Should you upgrade from the Samsung Gear IconX to Samsung Galaxy Buds?

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Samsung introduced the Samsung Galaxy Buds truly wireless headsets earlier this year, and it has generally been framed as a cheaper version of the Samsung Gear IconX headsets.

As an early owner of the IconX this has prevented me from considering an upgrade to the new headsets, despite them being considerably cheaper out of the gate.

After an issue with my IconX I, however, splurged on the latest generation of the headset, and I regret I did not make the jump earlier.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds incorporate a number of lessons Samsung has learned from the  IconX headset.

Besides the obvious of being smaller and lighter, the case is now considerably smaller, even fitting into the change pocket of your jeans.  The case now includes a glossy rather than soft-touch finish, meaning the case will no longer pick up dirt and discolouration from your pocket. Internally the earphones now have a metal grill instead of a fabric cover as a speaker cover, which should be a lot easier to clean.

The rubber of the earphone tips is now even softer and provides amazing noise isolation. Sound quality is great when using the Dynamic setting on the graphic equalizer.

The earpieces are now held in place magnetically in the case rather than with the force of the closure of the case, meaning charging should be more reliable. The case of course also supports wireless charging, meaning one less thing to plug in each night.

The Galaxy Buds of course lack some features of the IconX, such as exercise tracking and volume control from the headset itself, but the former was never a complete solution, while the latter was always rather fiddly to use.

As someone who owns both, I can wholeheartedly recommend the upgrade, and Consumer Reports agree that they are not just good, but the best, saying it’s one of the best-scoring portable Bluetooth headphones Consumer Reports has ever tested” with “true wireless design”, “exemplary audio quality packed into a pair of unobtrusive earpieces” and “easy-to use touch controls for playback, volume, and skipping tracks”.

The buds are available in Black, White and Canary Yellow and can be found on Amazon here for only $126.

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