Samsung Galaxy Buds (True Wireless)

This is the place to discuss the Samsung Galaxy Buds, which are an AKG-tuned true wireless in-ear that uses the Harman Target Curve created by Sean Olive et. al. as it’s stock tuning.


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I’ve had the Samsung Galaxy buds for a couple weeks now and I’ve been actually surprisingly really content with them! They are very comfortable, work well, have great range and sound quite good!

The stock tuning is very Harman-esque and should work well for most people. I prefer using the “Soft” tuning profile, which is available if you use Android and have the Galaxy Wearables app installed. This tuning makes the profile very reminiscent of the Etymotics ER2XR, which is a warmer diffuse field tuning.

I went ahead and measured each of the sound profiles in the app tonight and this is what they look like visually on a graph:

Here’s my quick takes on each setting:

Stock - Harman Tuning (a little bright, but not too bad)

Bass Boost - Too bassy and meh

Soft - Very nice warm tuning, very similar to Etymotics ER2XR but a tad more airy, or very very close to the Moondrop KXXS

Dynamic - A gentle V-Shape tuning, like TFZ No 3

Clear - Similar to Moondrop Kanas Pro but more intimate

Treble - Diffuse Field tuning, like Etymotics ER4


I’m surprised that measurements show I wasn’t talking entirely out of my bunghole with impressions, haha.

My write-up in the Wireless thread still stands, but I genuinely can’t stand the stock form for extended listening sessions, too bright for my tastes— I took a leaf out of james444’s mod book and stuck two layers of Twinings tea bag paper in front of the nozzle, it brought the high end down to more acceptable levels. The slight midrange recession in most profiles does help give things a sense of depth, but it’s all still very much flat and in-your-head.

Will report some BT issues noted after two weeks’ use: latency is kinda ridiculous (but expected given the tech), but more concerning is the fact that even with my phone not a foot away from the Buds I occasionally get very noticeable trip-ups; I’d lose signal in one channel, then the other ear would stutter and give it a chance to catch up, very disorientating. My phone isn’t that old yet (S9+ purchased in November), so I’m hoping it’s not that.

How deeply are you inserting tips by the by? I know I’m unreasonably accustomed to bassy headphones but I’ve always thought these were remarkably thin. Could just be a treble thing for me though, the teabag filter definitely helped bring the bass out.

Heck yes, Soft profile was my default when I listened at any moderate volume, haha.


Sorry for the hijack, but I figured I might chime in with measurements of my own, haha. They seem to agree with yours for the most part? This is MiniDSP EARS using RAW calibration files, had to bust out the small tips to get a decent seal. Green trace is stock, blue trace is with the tea bag filter. Just out of curiosity, how did you manage to take measurements with the Galaxy Wearables app?

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Yea, I think it looks as good as EARS is capable of. :slight_smile:

Look in REW Help for Offline Measurements. There’s a guide on how to do it.


Thanks! Got a set in as a present from someone too damn nice, been trying to write my own comp curve to limited success— I’m very much tempted to just stick with RAW measurements because of how using different cans seems to throw everything into disarray, haha.

Appreciate the tip, thanks again!

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My full review is now done:

True Wireless earphones have only been around a short time and for the most part, many of the models from the big names have been pretty hit or miss, and mostly misses – at least from what I could gather. I recently decided to dive into them as I wanted something that I could use for walking around, doing activities like physical exercise, yard work, chores, and just walking to and from the parking lot at work.

I did quite a bit of research into them, but the ones I’ve been most interested in didn’t seem to get either good review from people I trust, or just didn’t have the right signature for me. These included models from Sennheiser, Sony, and Audio Technica, and even ones from Master & Dynamic, Advanced Sound, and others. But more recently, the AKG-tuned Samsung Galaxy Buds appeared. At first, I didn’t even bother to look at them. Samsung headphones? Yeah.

But then I started looking into it more and found out they decided to tune it using the Harman International research that Dr Sean Olive et al. performed over the past decade on headphone psychoacoustics and audio preferences. The Harman Target curve has been developed from a series of tests over the years to get a preferential sound profile that would attract to a wide audience. Now, this isn’t the standard sound curve you’ll find in products like Beats, or Sonys or others that are found in brick and mortar stores, but it’s somewhat a cross between that type of consumer bass-heavy V-Shape sound and a more audiophile tuning. The Harman curve, though, isn’t the be-all end-all. In fact, while I actually do like the general sound tuning, I do like my target curve to be slightly warmer, more mid-focused and a little easier on the treble region.

