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  1. Table of Contents
  2. Intro
  3. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Breathability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Stability
    9. Cable
    10. Top
    11. Headshots 1
    12. Headshots 2
  4. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Raw Frequency Response
    5. Frequency Response Consistency
    6. Imaging
    7. Soundstage
    8. Total Harmonic Distortion
  5. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  6. Microphone
    1. Recording Quality
    2. Noise Handling
  7. Active Features
    1. Battery
    2. App Support
  8. Connectivity
    1. Bluetooth
    2. Wired
    3. Base/Dock
    4. Wireless Range
    5. Latency
  9. In the box
  10. Compared
  11. Conclusion
  12. Q&A
Reviewed on Mar 22, 2018 , Marc Henney, Yannick Khong

Samsung U Flex
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.8
Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.7
Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.9
Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.6
Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
6.9
Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
5.7
Home Theater
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Score components:
5.7
Gaming
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Score components:
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.
Test Results
Design 7.1
Sound 6.6
Isolation 6.4
Microphone 6.9
Active Features 7.8
Connectivity 3.6
Pros
  • Low leakage.
  • Great wireless range.
  • Easy to use and portable design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Sharp audio reproduction.
  • Limited customization options.

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7.1

Design

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Score components:
Samsung U Flex Design Picture

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.

Style
Samsung U Flex Design Picture 2

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.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung U Flex Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.1 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0 lbs

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.

7.2 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Samsung U Flex Controls Picture
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
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What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
No
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

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.

9.2 Breathability
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What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

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.

7.8 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Portability Picture
L : 6.7 "
W : 5.5 "
H : 0.4 "
Volume : 15 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

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.

0 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : N/A
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

7.0 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung U Flex Build Quality Picture

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.

7.5 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung U Flex Stability Picture

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.

Cable
Samsung U Flex Cable Picture
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

These headphones come with a micro USB charging cable.

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.6

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Samsung U Flex Frequency Response

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.

7.9 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.96 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
29.54 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.59 dB
Mid-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.64 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.8 dB

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.

8.5 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.01 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.32 dB
Mid-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.22 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.04 dB

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.

7.0 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.32 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.08 dB
Mid-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.56 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.03 dB

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).

Raw Frequency Response
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What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by rtings.com.
Score components:
9.4 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Consistency L Samsung U Flex Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.12 dB

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.

8.1 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Samsung U Flex Group Delay Samsung U Flex Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
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What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.08
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.36
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.9
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
4.64

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).

1.6 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
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What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
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What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
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What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
N/A
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.0
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

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.

6.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
7.724
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.036

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.

6.4

Isolation

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Score components:

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.

5.5 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-13.8 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-1.22 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-14.78 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-26.78 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
19.88 dB

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.

8.2 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
32.5 dB

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.

6.9

Microphone

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What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
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What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
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What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
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What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
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What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

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.

7.1 Recording Quality
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What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
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What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
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What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
289.23 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
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What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
4.52 dB
HFE
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What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
7896.12 Hz
Weighted THD
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What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
1.039
Gain
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What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
22.95 dB

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.

6.7 Noise Handling
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What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Samsung U Flex SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
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What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
18.52 dB

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.

7.8

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

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.

8.0 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
11.5 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.8 hrs
Power Saving Feature
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
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What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

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.

6.0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung U Flex App Picture
App Name : Samsung Level
iOS : No
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
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What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Parametric + Presets
ANC control
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What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Mic Control : No
Room effects
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What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
Yes
Playback control
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What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : N/A

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.

3.6

Connectivity

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What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 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.

6.8 Bluetooth
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What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 79% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • 0% PS4 Compatible
  • 0% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.2
Multi-Device Pairing
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What it is: A Bluetooth profile that's allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example switching from your phone to your home or work PC.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
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What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
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What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

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.

0 Wired
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What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
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What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
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What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
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What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
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What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
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What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

They have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, check the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.

0 Base/Dock
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What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 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
Wireless Type
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What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
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What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
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What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
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What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
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What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
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What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
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What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
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What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
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What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
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What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
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What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

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.

8.3 Wireless Range
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
41 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
160 ft

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.

4.4 Latency
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What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
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What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
146 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A

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 In the box Picture

  • Samsung U Flex Wireless Headphones
  • USB cable
  • Earbud Tips (x4)
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

Samsung U Flex Compare Picture

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.

Samsung Level U Pro

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.

Beats BeatsX

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.

Bose QuietControl 30

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.

Mpow Jaws

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.

Conclusion

6.8Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
The Samsung U Flex are sufficiently versatile headphones for most use cases. They have a good battery life and an excellent wireless range. They have a flexible and comfortable design that won't be too cumbersome but isn't as portable as the BeatsX. They also have a relatively poor isolation performance so they won't be the best headphones to use in loud environments. Unfortunately, their app is limited to Samsung-only devices which will not be ideal for some listeners especially since the Level U Pro does not have that constraint.
6.7Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Average for critical listening. They have a decent audio reproduction but sound a bit too sharp on already bright tracks. Unfortunately, you can only EQ them with Samsung devices so they won't have the best sound quality for critical listening. They also have a small closed-back in-ear design that cannot produce a spacious soundstage.
6.9Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Above-average for commuting. They're lightweight, easy to carry around and have a good control scheme. However, they do not block as much noise as some of the other in-ear headphones we've tested so they won't be the best option for noisy commutes or flights.
7.6Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Good for sports. The Samsung U Flex have an around-the-neck design that's stable enough for running or jogging. They're also lightweight, portable and wireless. However, the in-ear tips do slide a bit in the ear canal during more strenuous activities, and the bulky neckband can sometimes pull the earbuds out of your ears, which won be ideal for more intense sports.
6.9Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Above-average for office use. They don't block a lot of noise, but thanks to their incredibly low leakage, you can mask some of the office chatter, by playing your audio at high volumes and not disturb others.
5.7Home Theater
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Score components:
Below-average for home theater use. They're decently comfortable and have a good wireless range. However, they have a bit too much latency for watching a lot of video content, and they have no other connection option but Bluetooth.
5.7Gaming
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Score components:
Below-average for gaming. They have a mediocre-at-best microphone, and a bit too much latency to be suitable for gaming. Their app also does not offer as many customization options typical for gaming headphones.
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