Hey guys Marc here from RTINGS.com and today we are comparing the Samsung Galaxy Buds to the Beoplay E8 2.0. Both are truly wireless in-ears with (Qi) wireless charging cases. They're both also slight updates older models. The Galaxy Buds replacing the Gear IconX and the E8 2.0 being the second iteration of the Beoplay E8 design. So, what's new? and what sets them apart from the competition? Also, the Beoplay being considerably pricier than the Samsung, are they worth your money? Or are you better off going for the cheaper Galaxy Buds instead? Well in this review we will be comparing their design, sound isolation and leakage, which you will be able you hear for yourself a little later on in the video, as well as their active features and connectivity. But as always, let's start with what's in the box. As for what’s in the box for the Samsung Galaxy Buds you get three pairs of stability sleeves, three tip options, the manuals, the usb-c charging cable, the case, and the earbuds themselves It’s about the same for the E8, although you do get 4 pairs of silicone tips, and an additional pair of memory foam tips, the manuals, the USB charging cable, the case, and the E8 2.0 headphones Now let’s get the boxes out of the way and compare their design For their build quality, here the Beoplay have the upper hand and feel a bit more premium overall. The Galaxy Buds have a smaller form factor and a very compact design that some may prefer. Their case is also a bit smaller than the previous model. It’s fairly well built and should easily keep the buds in place when carrying them around although it does also feel slightly cheaper than the than the Gear IconX. It also doesn't have high end finishing touches of the E8 2.0.
The buds do not feel as dense and sturdy as the Beoplays. and they are only rated IPX2. Unfortunately we do not yet have a water and sweat resistance test on our testbench to confirm this but considering that sweat resistance and clogging issues that would reduce the volume level of one earbud compared to the other was one of the biggest downsides of the Gear Icon X, this may be a deal breaker for some, especially if you often run or work out with you headphones. Otherwise for most casual day to day activities they feel about as well built as most truly wireless in-ears we've tested recently with the benefit of being one of the smallest truly wireless design which does play a role in comfort. The Beoplay E8 2.0 on the other hand have a premium look and feel that doesn't change much from the previous model especially when it comes to the earbuds. The buds are dense and feel like they can take a bit more of a beating than the Samsung. The case however has changed a bit although not by much. It’s about the same size as the previous model and a little larger than the galaxy buds case but has amore luxurious leather coating on the outside that most would prefer.
On the inside they have this brushed metal look that makes them feel like a high-end item and maybe a deciding factor if you’re looking for a premium design that sets itself a part from the competition. Both cases also support Qi wireless charging but we will talk more about that in the active features section. As for comfort here the Galaxy Buds are slightly more comfortable than the Beoplay. They fit slightly better in most ears thanks to their smaller footprint. Once in your ears they hold quite steady which is great for most sports although the sweat resistance may be a bigger issue. On the other hand, they come with 3 tip sizes and a few fins to help you get a better fit and once you get the right set up for your ears you barely feel that they are there and somewhat forget about them. Unfortunately, they still have an in-ear design so they quite as comfortable as the AirPods for some but if you like in-ears in general then they are definitely one of the more comfortable options we've tested. The Beoplay on the other hand, are slightly bulkier which does mean they won't be as good as the Galaxy Buds for users with smaller ears. They also do not come with any fins to adjust them to the notch of your ear which is not ideal but, on the upside, they come with a bit more tip options than the Galaxy Buds. The foam tips especially fit well within the ear canal and makes them quite stable for running and working out too. The silicone tips are about as good but won't feel as secure in your ears as the foam tips.
Overall the Beoplay are decently comfortable but if you have smaller ears then the Galaxy Buds will be the better fit. Lastly, for their control scheme and here the Beoplay have the slight edge since they provide all the functions without needing to button map any volume controls. Unlike the Gear IconX the Galaxy Buds default set up does not have volume control, instead this feature is buried in the app which is not available on iOS. With the default set up you can use the right and left earbud to manage calls and music playback. 1 tap pauses and plays your music, two tap skips tracks and 3 rewinds. If you press and hold you get the voice assistant. However, if you have an android device you can install the Samsung wearable app and switch the press and hold function to trigger ambient mode or for volume up with the right ear bud and volume down with the left. Its not the most intuitive control scheme but on the upside is a bit easier to than the swipe gestures for volume on the Gear Icon X and when you switch to the alternate set up you still have playback function like play, pause so if you don't really use voice enabled controls you should be fine. The Beoplay on the other hand have all the functions with series of taps and holds.