Meanwhile, popular IEM personality Crinacle, started using them and gave me the thumbs up on them in conversation. I was curious. Really curious – the use of case of a true wireless in-ear is quite awesome. I could do so many things while enjoying tunes at the same time and not have to worry about my cable catching something, getting in the way, and continually manage them as well as the player. And so, I took a dive into the world of true wireless.

Use Case #1

Daily housework chores – vacuuming, cleaning, cooking, moving furniture around – all of these are brilliantly easy to do now without wires in the way. The Galaxy Buds not only performed well sonically in these activities but also did not ever fall out. Not even when I was moving bookshelves up and down our house from the third floor to the garage on the bottom floor. Vacuum noise still was audible, but much more muffled with music on. Cooking in isolation actually wasn’t as pleasurable as I wanted, mostly because I do use audible cues to cook food, so turning on the ambient sound mode did help in this case.

One thing to note is that I am able to leave my phone, the source, at one corner of my house and perform my tasks without dropping of connection or any hiccups. Nice to see Bluetooth 5.0 and the Samsung variable codec at work.

Use Case #2

I have some massively over-grown trees in my backyard. We have a greenbelt in the back that has a nice little wooded area and unfortunately this past year has seen the greens grow pretty heavily and quickly. One of the trees spilled well over our fence line and even touching our grass, over 12 feet in from fence and 20+ feet wide. I had to chainsaw the heck out of the branches and feed them through a mulching wood chipper. The Galaxy buds partnered with me through this exercise, providing enough sound isolation to not blow my ears from the sound of sawing and chipping, while giving me fun tunes to rock out to all the while. I never felt like the buds would fall out and get chipped away into a billion pieces either.

Use Case #3

I sometimes have to park several blocks away from my office due to limited parking and therefore, the Galaxy Buds come in quite handy. Road noise is completely eliminated, however if I turn on ambient sound, I can hear it for safety reasons. Generally, I don’t really have to worry too much about this though.

Use Case #4

I occasionally take a light rail train into our downtown area for meetings and, again, the Galaxy Buds did a good job of removing much of the train and crowd noise on the ride. One other nice things about the Galaxy Buds is that they are pretty discrete. They do stick out a tad bit from the side of your ear, but the fit is very comfortable and people may not see them in.

Use Case #5

Along the same lines, at work, because they are pretty invisible to a lot of people, I do occasionally get the colleague who thinks they are talking to me, but I can’t actually hear them. Is that a good thing? Maybe.

Sounds and Profiles

So, the Galaxy Buds – quite useful for daily activities. And the sound – they are surprisingly very good! The default tuning is a near perfect representation of the Harman Target curve, which is pretty enjoyable. It presents bass with just a tad emphasis but not over-bearing and muddy. Mid-range is a little recessed, and makes male voices a little thin, and does emphasize female vocals over males. That said, the treble is airy and maybe a tad hot for some, but is also wide and spacious.

I found the Galaxy Buds to be on-par with detail resolution, speed and just general quality as other IEMs in its price range of $129 and maybe even reaching up to $199 IEMs I’ve reviewed in the past. With the Galaxy Wearables app, which unfortunately is only available on Android, and not available on iOS, several EQ profiles can adjust the sound of the buds to your liking.

The Bass Boost EQ makes the Buds a tad muddy and really loses a lot of definition, especially if you enjoy upper-mid range presence and clarity. I am not a fan of it, but it does provide a little more subbass and noticeable rumble and punch.

The Soft EQ is one of my favorites. It provides some need warmth and richness to the bass and lower midrange that gives a little more body to male vocals and the general sound, without losing too much of the upper mid-range and treble. It does come across as a tad smeared, when compared to the Etymotics ER2XR, which shares very similar frequency response curve and sound to this EQ, but the Galaxy Buds has much better treble qualities than the well-liked ER2XR, which makes the Buds just a little more airy, wide, and versatile. If you want a direct competitor, than the Moondrop KXXS and the Soft EQ Galaxy Buds square up quite nicely. The Buds are limited by Bluetooth codec limitations, however, I find them very similar in sound, tonality, and technicalities with KXXS winning just slightly in resolution due to being wired.

The Dynamic EQ changes the Buds into a V-shaped IEM with emphasized bass and treble and drop in the mid-range. This is a more fun tuning, which is quite comparable to the TFZ No 3, which has recently come out and quite liked. I found the No 3 to have more slam and clarity, but it’s also a little brighter and harsher as well.

