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Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Review updated Jul 05, 2023 at 03:18 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Jul 05, 2023 at 03:18 pm
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless Picture
7.4
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
5.6
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Calls

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless. The manufacturer has added an active noise cancelling (ANC) system to the mix. They also have features like a low-latency 'Game Mode' and 'Scalable', which is Samsung's proprietary high audio quality Bluetooth codec. However, you'll need a Samsung device to get the most out of these buds and access the aforementioned features.

Our Verdict

7.4 Neutral Sound

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are decent for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a fairly neutral sound profile suitable for various audio content. Their treble is a bit recessed, and their passive soundstage is perceived as closed-off and as if coming from inside your head rather than from speakers in the room around you. On the upside, their companion apps offer a few EQ presets to help you get the best sound for your needs.

Pros
  • Very consistent audio delivery.
Cons
  • Bad passive soundstage.
8.0 Commute/Travel

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are very good for commute and travel. They're small and lightweight, making it easy to put them in your pocket or bag when you're on the go. They also have a comfortable, stable in-ear fit and an ANC system that can block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines and ambient chatter around you. Unfortunately, their continuous battery life of under five hours may not be enough to get you through your trip without pausing to recharge them.

Pros
  • Great noise isolation performance.
  • Stable, comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Sub-par battery performance.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are great for sports and fitness. These buds have a breathable and comfortable fit. Although they don't have stability fins, they'll stay in place during moderate movement. However, they can pop out of your ear if you move your jaw, which is annoying since you'll need to pause your workout to adjust their fit. On the upside, they're well-built and are rated IPX2 for water resistance against dripping water at an angle like light rain.

Pros
  • Stable, comfortable fit.
  • Well-built design.
Cons
  • Sub-par battery performance.
7.2 Office

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are decent for office use. These lightweight and comfortable headphones have a great ANC system that can block out office chatter around you. They also don't leak a lot of audio at high volumes. However, their continuous battery life of under five hours means you may need to recharge them throughout your workday. They also don't support multi-device pairing, so you can't simultaneously connect them to your phone and computer.

Pros
  • Great noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Sub-par battery performance.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 aren't recommended for wireless gaming. While you can connect them to a Bluetooth-enabled PC, the latency will likely be too high for gaming. They also aren't compatible with Xbox or PlayStation consoles. However, they have a 'Game Mode', which helps lower their latency on Samsung devices, which is nice if you're into mobile gaming. This feature is available via their mobile companion app but only works on Samsung devices.

5.6 Wired Gaming

The Samsung Buds 2 are Bluetooth-only headphones; you can't use them wired.

6.6 Phone Calls

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are fair for phone calls. Their integrated mic can record your voice clearly but has difficulty separating speech from ambient noise. As a result, if you're taking a call in a moderately noisy environment like a busy street, whoever's on the other end of the line may not hear you well. On the upside, the headphones are equipped with ANC and can block out a great amount of ambient noise around you.

Pros
  • Great noise isolation performance.
Cons
  • Mic has poor noise handling.
  • 7.4 Neutral Sound
  • 8.0 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.6 Wired Gaming
  • 6.6 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jul 05, 2023: We've updated this review's text to ensure its accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated May 11, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless in Bluetooth.
  3. Updated Mar 06, 2023: These headphones can connect to the Galaxy Buds app on Windows, and we've raised the scoring of App Support from '7.0' to '7.5'.
  4. Updated Dec 02, 2022: We've added a comparison with these headphones and the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless in Bluetooth.
  5. Updated Oct 18, 2022: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless in Noise Isolation.
  6. Updated Apr 27, 2022: Users have asked us to retest these headphones using firmware R177XXU0AVC8, which is advertised to improve call quality as well as Bluetooth connectivity and stability. That said, we didn't notice a change in performance when it comes to recording quality or noise handling. Bluetooth latency values changed slightly, though. This firmware also adds '360 Audio' support, which is a virtual soundstage feature available in the companion app. During our retest, we noticed a mistake in our 'Noise Isolation' graph. The 'ANC Off' pass was actually 'Transparency Mode'. We have updated this test with ANC off, and the scoring has slightly changed.
  7. Updated Oct 01, 2021: We've retested 'Game Mode' for device support.
  8. Updated Sep 29, 2021: Review published.
  9. Updated Sep 27, 2021: Early access published.
  10. Updated Sep 13, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  11. Updated Sep 09, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  12. Updated Aug 26, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 come in the following color variants: 'Graphite', 'Olive', 'Lavender', 'Phantom Black', and 'White'. We tested the 'Graphite' variant; you can see our model's label here. If you encounter another variant, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless. They retain their sleek, minimalist design and feel comfortable, stylish, and well-built. Unlike their predecessor, they also have a great ANC system and can isolate even more noise than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless. However, their 4.7-hour battery life is sub-par compared to the Buds+'s over 13 hours of continuous playback time.

