Samsung Galaxy Buds FE Review : Affordable ANC Earbuds!

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The Galaxy Buds FE is the latest wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation from Samsung!

Find out what the Galaxy Buds FE offers, and why this is really an affordable pair of ANC earbuds for the masses!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE : What’s In The Box?

First, let’s take a quick look at what’s inside the box. Samsung kindly provided us with a better unboxing video than we could have done ourselves.

Inside, you will find the following items :

  • A pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds FE earbuds
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds FE storage + charging case
  • Guide Start Guide
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • Two sets of extra ear tips (small and large)
  • A set of stability bands (for small / medium ears)

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Samsung Galaxy Buds FE : Key Features

The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE is focused on delivering an affordable set of active noise cancellation earbuds. Think of it as a budget version of the Galaxy Buds2 or Galaxy Buds2 Pro earphones.

New Wingtip Design

The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE comes with a new wingtip design to make sure they don’t fall off. People with smaller ears may want to try the optional stability bands.

These are closed earbuds with silicone tips. By default, they come fitted with medium ear tips, but the package includes small and large ear tips. Use the proper tips, and you will find that they are light and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Active Noise Cancellation

The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE supports three levels of noise cancellation – ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), Ambient (Transparency), or Off.

It is surprisingly good at noise cancellation when you turn on ANC. Budget ANC earbuds generally use only one microphone to receive ambient noise for cancellation. But the Buds FE appears to use two microphones for noise cancellation, delivering better than expected noise cancellation.

On top of that – when you take out one earbud, the other earbud cleverly switches to Ambient mode so you don’t get disorientated, and switches back to ANC when you put the earbud back on.

The Ambient / Transparency mode is decent – allowing you to hear conversations, or public announcements while still cutting down on ambient noise. It’s not as good as the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, of course, but you won’t realise it if you never compare them before.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds FE Review : Affordable TWS!

IPX2 Splash Resistant

Unlike the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, the Galaxy Buds FE is only IPX2 splash-resistant, which means it’s rated to withstand some dripping water (up to 3 mm per minute), limited to a maximum tilt of 15°.

That basically means that these earbuds will withstand sweat and a little bit of rain. You can certainly wipe these down with a damp cloth. However, under no circumstances should you wash the Galaxy Buds FE under running water!

I should also point out that the charging case itself is NOT water-resistant, so please make sure you keep it dry. In addition, you must dry the Galaxy Buds FE before you put them back into the charging case.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Buds FE connects wirelessly to your devices using Bluetooth 5.2, but does not support Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, so they  can only be connected to one device at any one time.

However, they support automatic switching between Samsung Galaxy devices using the same Samsung account. But if you want to switch from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone to your laptops you need to manually switch using the Bluetooth menu.

Bonus : You can use the SmartThings Find feature to remotely trigger a beeping sound to locate any misplaced earbuds!

Battery Life

The biggest problem I had with the Buds2 Pro was its short battery life of about 5 hours with ANC enabled. I could get about 8 hours with ANC disabled, but that’s still on the low side for premium earbuds.

The good news is – the Galaxy Buds FE actually lasts longer with a similar-sized battery (60 mAh vs 61 mAh in the Buds2 Pro) – about 6 hours with ANC enabled, and 8.5 hours with ANC disabled. Not quite as long as I would like, but still pretty decent at its price point.

Its charging case has an internal 479 mAh battery that provides another 15 hours of extra battery life (ANC enabled), or 24 hours (ANC disabled) – roughly 2.5 full charges.

The good news is – the Galaxy Buds FE supports quick charging – a 5 minute charge will get you about an hour of ANC-enabled battery life.

Pro Tip : Get into the habit of popping these earbuds into their case whenever you are not using, and you will never run out of battery life.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds FE Review : Affordable TWS!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE : Our Verdict

The Galaxy Buds FE is Samsung’s attempt to break into the $100 wireless earbuds market, and is targeted at the large number of Samsung fans who have not yet jumped onto the wireless earbuds bandwagon.

It offers Samsung fans the most important features of the Galaxy Buds2, at a more affordable price point. Now, you won’t get access to premium features like 360 Audio, AKG tuning, or a 2-way dynamic speaker system. But these features are not really deal-breakers for most users.

Dollar-for-dollar – the Galaxy Buds FE definitely offers much better value for your money. In fact, I expect it to cannibalise the sales of the Galaxy Buds2. Samsung fans will either opt to pay more for the premium Galaxy Buds2 Pro, or settle for the cheaper Galaxy Buds FE.

Now, there are slightly cheaper alternatives to be sure, but they won’t come across as well-polished. On top of that, you can count on regular software updates from Samsung.

For those reasons, I think it deserves our Editor’s Choice Award!

Tech ARP Editor's Choice Award

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE : Where To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is priced at RM399 / US$99.99 / £99 / A$199.

Here are some online purchase options (prices accurate as of 31 October 2023) :

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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