We’ve currently tested 11 Samsung headphones. They’re a huge brand that makes stylish and feature-packed akg handsfree for casual everyday use. They used to have a larger lineup with more variety to choose from, but now the best Samsung headphones are their truly wireless earbuds.
Best Samsung Handsfree
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless
The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless are the best earbuds from Samsung that we’ve tested. These in-ears are well-suited for casual use, thanks to their active noise cancelling (ANC) system, which can block out a great amount of ambient noise like the low rumble of bus engines as well as office chatter. Their fairly neutral sound is also versatile enough for most audio content, but if you prefer a different sound, their companion app has a few EQ presets to adjust their sound to your liking. Keep in mind that the app is only compatible with Android devices. You’ll especially benefit if you have a Samsung device as the app offers a ‘Game Mode’ for compatible devices, which can help low audio latency. They support Scalable too, which is Samsung’s proprietary codec for high-quality audio.
Overall, the buds are lightweight and comfortable enough for long listening sessions. However, their continuous playback time of under five hours may not last through long workdays without a mid-day recharge. On the upside, their carrying case holds roughly three additional charges, and you can even use one bud while the other charges.
Samsung AKG Type-C
The best Samsung earbuds at the budget level are the Samsung AKG Type-C. Thanks to their USΒ-C connection, these wired headphones are compatible with newer smartphones that don’t have an AUX cable. They offer low latency with PCs and have virtually no latency with Android phones, so you shouldn’t have audio syncing issues if you use them for a video call. Otherwise, they have a fairly no-frills design, but they feel comfortable and have good build quality. They also have a bass-rich sound profile that adds warmth and boom to your audio, making them well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop.
Yet, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless, they lack a companion app and don’t come with any sound customization features like an EQ or presets, so you won’t be able to adjust them to your liking. They also don’t have noise cancelling and won’t be able to block out the low rumble of bus and plane engines. However, they can still isolate you from a good amount of mid-range noise like ambient conversations.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are a combination of past features, with new tweaks sprinkled in, to create the best wireless earbuds from the company to date. It took a while for Samsung to get to this level of performance, and there are several reasons why it worked out this time. The design is very much in line with the Galaxy Buds and Buds+, only the slightly larger frame means the fit won’t be quite as nestled and snug right off the bat. They’re small, lightweight, and the matte finish on the inside makes them easier to grip. The IPX7 rating also makes these earbuds the most rugged Samsung has made for water and sweat resistance.
There’s plenty of tech inside to warrant the size. You get active noise cancelation (ANC) with two settings to keep ambient noise out. Ambient mode now has four settings to filter in outside sounds. Both can also work together, like with Voice Detect, which lowers the volume of the audio you’re listening to and turns on Ambient mode once you start talking so you can converse without touching anything on the earbuds or your phone.
The larger drivers pump out a crisper sound by default, though you can always adjust that in the Galaxy Wearable app by selecting one of the six equalizer presets. It’s just a bummer that you have no way to customize it and create your own presets. Call quality is better than ever, with great clarity at a consistent level. You do have to be careful with the finicky touch controls, regardless of whether you’re on the phone or listening to music. The 360 Audio using Dolby Head Tracking technology is a first for Samsung’s earbuds, but it’s a cool effect when you want to get virtual 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound watching shows and movies coded for it.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
The Galaxy Buds 2 aren’t about going “back to basics” but rather forging a strong tie between comfort and performance. Granted, that should be the metric for any pair of wireless earbuds, but in this case, it’s a worthy combination. By shaving off 10% from the build compared to the Galaxy Buds+, Samsung managed to find an equal balance between durability and features that doesn’t require too much compromise. You won’t want these if you plan to sweat a lot, but if it’s all about leisure time, then you’re fine.
These are, for all intents and purposes, your standard earbuds, save for the fact they feel small and nestle easily into your ear for good, comfortable fit. Though they sport different drivers than the Galaxy Buds Pro, the idea is similar, which is to boost audio quality without going over the top. They do sound crisp and clear, even if the mids are somewhat restrained, and the included silicone tips are good enough to passively seal off outside noises.
Adding ANC and Ambient Sound brings two features you’d now expect from earbuds in this range. The ANC is very close to what the Galaxy Buds Pro are capable of, whereas Ambient Sound takes a step back. The onboard mics are fine, just not as efficient as what the Pro models have, and that’s one reason why call quality also isn’t at the same level.
Battery life may seem like a step back from the Galaxy Buds+ as well, but with all the tech inside, it’s a decent result. You can expect up to 7.5 hours with ANC off, or five hours with it on, depending on volume levels. The charging case has three extra charges in it, and you can top it up via USB-C or wireless charging. As for colors, white, graphite, olive and lavender round out your choices.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
You can’t talk about the Galaxy Buds Live without mentioning the unique design first. The bean-shaped earbuds are Samsung’s attempt at crafting something to conform to as many ears as possible. To pull it off, engineers cut off the driver sticking into the car and just let the earbud rest over the ear. Because nothing is sticking into the ear canal, it reduces any discomfort or fatigue in wearing them for longer periods, which could also benefit smaller ears.