Check out our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and the best Samsung headphones.

Beats Studio Buds True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Beats Studio Buds True Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the Samsung have better noise isolation and a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer. You can also customize the Samsung's sound using their companion app's EQ presets.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are somewhat better headphones than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless. The Buds2 are more comfortable, have more consistent audio reproduction, and have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have a significantly better noise isolation performance. However, the Live have a more stable in-ear fit and a better battery performance.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless. The Buds2 have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, their noise isolation performance is better, and their mic has a better recording quality.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless are somewhat better in-ears than the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless. While both in-ears are comfortable and well built, the Plus have an even more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, a more stable in-ear fit, and their battery performance is significantly better. However, the Buds2 have active noise cancelling and can block out more ambient noise around you. They also have a 'Game Mode', advertised to lower audio latency on Samsung devices.

Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 7 Pro True Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Βuds2 Truly Wireless. The Jabra have a much better mic performance, a longer continuous battery life, a more comprehensive control scheme, and a more neutral default sound profile, which some may prefer. Their app has a graphic EQ for sound customization, and they're rated IP57 for dust and water resistance, while the Samsung only have an IPX2 rating for water resistance. On the other hand, the Samsung's ANC feature blocks out much more noise.

Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless

The Jabra Elite 7 Active True Wireless are better for most purposes than the Samsung Galaxy Βuds2 Truly Wireless. The Jabra headphones have a much better control scheme, a longer continuous battery life, and a better companion app with a graphic EQ. They're also rated IP57 for dust and water resistance, while the Samsung headphones are only rated IPX2 for water resistance. On the other hand, the Samsung headphones have a somewhat better noise isolation performance and a much better mic recording quality.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Truly Wireless

The Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro Truly Wireless are more customizable headphones than the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the Anker's companion app offers a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound to your liking. They also support multi-device pairing, have a significantly better battery performance, and their ANC can block out more ambient noise. However, the Samsung have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better than the Sony WF-C500 Truly Wireless for most purposes. The Samsung have a more comfortable, stable fit and lower latency with iOS and Android devices. They have ANC and a significantly better noise isolation performance. Their mic also has a better recording quality. On the other hand, the Sony have longer continuous battery life. Their app also includes a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization, while the Samsung's just has presets.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Apple are better built, and their ANC can block out slightly more ambient noise around you. They also have a significantly better battery performance, and their H1 chip allows you to seamlessly pair them with your Apple devices. However, the Samsung have EQ presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are slightly better headphones than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Truly Wireless. While both are comfortable and well-built, the Buds2 have an active noise cancelling system, which does a great job of blocking out background noise around you. Their mic also has a better recording quality, and the app offers a low latency 'Game Mode' for Samsung devices and a virtual soundstage feature, which can help create a more immersive experience. However, the first-gen Buds have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and a longer continuous battery life.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are similarly performing headphones. The Samsung are more comfortable, can block out more ambient noise, and their mic offers a better recording quality. However, the Sony are better built, their companion app offers a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound, and their battery performance is better.

Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are similarly performing headphones. While both headphones are comfortable, the Jabra are better built, have a better battery performance, and support multi-device pairing. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound. However, the Samsung have a significantly better noise isolation performance, their mic offers a better recording quality, and they have a low-latency 'Game Mode' on Samsung devices.

Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite Active 75t Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless have different strengths, and you may prefer either. While both in-ears are comfortable, the Jabra are better built, have a better battery performance, and support multi-device pairing. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ to help you customize their sound. However, the Samsung have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, have a significantly better noise isolation performance, and have a low-latency 'Game Mode' on Samsung devices.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless are the upgraded variant of the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless. While both buds are comfortable and well-built, the Pro have a higher IP certification of IPX7 and a significantly better noise isolation performance. They also support Bluetooth 5.3, and their sound profile is more neutral, which some users may prefer.

Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless and the Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless have different strengths, and depending on your usage, you may prefer either one. While both buds are well-built, the Samsung are more comfortable, have a virtual soundstage feature to help immerse you in your audio, and their ANC can do a significantly better job of blocking out background noise. However, the Jabra support multi-device pairing, aptX codec for higher-resolution audio, and have a better overall battery life.

Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Βuds2 Truly Wireless are better than the Jabra Elite 4 Active True Wireless for most purposes. The Samsung headphones' ANC feature has much better performance, so they're a better choice if you want noise cancelling headphones. Their mic's recording quality is much better, and they have a more comfortable fit. On the other hand, the Jabra headphones have longer continuous battery life. Their app also offers a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization, while the Samsung's has presets only.

Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless

The Anker SoundCore Life P3 Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless have similar performances. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the Samsung have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their mic has a better recording quality. They also have a low-latency 'Game Mode', but it's only available on supported Samsung devices. The Anker have a better noise isolation performance, a better battery performance, and a more customizable sound profile, thanks to their companion app's graphic EQ.

Apple AirPods (3rd generation) Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Apple AirPods (3rd generation) Truly Wireless. The Samsung are closed-back earbuds with ANC, blocking out more noise and leaking less audio. They’re more comfortable and stable and also deliver a more bass-rich sound, which some may prefer. Their app has sound customization features but only works on Android devices. Meanwhile, the Apple have a better overall battery performance.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are similarly performing headphones, and you may prefer either one. The Sony are better built and have a significantly better battery performance. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound. The Samsung are more comfortable, they have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their mic's recording quality is superior. They're also able to block out a bit more background noise, thanks to their ANC system.

Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Apple AirPods (2nd generation) Truly Wireless. The Samsung have more consistent audio delivery and a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and they have a significantly better noise isolation performance, thanks to their ANC system. You can also customize their sound using their companion app's EQ presets. However, the Apple are more comfortable and better built. They also have a better battery performance.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless have a slight edge over the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. The Samsung are more comfortable, have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can block out a superior amount of ambient noise. However, the Sennheiser are better built, have a significantly better battery performance, and their companion app has a graphic EQ, meaning you can fine-tune their sound to your liking. They also support aptX Adaptive codec.

OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless

The OnePlus Buds Pro Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless have different strengths, and depending on your device, you may get more out of one pair of headphones than the other. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the Samsung have a better noise isolation performance. Their companion app also offers EQ presets. You can use their low latency 'Game Mode' if you have a supported Samsung device. However, the OnePlus have a higher total battery life, and you can adjust their ANC level if you have a OnePlus device.

JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the JBL Vibe 100TWS True Wireless. The Samsung are more comfortable and stable, equipped with an ANC system to block out a great amount of ambient noise, and their companion app offers EQ presets to help you adjust their sound. However, the JBL have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are similarly performing headphones. While both headphones feel comfortable, the Jabra are better built, have a better overall battery performance, and support multi-device pairing. Their companion app also offers a graphic EQ and presets. However, the Samsung have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, they're able to block out more background noise around you, and they have a low latency 'Game Mode' that's only available for Samsung devices.

Nothing Ear (1) Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the Nothing Ear (1) Truly Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, the Samsung headphones have better noise isolation performance, and their carrying case feels more sturdy. They also deliver audio more consistently, and their mic offers better recording quality. However, the Nothing headphones have better battery performance as their carrying case holds more additional charges.

Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are better for most purposes than the Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless. The Samsung headphones are much more comfortable, stable, and well-built. Thanks to their closed-back design, they have an ANC feature with an impressive performance and a much more accurate bass response. On the other hand, the Sony headphones are meant to let in ambient sound so you can hear what's happening around you. They have more sound customization features and longer continuous battery life.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

These buds look somewhat similar to other models in this manufacturer's lineup, like the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless. They have small, egg-shaped buds with a glossy finish. They come in five color variations: 'Graphite', 'Olive', 'Lavender', 'Phantom Black', and 'White'.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.02 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 are comfortable. They're lightweight and don't go too deeply in your ear. They have a similar fit to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless but feel better since they don't apply pressure on your ear. However, some users may find they create a plugging sensation inside their ears.

6.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls No

These buds have a touch surface on both buds, which is responsive. However, it can also be overly sensitive, and you may accidentally register commands when adjusting them in your ear. On the upside, there are beeps to let you know when you've registered a command, and there are different chimes for ANC on, off, and ambient sound mode. However, there aren't any voice prompts. While there aren't volume or voice assistant controls by default, you can activate these commands in the app. You can also add Spotify, so it launches on your command.

