Review verdict: Tiny buds don’t have to mean tiny sound, as the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 is one of the best TWS buds in the Philippines thanks to its awesome ANC and dual-driver setup. It costs a bit more than your typical buds, but the price of admission is worth it.
- Great sound improvement over its predecessors
- ANC and Ambient Mode gets the job done
- Scalable Codec exclusive to Galaxy phones
- Mapping touch controls can be a bit tricky
If you want a pair of Samsung TWS earbuds with ANC but find the Galaxy Buds Pro expensive, the Korean brand has a more affordable offering with the Galaxy Buds2. Effectively replacing the Galaxy Buds and Buds+, the Galaxy Buds2 is smaller than both of its predecessors while cramming in more features that include dual drivers and ANC.
You’d be hard-pressed to see physical differences between the case of the Galaxy Buds2 VS the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds Pro. All three Galaxy Buds make use of a square-shaped case with curved corners, a USB-C port at the back, an LED indicator in front, and a circular area at the bottom to house all the technical details and the wireless charging coil.
Regardless of what Galaxy Buds2 color you choose, the color of the case will always be glossy white. The finish does attract smudges, so it is wise to get a case for it to keep it pristine.
Opening the case reveals the Galaxy Buds2 themselves, which are smaller than both the Galaxy Buds and Buds+. You also get that “Sound by AKG” branding to signify that they offer premium sound quality. Unlike the Galaxy buds Pro, the Buds2 has a glossy finish throughout the whole body of each bud. There are two holes on the outside for the microphones, while the opposite side has charging pins, a wear detection sensor, and an additional microphone.
User Interface and Fit
Like all Galaxy wearables, the Galaxy Buds2 can be controlled via the Galaxy Wearable App. Aside from the usual customization options like touch control mapping and equalizer settings, the app lets you adjust the sensitivity of Ambient mode, along with a number of special features that are tucked away under the Labs settings.
When it comes to companion apps, Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app is one of the more comprehensive out there, and we appreciate the amount of customization you can do to the Galaxy Buds2.
The touch controls can be crammed with both ANC/Ambient Mode toggle and volume controls if you enable the double-tap earbud edge under the Labs settings. While we appreciate Samsung finding ways to incorporate all controls on the Galaxy Buds2’s tiny body, the double-tap earbud edge felt more like a gimmick. Trying to use this gesture to change volume is challenging, especially if you are on the go.
Currently, you can only change the touch control functions for tap-hold. We hope that Samsung expands the customization options for the touch controls in a later update.
With their minuscule size and more conventional design, I find the Galaxy Buds2 having a far better fit than the Buds Live. I also appreciate how discrete the Galaxy Buds2 are when you wear them, as the buds themselves do not poke out of your ears and remain to be discreet while you wear them.
Audio Quality and Battery Life
Dual drivers on TWS earbuds are a rarity, and it is amazing how Samsung managed to cram in two drivers (one for handling bass, and one for handling treble) inside the Galaxy Buds2’s tiny body. While it is positioned below the Galaxy Buds Pro, the soundstage on the Galaxy Buds2 is great considering its size. You get a great amount of detail on tracks with complex instrument arrangements, and the bass has a good punch that does not make your ears feel tired from listening to bass-heavy tracks.
Like other Galaxy Buds, the Buds2 makes use of Samsung’s Scalable Codec, which dynamically adjusts Bluetooth transmission to optimize the stream of high-bitrate music from the source device to the Galaxy Buds2. While it is at par with Qualcomm’s aptX (and its different variations), you can only use Scalable Codec if you pair the Buds2 with a Galaxy smartphone.
A big addition to the Galaxy Buds2 is the inclusion of ANC and Ambient Mode. While it lacks some of the Galaxy Buds Pro’s features like Voice Detect, it is nice to have ANC being a standard feature on Samsung’s mainstream TWS earbuds. Using them as my daily driver, the Galaxy Buds2’s ANC did a good job in filtering noise as I walk through the noisy streets of Espana Ave., while Ambient Mode is good enough on its default settings to make me aware of oncoming cars as I cross the street.
Samsung claims up to 5 hours of battery life on the Galaxy Buds2 with ANC on, and up to 20 hours with the case, and real-life use confirms this. Using them for around an hour a day while walking, and another hour for casual listening sessions while working, the Galaxy Buds2 lasted me for almost a week before I had to charge the case. Charging is done via USB-C or wirelessly with any Qi-supporting charging pad.
Wrap up and Conclusions
The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 is a great pair as we found in our review of them for the Philippines. Aside from being physically smaller than its predecessor, it is an incredible feat for Samsung to pack more features into the Galaxy Buds2 that include ANC, three microphones per earbud, and a dual-driver setup.
Along with an official price that is more affordable than the Galaxy Buds Live, the Galaxy Buds2 is Samsung’s best (tiny) alternative to their top-end Galaxy Buds Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Review Philippines Price
The Galaxy Buds2 are priced at Php 6,990 and comes in Olive Green, Graphite, White, and an online-exclusive Lavender.