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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/
Driver configuration: Dual dynamic driver
This Buds2 was kindly provided by Samsung.
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.
- USB-C/USB-A charging cable
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”.
- 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.