Apathetik - 22 days ago
originally posted on samsung.com
I just got a pair of these a few days ago to replace a pair of Jaybird X2's that I had for quite a long time. I mostly knew what to expect from the research I did before purchasing. But a few things sneaked past my research. I'll start with the worst offender. The Galaxy Wearable's App. I have an older Samsung Galaxy S5. And while Samsung, and Carrier support for this device has long since past. The specs of the phone, and especially convenience features like being able to easily replace the battery, have kept me from wanting to upgrade to a new model phone. And thanks to a certain custom android OS for the device (which I'm not sure I can mention here?), I've been able to maintain feature upgrades, android version upgrades, and often much faster security updates than both Samsung and my local carriers. So it was much to my surprise when I got the Buds, and went to install the Galaxy Wearable's app on my phone. That I find it would not run because it detected that I was running a modified version of Android. But it turns out, it only performs this check on Samsung Devices. They are effectively punishing only their own customers in this way, which almost made me immediately return these earbuds. I did get it working, by making my phone appear to the app as a Google Pixel. Regardless of this fact though. I find it rather absurd that they only run this check and prevent app usage on their own devices. If there's some security concern about running their app on a custom OS. It should perform that check and not run, regardless of what phone it thinks you're using. But that is not the case. Now that I have the app actually working. I am disappointed with how little functionality I get for all the effort that I put into actually getting it working. The options for customizing the controls are incredibly limited. The fact that I can't have volume and Ambient Sound assigned to the controls at the same time is an absurd limitation (for example, Quick Ambient Sound on left bud, and Volume Down on right bud). I also feel like there are more gestures they could be using and aren't. Such as swipes, 1/2/3 taps THEN hold, instead of just a single tap and hold being the only customizable gesture. They should also include a gesture for locking the touch pads (which currently can only be done via a toggle in the Wearable's app). On to the buds themselves. So far, I mostly like them. The music audio quality is certainly acceptable. But is definitely what you would expect from something their size. I don't talk much on my phone, so I can't speak in regard to call quality. However, the Ambient Sound pass through audio quality is... ok when it picks out the right sounds, but seems to like to pick up humming or hissing noises from the surrounding and pass those through just as much as someone trying to talk to you. Which causes problems hearing occasionally. As far as their physical design, I was hesitant to move to a "True Wireless" design coming from my previous Jaybird X2's that were tethered via a wire between the buds, with in-line controls there. Which allowed me to wear them with the wire hooked over my ear for a more secure fit. So far, they seem to stay in quite well. But there are some design issues that are causing me problems. The wingtips have small slots cut into them on the bottom that act a a key way to ensure you put them on in the correct direction and orientation. Unfortunately, the bud in my right ear fits better when rotated differently than the wingtip is oriented for. But due to the keyed nature, it's really hard to get the wingtip rotated correctly for my right ear.