The simplest way to understand the leap Samsung has achieved with the Buds+ is to check out the same playlist with last year’s Galaxy Buds that debuted along with the Samsung Galaxy S10 trio. The jump in sound quality is significant, that alone makes a strong case for the Galaxy Buds+. Gym rats and frequent fliers might have driven the sales for true wireless ear buds like the AirPods back in 2019. Those purchase drivers have changed in a COVID-induced New Normal. However, the stuff that matters for buyers hasn’t changed – battery life, sound output and call quality.

It’s almost impossible to tell the new Samsung Galaxy Buds+ apart from its predecessor without the ‘+’ suffix. It’s the same compact charging case and the featherlight earbuds that feel almost weightless in your ears. You can interchange the buds and pop them into each other’s cases; they fit and charge just fine. There’s probably just one minor difference. The newer Buds+ come in a glossy case; the 2019 Buds opted for a matte finish. The charging case is compact; it will slip into your jeans or the tiniest pocket of your man bag without a fuss.

While the appearance might be identical, performance is a world apart. First, it’s the sound quality. Samsung has kitted the Buds+ with a 2-way Dynamic speaker (tuned by AKG) that includes a Woofer and a Tweeter. I checked out a variety of sounds from lounge to podcasts to News and grunge, the Buds+ deliver a balanced sound experience. There is a bunch of sound modes but nothing worked better than the Normal mode. You can pick from the sound modes and opt for customisations from Samsung’s proprietary Galaxy Buds+ app that’s also available on iOS. One of the many options is Ambient sound that allows you to plug into external sounds. The Buds+ don’t offer ANC (Active noise cancellation), relying instead on a bundle of eartips and wingtips that seal off external sounds. It works quite well but it’s certainly doesn’t give you the same insulation as the ANC mode on the pricier AirPods Pro.

One of our big gripes of the Galaxy Buds was call quality. The Buds+ makes serious amends. Samsung opts for a triple-mic (two outer and one inner) set-up and the difference is significant. My callers had no trouble hearing me even as I connected from an external environment. Battery life is the biggest win for the Buds+. Each of the buds are good for a staggering 11 hours – that’s more than a day full of Zoom meetings. It puts these buds way ahead of the competition on this front. Add the battery case and you get another 11 hours or effectively 22 hours for the case plus ear buds.

Last year’s Galaxy Buds became one of the first ear buds to offer wireless charging. The Buds+ come loaded with this handy feature too. The other useful touch is one touch Spotify connect – you can program one of the action keys to take you straight to Spotify (available only on the Android version of the App). It’s one of the many improvements aside from better sound quality and stellar battery life that makes the Galaxy Buds+ a worthy contender in the crowded true wireless Bluetooth ear buds segment.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ cost Rs 11,990 and comes in three colour options including black, white and blue.