With a recommended retail price of $149.99, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are Samsung’s cheapest, smallest and lightest Galaxy Buds to date, but still offer plenty of features with dynamic two-way speakers, ANC, transparency mode, wireless charging, and auto-play/auto-pause.
The Galaxy Buds 2 have been available in four colors (Graphite, White, Olive, and Lavender) since the end of August 2021. Besides the earbuds and the charging case, buyers get a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, three pairs of silicone tips in different sizes, and a quick-start guide.
Technical Specifications and Features:
Smallest & Lightest
The Galaxy Buds 2 are Samsung’s smallest and lightest earbuds to date at 5.0 g per ear. They rely on the classic Earbuds shape, where no stem protrudes from the ear, but small buttons barely protrude from the ear. Silicone attachments, which come in three sizes, are used to seal the ear canal. Users can run an “Earbud Fit Test” in the Galaxy Wearable app to check the fit.
The charging case of the Galaxy Buds 2 measures 50.0 × 50.2 × 27.8 mm and is identical to the Galaxy Buds Pro in terms of features. They are not only surprisingly small but they also can be carried around in your pocket without any problems, but they are also light at almost 1.5 oz.Galaxy Buds 2 also offers wireless charging according to the Qi standard. Alternatively, the case can be charged using USB-C. The battery capacity of the charging case is 472 mAh, and the battery in the earpiece has a capacity of 61 mAh. These values are also identical for the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro despite their smaller dimensions and lower weight.
The earbuds are magnetically held firmly in the charging case and do not fall out even when turned upside down. They are also easy to remove since they protrude just far enough.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) & Transparency Mode
The Galaxy Buds 2 feature active noise cancellation and a variable transparency mode that allows users to hear ambient noise while wearing theearbuds. The transparency mode is variable in that users can set it to three intensity levels to adjust the ambient volume according to different occasions and user preferences. Three microphones (2 external, 1 internal) are used for Active Noise Cancellation. Leading to a give and take style processing that takes into account how the sound arrives in the consumer’s ear.
With the Galaxy Buds 2, Samsung delivers improvements in phone quality as well as a new machine learning-based solution that is rumored to mitigate a variety of distracting background noise in order to improve voice quality.
Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC, SSC and IPX2
The new wireless earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2 for the wireless connection, and SBC, AAC, and Samsung’s own SSC for the codecs. Samsung does not provide details about the sensitivity, sound pressure level, or frequency response. The Galaxy Buds 2 are protected against moisture according to IPX2, which is only a protection against falling dripping water. Especially compared to the Galaxy Buds Pro, which is certified according to IPX7, this is an undeniable step in the wrong direction.
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|Galaxy Buds 2||Galaxy Buds Pro||Galaxy Buds +||Galaxy Buds Live|
|Samsung Galaxy Buds – Comparison|
|Audio Codecs:||AAC, SBC, SSC||AAC, SBC, SSC||AAC, SBC, SSC||AAC, SBC, SSC|
|Battery Life:||7.5 hours / 5.0 hours (ANC)||8.0 hours / 5.0 hours (ANC)||11.0 hours||8.0 hours / 6.0 hours (ANC)|
|Battery Life with Case:||29.0 hours||28.0 hours||22.0 hours||21.0 hours|
|Active Noise Cancellation (ANC):||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Earbud Weight:||5.0 g||6.3 g||6.3 g||5.6 g|
|Earbud Dimensions:||17.0 x 20.9 x 21.1 mm||20.8 x 19.6 x 20.83 mm||27.3 x 16.5 x 14.9 mm|
|Case Weight:||41.5 g||45.0 g||39.6 g||43.0 g|
|Case Dimensions:||50.0 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm||50 x 50.3 x 20.7 mm||50.2 x 50.0 x 27.8 mm|
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 feature a proximity sensor in each earbud that automatically pauses and resumes playback when an earbud is removed and reinserted. Touch controls can be used to start and pause playback, skip through tracks, answer and reject calls, and adjust the volume.
