Over the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to test Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Fe, a pair of earbuds priced at $99. These earbuds showed great promise with their comfortable and secure wingtip design. While they didn’t reach their full potential to disrupt the market and become my top recommendation for 2023, they are still a solid choice. In this article, we will explore the two design choices that hold them back from their legendary status.
Fit and Comfort
The fit and comfort of the Galaxy Buds Fe are exceptional, thanks to the wingtip design introduced in previous models. These earbuds provide a secure fit, even during workouts or running, which is a significant advantage. The silicone material, though slightly more rigid than previous iterations, is still comfortable for extended use. Additionally, the overall design and aesthetics of the earbuds and their case are pleasing. However, it is worth noting that wireless charging, present in other models of the Galaxy Buds lineup, is missing from the Galaxy Buds Fe, which is a disappointing omission.
Microphone and Sound Quality
The microphone performance of the Galaxy Buds Fe is notable, particularly in indoor environments. The earbuds provide clear and decent microphone quality for their price range. However, in louder outdoor environments, the microphone performance is not as impressive.
In terms of sound quality, the Galaxy Buds Fe offer warm bass tones that are enjoyable for music genres like rock and rap. However, the mid-bass can sometimes overpower vocals, affecting instrument separation and detail. Despite these limitations, the sound quality is generally fun and lively, with boosted bass. The active noise cancellation (ANC) of the earbuds is surprisingly effective and surpasses expectations for its price point.
Additional Features and User Experience
The Galaxy Buds Fe offer several useful features and customization options. The earbuds can be easily paired with any Bluetooth device, including non-Samsung devices. The accompanying app allows users to customize equalizer settings and even receive notifications aloud. Other features like in-ear detection, gaming mode, and ambient sound during calls add to the overall user experience. However, it is worth mentioning that the earbuds lack true multi-point connectivity and have limited water resistance (IPX2 rating), which may be drawbacks for some users.
Pricing and Final Thoughts
While the official price of the Galaxy Buds Fe is $99, Samsung often provides discounts and promotions. Currently, there is a $25 trade-in offer for any old wired or wireless earbuds or headphones, which can bring the price down to around $68. Considering the ultra-long battery life, wingtip design, decent ANC performance, and various software features, the Galaxy Buds Fe offer great value for their price.
However, Samsung’s decision to omit wireless charging and certain functionalities like volume control through double-tapping and seamless multi-point connectivity with non-Samsung devices may disappoint some potential buyers. These choices seem more like business decisions aimed at promoting higher-priced models in the Galaxy Buds lineup.
In conclusion, while the Galaxy Buds Fe have a few drawbacks, they remain a solid option for anyone seeking comfortable and budget-friendly earbuds. For their price range, it is challenging to find earbuds that perform better than the Galaxy Buds Fe.
|Design & Comfort||Comfortable and secure fit due to wingtip design.||No wireless charging.|
|Microphone Quality||Impressive in indoor settings.||Not as impressive in louder outdoor environments.|
|Sound Quality||Warm bass tones and lively sound. Effective ANC.||Overpowering mid-bass can muffle vocals.|
|Additional Features||Easy pairing, customizable settings, in-ear detection, gaming mode, and ambient sound.||Lacks true multi-point connectivity and IPX2 water resistance.|
|Price||Cost-effective with trade-in offers.||Omission of certain functionalities might not appeal to some.|