Something to look forward to: Samsung's annual Galaxy Unpacked event kicked off in San Francisco today, and it brought the usual array of exciting product announcements. There was the Galaxy Z Flip, the all-new S20 series of smartphones, and, the focus of this piece, the Galaxy Buds+ -- the 2nd-generation of Samsung's similarly-named truly wireless earbuds.
In short, the Galaxy Buds+ are a proper successor to the original Buds. While their design hasn't changed at all, they do have better sound, longer battery life, better built-in microphones, and upgraded Ambient Sound noise cancellation.
To drill a bit deeper into the specifics, we'll start with the audio capabilities of the Buds+. According to Samsung, each pair includes an "innovative" two-way speaker system (40 percent larger than before) and sound tech designed by AKG. The Buds+ feature a tweeter for "richer treble," and a woofer for deeper, more powerful bass. All of this hardware, Samsung promises, will give Buds+ "studio-quality" sound playback, but that's definitely something audiophiles will need to judge for themselves.
In terms of audio input, the Buds+ house three individual microphones, which use "beamforming" technology to capture your voice, and only your voice -- background noises will be tuned out (as much as possible, anyway). On a similar note, Ambient Sound has been improved to let you adjust the level of noise cancellation the Buds+ offer. The available settings are Low, Medium, High, and Extra High.
Moving on to battery life, the Galaxy Buds+ is quite the improvement over their predecessor. The original Buds could run for six hours on a single charge, and their charging case was capable of providing an additional seven hours of power, for a total of 13 hours of usage. The 85mAh Buds+ almost double that number -- the Buds themselves can run for 11 hours at a time, and their 270mAh case stores up another 11 hours of charge.
That's 22 hours in total; for music playback, anyway. If you're in a rush, you can also plug your Buds+ in for three minutes to get a full hour of charge.
That's the bulk of the major improvements arriving with the Buds+, but there are a few other miscellaneous details worth mentioning. For example, the Buds+ are properly iOS-compatible now, which means previously Android-exclusive features will be available to iPhone customers. Furthermore, Samsung promises enhanced personalization and comfort, thanks to the three included wingtips and eartips, as well as the choice of three distinct colors: Blue, White, and Black.
The Buds+ are launching on February 14, which is just two days from now. They'll run you $150, which is $20 more than the original Buds' $130 price tag.
As always, we recommend reading reviews before rushing off to buy a pair of Samsung's latest earbuds, but it's unlikely that you'll be disappointed with them if you were pleased with their predecessor.