A single tap starts and pauses playback while holding toggles between ANC and transparency mode. Double and triple taps are not enabled when you buy them, but the Galaxy Wearable app for Android can be used to skip navigate tracks.
Battery Life: 7.5 hours | 5 hours with ANC
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is up to 7.5 hours without Active Noise Cancellation. When ANC is used, theearbuds’ battery life is reduced to 5 hours. However, a quick charge provides enough power for another hour of music playback after 5 minutes.
Under normal everyday wear and tear, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will go four hours and fifty minutes (4 hours, 50 minutes) with ANC activated, medium volume, and playing a variety of music. Generally speaking, four hours and 50 minutes is a significant battery runtime for everyday use. That being said, it does not set them apart from the competition.
Auto Switch with Galaxy devices
In addition to Samsung’s other various Galaxy devices, the Galaxy Buds 2 support “Auto Switch”, i.e. automatically switching to the currently active device without the user having to manually switch the Bluetooth connection. For this to work, the Galaxy devices must be logged in with the same Samsung account. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 also supports “Quick Buds Control”, which allows the user to turn the active noise cancellation on or off and check the battery level using the watch.
The Galaxy Buds 2 do not support “Bluetooth Multipoint” like other devices. A connection can be initiated from a device without the user having to first disconnect an active connection with another device.
The Galaxy Buds 2 also do not support Google Fast Pair, which displays a pairing message on an Android smartphone when the charging case is open.
The controls can be adjusted to a limited extent via this app. Only “touch and hold” can be customized, which makes it possible to control calling the voice assistant and Spotify or volume control in addition to ANC control. If the latter option is selected, both earbuds adjust the volume according to the setting (louder and quieter). The other modes can be combined as desired. The noise cancellation control lets you choose between which modes to switch through theearbuds. “ANC <-> Transparency mode”, “ANC <-> Off” and “Transparency mode <-> Off” are available. The Galaxy Buds 2 do not offer a simple way to switch between all three options despite seemingly like the most sensible choice.
Most gestures that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 recognizes cannot be customized and volume control suffers from the noise cancellation feature.
The auto-pause feature was adapted from the Galaxy Buds Pro. Don’t get too excited, it has not been significantly improved from the past. Playback rarely pauses when anearbud is removed from the ear. The auto-pause feature only pauses when both earbuds are removed from the ear at the same time or one after the other. When one or both of the earbuds are placed back into the ear, the playback does not resume – theearbuds remain mute. This remains one of the strangest aspects of the Galaxy Buds 2 since the sensors are at excellent detection.
Fewer mistypes, but still mistypes
The input sensors function much better than the Galaxy Buds Pro. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are much less sensitive so that adjusting theearbuds in the ear does not always trigger an unintentional command. Unfortunately, unintended input commands rarely still occur, which occasionally activates the ANC or transparency modes.
Bothearbuds of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 can be used separately without any problems. Switching from stereo to mono or vice versa does not result in playback interruption. Very impressive, Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy Wearable App for Android
As previously mentioned, the Galaxy Buds 2 can connect to the Galaxy Wearable app. However, this is still only available for Android smartphones. Users who want to use an iPhone or iPad with Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 will have to forego options to customize or update the firmware.
Samsung Galaxy Wearable App With Galaxy Buds 2
In the Galaxy Wearable App, the charging status of theearbuds and charging case can be monitored, the ANC and transparency mode can be activated, and controls can be customized. The controls can be controlled in three levels. Unlike the Galaxy Buds Pro, the ANC cannot be adjusted by the app. One of the presets “Normal”, “Bass Boost”, “Soft”, “Dynamic”, “Clear”, and “Treble Boost” can be selected using an equalizer.
The Galaxy Buds 2 also have voice notifications. If selected, touch control can be entirely disabled in the app and fast switching between devices can be disabled if selected.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have great features and capabilities, but there’s is still room for improvement.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 fit nicely in the ear and protrude just slightly, so they can be worn with hats and bicycle helmets. Fit and comfort are better than with the Galaxy Buds Pro. The shape of the Galaxy Buds 2 hugs the ear better, which gives theearbuds additional support. Normal sports activities can be performed without issues and without falling out – another improvement on the Galaxy Buds Pro.
