Samsung Debuts New Galaxy Buds+ Earbuds
Samsung revealed the new Galaxy Buds+ Plus earbuds during the annual Galaxy Unpacked event on Tuesday. The earbuds update the Galaxy Buds Samsung released last year.
The latest version of Samsung’s earbuds look very similar to the previous iteration, but with upgraded features. The battery lasts 11 hours, about twice as long as the current version, with another 11 hours in the charging case. The earbuds are controllable with a touchpad that can adjust volume and other media aspects. The touchpad also includes a Spotify shortcut where pressing and holding the left earbud launches the streaming service. While the AKG-designed speakers can be adjusted to let more or less noise in from outside, they don’t have active noise cancellation.
The earbuds are designed to pair with Galaxy smartphones, as well as Galaxy smartwatches and tablets. But, they still work with iOS and Android devices. Similarly, though the earbuds are clearly built around the Samsung Bixby voice assistant, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and other options can be accessed through the earbuds. The touchpads on the earbuds can awaken the connected voice assistant.
Lower-Cost Higher Competition
The $149 earbuds come in black, white, and blue options and are available for pre-sale now. Apple AirPods are generally considered to be the leader in the market and the Galaxy Buds+ price point puts Samsung in a good spot to compete with the $159 Apple AirPods, $150 JBL earbuds and Amazon’s new $129 Echo Buds. Samsung’s earbuds are not the premium option of the $249 AirPods Pro or Microsoft Surface Earbuds.
In fact, Samsung is likely to offer special deals on the earbuds for those who buy the new Galaxy S20 smartphone also announced at Unpacked. That’s how the company moved the previous version of the earbuds and there’s plenty of reason to think it will work again. Samsung’s willingness to make its earbuds compatible with iOS and Android phones will also likely help up the sales. The sheer volume of new hearables technology means Samsung will need to do what it can to stand out. Hyping the connection to the popular Galaxy line of phones while still leaving room for use with other smartphones could be Samsung’s best bet.