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Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review (hands on)

Excellence gets even better with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

we tried on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

For

  • Impressive sound
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Rated 11-hour battery life

Against

  • Touch controls can be sensitive

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus take one of last year's best wireless earbuds and make them even better. The $149 buds improve on Samsung's flagship earbuds with splash resistance, improved speakers and microphones and an 11-hour battery that could put the AirPods to shame.

We've yet to render a final verdict, but the Galaxy Buds Plus' impressive sound, superb comfort and potentially great battery life could make them the new king of wireless earbuds. 

Galaxy Buds Plus price and availability

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Buds Plus cost $149 and will launch alongside the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra on March 6. They'll be available in white, black and blue.

Galaxy Buds Plus specs


Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Price
$149.99
ColorsWhite, Black, Blue, Red
Battery Life (Estimated)11 hours, 22 hours (charging case)
Size
0.7 x 0.9 x 0.8 inches
Weight (earbuds, Charging Case)
0.2 ounces, 1.4 ounces

Galaxy Buds Plus design and comfort

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Buds Plus sport a similar design to their predecessors, with a circular, sleek shape that won't hang out of your ears like the AirPods do. The Buds Plus come in black, white and blue, with each model shipping with a matching charging case (I'm especially fond of the blue model that matches the blue Galaxy S20) 

Samsung's latest buds are also IPX2-rated, which means they can handle a quick splash when walking in the rain or working out. As a diehard AirPods user, I'm a fan of how unobtrusive and subtle the Galaxy Buds Plus look (though I found that the actual earbuds are chunkier than those of Apple's buds). More importantly, they feel great. 

The 0.2-ounce buds are so feather-light that I often forgot I had anything in my ears. I did find the default ear tips a bit too small, but I was able to remedy that by switching to one of the two extra sets Samsung includes in the box. The Galaxy Buds Plus also include three swappable wing tips for finding the right fit for your inner ear.

Galaxy Buds Plus audio quality

The Galaxy Buds Plus feature AKG-tuned, two-way dynamic speakers, which should deliver more of the same great sound we loved on the original Galaxy Buds. The earbuds also feature three microphones for crisp voice quality for making calls, something that directly addresses one of our few complaints with the original model.

Once I found the right set of ear tips, I found the Galaxy Buds Plus to offer a clear, satisfying soundstage. I could easily pick out the basslines, scratchy guitars and bouncy punk drums of Spanish Love Songs' "Self-Destruction," and could hear every detail of the breezy vocals and electronic bass in Haim's "Now I'm In It." 

Galaxy Buds Plus battery life

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Buds Plus promise 11 hours of juice with an additional 11 hours from the charging case. That's nearly twice as long as the regular Galaxy Buds' 6-hour battery, and significantly longer than the AirPods' rated runtime of 5 hours. We look forward to testing Samsung's claims for ourselves. 

Galaxy Buds Plus features

Like the previous Galaxy Buds, the Galaxy Buds Plus have handy on-ear controls for easily controlling your music playback without touching your phone. I found it easy to pause tracks with a single tap, skip tracks with a double tap or go to the previous track with a triple tap. However, I did find the controls a bit sensitive, and occasionally found myself accidentally pausing tracks when my hands would lightly touch the buds.

The Buds Plus also pack Samsung's Ambient Aware feature, which lets you adjust how much ambient noise you want to let in using the earbuds' companion app. 

Outlook

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The original Galaxy Buds are some of our favorite wireless earbuds out there, and the Galaxy Buds Plus are shaping up to be a subtle but much-welcomed improvement -- especially if that 11-hour battery lives up to its claim. Stay tuned for our full Galaxy Buds Plus review to find out of Samsung's latest earbuds can take down the AirPods once and for all.