1 tap on the right bud plays and pause your audio and two taps skips tracks and 3 traps triggers your voice assistant.
1 tap on the left enables the ambient mode 2 taps rewinds tracks but no function for three taps. If you press and hold the right earbud you turn up the volume and the left brings the volume down. it's a decent control scheme but does take a bit of time to get familiar with.
On the upside at least you have all functionality without needing the app which is much better for iOS users. So Overall, for design the Beoplay are better built, more sweat resistant and look a lot more premium. They also work equally well for Android and iOS although their slightly bulkier buds may not be as comfortable for everyone especially if you have smaller ears. And that's pretty much it for their design now let's compare their sound isolation and leakage with sSm. In terms of sound quality both the Samsung and the Beo Play have a decent performance, but between the two, our recommendation would be the Samsung, for its slightly better balanced treble. I would also like to point out that the Samsung Galaxy Buds perform nearly identical to the Samsung Gear IconX, and the Beo Play E8 2.0 sound nearly identical to the first generation E8. Now before looking at their measurement results, we’re going to play a recording we have done with these headphones, so you can get an idea about how their sound compares for yourself. Just keep in mind that this is a relative comparison, and not an absolute one.
So it is good for seeing which headphone has more bass or treble for example, but you won’t be able to judge their actual sound profile.
And if you get one of these headphones and listen to the same track that we’ve used here, you most likely won’t hear the same thing. Here, we have the frequency response of the Galaxy Buds on the left and the E8 2.0 on the right, and as you can see they have a relatively similar frequency response.
In the bass range, the Galaxy Buds are a bit shy on thump and punch, but compared to the E8 2.0, which has a bit more bass, the difference is not huge.
The mid-range of the Galaxy Buds is very flat and well-balanced, which means vocals and lead instruments will sound clear and accurate on them. The E8 2.0 also has a pretty good mid-range, but the bump in low-mid makes vocals and leads a bit thick and their overall sound a bit cluttered.
In the treble range, both of these headphones perform well up to 6KHz, meaning they provide a good amount of detail and brightness for vocals and instruments, but the peaks in mid-treble (also known as the sibilance range) makes them sharp and piercing on S and T sounds. This will be especially more noticeable on the E8 2.0. So if you are sensitive to sibilant headphones, you may find the E8 2.0 a bit painful on bright tracks. Overall, these headphones lack a little bit of bass and are a bit sibilant but the Galaxy Buds will provide a more pleasant listening experience more of the time. I would also like to mention that the smart phone app that comes with these headphones offers a limited amount of adjustment to their sound, so you may be able to tweak their sound so that it will be more to your liking. The measurements shown here were done with the EQ turned off.
