Samsung launched its first Fan Edition true wireless stereo earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE alongside the Galaxy S23 FE, the Galaxy Tab S9 FE, and Galaxy Tab S9 FE+.
At the price point of RM 399, the Galaxy Buds FE stands out as one of the most budget-friendly TWS from Samsung. Naturally, there are some cutting corners to achieve the lower price tag.
Here’s my review of the new Samsung Galaxy Buds FE.
Samsung Galaxy Buds FE Specifications
- Driver: 6.5mm Custom 1-way
- Bluetooth: 5.2
- Supported Sound Codecs: SSC/SBC/AAC
- Features: ANC, Ambient Sound, In-ear Wear Detection, Auto-Switch, SmartThings Find
- Battery Life: 6 / 8.5 Hours (ANC On/Off) + 3 Rounds Charge with The Charging Case
- IP Rating: IPX2
- Weight: 5.6g (Earbuds), 40g (Case)
- Color: Graphite & White
- Price: RM 399 (Samsung E-Store | Lazada | Shopee)
Design & Fitting
I am glad that Samsung has maintained its pebble-shaped charging case design, enabling the swapping of protective casings from other Samsung Galaxy Buds, such as the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds2, and the flagship Galaxy Buds2 Pro.
The Galaxy Buds FE uses the same white glossy finish on the outside, matching the color of the inner part with the earbuds just like the Galaxy Buds2. Never been a fan of glossy surfaces as it prone to catch fingerprint smudges. USB C charging port at the back with an LED status indicator on the front. Samsung did remove the wireless charging capability and fully relied on wired USB C. Not a huge problem for me as I only charge the case once a week.
Coming to the design of the earbuds, Samsung has brought the wingtips that were first introduced on the Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Buds Plus. If you are not a wingtips person, you can swap it out for flat tips.
Additionally, I find the flat touch sensor on the earbuds is designed to be more practical. This reduces the chances of accidental input when adjusting the earbud which suffers from the rounded-shaped design of earbuds like the Galaxy Buds2 and Galaxy Buds2 Pro which I daily drive.
Overall I find the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE has a pleasing fitting, especially with the wingtips that I feel confident to wear it for jogging or exercise.
The pairing is seamless with any Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet. It would prompt a pairing dialogue when you open the Galaxy Buds FE’s lid near the device. Tap connect, and update the Samsung Wearable software if required and it’s good to go.
For non-Galaxy devices, the pairing would be the manual pairing in the device’s Bluetooth settings. You can download the Samsung Wearable app from Google Play Store and it is also available on the Apple App Store.
Since we are on the topic of the companion app, the Samsung Wearable. Many tweaks and settings can be done from the app such as equalizer, noise controls, touch controls customization, and firmware updates.
Here are two of the features that Samsung didn’t include on this more budget Galaxy Buds FE, Voice detect and 360 audio. Voice detect would automatically turn on Ambient sound and lower media volume to make conversation easier while the 360 audio enabled you to experience sound from all directions as well as 360 audio recording. To be honest, I don’t use this feature much. In fact, I only tried it because I was curious about how it works, and it’s not particularly useful for regular music listening or watching YouTube videos.
Compared to the more premium models, the Galaxy Buds FE lost its AKG-tuned sound signature and uses a single 6.5mm custom one-way driver as opposed to the two-way driver setup that is found on the Galaxy Buds2 and the Galaxy Buds2 Pro.
However, my first impressions were surprisingly good. They are loud and have a pretty warm bass which some may enjoy. With the absence of the tweeter driver, the soundstage is not as wide as what the Galaxy Buds2 can produce – this is quite subjective as people have different preferences when it comes to sound.
Nevertheless, with the preset equalizer options available, I’m sure you can find one that sounds the best for your ears.
Overall, they are good and have pretty solid sound quality for this price point.
Active Noise Cancelling & Ambient Sound
I’m glad that Samsung didn’t strip away the ANC and ambient sound features in pursuit of a lower price tag. The ANC and ambient sound performance is rather similar to the Galaxy Buds2.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE does have a slightly better battery life with 8.5 hours with ANC turned off or 6 hours with ANC enabled. It also gets 3 rounds of charge. As I have mentioned earlier, I am only required to charge it once a week with an average of 2 to 3 hours of use per day.
Where to buy?
Samsung Galaxy Buds FE Review
The Samsung Galaxy Buds FE may look basic but it still has all the essential features like ANC, ambient sound, companion app support, great battery life, auto-switch if you are using within the Samsung ecosystem, and importantly carrying an affordable price tag.
But! If you are willing to spare an extra RM 50, I would highly recommend you get the Galaxy Buds2 during the festive sale or double-digit sale on Shopee or Lazada. You can check my review of Samsung Galaxy Buds2.