The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are a significant advance over their predecessors, with active noise cancellation, superior sound quality, and a comfortable fit. While not the greatest true wireless earbuds on the market, they are easily among the best for Samsung smartphone owners who demand precise synchronization with their Galaxy accessories.
The Galaxy Buds Pro’s outside is made of rubberized plastic and metal, whereas the Galaxy Buds 2’s exterior is built of matte plastic. These buds have an IPX2 rating, a significant drop from the IPX7 rating of the Galaxy Buds Pro. They can withstand small drops of water, but are not splash- or perspiration-proof. Samsung chose to retain the charging case’s clamshell design. It is one of the most portable designs in the category and feels remarkably light in your hands and pockets. The magnetic lid is powerful to secure the earbuds, and the plastic frame is robust despite being readily marred and scratched.
Galaxy Buds 2 behave differently in terms of on-ear detection. Instead than removing just one earbud to pause the music, you must remove both. That was only one of my issues with the function. The other two were that it functions with a 2-second delay and does not play automatically when the earbuds are reinserted. Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby are all compatible with the Galaxy Buds 2 and can be engaged using the touch-and-hold gesture, which can be be programmed to increase/decrease the volume or enable Spotify.
When it comes to audio, Samsung always delivers, and the Galaxy Buds 2 are no different. These tiny in-ear headphones have AKG-tuned drivers that produce lively, detailed sound that can be modified via the Galaxy Wearable app’s Equalizer. Normal (the default), Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost are the six available presets. Each of these pairs nicely with the corresponding musical genre.
Samsung estimates the battery life to be 5 hours with ANC enabled and 7.5 hours without. Comparing ANC playtimes, this is only a slight improvement over the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours) and significantly less than the WF-1000M4 (13 hours) (8 hours). Even more disappointing is the 20-hour charging case, which falls short of the industry standard of 24 hours, which is set by the AirPods/AirPods Pro charging case. Non-ANC use boosts battery life to 29 hours, but let’s be honest: you’re probably getting these to maximize ANC use.
Those dissatisfied with the playtimes can take heart in the fact that the Galaxy Buds 2 have some of the most powerful quick charging available, providing one hour of use on a five-minute charge. Additionally, battery optimization has been enhanced to extract every last drop of juice from the battery for optimal use.