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In the box
Samsung U Flex
The Samsung U Flex are decent wireless in-ears for most use cases. They sound decently well-balanced if a bit sharp on some tracks, and have an around-the-neck design that's a bit bulkier than most but flexible enough to fit into some pockets. They have a decent battery life and an excellent wireless range but struggle to isolate in loud, noisy environments. They're also fairly limited in customization options if they're not paired with a Samsung device which is a bit disappointing.
These Headphones are currently our best Budget Earbuds.
- Low leakage.
- Great wireless range.
- Easy to use and portable design.
- Poor noise isolation.
- Sharp audio reproduction.
- Limited customization options.
The Samsung U Flex are decently well made wireless headphones. They look more premium than the Level U Pro, and although they're a bit bulkier, they're more flexible so you can fold and squeeze them into a pocket. They also have a decently comfortable in-ear fit with angled earbuds that fit well within the contours of your ears. They're easy-to-use with a simple control scheme that's efficient and provides all the essential functions. Unfortunately, the slightly larger design makes them a bit unstable at times. The neckband would pull on the earbuds causing them to slip out of your ears, once in while, when doing more demanding physical activities like jumping jacks.
The Samsung U Flex look pretty good and well built. They feel a bit more premium than the Level U Pro thanks to the silver accents on the on the tips of the control modules. However, they're quite a bit bulkier which makes them stand out a bit more than the U Pros, which won't be for everyone. On the upside, the in-ear buds also feel well-made and have magnetic backs that stick together to make them more manageable when not in use. The only part of the Flex's design that feels a bit cheap is the earbud cables, which are thin and do not look as durable as some of the other around-the-neck designs like the Bose QuietControl 30.
The Samsung U Flex like the Level U Pro, are decently comfortable in-ear headphones as long as you don't mind the around-the-neck design. The neckband is considerably bulkier, so you feel it around your neck a bit more when working out than you would with the U Pros. As for the earbuds they have a decently angled fit that doesn't put too much pressure into the ear canal, but they're still fairly conventional in-ears, so if you're not a big fan of in-ear designs than you will have some of the same issues with the U Flex.
The Samsung U Flex have an efficient button layout and control scheme. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. They also have a dedicated button for voice assistance. The buttons deliver good tactile feedback, and they're easy to find by touch. However, skipping tracks is done by holding the volume keys which may not be ideal for some but you get used to it fairly quickly.
- 100% Avg.Temp.Difference
The U Flex, like most in-ears, are very breathable headphones. They trap a little bit of heat within the ear canal but it's negligible and should not make you sweat more than average. They're suitable for more intense workouts but the friction of the neckband isn't factored in breathability since it will most likely go over an item of clothing.
These headphones are decently portable. They have a slightly bulkier neckband design than the Level U Pro, but since they're a bit more flexible, you can fold them to fit into larger pockets. Compared to the Sony WI-C400, they have a more flexible around-the-neck design. They won't be as portable as other around the neck designs like the BeatsX, but they're fairly easy to carry around on your person since you can let them rest around your neck or tuck them under your shirt when you're not using them. Unfortunately, they don't come with a case or pouch which is a little disappointing.
The Samsung U Flex are decently well-built headphones. The neckband is sturdy and flexible, and the earbuds feel dense and well-made. Unfortunately, the audio cables are a little thin, susceptible to wear and tear, and do not retract or detach so you can't replace them. Compared to the Bose QuietControl 30 the cables do not feel as durable and may snap if they get repeatedly hooked to an item of clothing if you often place the neckband under your outfit.
The around-the-neck design of these headphones makes them above-average stable. They won't fall from your neck if you run or jog with them but the neckband does move around a little and tugs on the earbud cables. This means although the in-ear fit stays put for most exercises, they will sometimes get pulled out of your ears by the neckband which is not ideal. Overall they're stable enough to use as sports headphones but they won't be the best choice if you have more intense workout routines.
The Samsung U Flex is an average sounding pair of closed-back in-ears. They have a good and consistent bass, but it's a bit south of neutral and therefore, not the deepest or the punchiest. The X3, BeatsX, and SoundSport Free have a heavier bass and overall a better sound. Their mid-range is also good and even, but a bit recessed which gives less emphasis to vocals and lead instruments. On the other hand, their treble is just about average, since it's a bit bright and tends to sound piercing on S and Ts. Additionally, they have good imaging, but like most other in-ears, don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.
