Two years after the launch of the Apple AirPods, Samsung is finally ready to join the race with its wireless earbuds. Mind you, the Galaxy Buds are not the company’s first attempt in wireless earphones. The Galaxy Buds succeed the Gear IconX, minus the Gear branding. Also, the Galaxy Buds are sleek and compact, pack a great battery life, and come bundled with touch-based controls.
Another pair of truly wireless earbuds climbing the popularity ladder is the Jabra Elite 65t. This pair carries nearly the same design as the Galaxy Buds and have considerably good battery life. More importantly, the Elite 65t are almost in the same price bracket as the Galaxy Buds.
So, are they worth the $20 upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy Buds? That’s what we are going to find out in this post today when we compare the Jabra Elite 65t with the new Samsung Galaxy Buds.
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At first glance, both the Jabra Elite 65t and the Galaxy Buds appear identical. Both are sleek and fit comfortably in the ear cavity. More importantly, both earbuds are held in place by fins for a secure fit.
However, take a closer look, and you'll find a lot of differences between the two. For one, the Galaxy Buds are considerably smaller in size than the Elite 65t.
Though the Elite 65t fits snugly and seals the ear canal, the outer body hangs out a little, giving a feeling that the earbuds might fall off during strenuous activities like jogging or running.
Thankfully, they hold on to your ears pretty well. Of course, you’d have to find the right fit (ear tips and fins) beforehand.
On the other hand, the Galaxy Buds have a slightly smaller design that gives it a sleek look and a slightly better fit. And with the right pair of ear tips, you don’t have to live in the constant fear of the earbuds falling off.
Secondly, when it comes to looks, the Elite 65t’s metal finish and dual tone give it an edge over the Galaxy Buds. Though the pearlescent effect gives off a beautiful effect, I would rather side with the dual tone look. But at the end of the day, that’s my opinion.
Volume Controls: Touch Controls vs. Hardware Keys
When it comes to the controls, the Jabra Elite 65t have them built on the buds. There are volume up/down button and a dedicated multi-functional button. You can skip tracks, answer calls, adjust the volume or summon the voice assistant of your choice (Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant). Also, it lets you switch off a single earbud. Nifty, right?
As opposed to the hardware keys, the Galaxy Buds bundles new-age touch-based controls. You just have to touch the touch panel to skip tracks, adjust the volume levels or summon Bixby or Google Assistant.
But unlike hardware buttons which are as easy as flicking a switch on/off, here you'll be to master the art of remembering the gestures first. Though it gets easier with time, the initial few days can be quite tough.
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Audio Quality & Sound Transparency
Both the earbuds produce great audio output with the Jabra Elite 65t and Galaxy Buds delivering deep and punchy bass. But again, if we dive deep, the bass lover in you will like the way the Galaxy Buds sound.
A common feature of both earbuds is the sound transparency. Jabra calls it HearThrough and it lets you adjust the degree of ambient noise both through the companion app as well as the multifunctional button. That is especially important when you are out running in noisy areas and need an idea of your surroundings.
The Galaxy Buds also pack the same feature named Ambient Sound. You can adjust the degree from within the app or if you want, through the touch-based control atop the earbuds.
However, when it comes to comparing the two, I would side with the one in the Jabra Elite 65t. It was better tuned and allowed me to listen to the ambient sound while talking to others or when in a busy area.
App Features: Features & Customization
The companion app is an important part of any wireless gadget for it is the gateway to a majority of the earbud features. For now, let’s start with the Jabra Sound + app.
This one boasts of many features like a built-in Equalizer, HearThrough, Soundscapes, and Find My Earbuds. However, the feature I liked the most was the auto-pause feature which (you guessed it right) pauses the music when you take off the earbuds. Thankfully, it is also present on Samsung Buds.
Other than that, the Jabra Sound + packs a couple of EQ presets like bass boost, treble boost, etc., which will satiate the casual listener in you.
Similar to Jabra Sound+, the Galaxy Wearables app also offers many features including battery levels, Find, and EQ presets. But the ones that steal the show are the customizable actions.
When paired to an Android, you can customize the touch actions as per your requirement. So if you don’t like Bixby, you can tweak the long-tap to open something else instead.
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The battery life is one of the most crucial aspects of any gadget, be it a phone or a pair of wireless earphones. When it comes to the Galaxy buds, the buds manage to squeeze six hours of battery life while the case lends an extra seven hours. Hence, on a single charge, you’ll get somewhere around 12-13 hours depending on the volume levels.
On the other hand, though the Elite 65t give five hours on battery, the case yields an additional 10 hours on a full charge.
Choosing the right pair of wireless earphones can be a tricky affair. Apart from the audio quality, you have to take plenty of things into account like its design, customization features, after-sales service, among others.
When it comes to the Galaxy Buds, they are good for their price. Apart from the features mentioned above, the Galaxy Buds come with wireless charging that makes charging on the go an easy affair especially if you have the Galaxy S10/S10+ as your daily driver. All you need to do is put the phone face down, and place the case on top and it will be charged in no time.
Though the Buds work great with the Galaxy phones or other Android phones, they don't gel well with iPhones.
On the other hand, the Jabra Elite 65t goes with almost all phones. Though they charge via the good old method, the battery life of 15 hours is what I'd like to call a decent battery life. What about you?
The Jabra Elite 65t is priced at $169.99 while the Samsung Galaxy Buds costs $129.99.
Next up: Looking for a Bluetooth speaker within budget? Here's a list of top Bluetooth speakers that you should consider.