
0.19 dB
High-Bass
-0.14 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is remarkable. The entire range is almost perfectly balanced, so bass will be present but won't sound overpowering or boomy. Fans of bass may find them a bit lacking, so they may want to use the 'Bass Boost" EQ preset in the app, though we don't test the sound profile with any EQ presets applied.

9.1
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.16 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.52 dB
High-Mid
0.83 dB

The mid-range accuracy of these headphones is remarkable out-of-the-box. Almost the entire range is perfectly balanced, with only a tiny dip in the mid-mid range, though this likely won't be noticeable to most people. Lead instruments and vocals should sound present and properly balanced.

8.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.72 dB
Low-Treble
0.83 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.99 dB
High-Treble
-6.05 dB

The treble accuracy of these headphones is excellent. The range is remarkably well-balanced, and they should sound bright and detailed without being harsh or piercing.

8.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
0.96 db
Dips
0.61 db

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus have very minimal peaks and dips. Their entire frequency response is well-balanced, and no ranges should sound over-powering.

9.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.15
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.62
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.55
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.55

The imaging of these headphones is excellent. The GD graph shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally matched, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects and instruments (like voices and footsteps) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.2

Like most other in-ears, the soundstage of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ is poor. This is because in-ears bypass the pinna (outer ear), and don't interact with it. Activating the resonances of the pinna is one of the key factors in creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage tends to be less open than that of open-back headphones.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.245
WHD @ 100
0.299

The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is decent. They tend to distort a bit more in the higher frequencies, which can be a bit more noticeable, but it's still within good limits, and shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
R175XXU0ATA5
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 4.2
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.

Isolation
6.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-17.94 dB
Bass
-3.02 dB
Mid
-18.54 dB
Treble
-33.8 dB

The noise isolation performance of these headphones is acceptable. While they do a great job at blocking out background chatter, and the higher-frequency sound of an AC unit, they block almost no bass-range sounds. This means that they won't help much with blocking out the low engine rumble of a bus or plane.

8.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
27.73 dB

Like most closed-back in-ears, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus leak very little audio. Most of the leaked audio comes from the treble ranges, so it will sound quite thin. These are a good option for using at work without bothering those around you, as even at moderate volumes, the leakage should be masked by the ambient noises of your average office or home.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ have an integrated microphone in the earbuds.

6.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
126.99 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.92 dB
HFE
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
10.965
Gain
-3.67 dB

Like most Bluetooth headphones, the recording quality of the microphone is mediocre. Like with most Bluetooth in-ears, your voice will likely be decently clear and understandable, but lacking in detail.

6.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
20.07 dB

The noise handling of this microphone is alright. Even in moderately noisy environments, the person on the other end of the line should be able to hear you somewhat clearly.

Active Features
7.8
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
13.3 hrs
Additional Charges
1.0
Total Battery Life
26.6 hrs
Charge Time
2.0 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The battery performance of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ is very good, and a big improvement over the Samsung Galaxy Buds. We got almost 2.5 hours longer than their advertised 11 hours of playback from a single charge, giving them almost 13.5 hours, which is especially impressive for a pair of truly wireless in-ears. Unfortunately, their case only holds one additional charge, though their overall battery life is still excellent. They also advertise as being able to get an additional hour of playback from 3 minutes of charging, though we don't test for this.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Galaxy Wearable
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

Update 03/13/2020: Upon receiving feedback from users, we confirmed that the app contains "Lab Features" which are experimental features that allow you to enable new controls and features. These include a Gaming Mode, Extra High Ambient Volume, and volume control by using the edge of the touch controls on the headphones. This review has been updated to reflect these changes. Unlike the previous version, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ now have a dedicated companion app for both Android and iOS. Like the previous version, they use the Galaxy Wearable app on Android, while they now have a separate app for iOS called Samsung Galaxy Buds+. Both apps give you access to five different EQ presets, as well as button mapping for the long hold of the button on either ear, and adjustable 'Ambient sound' settings, so you can select how much of your surrounding audio is played back into your ears. While there is also a program called 'Samsung Galaxy Buds Manager' available for both Windows and macOS, this program doesn't give you access to all the customization options and appears to just be for updating the headphones.