The Samsung U Flex have a good bass. Their LFE (low-frequeny extension) is at 30Hz, which is good, but not as low as most other in-ears or earbuds. The Jaybird X3, Beats BeatsX, and BeoPlay E8, all have LFEs lower than the UFlex. Accordingly, sub-bass, which is responsible for thump and rumble, is lacking by 5dB. Mid-bass, occupied by the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, is lacking by about 3dB, which is subtle but noticeable. High-bass is even and virtually flat.
The mid-range is very good. The response is quite even, but with a broad 8dB recess centered around 700Hz. This gives less emphasis to vocals and lead instruments by pushing them towards the back of the mix.
The treble performance is about average. The response is relatively even from 2KHz up to 7KHz, but overemphasized by about 4dB. This adds a bit of excess brightness to the sound which will be especially noticeable on vocals and lead instruments. The +10dB peak around 10KHz makes S and Ts noticeably sharp and piercing, which may be uncomfortable for those with overly sensitive ears (hyperacusis).
The Samsung U Flex has excellent frequency response consistency. This is assuming the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones. If so, then they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.
The imaging is very good. Their weighted group delay is 0.08, which is one of the lowest we have measured. The GR graph also shows that the entire audible portion is below the audibility threshold. This indicates a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit showed measurable frequency, amplitude and phase mismatch, which could skew the stereo image a bit. But not enough to have a large noticeable effect on the localization of objects (like voices, instruments, and footsteps).
The soundstage is poor. Creating a large and speaker-like soundstage is partially dependent on having a speaker-like pinna activation. However, the Samsung, due to their in-ear design, bypass the pinna and don't interact with it. Therefore, their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Their closed-back design also means that their soundstage won't feel and open as open-back earbuds like the AirPods and the SoundSport Free.
The harmonic distortion performance of the Samsung UFlex is about average. Their THD level in the bass and treble ranges is very low, and remains low under heavy loads. This is good and suggests that they should be able to handle some EQ bass boost without distorting. In the mid-range however, they show elevated levels of THD. This could make the sound of those regions harsh and fatiguing over long listening sessions.
The Samsung U Flex barely leak at high volumes but do not isolate as well as some other in-ear headphones. They passively block noise from seeping into your audio, but the quality of the seal they create within your ear canal could is not good enough to block some of the ambient noise of public transit. Unless you listen to your music at higher volumes, you will hear what's happening on around you fairly easily.
The Samsung U Flex has a sub-par isolation performance, but there are other in-ears like the Jaybird X3, Beats BeatsX, and the BeoPlay E8 that offer much better passive isolation. In the bass range, occupied by the rumble of airplane and bus engines, they achieved about 1dB of isolation which is not really noticeable. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieved about 15dB of isolation, which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp S and T sounds, they reduce noise by more than 26dB, which is above-average.
The leakage performance is very good. The significant portion of their leakage is in the treble range and they do not leak in bass or mid ranges. This means the leakage will sound quite thin and mostly consist of S and Ts (sibilances). Also, the level of the leakage is not very loud, peaking at around 60dB at 1 foot away, which is just above the average office noise floor.
The Samsung U Flex has an average integrated microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin and muffled, but overall more detailed and understandable than most Bluetooth headphones. However, they tend to sound too sharp on S and Ts which could be fatiguing for the person on the other side. In noisy situations, they perform well in moderately loud environments like a busy street, but they may struggle to separate speech from background noise in loud places, like a subway station.
The mic has a decent recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 289Hz means that speech recorded or transmitted with it will sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 7.9KHz is above average, indicating a speech that is relatively muffled, but easily understandable and not lacking a lot of detail. The sharp peak at 7KHz however, makes the S and Ts sharp and piercing, so they may get fatiguing for the person on the other line after a while.
- 100% SpNR
The integrated microphone of the Samsung U Flex is average at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 19dB, suggesting they are well suited for quiet and moderately loud environments. But they won't be best for very loud environments, as they may struggle to separate speech from unwanted noise.
The Samsung U Flex have a decent battery life and a great app but only on Samsung devices. They lasted about 11 hours on average and take less than two hours to charge, which should be enough to last you the whole day. They also have a good standby time but no auto-off feature. Unfortunately, the Samsung Level app, which offered a decent set of features with the Level U Pro, has been stripped down and limited for most Android users unless you have a Samsung phone. It's also not available for iOS which is not ideal.
