Hard to pass up

Samsung Galaxy Buds

Better for workouts

Samsung Gear Icon X (2018)

The Galaxy Buds are likely what Samsung owners wanted from an AirPods killer. These headphones sport long battery life, a better equalizer, and who can ignore the wireless charging capabilities. One of the few downsides of these is the lack of onboard storage for music or podcasts.

$130 at Amazon

Pros

  • Longer battery life
  • Wireless charging
  • Better quick charging
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Less expensive

Cons

  • No onboard storage for music
  • Lack of workout detection
  • IPX2 water/dust resistance

When released, the Gear Icon X (2018) seemed to be a great follow up to the original Gear Icon X. However, in 2019, the only feature that could turn heads is the onboard storage, and maybe the automatic workout detection. Plus, being more expensive than the newer Galaxy Buds, it's a tough pill to swallow.

$185 at Amazon

Pros

  • IP67 water/dust resistance
  • 4GB of onboard storage
  • Automatic/Manual workout detection

Cons

  • Limited to wired charging
  • Shorter battery life
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Limited Bixby control

Both of these headphones offer a great experience, but it's obvious that Samsung has been doing its homework while readying the Galaxy Buds.

The Galaxy vs the Icon

When Samsung released the Gear Icon X (2018), everyone was expecting to see a (much) slimmer version of the original Gear Icon X, and that just wasn't the case. Samsung believed in keeping the onboard storage as an option to set it apart from the competition.

That was all fine and dandy, but as evidenced by the Galaxy Buds, that wasn't as important of a feature as the company may have once thought. At the time, the Icon X (2018) had some extra goodies thrown in, including the fact that you could get an hour of playback with just 10 minutes of charging, along with the ability for your headphones to automatically (or manually) track workouts.

Now with the Galaxy Buds, the onboard storage has been removed, and there is no way for them to track your workouts without using your smartphone. However, just about every other aspect of the Galaxy Buds has been improved to really make these the de-facto choice for Samsung lovers, and Android users alike.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Samsung Gear Icon X (2018)
Battery Playback 13 hours total 10 hours total
Battery Talk Time 11 hours total 8 hours total
Charging Wired/Wireless Wired Only
Quick Charging 15 minutes = 1.7 hours 10 minutes = 1 hour
Water Resistance IPX2 IP67
Microphone One outer + one inner Two outer
In-ear Sensor IR + Accelerometer + Proximity IR Sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 4.2
Features Ambient Sound, Touch UX Ambient Sound, Touch UX
Built-in Storage N/A 4GB
Charging Time 120 minutes 130 minutes
Samsung Health Integration N/A Manual & Automatic Workouts
Weight 39.6g 55.8g

The biggest concern that folks may run into if they opt for the Galaxy Buds is the IPX2 water and dust resistance. This should be fine for some heavy workout sessions at the gym but may cause some issues if you tend to run in heavy rains. For that use-case, you may be better suited to opt for the Gear Icon X (2018) with its IP67 water and dust resistance.

What has many excited about the Galaxy Buds is the Bluetooth 5.0, wireless charging capabilities, and the fact that they are priced at just $129.99. This is a price cut of about $70 from the Gear Icon X (2018), which were released with a price of $199.99.

We would be remiss if we glanced over the wireless charging capabilities, as you can take advantage of PowerShare on your Galaxy S10 smartphone and charge your new Galaxy Buds. You don't need any extra cables or any additional adapters. Just place your S10 face down, set the Galaxy Buds on the rear casing, and watch them charge.

Another huge benefit of the Galaxy Buds comes from the weight of them, as these weigh in at 39.6g, compared to 55.8g on the Gear Icon X (2018). It's great to see Samsung really hit just about all of the marks here, and this has us excited to use these for an extended period of time without ear fatigue.

Hard to pass up

Samsung Galaxy Buds

If you want the best features, along with great battery life, you need the Galaxy Buds.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds offer almost everything one could want from truly wireless earbuds. This includes the awesome PowerShare wireless charging functionality, along with Bluetooth 5.0 and much more.

Better for workouts

Samsung Gear Icon X (2018)

The Samsung Gear Icon X (2018) is great for those who work out regularly, but not great on battery life.

The Gear Icon X (2018) isn't a bad pair of headphones, just simply outdated. However, if you need headphones for your workout sessions, then the Gear Icon X are for you with the 4GB of storage and improved water resistance.

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