The Clear EQ setting gives the upper-mid range and treble a little more emphasis, by dropping some of the mid-bass a bit. This actually does make sound come out clearer and cleaner, albeit a tad lean sounding. The stock tuning and the clear EQ tuning remind me of the Moondrop Kansas Pro quite a bit, to the point where it’s hard to distinguish the two. The Kanas Pro is just a tad brighter, and has some upper end energy that may be fatiguing to some, and that also provides a little more air and a slightly wider soundstage.

Finally, the Treble Boost tuning turns the Galaxy Buds from a Harman tuning to a more traditional Diffuse Field tuning – in this case it’s comparable to the Etymotics ER series of in-ears. While the Etymotics will beat out the Galaxy Buds in resolution, detail retrieval, and isolation, the Galaxy Buds don’t sound that bad. They still have a tad more warmth to them than the DF-tuning, and actually makes them quite pleasant with the added bass boost over the normal Etymotics tuning.


So, I’ve rambled on a bit now, but I have to say, after the month and half of having these new partners-in-crime, I am just puzzled and mystified and how great of an overall package these are. They are simple to use, quick to pair, and just work right. They have great range, and touch controls that make sense and work. They have an app that has a bunch of settings and tweaks that make wise changes. And they have the sound that keeps me interested and entertained. And, most importantly, they fit really well!

Now, I don’t want to pretend these are world-beaters. These are not going to take down some of the higher end In-Ears in technicalities, resolution, or just general sound quality, but these can easily go to combat against the budget world and IEMs, including the crazy price-to-performance Chinese brands, and come out on top or at least die trying. I have no qualms as to keeping these and using them as a daily driver alongside my qdc Anole VX. They are getting equal run-time with me currently and I don’t foresee that changing until something else comes along.

These have essentially replaced my budget to mid-tier IEMs. Who knew I’d like Bluetooth IEMs? Who knew I’d like consumer-brand headphones? Who knew this would come from Samsung of all companies?

I am still surprised every day by these. That’s all. They are worth $129.



I finally got myself a pair of Galaxy Buds a few days ago. Not really sure what all to say about them, but holy hell. They’re very good. So, on to the impressions after 3-5 days of listening.

The gear I’ve been using to test these, is simply just nothing more than my phone, a LG V30+ US998, with LineageOS 16.0 (Android Pie), and AAC for my codec of choice. I have tried a few different eartips, including the stock Gbuds tips and Sony EP-EX11 (“Hybrids”). Hybrids ended up being the better choice, even if the grip on the short nozzle leaves much to be desired.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds are a true wireless pair of IEMs from Samsung and AKG. AKG appears to actually have some say in this IEM, unlike many of the IEMs and earbuds Samsung included with their smartphones. These IEMs are tuned very closely to the Harman target, so I believe it’s safe to call the stock tuning (no EQ settings), Harman Neutral. Although, Harman neutral is far from other neutral targets I know about.

The tuning, is quite impressive. Even listening to these stock, without the Samsung Gear app at the time, they sounded fantastic. The bass is deep, and rumbly, even if it’s slightly rolled off. Midrange is bit recessed, but that’s to be expected with a Harman IEM. Treble and upper midrange on this pair is simply phenomenal. Female vocals are much better on this pair, but both male and female vocals end up sounding great. Treble has quite a bit of air to it. The upper midrange can be intense at times, but I’ve never found it fatiguing so far. I have wore these for hours at a time. The soundstage is decent, imaging is good, but detail retrieval falls a bit short of even my Etymotic ER2XR.

Turning it to the Soft preset, it actually ends up sounding similar to my ER2XR! Most of the rumble is there, and it ends up being punchier than them. It gives the entire signature more warmth, and smoothness. It does have a bit more air than the ER2XR, and I can appreciate that, as ER2XR is a favourite of mine.

I haven’t had enough experience with the other presets yet, but I’ll say brief thoughts on those. “Bass” is muddy, and tonally screwed up. “Treble” sounds very close to diffuse field, but it isn’t my thing. “Dynamic” turns them into a V signature with bright treble, and finally, “Clear” appears to bring up a lot of the treble over the stock Harman tuning. I have enjoyed listening to David Bowie on “Clear”. I need more time with these.

