back to article Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

Samsung Unwrapped wasn't all shiny flagships and foldable phones – the South Korean tech giant also tore the wrapping paper off its latest wireless earbuds. Retailing at $150, or £159 in the UK, the Galaxy Buds+ sit alongside similar efforts from rivals. Where they stand out is primarily in battery life, promising 11 hours of …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    "That's enough time for all Nickelback's albums in one sitting!"

    This cannot be true. Nickelback only released one song, as I recall, which I enjoyed at the time because I was young and foolish. They definitely didn't release an album, never mind 11 hours' worth. I will not check to see if my recollection is correct, and sit here happily.

    1. Noonoot

      LOL what was it again?

      Better for listening Lady Gaga ma ma ma ma my poker face

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "LOL what was it again?"

        That's not how you remind me of the title.

    2. ClockworkOwl
      Coat

      That's not like you...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That's enough time for all Nickelback's albums in one sitting!"

      But it highlights an issue with the carry case. It's not big enough to hold the pistol that you would wish to wrap your lips around before the playlist finished....

    4. MarkET

      Studio albums

      Curb (1996), The State (1998), Silver Side Up (2001), The Long Road (2003), All the Right Reasons (2005), Dark Horse (2008), Here and Now (2011), No Fixed Address (2014), Feed the Machine (2017)

      1. joeW Silver badge

        Re: Studio albums

        Nine albums, one never-ending song...

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. PerlyKing Silver badge
    Unhappy

    $150 == £159

    WTF?!

    Not that I'm in the market, but still. WTF?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $150 == £159

      UK price includes VAT, US price doesn't include sales tax, perhaps? (I've oft heard that US prices tend not to include their equivalent of VAT, due to it varying by state)

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: $150 == £159

        While that's true, the exchange rate isn't quite that bad yet. With 20% VAT and £1 = $1.3, that makes the UK price equivalent to just under $175. Not the worst markup in the world, but always a bit annoying.

        1. Boo Radley

          Re: $150 == £159

          $162.50 with tax, here in Texas.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: $150 == £159

          Price increase to account for having a proper warranty and consumer protection, unlike the Wild West of America :-)

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: $150 == £159

        "due to it varying by state"

        it varies on a block by block basis. There are over 4,000 sales tax districts in the US.

  3. Noonoot

    in Euros

    At approximately 137 Euros, that's at least 100 less than the Apple Airpods (depending on where you buy them)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: in Euros

      2nd Gen AirPods on Amazon.fr are sitting at 153 Euro at the moment. You look to be confused with the much higher-featured AirPod Pro's, but nice try.

      1. Noonoot

        Re: in Euros

        i admit I wasn't looking at amazon(.it) but local store pricing.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: in Euros

          Noonoot you're still missing the point. The Galaxy Buds+ ($150) compete with the Apple Airpods 2 ($159).

          Comparing with Airpods Pro ($249) is not accurate as the Airpods Pro are higher-end devices with active noise cancelling and wireless charging.

          1. Noonoot

            Re: in Euros

            ok, keep your fur on Elpuss!

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: in Euros

              I don't have fur - I have scales

  4. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Style Council

    More importantly they don't make you look like you accidentally stuck a couple of electric toothbrush heads into you ears like Apples Airpods do

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Style Council

      More importantly... HOW DO THEY SOUND!?!?!

      FFS

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Style Council

        "More importantly... HOW DO THEY SOUND!?!?!

        FFS"

        They are tiny earphones, so not fantastic, but OK, would be my guess. However, looking like a complete muppet while using it is an important consideration. See, e.g., Glassholes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... looking like a complete muppet ...

          I always admired the way Kermit could pull that look off without even trying ...

          Irrelevant but amusingly muppet-themed link:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqbFyJJW_As

        2. kmedcalf

          Re: Style Council

          Same $5 speakers Apple uses. Same as the airlines give out for free (when equipped with wires).

          In other words, if you believe that MPEG II Layer III audio can be "high quality", then they are good enough for you.

          The only difference between the "free" wired buds the airlines give out, these, and the Apple Airpods is the markup. The airlines do not mark them up at all and give them away for cost (free), Samsung adds a $145 markup, and Apple adds a $245 markup.

      2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Style Council

        > > More importantly they don't make you look like you accidentally stuck a couple of electric toothbrush heads into you ears like Apples Airpods do

        > More importantly... HOW DO THEY SOUND!?!?!

        I DON'T KNOW!! - I've never stuck electric toothbrush heads into my ears.

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Style Council

          Going out on a limb, I'd expect an irritating buzzing noise...

          Mines the one with the calling card for Lemming of the BDA..

