Renowned Austrian manufacturer AKG knows a thing or two about headphones, having produced its first set in 1949. It’s no surprise that Samsung has been working with them to produce the AKG-branded headphones included with its flagship phones. Samsung even went so far as to buy AKG’s parent company, Harman, further cementing their union. Take a look at the Korean tech giant’s latest wireless earbuds versus its wired AKG-branded headphones to see how they compare.
If you are looking for wireless freedom from your headphones, they don’t come much smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Buds2. They are available in four soft colors with a customizable fit and lightweight, at just 5 grams each.
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 offer seamless switching between devices, meaning you can flick between phone and laptop with minimal fuss, and they incorporate three microphones for clear voice calling and noise-reduction purposes.
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Notable for their compact design, Samsung Galaxy Buds count noise cancellation and wireless charging among their many positive features. Their battery life extends to approximately five hours. Connection to Android devices is quick and easy, and the overall user experience is good. Sound quality is decent, and they pack a punch in the lower and higher registers, with the midrange slightly lacking in detail. However, most listeners will be more than happy with the quality since this is ideal for modern contemporary music.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 carry an IPX2 water-resistance rating, which in simple terms means that they are splash-proof. However, while you should have nothing to worry about when using them in a light rain shower, they might not be able to withstand a heavy workout at the gym. Users of iOS devices may also be disappointed to hear that the latest companion app is heavily focused on Android users, and they may find they miss out on certain features.
When Samsung jumped on Apple’s bandwagon and ditched the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on its flagship models, many people took the news badly. Yet, many still prefer wired headphones as they are not fussy, don’t need charging and are less likely to become lost in the couch.
Enter the AKG Type-C wired earbuds that plug directly into the charging socket, skirting the requirement for a headphone socket in doing so. This well-built set is basic but represents excellent value.
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AKG Type-C wired earbuds are well designed with highly compact earpieces. The cable has a woven sleeve from the jack plug to the divider, where the cables become rubber-coated and hardwearing. There is a simple three-button inline remote on the right-hand cable with volume up and down/call answering/play and pause controls as well as an inbuilt microphone. AKG Type-C wired earbuds come with three differently-sized earpieces to ensure a snug fit and are ideal for mobile gaming and movies, thanks to their being very low-latency.
AKG Type-C wired earbuds are non-water-resistant and should not be used outdoors in heavy weather. They do not have good noise isolation, with a lot of lower-frequency ambient noise blending into the mix. While their bass response is good enough for playing EDM or hip-hop tracks, they lack sound enhancement features and noise-canceling technology.
Many Samsung phones owners will have received a set of AKG Type-C wired earbuds with one of their high-end handsets and may be wondering whether to upgrade to Samsung Galaxy Buds2. If you place a lot of value in wireless technology and like to work or exercise without having a phone on your person, you may consider switching. On the other hand, if you like to charge your device while listening to music or other media, you’d benefit from the free USB-C port that the AKG Type-C wired earbuds would otherwise use.
That said, if you prefer the reliability of wired headphones or simply don’t wish to hand over $100 more for the wireless Samsung Galaxy Buds2, you might be happier with the AKG Type-C wired earbuds. The AKG Type-C wired earbuds offer a better bang for your buck, but there are obvious limitations when it comes to being tied to your handset. While wireless earbuds are undoubtedly here to stay, they will not last a long-haul flight on a single charge and in situations like this, sometimes the old-school solutions work best. Alternatively, you might consider a set of the pro-audio headphones, for which AKG are famous. It’s always beneficial to do some research on the best AKG headphones to compare both wired and wireless models that are equally suited to the home or studio.
We couldn’t help but be impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Buds2, and they have deservedly managed to make their mark in a saturated market where competition from brands such as Apple has ruled the roost. While the AKG Type-C wired earbuds are evenly matched as far as sound quality, the high-quality peripherals — including the companion app and smart charging case — make the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 stand out as the far superior product, albeit at a price.
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Luke Mitchell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.