Samsung’s newly announced wireless earbuds aren’t anything like those recently released from Jaybird. The earbuds are actually wireless, meaning that they aren’t tethered together by a wire that goes behind your neck.
As Wired notes, smaller companies such as Bragi, Kanoa, Erin, and even Erato have already introduced similar wireless buds, but Samsung’s new buds represent the first attempt by a company to make wireless buds mainstream. With the iPhone 7 on its way and rumored Apple wireless buds included in the box, Samsung has struck the iron at the right time.
Samsung’s a great company, but their current wireless headphones, the Level On Wireless, leave a lot to be desired. They’re not bad; they’re just average. They offer noise cancellation, but it works poorly like Beats rather than the excellent noise cancellation found in wireless products such as the Sennheiser M2 Wireless and the brand new Bose QC 35 Wireless (more on these very soon!). The one reaction that came out of my mouth when trying Samsung’s first attempt at wireless Bluetooth listening was….meh.
So, what are early impressions of the Gear IconX Wireless like? Dan Seifert from The Verge likes the fit and sound, but thinks battery life is the biggest compromise. Tech Radar thinks Samsung could be headed towards success.
“Samsung has clearly caught onto the buzz created by early movers and have crafted something that could end up being a hit. While we still need more time to develop a fair opinion, the Gear Icon X could be an essential piece of tech for fitness-focused people who want to cut the cord out of the equation.”
CNET could be trying to hide some of their disappointment by saying that the IconX Wireless sound “pretty good” and even better than other Bluetooth buds. PR companies usually make deals with news outlets in which they cannot give an official bad review to a product if they let them try it briefly. The true reviews usually come in after the company sends a review unit.
Still, it looks like the big obstacle to the IconX Wireless buds is battery life. Even if you get a charging case, you likely won’t make it through a full day listening to music without having to recharge the buds, and that could be very annoying. The Gear IconX buds may have a fitness tracker, but it’s the sound quality and battery life that matter the most to users. However, it’s important to note that Samsung’s new wireless buds won’t be released for a couple of months, so they still have time to sort things out.