Samsung’s first TWS earbuds were announced in 2016. A product called Gear IconX became Samsung’s notorious “first pancake”: users liked the sound, ergonomics, built-in memory for downloading music, but many complained about the voice quality, control, and strange work of some of the declared functions.
Fast forward five years – and here we are sitting in 2021 when Samsung has great Buds Live and Buds Pro. But this is still a premium segment, quite expensive things, but what can the company offer in the middle segment? Where is the main competition of different companies? Let’s take a look at Buds2, Samsung’s newest fighter. Anticipating the review – it turned out VERY interesting.
The headphones are available in four colors: white, purple (it looks pink in the photo), olive and black. I got a purple model. It is clearly created for girls, but fashionistas will also appreciate it.
The case seems to be simple, but it also has its own chips. Firstly, it is made of very nice smooth plastic. Secondly, it is very, very small, fits in any pocket. Thirdly, the cover is fixed in an extreme position so that the headphones can be easily removed. Naturally, there are magnets to hold the cups in place.
All cases are white, but the inner part matches the color of the headphones, an interesting solution.
The claimed runtime is five or seven and a half hours, depending on whether the noise cancellation system works. The case gives several charges. The total time can be 20 or 29 hours. You all know how TWS headphones are used – I walked from the subway, listened to music for an hour in the office, and put them in a case. And I connected a cable to the case. It turns out that the working time here is almost endless! After all, fast charging is also supported here: in five minutes, in a case, the headphones are charged for an hour of listening to music.
Well, until now, reverse charging, for example, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra, is perceived as magic.
There are no questions about landing. In the Galaxy Wearable app, you can check if the attachments are well-matched. I advise you to do so. I managed to carry Buds2 for two hours in a row, no fatigue. Samsung says it has tried to shrink the body and make the Buds2 fit many ears. It seems that they did an excellent job – I gave the headphones to five colleagues in the office to try, everyone found the headphones comfortable.
Touch control, everything is traditional here: by pressing, you can control calls, music playback, various functions of the headphones. Let’s see how the sensors will behave in winter.
The whole procedure is straightforward: I only needed to open the cover of the headphones. The Galaxy S21 Ultra screen immediately prompts you to connect Buds2. In a few seconds, the earbuds are “registered” in the Galaxy Wearable program, the update is supported, the equalizer settings. There is a section with experimental features, while it decreases data transfer latency in games. I tried to play CoD: Mobile, there were no delays even if the function was turned off.
To find headphones, you need to use the Smart Things Find program, do not forget to go there. Also, do not forget to go to the Bluetooth settings and activate auto-switching devices. This is a cool feature. If logged into one Samsung account, the headphones will understand which gadget you are currently using and connect to it. In my case, these are Fold 2 and S21 Ultra, switching on the fly – let’s say, I started YouTube on Fold, the sound in Buds2 comes from there.
Noise Canceling, Ambient Sound Mode
The main thing to know is that noise cancellation works! This is a rarity for TWS headphones, I constantly test such models, and more often, it happens when the function is declared, but there is no use from it. In Buds2, everything related to ANC has been aggravated – not only are there microphones inside and outside, but there is also a noise reduction based on machine learning. There are various unpleasant noises in the database. If Buds2 detects some screaming or a cup breaking against the office wall, they carefully muffle or try to minimize such activity.
Each earpiece has as many as three microphones and a bone conduction sensor. I communicated with Buds2 in the office, at home, on the street – you don’t have to raise your voice. You can hear it well. Conversations in the office are generally perfect.
Ambient Sound Mode works as expected and can be customized. For example, colleagues’ voices in the next room can sound low, medium, or loud. You can even quietly eavesdrop on what it is about, hiding behind the monitor.
Surprisingly, even a mid-range device now has the coolest acoustic design. Two drivers are used here: one for the high frequencies, the second for the mid and low frequencies. This achieves an amazing sound quality for TWS. There are many basses, a great stage, a lot of air, and there is no shyness – I listened to the stream from Spotify, the tracks prepared by the neural network in Endel, and my favorite playlist in Tidal. Everywhere the headphones show themselves to be unexpectedly pleasant.
I just knew how much they cost – and meanwhile, such a gorgeous sound is poorly combined with such a pleasant price.
In retail, the headphones will appear on September 10 this year. The price is $199 – at the same time, everything possible was stuffed into Buds2. I liked the comfort of wearing, the sound quality, the operating time, and the noise cancellation system’s implementation. All functions work as stated. The case was reduced as much as they could. All applications are as user-friendly as possible with any skill level.
Probably, someone would like some flavor in the Buds2 design. But I understand the logic of the company’s designers and engineers: there are incredible Buds Lives on sale. If you want extravagance, choose magic beans. Well, Buds2 are great headphones for life and any use scenario. Unless for very, very active sports, the Buds Pro with IPX7 protection is better – although, with the Buds2, it is quite possible to walk on the track or work with free weights.
The bottom line is that these are some of the best TWS earbuds on the market for their money, and I highly recommend Buds2 to all users. And audiophiles as well. At least try to listen.
PS In my memory, these are some of the first headphones from the company with a number of their own accessories – a case with IPX67 protection, a leather case, a transparent case, and replaceable earbuds. I will try to add live photos of these things to the review.
You can pre-order the link.