In addition to updating its line of smartphones with the Galaxy S20, Samsung has also updated its wireless headsets with Galaxy Buds +. As much as a lot is similar to the previous version, this “Plus” in the name makes sense.
The promised battery time is now 11 hours – or 22 hours with the case – the sound outputs and the microphone have gained a turbo. Buds + are far from perfect, but Samsung has made major improvements.
The visual changes were timid. In addition to the new colors, the case is only different in the new glossy finish, which is matte in the first version. The external LED, the USB-C socket and the Samsung logo on the cover are in the same position. These are some of the more noticeable changes to having both in hand:
The ‘left’ and ‘right’ icons now look like buttons, but are not
The internal LED is now above these icons
The space for each phone is a little bigger
And the lid opens and closes more subtly
The new colors are black, blue and white. There is also a red one, which has not yet been released here. Each headset weighs 6.3 grams, or 0.3 grams more than the originals.
They don’t bother you, but it is ideal to test the erasers that come in the box. Both because there is no active noise isolation, as well as to make them stand. The original Buds have already fallen out of my ear while skating, so it is good to be careful during busy activities.
The new Buds + continued to be protected against sweat and moderate water drops (IPX2). They survive a drip or more demanding workouts, but they may stop working if they fall into soup or soda.
Each phone also has a touchpad, as in previous Buds. You can customize them to trigger an assistant (Bixby, Google Assistant, Siri), control the volume, activate ambient sound mode or start Spotify.
This last feature works only on Android devices and plays the songs without touching the phone. It is also possible to double-tap the earpiece to increase or decrease the volume, but this gesture is not very intuitive.
In the surround sound feature, which picks up external audio through microphones, there are now three levels of intensity. If you need more, there is a fourth “hidden” level in the settings.
Gestures, in general, are simple and work well. If you are a new user, remember not to use too much force when touching headphones. Otherwise, it may cause discomfort in the ear canal.
The sound quality of the Buds + has been improved and now each headset has a woofer and a tweeter. They follow AKG technology and have a better bass response even at lower frequencies.
At medium and high frequencies, the instruments sound a little less exciting, but there is a lot of clarity and the improvement on this point was significant. In the equalizer, we find a better balance of sound in dynamic mode.
But, as in the originals, Buds + do not support the aptX codec. It supports SBC and AAC standards, in addition to Scalable which works only on Samsung devices. Latency is also low, better synchronizing content with games or videos / movies. It is not the lowest on the market, but it fulfills a satisfactory role.
Samsung also added an extra microphone to the Buds +. Now, there are two external and one internal. This helps a lot in calls, recordings or in ambient sound mode. Only outside is there a greater loss of quality, but they still sound clearer than last year’s model.
Each headset now has 85 mAh battery, compared to 58 mAh in the previous version. The charging time has also been improved and this is great for fast charges. The estimate is that in 3 minutes loading, Buds + have a charge for 1 hour of music. Buds + are also compatible with induction charging (Qi).
During this testing period, Buds + were always used for about seven days on a single charge on the headphones and the case. Samsung promises up to 22 total hours of use, which is easily achieved on an average of 3 hours a day.
The case now has 270 mAh, which is still little, but it is better than the 252 mAh of the first model. In fact, the charging time has been optimized for about an hour.
When I tested the first version of the Buds there was no iOS app. Now, Samsung brings an app with the same name as the headphones to try to pull iPhone users, since the previous experience was very limited.
On Android, the app remains Galaxy Wearable. It has a simplified interface and clear options on what you can do, usage tips and the like.
The headphones are easily paired (even on computers) and the app does just about the entire process. They cannot yet be paired with two devices at the same time and do not automatically replay music when reconnected.
They have Bluetooth 5.0 and at a distance of 10 meters they do not lose the connection. But even in am