On either bud:

  • One tap: Plays and pauses audio.
  • Two taps: Skips the track forward.
  • Three taps: Skips the track backward.
  • Touch and hold for two seconds: Cycles through ANC on, off, and ambient sound, which allows you to hear your environment without pausing your audio.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 °C

These buds are very breathable. Since they have an in-ear design, they don't trap heat, and even if you wear them during a jog in the park, you won't notice much of an increase in temperature.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.4" (3.6 cm)
W 1.0" (2.5 cm)
H 1.0" (2.5 cm)
Volume 1.37 in³ (22.50 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

They're outstandingly portable. They're very small and lightweight, and you can easily toss them into most bags or pockets without a problem. They even come with a small carrying case to help protect the buds when you're on the go.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.0" (5.1 cm)
W 2.0" (5.1 cm)
H 1.1" (2.8 cm)
Volume 4.41 in³ (72.30 cm³)

The charging case is great. It's similar in shape and size to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless' case. It has a glossy white exterior with a matte finish inside to match the color scheme of your earbuds. There's a single indicator light on the outside of the case to let you know if it's charging. There's also another light on the inside to indicate that the buds are charging.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

These buds have a good build quality. They're mostly made of hard, glossy plastic and feel similar in sturdiness to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Truly Wireless. They're also certified IPX2 for water resistance, protecting them against dripping water at an angle like light rain. Overall, they can survive accidental drops and falls without taking on significant damage.

7.5
Design
Stability

They have a stable fit. They come with three differently-sized ear tips so that you can find the best fit for your ears. While they form a good seal, they can pop out of your ears if you move around your jaw, like when talking, so you may need to readjust their fit occasionally.

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

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 headphones
  • Charging case
  • 3x tip options
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.04 dB
Treble Amount
-0.98 dB

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have a fairly neutral sound profile. While it's less well-balanced than the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless, it delivers adequate body and boom. Vocals and lead instruments are also clear, though a dip in the treble range can weaken their brightness. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion apps offer a few EQ presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking.

These headphones have in-ear sensors which need to be activated to turn on their ANC system. However, they don't activate when placed in our test rig's ears. As a result, we connected copper cables with copper tape to the sensor to trick them into activating. However, you won't experience this issue.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.15 dB

These headphones have fantastic frequency response consistency. Once you achieve a proper fit using the included tips, you'll experience consistent audio delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.3
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
0.97 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
21.5 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.87 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.43 dB
High-Bass
-0.53 dB

These buds have outstanding bass accuracy. Although the entire range is slightly underemphasized, it isn't too noticeable. Mixes lack a touch of extra thump and rumble but have adequate body and boom.

8.4
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.08 dB
Low-Mid
-0.5 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.16 dB
High-Mid
-0.1 dB

Their mid accuracy is great. Most of the range is pretty flat, although a dip in the mid-mid pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of your mixes. The vocals in songs like Creep by Radiohead feel hollow compared to the electric guitar and drums in the first chorus. However, the voice is still well-articulated and detailed.

7.4
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.85 dB
Low-Treble
-3.31 dB
Mid-Treble
0.49 dB
High-Treble
-6.62 dB

The treble accuracy is decent. The low-treble is underemphasized, so vocals and lead instruments are veiled. However, the mid-treble is slightly overemphasized, so sibilants like S and T sounds are bright.

7.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.92 dB
Dips
1.05 dB

Their peaks and dips performance is decent. A dip in the mid-mid pushes vocals and lead instruments to the back of your mixes while a peak in the high-mid harshens them. A couple of small dips in the low-treble veil the upper harmonics of these sounds. A large peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.

9.2
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.22
Weighted Phase Mismatch
0.99
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.74
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.57

Samsung has excellent quality control and ergonomics, which helps ensure a solid imaging performance so objects like voices and instruments are accurately placed in the stereo soundstage. That said, imaging varies across units. Our unit's L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay, amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so the stereo image is balanced while objects are localized correctly.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
1.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.0

These buds have a bad passive soundstage, but that's normal from in-ears. Their design bypasses your outer ear, which needs to be activated by sound resonances to create an out-of-head listening experience. Their soundstage seems like it's coming from inside your head rather than from all around you. Their soundstage also seems more closed-off than that of open-back headphones.

2.9
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
On/Off
Virtual Surround
360 Audio

Firmware update R177XXU0AVC8 added a 360 Audio feature to their companion app. This feature is under the 'Earbuds' setting tab, and it reorients the soundstage to follow your head movements. However, this feature doesn't feel as seamless or smooth as that of Spatial Audio found on Apple devices like the Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless. Once you update the headphones and app, you can toggle this feature on and off. Unfortunately, there have been reports that this feature doesn't work with some streaming platforms like Spotify, which we also experienced. We got this feature to work on YouTube, though.

