One other Samsung Unpacked occasion has flown by with the South Korean electronics large revealing the merchandise it’s releasing for the remainder of 2021. The Galaxy Watch 4, Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 took high billing, rendering the Galaxy Buds 2 as extra filler than killer.
Samsung has launched a bundle of true wi-fi headphones previously few years – by our depend, the Galaxy Buds 2 mark the fifth true wi-fi of the final two years.
To be honest that’s only a couple greater than Sony, however Sony has unfold them throughout premium, price range and health areas. Samsung has targeted extra on the mid-range, with the Galaxy Buds Pro sticking their head above the parapet with their £220 worth.
As such, when Samsung launches new true wi-fi, it usually feels that it’s both extra of the identical or capabilities as an replace to a mannequin set to be discontinued. The Galaxy Buds Live are the outlier to this view, taking an formidable method with its design however was nonetheless a product that missed as a lot because it hit.
The surface perspective is that Samsung treats true wi-fi headphones like equipment to the Galaxy smartphones reasonably than headline options.
There may be synergy available – the Buds 2 present seamless switching between Galaxy gadgets – however when does being wedded to the Galaxy ecosystem grow to be a hindrance, limiting the capabilities and enchantment of those headphones?
Even in Samsung’s press releases the headphones really feel like footnotes – facet programs to the principle meal. I’ve by no means felt there was a transparent technique almost about its headphones and the Buds Reside apart – all of them really feel like they’re attempting to be everyman (or every-Galaxy) sort of headphones that robs them of some individuality.
Whereas the Galaxy Buds vary has improved to grow to be stable sufficient choices, as we’ve persistently said in our evaluations there are better-sounding efforts obtainable. At the moment they’re not shut sufficient to jostle with the likes of Bose, B&W or Sony.
That additionally brings into the dialogue the position of AKG. AKG is a longtime audio model and was one of many greater names within the headphone market six to seven years in the past, however now has drifted beneath the guardian possession of Samsung. Go to the AKG website to buy some headphones and also you’re shuffled off to buy them from the Samsung website as a substitute, which feels odd.
AKG’s position with the true wi-fi efforts seems to be within the tuning of the sound for current earbuds, however as we’ve famous there are better-sounding choices, so how a lot of an affect can they have an effect on? I’d really be rather more if AKG have been left to their very own gadgets to create a real wi-fi and see what turns into of that, reasonably than one merchandise on a recipe Samsung is assembling.
What Samsung wants is a press release of intent. An AirPods Pro or QuietComfort Earbuds or a WF-1000XM4. What it doesn’t want is one other box-ticking train as lots of Samsung’s earbuds and headphones really feel. They should ship an outright demonstration of what the Galaxy Buds may be. Given it’s Samsung/Harman, they will actually do innovation they usually want to take action to provide the category leaders one thing to consider.
Till it does, Samsung’s headphones will all the time be pretenders reasonably than true wi-fi challengers.