        2. FlossyThePig

          Re: Style Council

          I've never stuck electric toothbrush heads into my ears

          Now I can't get the image of Paddington Bear exploring the use of a toothbrush in the first film out of my head.

      3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: Style Council

        @iron

        Sound quality is subjective, whether you look a prat is universal

        1. IGotOut

          Re: Style Council

          "Sound quality is subjective, whether you look a prat is universal"

          Depends if you are a Shitditch worker, then looking like a dick is actually cool.... according to other in the bubble.

  5. Adair

    Xunpuls HO1, £35

    At that price, and for what you get, I have no complaints.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Powered what?

    1 x 3.5mm jack

    1 x pair un-powered ear buds ($15)

    = listen for the battery life of the unit playing the music/sound

    Besides these hard plastic stick-in-ya-ear thingies hurt my lugs!

    1. tin 2

      Re: Powered what?

      I came here to say the exact same thing. Infinity hours battery life on no charge, and you can easily move them to any other 3.5mm equipped device in seconds with out titting around with any bluetooth settings. And more difficult to lose. AND quite cheap to replace.

      I don't really get what's not to love.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Powered what?

        "I don't really get what's not to love."

        The wires. As with so many things, it's a trade-off. In exchange for the added inconvenience of needing to charge them, you gain the convenience of not having wires flapping around the place, getting caught on things, and so on. Depending on your preferences and the situation, you may or may not find that trade-off worthwhile, but it really shouldn't be difficult to understand why others might. Personally I prefer wired when at home and not moving about much, but wireless for running.

        As for being difficult to lose, I don't see how that changes at all. When in use, they're on my head and not about to go anywhere. When not in use, I'm perfectly capable of losing things that have wires attached. Which is why I didn't mention travel above, since my preference in that case is generally to use the free airline ones because I've either forgotten or lost my own. I can only assume they're partying somewhere with my car key and several odd socks.

        1. tin 2

          Re: Powered what?

          Of course. It's horses for courses and personal preference. I'd love a great pair of wireless headphones, it just seems such a thing doesn't exist. I have several pairs, all consigned to the drawer.

          For me, having to jam them in your ears (OMG the whomping while you're running!), bluetooth still being a user experience nightmare, needing to ensure they're charged, ease of losing and the cost all massively outweigh the pain in the ass wire.

          So perhaps. for some people, the wire is an overriding PITA, but I absolutely don't buy that wireless headphones are any kind of massive improvement over wired for multiple reasons. And for me for technology to move on the new thing has to be appreciably better than the old thing.

          So - overall - I genuinely don't get what's not to love.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Powered what?

            I've been using Bluetooth headphones for over a decade, particularly when cycling for navigation: the phone is on the handlebars so think of the chaos if I'm physically connect to it.

            I've got a dodgy contact with my Jabra sport (excellent battery life) so can only hear on one ear. Just got some Sony ones with external drivers which are much better at handling ambient noise which makes things safer: the sound gets dialled down when there are external noises.

        2. hakuli

          Re: Powered what?

          "Personally I prefer wired when at home and not moving about much, but wireless for running."

          One of the things I like most about the over-ear headphones I have at the moment is being able to switch between wired/wireless at will.

          Bluetooth when I want them to be, cabled (completely removable) when I don't.

          I doubt their sound quality would be to the standard of some (most) of El Reg's audio connoisseurs, but they're fine for my use.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Powered what?

          This is a good point. I have a pair of earphones similar to these. The difference is that I got the really cheap ones, which cost about as much as the wired ones being costed above*. Of course, that price is rather expensive for the average wired set, but they said it so I'm going with it. My main consideration was all the previous relatively cheap wired earphones I've broken, usually by moving around a lot and putting stress on the wires. It's quite a few sets. When I'm in one place, a larger set provides higher quality and some improvement in comfort, but I can't easily pocket that when I'm going elsewhere. These are more convenient for me because I haven't yet pulled them out and found the wire broken in such a way that they only work when the wire is held at a specific angle.

          *Specifically, the Redmi AirDots. The price appears to have risen since I bought them, but there are probably lots of places they can be purchased. They are cheap enough that, if I end up losing one, I can handle it.

  7. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    I have a pair of JBL over the ear earphones. Sometimes have Bluetooth connectivity problems (particularly around the end of my road, which makes me wonder what the owner of that house does that cuts off my bluetooth), but they sound good, have a good microphone, and last up to 30 hours (usually 25) on a single charge, which takes just over an hour on USB. They also have a 2.5mm input, so I can use them as wired headphones without them being charged.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      And JBL is ultimately owned by Samsung…

  8. DenTheMan

    Graphene Diaphragm?

    Probably. You get far more accurate sound and at a very low power draw.