The sound of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 features a slightly boosted bass range without being overbearing or distracting. The overall sound is very pleasant. The bass can play powerful without booming or becoming messy. For better or worse, the bass is not as deep as with other earbuds on the market.
The trebles are clean and sound very impressive but tend to distort ever so slightly at maximum volume. In terms of sound, the Galaxy Buds 2 are exceptional for the price point.
ANC on par with AirPods Pro
The ANC feature on the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is impressive. It is much more effective than the ANC feature on the Galaxy Buds Pro and similar to the Apple AirPods Pro. The Apple Airpods Pro filter slightly more mid-range frequencies in white noise, but the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 filters more overall, so the remaining noise is quieter. Birdsong is only filtered very little by the active noise cancellation. However, the same is true on the AirPods Pro.
The ANC generates a slight sound in silence when listening closely, but this is not distracting for everyday use. However, the wind is audible, even if its a slight breeze, which is why it is much better to listen to music without ANC when riding a bike, for example.
Customizable wind sensitive transparency mode
The noise generated by the transparency mode becomes stronger with each choice of intensity. You can choose between “Low”, “Medium” and “High” by using the app. “High” produces a clearly present noise and a strong amplification of the surroundings, which also sounds a bit harsh. Medium level is perfect for everyday use, where the surroundings still sound very natural and are only slightly amplified.
Users who want to use the transparency mode on a bicycle should note that the wind noise transmitted to the ear not only interferes with music but also with the natural surroundings.
When it comes to phone capability, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 stand out due to two features. On the one hand, the “Voice Pickup Unit”, which is the name of Samsung’s signal processor, needs a moment to identify the wearer’s voice, which is joined by an increase in voice volume shortly after the call starts. Additionally, the Galaxy Buds 2 filter out the surroundings almost completely – and more so than the Galaxy Buds Pro. Only a single birdsong can still be heard, but city noise is completely eliminated. This results in the user’s voice sounding slightly muffled, but remains audible.
In terms of latency, the Galaxy Buds 2 do not show any deviation from the standard, neither in a positive nor negative way. The offset between image and sound is therefore 160 to 180 ms in both Android and iOS when the video player does not perform its own synchronization to compensate for this latency.
The Bottom Line
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have exceptional sound and ANC when compared to the Galaxy Buds Pro. The sound on the Galaxy Buds 2 is better than the sound on the AirPods Pro and the Active Noise Cancellation is comparable. The earbuds fit comfortably and are perfect to be worn under hats without any issues. They are also superior to the Galaxy Buds Pro in this respect. The charging case is small, light, and offers fast wireless charging. The battery life of theearbuds is decent but only average.
The controls are still limited and the app does little to improve this limitation. In addition, the equalizer cannot be adjusted manually, but only presets are available. And the automatic pausing of playback using infrared sensors only triggers when both earbuds are removed from the ear. Even then, playback does not resume when theearbuds are placed back in.
Unintentional inputs are still present as a result of touch controls and the smallearbud size, but they are far less frequent than in the Galaxy Buds Pro. However, the protection class is a step backward, because the Galaxy Buds 2 are only certified according to IPX2, whereas the Buds Pro is certified according to IPX7. Even heavy rain could lead to disaster for the Galaxy Buds 2. The Galaxy Buds 2 are also more sensitive to wind than the Galaxy Buds Pro.
iPhone and iPad users will still be excluded from any updates and customization options since the optional Galaxy Wearable app is only available for Android.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2are exceptional earbuds especially in terms of sound, active noise cancellation, and sleek design. A significant improvement upon the Galaxy Buds Pro.
FAQ – Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Are the Galaxy Buds 2 available?
The Galaxy Buds 2 have been available since August 2021 in four colors: Graphite, White, Olive, and Lavender.