Galaxy Buds Plus arrive next month, but without a key feature (report)

Galaxy Buds
Samsung's current Galaxy Buds (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S20 and foldable Galaxy Z Flip will get some company at Samsung's Feb. 11 in the form of a new pair of Galaxy Buds wireless earbuds. But the Galaxy Buds Plus will be appearing without a much-anticipated feature.

Sammobile, citing reliable sources on the matter, reports that when the Galaxy Buds Plus make their debut next month, they'll do so without active noise cancellation. The feature had long been rumored for the next edition Samsung's wireless earbuds, in large part because it would match a feature Apple offered with the AirPods Pro that debuted late last year.

Instead, Samsung sounds like it's going to concentrate on two other areas to improve the performance of the earbuds over last year's Galaxy Buds. Sammobile says the Galaxy Buds Plus will feature four microphones — double the amount on the original earbuds — in an effort to improve call quality.

That was one of our biggest complaints about Samsung's earbuds when we reviewed the Galaxy Buds last year. When my colleague Sherri Smith took calls on the Galaxy Buds, the person on the other end of the line sounded muffled — "like she was talking through a sound-dampening filter." So any effort to improve that part of the Buds' otherwise solid performance would be welcome.

Expect the new earbuds to last longer, too, according to Sammobile's sources. When we tested the Galaxy Buds last year, they live up to Samsung's claims of around 6 hours of battery life. The Galaxy Buds Plus will reportedly feature a 85 mAh battery, up from 58 mAh in the previous model, which could extend battery life to 12 hours on a single charge.

Despite those additions, the Galaxy Buds Plus could be defined more by the feature that isn't there, should reports that active noise cancellation is a no-go prove to be true. Longer battery life and better call quality may be enough to convince holdouts to give the Galaxy Buds Plus a try, but it's not going to convince many people to upgrade from their $130 headphones — or look past the fact that Apple already offers a pair of wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.