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Review: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

 

Ah yes, almost 3 years ago, I wrote this review (Despite getting the earbuds for Christmas, I wanted to use them for a few months before writing).

And in December of 2023, the right one began to get dull regarding sound. I always make sure they're clean - Ear infections are no joke, clean your earbuds - so that wasn't it, I never got the verification code from Samsung to make an account for them to be repaired, and Samsung Support through chat told me to go to my local approved dealer, a random shop 50 miles away that wouldn't actually give me an estimate.

I'd much rather repair than replace, especially if it's a gift. I'll open (or attempt to) the faulty one and look around and still use the other one.

So here, let's get some new ones on sale, using a combination of giftcards and luck.


I was torn between the colors, but I have, more than once, misplaced the black case and was unable to discern it because...most of my stuff is black. I need a case for this case, but they're mostly ugly. There's one shaped like a Pokeball but it's cheap. 

Here's a comparison shot with the original Buds I bought;



They stick out of the ear so much more than I recall the others doing. Much easier for someone to see.

They have a tendency to loosen, but not fall out, with mild activity (intermittent jogging, speed walking, standing outside on a windy day). There is no little notch at the top to anchor it into the ear like the old ones.

Apparently there is a budget, newer version called Buds FE that does have the little notch, and I wish I had known about that months ago. Sure the lavender color is nice, but being able to walk around with them in my ears without worry is better.

Then I remembered; Oh yeah, should probably change the eartips. The default ('') ones are medium. Large seemed to work better, and I even ran full speed with the smaller ones in, and while they never fell out, they did get looser and shift in my ear (using small tip)

Normally, I don't use Bluetooth earbuds with my computer, but it was surprisingly easy to connect these - Just turn on Bluetooth on a Windows 10 Machine and open the case.

Large tip, the feeling of falling was still present, but lessened. I wish the insides of the buds themselves were rubberized, not only the tip, or there was still the silicone tip that seems to notch at the top of the outer ear (I looked up the term - Helix). 

Turns out my ears need two different tip sizes; I think the right one is large and the left one is small. Folks, the human body is not perfectly symmetrical!

Remember in the previous review for the previous iteration, where I wish there were volume controls on the buds? There kind of are here, in Labs (the testing option).

I got it to work once. I appreciate the attempt.

But what about the sound?

First, it will sound differently depending on the platform your using. Dua Lipa's Houdini sounds different when played through the VEVO YouTube channel than on Spotify. This was also the case 3 years ago, except Houdini didn't exist then.


 Tested songs include:

Into a Nighttime Sky (from the original Avatar: The Last Airbender show) - There's bass I never noticed before until now.

Houdini (Dua Lipa) - Not sounding much different.

For people talking, we have Secrets From The Latest Trailer From Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nice and clear).

Noise cancelling works very well; The only sounds that break through are low rumbles and maybe a high, sharp sound.

Interference: The Motion Picture

There's a weird thing with YouTube videos where the sound will be warped for a few seconds. But it's not with all YouTube Videos! 

I tried with Spotify songs and it's not present there. I should note that this is a refurbished semi-budget Samsung device that has been having other problems, so I could probably chalk it up to that. I did try with my laptop, which works much better.

When I line up the phone with my keys, FitBit, and these Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, it works. You think it kind of wouldn't, but it does. When I put the phone in an opposite pocket, then there's lots of skipping and glitching. 

Sometimes, the audio will be warped randomly for a second. I think that also had something to do with the network between my keys and FitBit. So it can't work well with other consumer electronics.

Another glitch is sometimes, it will simply stop being connected for calls and audio and just be connected for calls. So sometimes, the people around me may suddenly hear an America's Test Kitchen video about cooking whole grains. This is happening after commercials on Youtube more and more frequently, even after updates.

 The support page says  ``Avoid using the device near obstructions that can block the Bluetooth signal, such as walls, routers, electrical equipment, or electromagnetic waves.``

 but if I'm walking outside or anywhere with others, there's going to be interference. Why wasn't that accounted for with a stronger signal? The biggest issue is when I have to walk across wet pavement, the videos are near unlistenable.

I don't know if I would recommend these at all, I'd actually get the cheaper, blander versions with the wingtips in the ears.

Samsung Support

Samsung Support is sadly a bit of a mess. I will praise it for being relatively easy to get in contact with someone, although Samsung seems to have trained reps to try and upsell you in a weird and contextually inappropriate way;

 

 


 Text: Grey bubble from Samsung rep:

Yes, our service center team will inform you first about the status of your device and get your confirmation first before proceeding with the repair. However, instead of having it for repair, why not have it for trade in and purchase our new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro?
 
Text: Blue bubble from Morgan Lucas:
I know someone told you to do it, but trying to upsell someone on a product when the product they just bought and is still within warranty doesn't work properly is...not convincing.
 

 but when cases are moved and escalated, the chat doesn't seem to go with them, causing unrelated questions to be asked.

The Serial Code on my Buds was marked as unauthorized when trying to register for a repair a few minutes after the first representative ran the number and saw they were within warranty. The new representative has no context and is trying to troubleshoot the buds instead of troubleshoot why the serial code is marked as unauthorized - and then they gave directions to reset the Buds that wasn't even accurate.

I can at least applaud the Twitter representative for understanding the Unauthorized issue and working to create a workaround for it, but that seems to be the exception with Samsung support and not the rule.

The original representative did say that if they found physical or water damage, a repair rep would reach out to see how I would like to continue, but at this point, I'm not sure I could trust a message to get through from them without issue - and then they'd have the items I paid for on top of that.



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