In what has quickly become the busiest Unpacked of the virtual era, Samsung just dropped a new version of its wireless earbuds. The Galaxy Buds 2 add active noise canceling to the entry-level model, while retaining the $149 price point.
For those keeping track, the current Galaxy Buds offerings are Buds 2 ($149), Buds Live ($170) and Buds Pro ($200). The addition pretty clearly blurs the line between the first two. Asked for clarification on how the offerings now shake out, Samsung tells TechCrunch:
As our premium offering, the Galaxy Buds Pro leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver immersive audio, intelligent Active noise cancelling, and effortless connectivity. For those looking to show off their unique style, the Galaxy Buds Live combine high quality sound with an eye-catching design.
So, design and sound are the differentiators. The Buds Live were, of course, introduced during a time when ANC was more of an exception than a rule for nonpremium-priced earbuds, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them start to be phased out.
As I’ve said in the past, Samsung’s earbuds have always been quietly solid. They don’t get the love of Apple or Sony in that department, but the company has consistently produced solid buds, and I don’t see any reason to expect these will be any different. Of course, the Pros still sit at the high end, in terms of sound quality, 360 audio, etc.
Samsung says the new Buds are their smallest and lightest to date. Indeed, the Buds, the case and everything are quite compact (and surprisingly glossy!). They retain the familiar ovular shape that sits up against the wearer’s ear. They’re built specifically to pair with the company’s mobile devices, but you should be able to connect them to any Bluetooth device.
Like the rest of today’s devices, the Buds 2 are now up for preorder and start shipping on August 26. Look for a review in the not too distant future.