The first true wireless earbuds I bought were the Bragi Dash Pros. They were pretty cool. Bragi did true wireless earbuds before AirPods made them “cool” or whatever, and so I suppose that makes me a hipster. These fancy earbuds I'd just bought were big and bulky but really cool, cos there were no wires. Unfortunately, they didn't have the greatest track record when it came to a few important things—including connectivity—even after all of the OS updates. As a matter of fact, I had been having issues getting the final OS update since 2018 or so. I finally was able to update last week, and that's when I finally read the news that they moved focus to software-only. I was saddened to hear that as these things stuck by my side for months before I impulse-bought an Aftershokz Trekz Titanium headset, which I loved until a car door was shut on it (they weren't as durable as actual titanium), so then I got the Trekz Air which I loved more than anything, even the LG HBS Tone Platinum headset that I'd gotten.
(I may have a problem.)
Anyway, that's my history with Bluetooth music listening devices. I'm not so much an audiophile as I am a technophile. Heck, I could count the number of smartphones I bought in the past ten years but I'd need more than two hands. Never mind all the other devices I helped Kickstart (anyone remember Pebble? Vue Glasses? That mini drone attached to a smartphone case? yeah. They're all collecting dust somewhere.)
But, I digress. These earbuds. I picked 'em cos:
- I've started listening to music more often again.
- The Trekz Air are great when it comes to spoken word — like podcasts — but I really like having some bass when I listen to Danger Club and Revel in Romance.
- The Bragi earbuds kept cutting out during listening and even during phone calls, and then there was the day where the earbuds just wouldn't connect, even though the girl in my ears kept saying, "I am now connected."
- I wanted some decent midrange earbuds. I'm not trying to break the bank or anything.
- The AirPods look weird. I'd feel like I'm an alien trying to pass off as human if I wore them.
- The new Galaxy Buds Kidneybeans cost more than I wanted to spend
- The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ were on sale at Best Buy.
So I went on to Best Buy and saw there was a $109 deal for Galaxy Buds and bought them, and then realized they weren't the Plus model went back on to Best Buy and ordered the right kinds.
AND HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS SO FAR:
Take note, friends, that this isn't a full review. I haven't done tech reviews in years and even then they were more like "my personal experience with this device" than an actual tech review.
- They connected pretty seamlessly to my iPhone, thanks (likely) in big part to the Galaxy Buds app by Samsung. It's a piece of delicious nutmeg cake to connect your Buds+ to a Samsung device, and I'm happy to report it was just as easy to. None of this pair, delete, re-pair stuff I had to do with the old Bragi earbuds. But to be fair, I probably shouldn't be comparing something three years old.
- The only setting that I think is missing by now is the auto-play Spotify music, but iPhone has always had an auto-play of sorts. Whenever I get into my car, the music I'm listening to on my phone just transfers right to the car — unless I am not listening to anything, where the phone decides oh let me just try playing Apple Music, maybe Jay will subscribe to us at last! Spoiler alert: I won't. Anyway, the same thing happens with these buds.
- After switching wings and earhole pieces for a better fit, the sound is great. Granted, my music experience is pretty limited, from Jack's Mannequin to John Barry. But the six EQ presets that come with the Buds app work for classical music, good old rock 'n roll, this new fangled alternative stuff, spoken word, . It's all good. Heck, these things made even an old song I recorded in my own home sound like it came from a studio!
- The ambient sound (what I like to call “transparency mode”) works just as well as the last set of true wireless earbuds I had. Everything sounds either like you've got super hearing or are underwater (take your pick).
- Battery life is advertised at 11 hours use per charge, and with ambient sound enabled it's about half that. Well, I drained 40% of the battery in about three hours, but when I turned off ambient sound, it looked like I'd get a pro-rated amount for the remaining usage. 5-10 hours per charge and another 5-10 with the charging case. Not bad, if you ask me!
- When I finally had a chance to make a call with these, I was on a Microsoft Teams call. There were no issues except for me not knowing how to unmute myself on the call. Call quality was on par with Bluetooth earbuds (as far as I know, earbuds in this price range anyway).
- Here's a hilarious “feature” that I discovered. For background, I opened up the Labs menu and enabled “double-tap edge to control volume”. What it does is let me turn up the volume by double-tapping the edge of the right earbuds, and in turn I can lower the volume by doing the same on the left earbud. So, I'm eating some mixed nuts while I work and listen to the theme from Somewhere In Time, which is simply a beautiful and melancholic piece that brings be both to 1980 and 1912, fills me both with joy and sadness. But I digress. What had happened was, I started chewing on the nuts and the volume kept going up all the way to unsafe listening levels and beyond!!! Turns out, my chewing was activating the double-tap on the edge, but only in the right earbuds. So how did I rectify this? By never eating mixed nuts again.
- Okay. It also happens with Fritos. Life's really gonna suck if I can't eat my favorite junk foods.
- Okay. The actual solution is to disable double-tapping edge to control volume.
- Oh. Game sounds seem to slag ever so slightly. But it's noticeable. I don't know much about audio codecs nowadays, but I wouldn't have expected I'd be able to detect the sound delays.
- At least there's no latency when it comes to video playback. I'd watched tons of videos with it over the past two days, from Legal Eagle to Patrick H Willems to Full Fat Videos. Listen. I've watched a lot of YouTube. These things are comfortable enough to listen all day.
These buds haven't given me a reason to even consider returning them. Plus, they're a sleek and fantastic red. Overall, I think these things are a great mid-range buy.
Days One and Two Review: 4/5