Connectivity
6.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
146 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
351 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
119 ms
Android Latency
134 ms

Like the previous version, these headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 but don't support multi-device or NFC pairing. However, if you use a compatible Samsung phone, you will get a pop-up on your phone asking if you want to connect the headphones as soon as you open their charging case, which makes pairing seamless and easy. Unfortunately, their latency on Android and iOS seems to be a bit worse than the previous version, so you may notice a bit of lag when watching videos. It's worth noting that some apps seem to compensate for this, so your mileage may vary during average personal use.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These truly wireless earbuds are Bluetooth-only.

0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

As with all truly wireless in-ears that we've tested so far, these headphones can't be used wired. They come with a USB-C cable to charge the case.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can only be used via Bluetooth on PCs, and aren't compatible with the PS4. Due to their high latency, they aren't recommended for gaming.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

These truly wireless earbuds only support Bluetooth, so they're not compatible with the Xbox One.

2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The charging case for these headphones should give you an additional charge, but like most truly wireless headphones, it doesn't have any inputs.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are a decent improvement over 2019's Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless. They're almost identical but with much-improved battery life. Their companion app also is now compatible with iOS, which is great. Check out our recommendations for the best truly wireless earbuds, the best wireless earbuds, and the best noise cancelling earbuds and in-ears.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are marginally better than the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless, though they're both decent options. They're both quite comfortable, but the Jabra have much better controls with physical, clicky buttons, as well as support for multi-device pairing, and a much better app that gives you access to a full graphic EQ to customize their sound profile. On the other hand, the Galaxy Buds+ feel a bit more stable in the ear, have a more accurate and balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and a much longer battery life off a single charge.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are both very decent truly wireless headphones that have different strengths. The Sony provide ANC and do a much better job at blocking out background noises, but they're heavier and not as comfortable as the Samsung. The Samsung feel much more stable in the ear, and may be better to wear to the gym, though the Sony feel slightly more premium and well-built. While the Samsung's out-of-the-box sound profile is more accurate and balanced, the Sony has a full graphic EQ within its app to adjust their sound. Finally, though the Sony have a slightly longer battery overall within their case, the Samsung last almost double the length of time off a single charge, so don't need to be recharged as often.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are a decent improvement over the previous generation Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless. Both truly wireless headphones are very small, lightweight, and comfortable, and they look identical. They both have an extremely well-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and access to five different EQ presets. The Buds+ have a much longer 13.5-hour battery life, which is quite impressive for a pair of truly wireless headphones, and you still get an additional full charge from the case. iPhone users can also access the customization options now, as Samsung has made a version of the companion app available for iOS devices, which is great.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are both very decent pairs of truly wireless headphones. The Pro have slightly easier-to-use controls, a more premium-feeling case, much better isolation performances thanks to their ANC feature, a slightly longer overall battery life, and are easier to pair to Apple devices. On the other hand, the Galaxy Buds+ have a more accurate out-of-the-box sound profile, a significantly longer single-charge battery life, a better app for both iOS and Android that offers EQ presets, and are easier to pair with compatible Samsung devices.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless
Unavailable
B&H

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless are both decent truly wireless earbuds each with their strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung have a much better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and their battery lasts significantly longer on a single charge. The Jabra, however, have more sound customization options in their app, easier-to-use physical controls, and they also support multi-device pairing.

Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are marginally better truly wireless in-ears than the Amazon Echo Buds Truly Wireless. The Galaxy Buds+ are more comfortable, have a more accurate and balanced out-of-the-box sound profile, a better microphone, and a much longer single-charge battery life. On the other hand, the Echo Buds isolate background sound much better thanks to their ANC feature, and have a better app that includes a graphic EQ to customize your sound profile.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless Price

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