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Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Review: Perfect Everyday Earbuds

August 26, 2021 - Posted in News Posted by:

Pairing is near-instant with modern Android phones, and they pair the same way other non-Apple Bluetooth devices pair in iOS. That said, if you are on iOS, you won’t get the same app-based controls, as there is no app support. You can control ambient mode and ANC on the earbuds themselves (a long press toggles between them), so you’re missing only the EQ controls, the ability to ping the location of each earbud via the app, a fit test, and Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby (no loss). 

Trickle-Down Sound

Dual-driver arrays, where you get one for treble and one for bass, are still relatively rare in wireless earbuds. Samsung debuted its first pair with dual drivers in the still-awesome Buds Pro, and it’s nice to see it in the Buds2.

They don’t have the same clarity and openness as on the more expensive older sibling, but the bass response is heads and shoulders better than other earbuds at this price. I’ve been on a ’90s singer-songwriter binge lately, and everyone from Alanis Morissette to Sheryl Crow plays with signature major-label sheen. The drums sound perfectly punchy, with acoustic guitars and background vocals layering perfectly in the mid and high range.

The onboard noise-canceling does well to create a blank sonic canvas to enjoy your tunes, but even with it off, or with ambient mode turned on so you can hear friends, car horns, and coworkers, you still get a pretty accurate representation of your music.

You can spend more for better sound with the Buds Pro, but to be honest, the Buds2 offer some of the best all-around audio performance I’ve heard. In fact, they’re a bit more closed off than the Buds Pro, so you get less sound leaking in before noise-canceling takes over.

The onboard microphones work fine for calls and Zoom meetings, but they’re not quite as good as the AirPods Pro, Buds Pro, or Sony WF-1000XM4. You’ll still sound better than if you were using your phone’s mic.

A New Standard

Photograph: Samsung

We’ve had more than two generations of wireless earbuds from Samsung, Apple, and others, but it really does feel like we’ve rounded a corner when it comes to performance.

A few years ago, we’d clamor for a pair that didn’t disconnect when our phones were in our back pockets. Now, we can get dual drivers, noise canceling, wireless charging, an ergonomic design, and great app-based functionality for less than $150.

The Buds2 usher in a new period in wireless earbuds, one in which there is no reason to settle for less. If my closet wasn’t full of dozens of pairs of headphones waiting for ear time, these would be my daily pair.