These headphones have a good battery life and charge relatively fast. You can also use them while they're charging which makes them a bit more convenient for the office. They lasted 11 hours on average and took 1.8 hours to fully charge. They also have a long standby mode but no auto off-timer. Overall, they should easily last throughout an entire day of heavy use but having an auto-off feature when inactive would have improved their batter performance by quite a bit.
The Samsung Level app with the U Flex would have been one of the best and most customizable support software that we've tested if it was available on iOS and wasn't limited to Samsung phones. The app is nearly useless when paired with a regular Android device. All you get is a basic menu with a battery status level that doesn't show the actual % value of the battery life and basic notification management. However, when paired with a Samsung Galaxy S8 there are a multitude of options that you can customize like a graphic and parametric equalizer, room effects, UHQ enhancing features, volume monitors, and a music playback timer. It's a fully featured app on Samsung phones that feels stripped down on regular Android devices which limiting for all the users that purchased the U Flex and do not have a Samsung device.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
The Samsung U Flex have simultaneous, multi-device pairing but no NFC support. They have a great wireless range and a decent latency performance for a Bluetooth headphone. However, they do not support aptX and aptX (LL) like the Samsung Level U Pro, which means they won't be as suitable for gaming or watching movies. Unfortunately, they have no other connection option but Bluetooth.
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
These headphones do not have NFC support for Bluetooth pairing but can connect to two devices simultaneously. They also have an easy to pair switch similar to the Bose headphones and automatically pair to the last synced device once you turn them on.
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
They have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, check the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
These headphones do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact or portable.
The Samsung U Flex have a great wireless range and maintained a stable connection up to 40ft when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. Their direct line-of-sight range is also very good and would be more than enough for most use cases and sufficient for large open offices and workspaces.
The Samsung U Flex do no have any low latency codecs like the Level U Pro. They still perform quite well for a Bluetooth headset at 144 ms of latency. However, they still have a bit too much lag to be the best headphones for watching movies and gaming.
In the box
- Samsung U Flex Wireless Headphones
- USB cable
- Earbud Tips (x4)
Compared to other Headphones
The Samsung U Flex have an easy-to-use and decently portable design. They're comfortable and flexible enough to fit into some pockets and they sound decently well-balanced, although they can be a bit sharp on already bright tracks. They have a good battery life and a decent wireless range but unfortunately, their app is limited to Samsung only devices which means they won't be as customizable as some of the other competing around-the-neck headphones.
The Samsung Level U Pro have a lot of features and an above-average sound quality that make them decently versatile for most use cases. They sound a bit better out-of-the-box, and you can customize their sound profile with the Samsung Level app on any android phone, unlike the Flex which limited to Samsung devices only. The Samsung Level U Pro are considerably cheaper than the Flex but do not look as premium and won't be flexible enough to fit into some pockets. If you're on a tight budget, get the U Pro, but if you have a Samsung phone, then the Flex are overall the better option.
The BeatsX are versatile headphones with a good sound. They do not have an equalizer but sound better out-of-the-box than the Samsung U Flex. They also have a more flexible and portable design that you can easily fit into your pockets and a better battery performance and wireless range. They are better overall than the Flex but not ideal for Android users, so if you have a Samsung phone then the Flex may be a more customizable and optimized experience.
The Bose QuietControl 30 are slightly bulky around-the-neck headphones, but they have a more comfortable earbud fit than the U Flex. They're also noise canceling headphones that are better suited for commuting and traveling, and they have much better sound. They're not as customizable as the U Flex, and they're a lot more expensive but if you have a regular Android phone or you're an iOS user then the QC30 are the better headphone overall for almost all use cases. However, if you have a Samsung device, then the added customization options and equalizers of the U Flex may be worth it especially since they do not cost as much.
The Mpow Jaws are budget around-the-neck wireless in-ears with a decent sound but a plasticky and slightly cheap build quality. They perform well for most use cases and have a comfortable in-ear fit but they have a slightly bulkier design than the U Flex, which are already somewhat large for an around-the-neck design. Also, their build quality is much worse, and they're not customizable since they do not come with an app. If you're on a tight budget and just need a pair of headphones for everyday casual use that are less than 50$, then the Mpows are a decent choice. However, for everything else the U Flex perform better, especially when paired with a Samsung phone.