Audio, Review

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Review: Getting the Basics Right for RM499

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is the Korean company’s latest entry-level wireless earbuds. Retailing at RM499, it’s certainly not an expensive earbuds. However, is it any good?

Well, after spending a couple of weeks with the Buds 2, I’m really quite happy with it, especially in regard to audio quality. Even though it does have a couple of shortcomings, they can be easily overlooked, given its affordable nature. If you want a no-nonsense wireless earbuds, consider the Buds 2.

What It Is

Despite its entry-level positioning, the Galaxy Buds 2 still comes with active noise cancellation (ANC), which is one of the headline features of these earbuds. Aside from that, they are also very lightweight; each earbud weighs merely 5g. This, in turn, improves the comfort of these earbuds over long periods of use.

In terms of battery life, the Buds 2’s 61mAh battery has a claimed battery life of up to five hours with ANC switched on; 7.5 hours if ANC is disabled. With the included charging case, the battery life can be extended up to 20 hours or 29 hours with ANC off; respectable figures.

And then there’s the price tag of the Galaxy Buds 2. Retailing at RM499, it’s quite a bit more affordable than Samsung’s higher-end offerings, such as the RM799 Buds Pro. For that kind of money, you’re getting a lot of value for your money, especially in terms of audio quality – let’s get to that in the next section.

The Good Stuff

What really impressed me when I first started using the Galaxy Buds 2 is its audio quality; more specifically, the bass. These earbuds offer pleasantly strong bass, which is also layered, detailed, and (most importantly) fun to listen to. Basically, if you like earbuds that handle bass well, the Buds 2 will not disappoint.

Other than that, the Buds 2 also offers reasonably good mids. Female vocals, for one, are smooth, though it may come off as dull on some tracks. These earbuds also have clean and smooth highs, but there is a lack of sparkle with some sibilance. However, overall, the Buds 2 really does offer good audio quality, especially in terms of bass control.

Audio quality aside, the Buds 2 also has a nice, comfortable fit. It’s easy to get a nice, snug seal in my ear thanks to the “bean” shape of these earbuds, and it feels comfortable to wear even over long periods of use. As mentioned, the lightweight nature of the Buds 2 helps in this regard.

Battery life of the Buds 2 also lines up with Samsung’s estimates. It does last me about five hours of continuous use with ANC enabled, and I can stretch it up to seven hours or so with ANC switched off. While there are other earbuds that can last even longer, I do find this level of battery life acceptable for earbuds at this price point.

Anyway, I quite like the charging case of the Buds 2 as well, which has enough juice to charge up the earbuds about three times. It’s also neat that the charging case supports wireless charging now for added convenience.

The Bad Stuff

Of course, considering that the Galaxy Buds 2 is an entry-level offering, its ANC is not particularly great. While it does cancel out some noise, it’s quite mild; mid to high frequency hums are still prominent. On the flip side, at least the ANC doesn’t have a “deafening” effect.

If you plan to take the Buds 2 out for a workout, do note that it only has an IPX2 rating. This means it can withstand some water splashes, but anything more than that – like getting caught in a heavy downpour – may damage the earbuds.

My last qualm with the Buds 2 is a small one: it’s…a little too slippery. Because it has such a glossy surface, it can be tricky to get a good grip on the earbuds to put them on and off. It’s a small annoyance, but definitely something that is worth pointing out.

Is It Worth It?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, with its RM499 asking price, is a fantastic option for those who want a pair of wireless earbuds that got all of the basic features right. It has good audio quality, long enough battery life, and a snug, comfortable fit in an affordable package.

Sure, the Buds 2 doesn’t have the best ANC or water resistance rating, but this is an entry-level pair of earbuds – there’s only so much you can ask for. In any case, if you’re shopping for earbuds below the RM500 price point, I reckon you will be very happy with the Buds 2.

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