Despite the unusual design, these were also Samsung’s first earbuds to offer ANC support, except the open fit means it has to work harder to block out ambient noise. For that reason, it’s not going to be as effective as the Galaxy Buds Pro are. In addition, passive noise isolation is easier when there is an ear tip plugging into the canal — another thing the Buds Live can’t offer.
That’s a big reason why Samsung equipped them with 12mm drivers to deliver stronger sound. They provide good clarity and better bass than you might expect otherwise. You do have some flexibility in the Galaxy Wearable app to adjust the sound, should you feel the need to. Even call quality is excellent, ensuring callers can hear you clearly because of the onboard microphones.
Battery life isn’t bad, going up to eight hours when ANC is off or six if always on. The charging case is very small, and supportes both USB-C and wireless charging. Plus, color options are nice, especially Mystic Bronze, though you also have mystic black and white.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+
In lieu of the Galaxy Buds Pro, Buds2, or Buds Live, you may still be able to find a pair of the Galaxy Buds+, despite Samsung discontinuing them. They’ve become an affordable alternative within the same ecosystem, and could still work well if you’re looking for something a Samsung logo on a budget.
They may also retain the role of being the most comfortable of the lot. Samsung had done well to maintain the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds and only improved upon them in several key ways to make them viable even up to now. They lack ANC support, but passive noise isolation is great, with lightweight fit that doesn’t feel cumbersome at all. Audio quality stands up well, with call quality that represented a dramatic improvement from their predecessors. The Galaxy Wearable app still supports all the available features, including the EQ presets and Ambient mode.
They’re also the longest-lasting per charge, playing up to 11 hours, depending on volume level. The case has an additional charge inside to double the total to 22 hours. You can also charge via USB-C or wireless charging for some extra convenience. If budget is a factor, and you want a more traditional design, the Galaxy Buds+ check off both of those boxes.
Samsung Type-C Headphones
For those on tight budgets and who are willing to keep wires around, the Samsung Type-C Earbuds certainly fit the bill that way. You’re not looking at the flashiest or most exciting pair to put on, but it’s hard to argue with what you’re paying to get them. And the best part is they prove their value every time you play tunes on them afterward.
Being wired earbuds, they connect to your phone using USB-C, which is great if your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack. Samsung claims the USB-C connection enables the separate left and right channels come out 10x better than traditional 3.5mm jack connections. But the real benefit comes from the high-quality DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that amplifies sound quality to be much better than what you’d expect for earbuds this cheap.
The company also wisely went with a braided cable design to make them lighter to hold, and less susceptible to tangling when storing them away. The in-line playback controls are easy to find and nicely responsive when adjusting volume or play/pausing a song without having to reach for your phone to do it.
Compared to other brands
- Lots of active features. Samsung makes headphones with lots of active features like Bluetooth support, active noise cancelling, power-saving modes, and customization options that you can access via different companion apps.
- Decently well-balanced, customizable sound. Samsung’s headphones reproduce audio fairly accurately, and you can usually customize their sound profile a bit with one of their companion apps.
- Stylish designs. Samsung has a lot of sleek-looking headphones that are comfortable to wear. Their designs often include features like touch-sensitive control schemes to reduce the number of visible buttons. In addition to offering subdued color schemes like black or white, they can also come in eye-catching colors like cloud blue or red.
- Plasticky build quality. Although headphones from Samsung look good, they tend to have a slightly flimsy build quality. They feel less durable than similarly-designed headphones in their price range.
- Poor variety. Samsung doesn’t have a lot of variety in its models. They often release Pro or Plus versions of their original lineup with more features, but they don’t offer many headphone types for different listeners.
- Limited OS compatibility. While all their headphones should work with all Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, their companion apps aren’t all universal. Some only work on Android, while others only provide benefits when used with Samsung device.
Samsung makes sleek-looking headphones that have lots of active features for their price. Since acquiring Harman and its subsidiary AKG in 2017, their products have sound profiles that follow the Harman curve quite closely. It results in a neutral, balanced sound that’s versatile enough for a variety of audio content. However, while you can find a variety of different headphones like over-ears from AKG, Samsung themselves have a limited line-up made up of mostly truly wireless in-ears.
Samsung is a big brand that makes stylish, versatile audio products. While there isn’t much to choose from when looking for the best Samsung earbuds, their truly wireless models perform well overall. They’re not only stylish, but they sound well-balanced and have good battery performance. Unfortunately, they’re not built as sturdily as similar models from other brands, and their companion app could offer even more customization options.