As for use cases, I find these easy to throw in my pocket with my phone, pen, and a miniature notebook. I take them with me everywhere when I’m out and about. No need to carry my ER2XR and ES100 when I’m walking to the store or out to town, I can just shove these in my ear and listen to music. The ambient mixing also helps me stay alert, and hear people. If it’s too noisy, I can just turn it off. These have roughly 20 dB isolation, and work to block out most sounds. If I need extreme isolation, the ER2XR are still my goto.

Briefly expanding on the detail loss. I believe this is due to me using the AAC codec. I use it since my phone does not have Samsung’s proprietary lossless codec, and I want less latency than SBC. Samsung’s Scalable Codec would likely bring out the full potential of these TWS, but I’m still quite happy with the purchase. The tuning and lack of wires made this a very attractive buy for me.

So far, I enjoy these a lot. I never expected myself to like anything wireless, seeing as I’ve tried a few TWS in the past and was not impressed, to say the least. I decided I’d get the Galaxy Buds to see what the hype was all about. I completely agree with the hype, these aren’t just a good TWS, but a good pair of IEMs in general.


Glad you enjoy these my friend ! Let’s hope you keep them for a while :slight_smile:


Thank you for your reviews

Ordered the Buds for my wife(for the gym)now,
after the by crinacle recommended QCY T5 stopped working properly. Connection loss and did not react on touch as supposed. At home no problems and in the huge crowded gym they worked 2 times flawless. The third time was a nightmare.

So I hope the Buds “work out” :wink: for her

I originally got these early last year with a purchase of the GS10+, but I was initially put off by the connectivity issues prior to the firmware updates.

They sat unusued for several months as I went through multiple ChiFi IEMs, WH-1000XM3, and other cans. After my wife’s airpods died, I offered my Galaxy Buds to her and forgot about them for a while.

Just this week, I asked her how she liked them, and she complained they kept falling out. I gladly offered to take them back and have been listening to them on and off for the past week.

My God I forgot how comfortable, convenient, and surprisingly pleasant sounding those are. They’re here to stay now, and I don’t see myself leaving home without them.

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If you have fit issues - Spinfit 360 ear tips work really well! They fit all the TWS ive tried so far


Well @antdroid (Anthony) after seeing your recommendation regarding the Galaxy Buds I took the plunge and got some yesterday.

These are my first ever pair of Bluetooth TW iems. I am using them with my S10+. Overall I am quite impressed very convenient and simple to use. I have had to use some foams on them as I really don’t like using anything other than foams personally.

Sound wise I prefer the Dynamic setting via the App. It’s the only one I can tolerate if I go with any more bass it’s far too much for me. On the other hand if I put any more treble on then they sound way to lean. So it’s a good balance leaving it on dynamic. Comfort wise once I’ve changed over to foams, just some really cheap ones that I can fit on, they seal well and are comfortable.

As I’ve only had them a matter of hours I shall say no more.

I shall take a picture of them soon as I am sure all the photography loving guys that are on the forum are dying to see some more of my fantastic pictures. :laughing:


Preordered yesterday the Buds plus- it was possible after the Samsung live event stream ended
release is this friday and I should get it by monday

did you try the “soft” setting or have you switched the sound options off?

My wife prefers the off(harmann tuned) setting and dynamic(v-shaped) is ok for the gym
My favorite is the soft (diffused)


I personally prefer a leaner sound but anything other than Dynamic is just too much either way. I find the Dynamic setting quite a pleasing sound. I’m loving the convenience of them.

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this is really easier vs IEMs unwrapping out of a hardcase… getting the cable straight … connecting it to a BT dongle … checking left and right… fiddling the cable over the ear… wrapping the cable once round your neck and clipping the BT dongle to your shirt or to the cable

I carry the case in my tiny jeans pocket, where no one knew for centuries if it´s a feature or a bug :slight_smile:

I have to force myself to use my wired IEMs and the over ears in the last days. New toy syndrom and the conveniance are hitting hard. For a bit youtube or a podcast on the sofa… put the left in and still be able to talk to my wife, cause I have the right ear free … no cables … touch controls … it is really cool.


Damn it, you guys are making me want a set of these… but I just switched back to Apple… so I’ll look for the Pros on sale… the convenience is what I’m looking for.


the new Buds plus have now an iOS App - no problem :wink:


there come cases for the case - you could paint one of them purple…
The Buds plus come in white, black, red and a light blue!


I preordered the Galaxy Buds+. Can’t wait!