Samsung has some more true wireless earbuds in the works: the Galaxy Buds 2.
As the name suggests, they should be a proper sequel to the original Buds, with all that entails. So what’s the news so far on them? What’s the expected launch date? Do we have an idea on price? And will they trouble our list of best wireless earbuds? Read on for everything we know so far…
Galaxy Buds 2: release date
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Buds 2 launch date is set to be this summer, most likely around July or August. Various sources have tipped the hardware to appear at a Samung event on 3rd August, but that’s merely a prediction at this stage.
In a major leak that also included some new Samsung foldable phones, Evan Blass pegged the launch date as 11th August. That’s when Samsung is expected to hold its Unpacked event, which will showcase new devices across multiple product categories.
Samsung has previously released two pairs of true wireless earbuds around that late summer timeframe: the original Galaxy Buds (in August 2019) and the Galaxy Buds Live (in August 2020). See below for the previous Galaxy Buds release dates.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds: August 2019
- Samsung Galaxy Buds+: May 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: August 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: January 2021
So there’s plenty to support a July or August launch this year.
The end of August or beginning of September plays host to the IFA tech conference in Berlin, too (this year it takes place from 3rd-7th September).
Samsung usually launches new products at IFA, most notably its latest Galaxy Note smartphone. But this year, it’s rumoured to be skipping the Note. Could the Galaxy Buds 2 step up and take centre stage at Samsung’s launch event? Or will they launch as a complementary product to a more ‘wow’ device like the rumoured Galaxy Fold 3? Hopefully we’ll find out before long.
Galaxy Buds 2: price
At £139 ($129), the original Galaxy Buds were priced somewhere around the middle of the true wireless earbuds market. But with a thin sound that lacked detail, we thought there were better options for the money.
Samsung is undoubtedly hoping to change that with the sequel. If it can deliver a much improved sound and modernised feature set, it could well be justified in asking a little more for the Buds 2 – the second-gen AirPods cost £159 ($159), after all, and Samsung sees itself as a real competitor to Apple when it comes to mobile devices and accessories.
As such, SamMobile reckons Samsung will ask for $170 for the Buds 2, positioning them slightly below the more premium Galaxy Buds Pro (which cost £219, $199). If so, Samsung will have an uphill battle on its hands. Not only will they be more expensive than the AirPods (or even the AirPods 3, which should launch in the coming months), they will cost a lot more than the new breed of budget alternatives like the Earfun Air Pro.
Can Samsung justify this relatively high price? It’ll be interesting to find out…
Galaxy Buds 2: design
So far number of images of the Galaxy Buds 2 have leaked out, including what seems to be official renders (one of which is pictured above).
They appear to give us our first clear look at the design and colourways, which, if legit, show the Buds 2 with curvaceous styling that takes a cue from the Galaxy Buds Pro. The exterior looks to have a glossy, rather than matte, finish.
It looks like Samsung is readying multiple colours: white, black, purple, grey and green. That ties in with last month’s report, which noted that the green colour has the same code as that of the upcoming Galaxy Fold3 phone. As for the two-tone 500mAh charging case, it looks eerily similar to those that come with the Galaxy Buds Live and Buds Pro.
Nothing too radical, then. But as long as they’re comfortable and perform well, we’ll have no complaints.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: features
The original, 2019-released Galaxy Buds only scored two stars out of five in our review, owing to their uncompetitive sound quality; we found them thin and lacking detail. Various sources have claimed that the Buds 2 will be tuned by AKG, so we’d hope the sequels perform better.
We wouldn’t expect the Buds 2 to have noise cancellation as that will likely be reserved for the Galaxy Buds Live and Pro. But according to Ice Universe, the Buds 2 will sport noise cancellation. Some reckon the Buds 2 will omit this feature in favour of active noise reduction, making them competitors to the entry-level Apple AirPods (or perhaps the upcoming AirPods 3).
Renders, leaked by 91mobiles in June 2021, also reveal charging connectors, a sensor for wear detection, and rubber tips that should provide a decent seal in addition to the active noise reduction.
The original Galaxy Buds managed a total run time of 13 hours (six hours from the buds, plus another seven from the case). Back in 2019 that was passable, but today it just won’t cut the mustard. Since then, we’ve seen the introduction of the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, which manage a total run time of a staggering 45 hours. And for cheaper than the original Galaxy Buds.
Also, the original Galaxy Buds couldn’t connect to iPhones, as they were Android-only. This was rectified with the Galaxy Buds+, and we would expect the Buds 2 to work with Apple devices, too.
We’d like to see improved water-resistance as the original Buds were rated IPX2.
Last but not least, you may be wondering if the Buds 2 will feature 3D audio. Unlikely. Most sources believe Samsung’s proprietary 360 Audio surround sound technology is likely to stay reserved for pricier wireless headphones such as the Galaxy Buds Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: early verdict
It’s early days yet but judging by the leaked images, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Galaxy Bud 2: new colours, new design, AKG sound and improved battery life.
To say Samsung has its work cut out would be an understatement. There’s currently a huge choice of true wireless earbuds to suit all needs, at all budgets, be it the wallet-friendly Earfun Air, premium Sony WF-1000XM4 or upcoming Apple AirPods 3. If Samsung is hoping it can survive on brand name alone, it might be in for a surprise.
But let’s not judge the Galaxy Buds 2 before they launch. True, Samsung’s true wireless earbuds haven’t scored more than three stars in our reviews, but the latest renders and leaks look promising. Fingers crossed Samsung can take the lessons of the past and put them to good use in the future.
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