All Samsung headphones are different
(Update) Galaxy Buds in the long-term test: The loyal companion has limits
It's been almost 2 months since I enthusiastically used the small Samsung headphones in my Galaxy Buds long-term test (you can read the original article again below). But after a little less than 5 months the problems began, both with the devices and with the official Samsung support. Therefore, in this article I would like to revise my original recommendation.
But let's start with: In April I received the Galaxy Buds in black from Samsung for a three-month test. After I hardly used the headphones in the first few weeks, in the following weeks I became more and more enthusiastic about the powerful “buttons”. So it was foreseeable that after I had to send the test product back in July, I would get my own buds. Since I was already planning to buy a white smartphone, I also decided on the white color version for the Buds.
After the shipment arrived, I barely got around to using the Galaxy Buds due to a family emergency. When I was wearing the white headphones again in mid-August, I noticed a rather annoying bug. The devices emit a confirmation tone after being inserted in the ear. If I carried the buds in my ear and turned one ear to the sun, the headphones sitting there played this confirmation tone in a continuous loop. Until I was back in the shade. Listening to music - impossible!
So I called Samsung support. After the queue was full, I received a call back after about 3 hours. The staff member was friendly and asked me to reset the headphones via the app and then try again. But that didn't help either. The endless repetition of the confirmation tone never ended. So I called support again and this time was referred to a repair shop in downtown Munich. From me that is about 50 minutes by public transport.
The shop assistant told me that the problem was occurring more often and that he had to send the buds to the repair service. I would get this back after a short time. That short time consisted of about 2.5 weeks in which I didn't hear anything (I didn't even get a confirmation of receipt). Then I received a couple of replacement buds (which weren't 100 percent clean) and a charging case that looked a bit more battered compared to my old one.
But I still had hope in the service and used the buds again the following week. The result: the same, repeating sound when exposed to sunlight. So off to the next queue and describe the matter to the (still) friendly support. After re-validating the error, I should take the Galaxy Buds to the repair shop again (again 50 minutes) and have them sent in.
With this addendum, I don't mean to say that all products are infallible. It is clear that from time to time there are batches that do not quite work and that is also okay (everyone makes mistakes). What this case shows, however, is that Samsung offers a rather poor customer service despite the friendly support staff. On the one hand, a product would have to be replaced after more than 2 weeks for a product with significantly more signs of use, and on the other hand, the duration and the long journey that you have to take.
So after 3 more months I can say: I haven't been able to enjoy music with the white Galaxy Buds for a minute and can therefore personally Not Recommend the purchase of this. But in the dark winter, the endless sound system should end, at least temporarily.
In the past, I would have categorically excluded a smartphone without a jack socket before buying it. Then a little mishap happened to me at the beginning of the year. Due to an accident, my headphones broke off and the part that got wedged afterwards gave it the rest. Since repairs are often associated with higher costs, I decided on an alternative. So it was relatively convenient for me that Samsung made the Galaxy Buds available to me for testing purposes for a little over 3 months.
Right at the beginning it is important for me to say that this free provision had no influence on my opinion or has at the present time. At the beginning, the small Bluetooth headphones were mostly just in their charging cradle and dusting off a bit. The reason was that I used my BOSE headphones (also Bluetooth) as standard in the cooler months and therefore only really used the Galaxy Buds in the gym. But then came the hot summer and with it my enthusiasm for it.
Many of you can certainly understand that over-ear headphones only make you sweat at temperatures above 20 degrees. So one day I decided to use the Buds by default in my everyday life. Nevertheless, a somewhat uneasy feeling accompanied me since the establishment. Because if you want to adjust the sound, you cannot avoid using the “Galaxy Buds Plugin” app developed by Samsung, which with its fairly extensive data protection declaration spoils the fun of the device. Personally, I was content with the standard settings and uninstalled the app immediately. Samsung could clearly improve this.
But enough about the software and off to the hardware. The small Galaxy Buds fit perfectly in the ear and sit comfortably there for hours. If you take one of the two headphones out of the charging cradle, the Bluetooth functionality is activated and the smartphone immediately establishes a connection after the initial setup, which is confirmed with a sequence of tones "in the ear". From then on, nothing stands in the way of the mission.
Especially in the gym, the buds can show their strengths. The headphones sit comfortably and tightly and do not loosen up during jumping and running exercises. In everyday life I could not find any problems in this regard either. Samsung claims a battery life of around six hours without charging. I was able to confirm that in my test. And even if the battery is empty, it can be fully recharged more than once with the supplied case. This is definitely sufficient for everyday use.
And yet there are also one or two weaknesses here. In certain situations, the connection between the smartphone and headphones would break off again and again. I couldn't determine the exact reason for this, but I suspect my smartwatch, which is also linked to the smartphone via Bluetooth, is the cause. In addition, the two headphones discharge at different rates. This is particularly annoying when the case is empty and suddenly only headphones (strangely) can be used for a long time.
Conclusion: The Galaxy Buds manufactured by Samsung are very good headphones that sit comfortably in the ear, offer a rich sound and do not give up the ghost even after hours. For a price starting at 119 euros (as of July 31, 2019), I think it's a shame that connection problems kept cropping up. Nevertheless, the headphones convinced me, which is why I bought my own after sending them back to Samsung. If you are interested now, you only have to choose between three colors: yellow, white and black.
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