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Samsung Galaxy Buds FE

Samsung believes that good in-ears can cost less than £100.

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In-ears are as popular as ever, but the price has also gone through the roof, and prices over £150 are not uncommon. With the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE, we take a closer look at something a little more affordable.

The design is very stylish, bordering on looking more like a medical device than anything else, and comes in white or black and, not least, what feels like a surprisingly high build quality. There's the option to change the size of the silicone tips as a couple of different sets are included, something you don't always see in more budget-friendly in-ears. In addition, there is a silicone ring for the wing on the device itself in case you feel uncomfortable with skin contact with the plastic. It's the type that feels like it screws into your ear, but it suits me fine, even with the little fin on it. On the other hand, they are relatively wide at the tip, and people with small ear canals will probably not like that.

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE

It brings good noise cancellation and 30 hours of battery life, 21 hours with ANC (that's with the case included, otherwise it's about seven hours), and the noise cancellation is really good, but I had a hard time getting the battery life up there, in fact I was consistently an hour under when listening to music.

They are quite light, 5.6 grams, but there is no IP certification, well, there is IPX2, but that really only covers light drizzle. SSC is supported - but it's exclusive to Samsung. It's a good thing you have that brand of phone then, because otherwise the sound quality is very limited. On the other hand, you can track them through the SmartThings app if you lose one.

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There is of course integrated Bixby, but despite the fact that I privately use both a Samsung phone and television, I choose to trust what Samsung writes, as I simply hate all kinds of personal assistants, and find it too annoying to be constantly interrupted because it thinks you have given an order. They've done away with wireless charging, which seems like a relatively obvious sacrifice. On the other hand, it would have been nice if you didn't have to tinker so much with the settings in the accompanying app, which comes with basic functions, but you have to set it yourself if you want to increase the volume, for example. I don't understand why Samsung Wearable needs access to virtually all the data on my phone, the only thing I'm allowed to keep to myself is apparently my MidID app, and not much more - and this is totally unnecessary.

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE

For some, it will be necessary to use the EQ settings, there's a lot of bass punch, and it might be too much for many. There's a lot of bass and treble, and the midrange can then drown 10-12dB below the rest. The treble deflects quite quickly, so it's not exactly Mendelssohn or Vivaldi's violin concertos that need to be played. The resolution is reasonable for the price range, as are the dynamics, but the coherence of the sound image suffers a bit from the non-frequency linear default setting.

So, are they amazing and perfect? Well, no. But for the commuter or gym-goer who doesn't want to spend £200 on a pair of high-end in-ears and who already owns a Samsung phone, it's not a bad buy.

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07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
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