In terms of frequency response consistency, both of these headphones deliver the same of bass and treble with every re-seat, but you have to make sure that you are using the tips that are the correct size for your ears. Otherwise, you may experience a noticeable drop in bass. Now for isolation and leakage, we have also recorded a comparison, which we’re going to play now. First up, is isolation. As you can see the isolation performance of these in-ears is quite similar and both do a good job of blocking out speech and air-conditioning noises. However, the Galaxy Buds provide a bit more isolation in the treble range and the E8 2.0 performs noticeably better in the bass range. Since there’s some diminishing return in treble isolation after a certain point, the E8 will provide the better isolation overall, especially for commutes and travel where you may want to isolate the low rumbling sounds of airplanes and bus engines. Now let’s listen to the leakage recording. In terms of leakage, these headphones, like most in-ears, perform great and barely leak. The Galaxy Buds could leak some sharp S and T sounds at very loud volumes, but you basically don’t need to worry about the leakage of these headphones in most situations, unless you are blasting your music in a very quiet environment like a library or an elevator. Now let’s go back to Marc for the active features. For their active features, starting with their wireless range here the Galaxy Buds have a slightly better range when obstructed than the Beoplay at 54ft compared to 37ft but do a little worse in direct line of sight at 100 compared to the Beoplay 136ft. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Buds though slightly better in obstructed range which is more suitable for everyday use had quite a few connection stability issues when paring to PCs and on some mobile phones. There was a recent update, to fix connection stability as indicated in the patch notes and we did notice a slight improvement but their connection stability but still had a few issues from time to time. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a reliable test for that so we can’t confirm how well this update will work for most users. Note that wireless range does depend quite a bit your device and the signal strength. As for latency both headphones are pretty bad, but the Galaxy Buds are much worse. The Galaxy Buds had about 372 ms of latency compared to the beoplay’s 256ms. Unfortunately, this means that both headphones would be poorly suited for gaming on mobile phones and even watching videos although we have noticed that some apps and devices do offer a slight compensation so they may not be as bad for everyone. They do not have any low latency codecs like the Sennheiser Moment True wireless and other Bluetooth headphones with aptx-LL so if you mostly use your headphones for watching movies at home you might want to check those out instead. For battery life it’s a mixed bag and depends a little bit on your use case. The Beoplay have a longer battery life overall since they have 3 additional charges in their case and last about 4.5 hours on each charge for a total of about 18hrs. However, the Galaxy buds are one of the longest lasting truly wireless in-ears in terms of continuous playtime at 7.5 hours of playback on a single charge but only have one additional charge in the case.
This brings the total battery life of the Buds to 15 hours but again if you have long continuous listening sessions or are on a particularly long flight then the Buds would be the better option. However, for everyday use when you often put the buds back in their case to charge the E8 are a slightly better choice. On the upside both these headphones charge relatively fast via USB C. The E8 at 1.2 and the Galaxy buds at 1.6, and they also both support QI wireless charging which is pretty continent if you already have a wireless charger or a phone that supports its like the Galaxy S10. For their apps the Samsung wearable apps give you slightly m ore features with the galaxy buds than the E8 2.0 with the new Bang &Olufsen app. With the Samsung wearable app, you get the battery level of each earbud, a pre-set equalizer, enabling voice notifications in the buds, button mapping and find my earbuds. It’s a decent app but not quite on par with that of other truly wireless headphones like the Jaybird My sound app which gives you much better and more customizable equalizer. This is also the case of the E82.0, with the Bang and Olufsen app which acts like a hub for all your Beoplay products. Unfortunately, you get slightly lacking list of features. The touchtone presets does give you a bit more flexibility and lets you blend the multiple presets together.
But apart from that you get a very barebones in app player and a transparency slider. Overall both apps are a bit disappointing especially compared to some other headsets. Lastly for their connection option the Beoplays are Bluetooth 4.2 and the Galaxy Buds Bluetooth 5.0.
So, they which may get a slightly better performance in wireless stability and range overall but unfortunately our current test bench only goes up to Bluetooth 4.2 for now. On the other hand, both headphones do not have multi device pairing or NFC. So, in the end which one should you choose. Well the Galaxy buds will most likely be a better value for most especially for android users.
They are more affordable, slightly more comfortable and compact and they sound a bit better too although their default sound is a little bass light. The galaxy Buds also have a longer continuous playtime which will be a bit better for long listening sessions but the E8 2.0 have the longer battery life overall. The E8 also have a better more premium looking design that most will prefer especially since they have all the controls and functions available for both android and ios unlike the Galaxy Buds. If you have the budget, they’re a great choice especially iOS users but for most the galaxy buds are a better value.
However, we do not yet know if they will have the same clogging issue as the iconX. You can check out all of the measurements on our website. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel, or become a contributor. Also, we are currently hiring in our offices in Montreal for various positions. So, if you want to help people find the best product for their needs, have a look at the careers page on our website. Thank you for watching and see you next time. .