    I cannot see Apple copying Samsung.

    IN 2021 just maybe!

  9. Randy Hudson

    Do they come in green

    So I can look exactly like Shrek?

  10. James 51

    Creative have ear buds that last 14 hrs and are cheaper.

  11. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    "all Nickelback's albums in one sitting!"

    I thought the Geneva Convention had prohibitions against torture.

  12. Steve Todd

    Or for a tad less than £100

    You can get a set of cambridge audio melomania wireless earbuds that provide HD Audio (APT-X and AAC, so both Apple and Android camps are catered for), which have a 9 hour battery life and are pretty much guaranteed to sound way better.

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Or for a tad less than £100

      Isn't melomania a form of skin cancer?

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        Re: Or for a tad less than £100

        It's the price you pay for fashion. :(

  13. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

    How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

    I have a pair of Anker bluetooth earbuds and have generally been happy with them from the point of view of battery life and sound quality.

    The only problem I've encountered is when I walked through the crowded concourse of Euston Station last week and my earphones kept cutting out, only starting to work again when I got outside and away from so many other bluetooth devices.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

      Bluetooth devices are highly unlikely to cause interference. However, the 2.4 GHz band is unlicensed and also used by WiFi, which can cause interference, but stations also have enough powerful EM sources to cause interference.

      1. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

        Re: How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

        Ahh, that sounds plausible, thanks

    2. Calum Morrison

      Re: How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

      I have a pair of Ankers too and occasionally get a bit of interference but it seems to only be on streaming services so could be signal, phone, app etc. For £45 off Amazon I'm not complaining.

      1. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

        Re: How do they handle areas with masses of Bluetooth traffic

        Yep, was streaming Spotify, and yes, at £45 they're a bargain, especially with their customer service, they replaced my first pair with even needing me to send them back for testing

  14. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Trollface

    11 NBLH battery life

    A new Reg unit for music playback battery life: Nickelback Listening Hours. It's disputed as an inflated benchmark given the low listening level and the tortuous dilation of time experienced by the listener, however, no test results have ever been challenged.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    promising 11 hours of continuous listening

    promises promises, hearing is believing

    (that's from an ex-happy Samsung camera owner :)

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: promising 11 hours of continuous listening

      "promising 11 hours of continuous listening "

      It's not just workplace noise that is bad for you

      https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/hearingprograms.html

  16. kmedcalf

    Real Earbuds

    My Shure SE846 only cost $1,000.00. They do not require recharging and will run forever though this fantastic technology called WIRES. They also have pretty flat 20 Hz to 20kHz frequency response rather than the 3.5 kHz to 8.5 kHz response of the Apple/Samsung earbuds.

    My KSE1500 earbuds do have perfectly flat 10 Hz to 25 kHz frequency response (but they do cost $4,000.00) though the battery life for the electrostatic power supply is limited to about 12 hours, 8 if you use the DAC.

    I tried using garbage earbuds once way way way back. Once you use real earbuds you will never go back to the cheap garbage.

  17. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Direct telepathic transmission from Nickleback brains would only be slightly less odious

  18. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    Has Samsung done a "blast test" of their product (and was there an independent body verified the testing mythodology)?

    If not, I'll wait for about 12 months for the "bugs" (or bangs) to iron out.

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What is Samsung’s policy regarding replacing the batteries once they are no longer holding a charge? - Which could be in 2 years if they are used everyday.

    Can the batteries be replaced or are you expected to bin them and buy new like a lot of these wireless ear buds?

  20. MachDiamond Silver badge

    TaoTronics

    My next pair of buds will be on string. I wind up having to take buds/phones on and off so much and sometimes leave one ear unplugged that I'd rather have something that can drape around my neck. Only bad things would happen if I were to put wireless buds in my pocket. The batteries are only going to last for, at most, a couple of years so it's good to do some arithmetic and sort out what these damn things cost per month if you get full length use from them (good luck with that, btw). Later this year knockoffs will be on eBay for a fiver with free shipping out of China. 6 pair for five more.

  21. Wibble

    'Tap' interface

    The really good thing about the original Apple earpods was the "tap" interface which worked very well if you had a hat/hood + gloves on (especially if riding a pushbike - where you could blissfully ride along trying to scream commands at the useless Siri "I don't know how to respond to that")

    Not sure the capacitive ones work unless you've taken your glove off and shove your hand under your hat/hood.

  22. BrightOneOz

    The new Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus lack high-end audio codecs and higher IPX4 rating that the Apple AirPods Pro have. That's not even mentioning the fact that they don't offer any form of noise reduction / noise cancellation, nor have a built-in voice assistant like other true wireless earbuds out there.

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