7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.175
WHD @ 100
0.163

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's a peak in the mid-treble at high volumes, but this is very hard to hear with real-life content. However, most frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in mostly clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
R177XXU0AUI2
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Samsung Buds 2. Our results are only valid when using the headphones in this configuration.

Isolation
8.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.73 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-18.06 dB
Mid
-16.7 dB
Treble
-30.06 dB

These buds have great active noise cancelling. They have an ANC system that can cut down more of the low rumble of bus and plane engines than the Nothing Ear (1) Truly Wireless, making them a good choice for long commutes. However, the headphones do better at passively isolating you from mid to treble-range noise than their ANC. They can still block out ambient chatter very well, though, and reduce the high-pitched sounds like the hum of an AC unit. That said, if you're looking for even better noise cancelling in-ears, check out the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro True Wireless instead.

8.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
31.89 dB

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have a great leakage performance. Leakage is mostly concentrated in the treble range, and escaping audio sounds thin. That said, even if you're listening to audio at high volumes in a moderately loud environment, leakage is quite low, and you won't bother those around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.6
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
4.54 dB
HFE
4,763.35 Hz
Weighted THD
0.428
Gain
10.49 dB

The microphone has a good recording quality. Your voice sounds clear and understandable, although a bit lacking in detail. That said, although firmware update R177XXU0AVC8 advertises an improvement in call quality, there wasn't a change in recording quality as the new recordings match our original results.

4.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
9.9 dB
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
4.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The noise handling performance of the mic is poor. It has a hard time separating your voice from ambient noise. As a result, whoever's on the other end of the line may not hear you clearly if you're calling from a busy street. While firmware update R177XXU0AVC8 advertises an improvement in call quality, there wasn't a change in noise handling as we matched our new pink noise and subway noise recordings to the original results.

Active Features
5.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
4.7 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
18.8 hrs
Charge Time
1.4 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Samsung Buds 2 have a sub-par battery performance. They manufacturer advertises them to last five hours continuously with their ANC on, and we measured a similar amount. However, this is much less than the over 13 hours the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Truly Wireless provide. Battery life varies depending on use, though. That said, their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges, and you can even use one bud while the other charges. Like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Truly Wireless, the manufacturer also advertises them to deliver one hour of playback after five minutes of charging.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Galaxy Wearable
iOS No
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Samsung Wearable app is good but only compatible with Android devices. You can access EQ presets to help change their sound to your liking, toggle the ANC on, off, or activate ambient sound, remap some controls like volume or launch Spotify, and activate or deactivate sound controls. You can also activate the virtual soundstage feature for a more immersive audio experience, perform an earbud fit test, which tells you whether you have a good fit, and turn on or off ambient sound during calls. You can activate 'Game Mode' for low latency, but this feature is only available for Samsung devices.

If you're on a Windows PC, you can also access the Galaxy Buds app. This app offers many of the same features as the Android app, like EQ presets, but you can't access the low latency 'Game Mode'.

Connectivity
7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
245.41 ft (74.80 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
250 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
-19 ms
Android Latency
-1 ms

These buds have decent Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike the Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless and Jabra Elite 4 True Wireless, they don't support multi-device pairing, so you won't stay connected with more than one device at a time. They also have high latency on PCs, which can be disappointing if you like to stream video. Luckily, their latency on iOS and Android devices is much lower, so your audio and visuals stay in sync.

The manufacturer advertises these headphones as supporting Scalable, which is Samsung's proprietary codec for high-quality audio. They have a 'Game Mode' that's advertised to lower audio latency too. Samsung's 'Differences Between Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds2' details that this feature is only available when connected to a Samsung phone or tablet through the Galaxy Wearable app. You can access this feature in the 'Lab' settings in their companion app, which is only available on Samsung devices. We noticed an improvement when using this setting with our Samsung S10e and measured similarly low latency on Android compared to without the feature on.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

You can't use these buds wired. However, they come with a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge their carrying case.

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

You can connect these buds to Bluetooth-enabled PCs with full audio and mic compatibility. However, you can't connect them to your PC in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
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

These buds come with a carrying case that holds roughly three additional charges. It has no inputs other than a USB-C port to charge the case. The case supports Qi wireless charging, though.