In the world of true wireless earbuds, Samsung has made a significant mark with its Galaxy Buds series. The latest addition, the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE (Fan Edition), stands out as a budget-friendly option in the market. As an audiophile and technology enthusiast, I dived deep into the nuances of these earbuds to see if they live up to the hype, especially when compared to their pricier siblings, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
Design and Build: Comfort Meets Style
The Galaxy Buds FE maintains the design ethos of the Galaxy Buds 2, featuring a pebble-like shape that fits snugly in the ears. A standout feature is the subtle wing tip on each bud, enhancing the fit and ensuring stability during various activities. The earbuds come in classic black or white, with expectations of more vibrant colors in the future, especially considering the ‘Fan Edition’ tag.
User Comfort and Wearability
Comfort is paramount when it comes to earbuds, and Samsung seems to have hit the right notes here. The earbuds offer a secure fit, with no movement even during intense activities. This snug fit also helps in passive noise isolation. The package includes different sizes of silicone tips, allowing users to find the perfect fit for their ears.
Performance and Sound Quality: Balancing Budget and Quality
As an audiophile, sound quality is a crucial aspect of any earbud review. The Galaxy Buds FE offers a satisfactory audio experience, especially considering its price point.
Audio Codec Support and Equalizer Settings
The earbuds support AAC, SBC, and Samsung’s own SSC audio codecs. While the absence of aptX HD and LDAC might be a downside for some, the available codecs are sufficient for most users. The Galaxy Wearable app’s equalizer allows for customization, with the ‘Dynamic’ setting providing a more vibrant sound experience.
Bass and Audio Fidelity
The bass performance, although not overwhelming, is adequate. The earbuds deliver clear mids and highs, making them suitable for various genres of music. The lack of heavy bass might be a drawback for bass enthusiasts, but for a general listener, the audio output is more than satisfactory.
Connectivity and Controls: Seamless Integration
Pairing the Galaxy Buds FE with Android smartphones is effortless, and the Galaxy Wearable app adds to the convenience. The app allows users to toggle between Ambient Sound and Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), adjust touch controls, and access various settings.
Touch Controls and Customization
The touch controls are intuitive and responsive. Users can play/pause music, skip tracks, and activate voice assistants with simple taps. The option to control volume via touch controls is a welcome addition, though it requires sacrificing the quick toggle between ANC and transparency mode.
ANC Performance: Cutting Noise, Not Corners
Samsung has not compromised on the noise cancellation capabilities of the Galaxy Buds FE. The triple mic setup on each bud effectively blocks out ambient noise, making these earbuds a great companion for noisy environments.
Call Quality and Microphone Performance
The microphones deliver clear call quality, effectively filtering out background noise. This makes the Galaxy Buds FE a reliable option for taking calls in various settings.
Battery Life and Charging: Endurance Meets Convenience
The Galaxy Buds FE offers around six hours of playback with ANC on, which is commendable for earbuds in this price range. The compact charging case provides an additional two full charges, bringing the total battery life to approximately 20 hours with ANC active.
Charging Options and Portability
The case charges via USB-C, but lacks wireless charging capabilities. Its small size makes it highly portable, fitting easily into pockets and bags.
Conclusion: A Worthwhile Investment for Budget-Conscious Audiophiles
The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE strikes a fine balance between price and performance. While they might not cater to the high-end audiophile market, they offer a well-rounded experience for everyday users. The comfortable fit, effective ANC, and satisfactory sound quality make them a strong contender in the budget earbud category.
For those looking to experience quality audio without breaking the bank, the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE is a compelling option. They exemplify how a well-thought-out design and feature set can deliver a premium experience at a fraction of the cost.