Samsung Galaxy Buds2: Unboxing

Table of Contents

Introduction

Loyal readers of In-Ear Fidelity would know that I’ve been a big fan of Samsung’s true-wireless earbuds, and for good reason. It’s not coincidence that Samsung started to churn out excellent audio products after the acquisition of Harman International, a company dedicated to research into consumer sound profiles and the ultimate proliferator of the “Harman Target”, a frequency response target that basically predicts consumer preference.

The original Galaxy Buds was an amazing product, both in its time and till today. The Buds Plus, while making big strides in things like battery life and IPX standards, wasn’t really an improvement in terms of sound (in my opinion). The Buds Pro then came out as part of a separate higher-end TWS lineup, and in many respects it lived up to those expectations. And the Galaxy Buds Live… well, technically they’re earbuds and I hate earbuds, so I skipped that generation entirely.

With the Buds Plus now closing in on its second birthday, practically decripit in tech-time, Samsung follows up with its new successor alongside the announcement of the Z Flip3 and Z Fold3: the creatively-named Buds2. So in a confusing twist, the progression of the Galaxy Buds lineup is now…

Galaxy Buds (1) -> Galaxy Buds+ -> Galaxy Buds2

… with the Live and the Pro operating as their own distinctly separate lineups altogether.

But this is In-Ear Fidelity, and people read us for one thing and one thing only: sound quality. So now we answer the question that everyone else skims over: how good do the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 actually sound?

Product page: https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile-audio/galaxy-buds2/

MSRP: $150

Driver configuration: Dual dynamic driver

This Buds2 was kindly provided by Samsung.

Non-audio opinions

My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.

Accessories

  • USB-C/USB-A charging cable 
  • Tips

Connection: SBC, AAC, and SSC (Samsung Scalable Codec, available exclusively for Samsung devices)

Build: good hardness on the charging case, feels a little more “premium” that on the Buds+. However the earpieces themselves may be a little too minimalistic; for instance they wouldn’t be out of place in some $50 cheapo Chinese set in my opinion.

Fit: nice and small, some of the smallest out of the small pool of TWS sets that I’ve tried. No complaints.

Isolation/ANC: Seems to have the same Buds Pro issue of being effective for low frequency noises but not so much for anything higher, resulting in background noise being less “isolated” and more “bass removed”.

Initial impressions

  • Bass and lower-mid response is solid as expected of Samsung-AKG. Nothing to say that I haven’t already praised in the Buds+.
    • That is to say, some of the best-tuned bass you can get.
  • Easily the brightest of all the Galaxy Buds.
    • The weird “bitcrushed effect” that I noted in my Buds+ review is notably absent in the Buds2.
  • Distinct lack of shoutiness owing to the more conservative upper-mid tuning (down with Harman IE!) but replaced with a sometimes-sibilant sharpness that makes percussive lines a chore to listen to.
  • Still a great TWS overall, but not exactly the total upgrade sound-wise that I was expecting.

Measurements

All data has been uploaded to the Graph Comparison Tool.

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17 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy Buds2: Unboxing”

  1. FUCK I ALREADY BOUGHT THE GALAXY BUDS PRO BECAUSE IT WAS THE HIGHEST RATED AND I LIKE THE MORE NEUTRAL FR OF THESE MORE. Well I guess I’m just gonna buy the original buds and give away the pro to my mom or something or just like not bother.

  2. They seem to all be good but with different characteristics so at some point, someone looking for the general sound of these earbuds should be able to find exactly what they are looking for if they read these reviews.

    I’ve been curious for how these would turn out.
    I was expecting worse when I was listening to the early reviews of these from others but it turned out better than I expected. That being said, the introduction of treble that can be sibilant would be a deal breaker for me (if I wasn’t already sold on the WF-1000XM3). Thanks for the review, Crinacle!

  3. oof, that massive 8k mountain :/ samsung just don’t care, do they?

    may i suggest the huawei freebuds pro for a review? in my extremely uneducated opinion, they sound very similar to the sony xba-n3. the freebuds have less subbass and the treble may rarely show a bit of metallic tinge, but i have no trouble switching between the two and enjoying them both equally.

    1. Dunno about the FreeBuds Pro. It is a model that is sold almost exclusively in China, so getting your hands on one in Singapore may be a bit tricky. Anyways, one of my Chinese audiophile buddies gave me this link:

      https://www.woodenears.com/article/55c77532-5401-429f-b794-bf29897dee56

      WoodenEars is a Chinese measuring website that only provides graphs (raw FR, compensated FR and THD) for IEMs and headphones. Their target curve is similar to Diffuse Field (Near-Field), and they measure with a B&K 4128c in their own anechoic chamber. I only use this website to see FR graphs for chi-fi IEMs or Chinese TWS that are not available on IEF.

        1. they are sold in the EU and russia, so not exclusively in china that’s for sure. but yeah, i see, they are not worth the hassle. getting them into singapore sounds like a pita

  4. Any chance you can branch into actual ANC measurements? Seems like the ear simulator would be perfect for that…

    1. The problem is not necessarily the measurement rig, but rather environmental variables. Isolation measurements require a very consistent baseline noise floor so I’d need to build a small anechoic chamber for the results to be reliable.

      1. In an ideal world, yes.

        In the meantime, even non-perfect measurements would seem like a substantial step ahead…

          1. Presumably he would put the earphones in a simulated ears stand and go to another room before turning on obnoxiously loud noise while it measures them.

    2. To be honest, ANC doesn’t really count as part of sound (which is what IEF is all about), because it relies more on the mics and the noise cancellation unit rather than the acoustic drivers. It’s why the ANC section is placed with isolation in the “non-audio opinions” section, because it is not exactly related to sound quality, and it’s another possible reason why crin doesn’t do ANC measurements.

  5. the sbc implementation is crap and distorts like there is no tomorrow. thanks to lack of aptx support, this tws is useless if you want to use it with a windows pc or a tv

  6. do u have any idea what the “dynamic” preset profile changes? it’s usually the go to for most galaxy buds users

    1. At least on my Buds+, it’s a V-shaped EQ profile. It boosts the lows and highs. I find it to be still too “sharp” sounding. Then again I find the “normal” profile a bit sharp and sibilant for my tastes on a lot of music. The bass one isn’t sharp at least but it then sounds dull. So I mostly end up using normal or dynamic, but with the “Tube Amp Pro” DSP filter on my Samsung phone.

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