Galaxy Buds 2 bring ANC to Samsung's most affordable true wireless earbuds

The refreshed entry-level model is still priced at $150.
Billy Steele
B. Steele|08.11.21

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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung

Samsung's two most recent sets of true wireless earbuds included an "open-type" design that elicited a bevy of bean jokes and a full-featured noise-cancelling option. The company's more affordable Galaxy Buds+ debuted in early 2020 and Samsung is introducing the follow-up to that model today with the Galaxy Buds 2. The new entry-level option in the Galaxy Buds lineup remains $150, but the company added active noise cancellation (ANC) to a design that's similar to pricier Galaxy Buds Pro. 

Samsung ditched the triangular design from the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ in favor of a more ergonomic egg-shaped earbud. The Galaxy Buds 2 are also 15 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the Galaxy Buds+, and those were already quite small. Of course, the smaller size helps keep things comfy and it means that there's less earbud to stick out from your head. However, like the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Galaxy Buds 2 are only IPX2 rated against water droplets. That means you should be okay if you get caught in the rain, but extra sweaty workouts and splashes could be a problem. 

The company's curvy square charging case returns as well, though this time the case is white no matter which color earbuds you choose. Only the interior of the case and a small band around the seam matches the buds inside. Quick pairing is back for compatible devices, where all you need to do is open the case and follow the pop-ups on your phone to get started. If you need to switch to another phone, tablet or computer, an easy pairing mode is activated by touching and holding both earbuds for three seconds while they're in the case. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung

Inside, Samsung says two-way drivers offer "crisp, clear high notes and a deep bass" when it comes to music. The company also included ANC for the first time on its most affordable earbuds, which it claims can reduce background noise by up to 98 percent. There's an adjustable ambient sound mode as well, giving you the option to select from three different levels of environmental noise. This configurable ambient audio feature has become a staple on the Galaxy Buds line as we've seen it on previous models. 

Those changes are accessible inside the Galaxy Wearable app on Samsung and Android devices. There's also a Galaxy Buds app for Windows on PCs. Like before, this software allows you to see battery levels, choose an audio preset, adjust ambient sound and reconfigure the long press touch controls. Plus, a handy Find My Earbuds tool can help you locate a misplaced bud and a fit test will ensure you're getting the best seal for audio quality and ANC performance. If you also have a Galaxy Watch 4, a new Buds Controller feature allows you to toggle between ambient sound and active noise cancellation alongside battery level info and an option for disabling touch controls — all right on your wrist. 

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As always, Samsung is making big promises about call quality on the Galaxy Buds 2. The company says the combination of machine learning, a three-mic setup per earbud (two beamforming) and a voice pickup unit (VPU) "maximizes call clarity in all conditions." This is something we'll have to test the merits of ourselves as claims of pristine call quality can vary widely from the real-world results. 

Samsung says the Galaxy Buds 2 will last up to five hours with ANC on and up to 7.5 hours with noise cancellation turned off. The case holds three additional charges and can power up wirelessly via Qi-certified accessories. The earbuds are also equipped with a quick-charge feature that will give you an hour of non-ANC play time in five minutes. 

The Galaxy Buds 2 are available for pre-order now and will be widely available August 27th for $149.99 in white, grey, green and light purple. 

Follow all of the news from Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event right here!

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