Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Review: Small Buds, Big Sound

Galaxy Buds 2

Introduced alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 earlier this year, the Galaxy Buds 2 are Samsung’s entry-level TWS offering that flaunt sleek style and note-worthy features. Samsung’s lightest earbuds to date, the Galaxy Buds 2 are a big a step up over its predecessor, and come equipped with active noise cancelling. It also features better sound quality and functionality overall.

Simple and Stylish

The Galaxy Buds 2 is a minimalist’s dream come true. Unboxing it is equally straightforward. Inside, you can find a user guide, ear tips, and a USB-C cable. It features an interesting design, the carrying case is a pristine, glossy white square that reminds us of an engagement ring box—in the best way possible. Aside from being reminiscent in shape and size, it elicits a frisson of excitement once it is opened. You’ll find the interior in Olive, Lavender, Graphite, or White, depending on which color option you choose.

The Galaxy Buds2 in Graphite, White, Olive, and Lavender

At the rear of the case, you can find a USB-C charging port and an indicator light up front. If you don’t want to use a cable to juice up, the Galaxy Buds2 also support wireless charging.

The buds themselves look like sleek pebbles and come in the same semi-glossy plastic as the carrying case. Looks-wise, the Galaxy Buds 2 are nearly identical to the Galaxy Buds Pro. The Buds Pro uses a metallic material and are a tad more expensive, though.

Small Buds, Big sound

Given their tiny footprint, the Galaxy Buds 2 deliver really great sound—especially considering its modest price tag. Tuned by AKG, its mids and highs are bright, crisp, and well-balanced. It’s also wonderful that the bass can be felt on these earbuds—always a constant struggle amongst TWS set-ups—although we did have to turn on ‘bass boost’ on the Galaxy Wearable app to get a better feel of it. With active noise cancelling on, it’s quite a treat to listen on.

It uses two microphones and machine learning to filter out unwanted sound while at the same time increasing voice clarity when on calls. Additionally, the earbuds’ small, rounded shape means it nestles into the ear snugly and reduces picking up any wind. In relatively quiet environments, with ANC and music on, you’ll barely hear what’s going on around you. However, in busier settings, it doesn’t quite manage to muffle the hubbub of the outside world. But among true wireless earbuds in its price range, the Galaxy Buds 2 has got one of the best active noise cancelling we’ve tried so far.

Samsung also lets you choose the level of noise filtering, giving free reign to the user’s preferences. The noise cancelling and ambient sound—which lets outside sound in so you can stay spatially aware—settings can be adjusted and fine-tuned on the app as well.

For non-Samsung Android users, you’d have to install the Galaxy Wearable app and a plug-in to access the settings of your Buds 2. The Galaxy Buds 2 are also iOS compatible, but be warned that all you get are the basics. Plus, you’ll need an Android device to update its firmware.

Into the Galaxy Ecosystem

For long-time Galaxy users, the Galaxy Buds 2 are a compelling choice as they integrate so seamlessly into the Galaxy ecosystem. Even without prior pairing, Samsung phones can detect the earbuds once you snap the case open. Additionally, if you’re using several Galaxy devices, auto-switch allows you to switch your sound from one device to another hands-free. The newly released Galaxy Watch4 also lets you toggle noise controls and check your earbuds’ power from your wrist.   

Speaking of battery, the Galaxy Buds 2 promises to deliver up to 5 hours of playtime while the case holds 15 hours more—giving you a total of 20 hours of playtime. In real life, we were able to use the Galaxy Buds2 for around two days of on and off use before needing to recharge the case. However, it’ll be a much shorter time if you keep the ANC on for the duration of your listen.

These earbuds are best used in your home office (or actual office, should work from home not be a thing anymore) and are doable for café frequenters and commuters. A little setback, is that they’re only IPX2 rated, which means it can tolerate some minimal sweat and splash but it may be best to leave them at home if you’re planning on doing a sweaty workout or are heading to the beach.

Verdict

For Galaxy users, the Buds 2 are an obvious choice if you’re looking for TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation that won’t break the bank. Its seamless ecosystem integration mean that you’ll get the best out of your buds. Android (and iOS, *wink*) users will find it a great everyday essential, too. Plus, it offers solid, well-rounded features that make it a formidable contender in the entry-level segment.

The Galaxy Buds 2 retail at P6,990 but Samsung is offering P2,000 off when you purchase a pair from October 25-November 11. Get yours here.

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