The true wireless Galaxy Buds+ have a crazy 11-hour playback time on a charge.
By Sascha Segan
Having cast off headphone jacks from its new Galaxy S20 lineup, Samsung is doubling down on its true wireless earbuds. So here come the Galaxy Buds+, with crazy 11-hour battery life and improved voice performance for $149.99. I got a chance to check them out ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event.
I used Samsung’s previous Galaxy Buds for a few months and didn’t love them. Battery life was mediocre, and microphone transmission quality in noisy areas left a lot to be desired. But if the Galaxy Buds+ hold true to their promised of 11 hours, that’s double the battery life of the previous model, with another full charge in their charging case. (And to be clear, that’s 11 hours of music playback time, converting to 7.5 hours of talk time, Samsung says.)
The Buds+ look and feel just like the previous model. They’re in fact the exact same size, but a bit heavier-0.22 ounces to 0.20 ounces-because of the slightly bigger battery, 85mAh rather than 58mAh. The Buds+ charge wirelessly when in their case, and can get an hour of music playback time with a three-minute charge, Samsung says.
The old Buds had one external mic and one internal one; these have two on the outer face and one on the inside. Presumably, that should make for better background and wind noise reduction, which was a big problem for the previous model.
In terms of audio quality, the Buds+ support AAC and SBC. I’m a little disappointed that they don’t have AptX, the Qualcomm-proprietary codec set built into most Android phones that delivers great quality with relatively little energy, but I think that just means Samsung decided not to go with a Qualcomm chipset here. The Buds+ now work with iPhones as well as Android devices, though.
I didn’t get to put the Buds+ in my ear at the Samsung event. But I did fiddle with them in my hands for a little while, and the spec sheet tells the truth: they really do seem to be the exact same size as last year’s models, just slightly noticeably heavier.
Like the previous Buds, they will definitely plug up your ear. It’s up to you whether that’s a more comfortable or attractive approach than the semicolon style of Apple’s AirPods and similar competing earphones. I personally don’t like the little AirPods tubes hanging down from my ear, but other people have said that the larger Galaxy Buds make their ears feel uncomfortably full. I don’t have that problem; this is very much a matter of taste.
The Galaxy Buds+ come in black, blue, or white for $149.99. They go on sale on February 14 and on shelves March 6.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.