The Korean manufacturer is winning in the race for autonomy … but completely misses the level of sound quality offered by the new version of its Galaxy Buds +. A real disappointment.
Can Samsung carve out a place in the world of true wireless? On February 11, the Korean manufacturer formalized at the same time as its Galaxy S20 and Z Flip, an improved version of its Galaxy Buds headphones presented in 2019. We were impatiently awaiting it, as the first version had left us hungry, especially in terms of sound quality.
Despite the AKG logo affixed to these headphones – the German brand now belongs to Samsung -, we were, in fact, unconvinced by the sound signature of the first Buds. Buds + however promise us mountains and wonders in the field, since Samsung explains that it has replaced the transducer of the former, by a two-way system: one reserved for bass, the other for treble. What to solve the problem?
Still a lot of work to do on the sound
Not really. Our disappointment is great from the first use of Buds +. Difficult, if not impossible, to realize a real difference with the original Buds. We are always entitled to as little bass, which prevents any impression of sound depth. Bass guitar parts, bass drum hits or bass voices are very poorly reproduced. As confirmed by our frequency response curve, it is above all the high mids and highs that really stand out. A feature that tires the ears once again during prolonged listening sessions.
Fortunately, the companion app of these Buds + (now also available on iOS), offers to adjust various parameters, including equalization through six presets. But by activating the bass boost, you get the impression that the treble is mostly reduced. This gives a very muted effect to the whole, a bit like when we activated Dolby on our cassette players of yesteryear.
Among the other options accessible via the application, it is possible to adjust the functions attached to the touch surfaces of Buds + or to activate notifications. In this case, a voice will speak a message upon receipt. Convenient so that you no longer have to take your smartphone out of your pocket.
Samsung smashes battery life records
Finally, the application allows you to adjust the transparency on three levels. The external headphones then pick up the external sound and feed it back into the headphones. A good way to listen to what’s going on around you without having to take it off your ears.
Samsung, however, is strong, very strong even, in terms of autonomy. The manufacturer even pays the luxury of marketing the most efficient true wireless headphones on the market in this area. The 01net lab thus measured 12:08 continuous operation! Suffice to say that these are the first true wireless headphones that you can use non-stop during a long-haul flight. With such autonomy, the charging case (via USB-C or induction) can only charge them once, but this offers a global possibility of 24-hour use away from any outlet.