The free AKG earbuds included with the Samsung Galaxy S8 are really good (review)

In the history of smartphones, no company has made such a commitment to something usually left as an afterthought. Samsung, usually first when it comes to making waves in the smartphone industry, included a free set of AKG earbuds with every purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. I applaud Samsung for the move as the AKG earbuds are damn good and they even have a cord which is something to be excited about. They’re better than Apple’s plastic Earpods that take up the Lightning port, and Google doesn’t even give you a set of earbuds with the Pixel and Pixel XL. Listening to music on smartphones is an activity most of us do on a regular basis, and taking away the 3.5mm audio jack is like taking away a runner’s feet. It makes no sense to do away with something that is so useful.

The free AKG earbuds are wired and come with a braided sleeve to reduce tangling and improve durability. I can’t yet speak to the long-term durability as I have only been using them for a couple of weeks, but the braided cable does prevent tangles when compared to the Apple earbuds. In my experience I’ve always found braided cables last longer than non-braided, and I expect that will be the case for these earbuds. The braided cable also prevents microphonics – where the cable transfers mechanical vibration to the sound signal – and that’s something most people should care about. Runners and those with active lifestyles deal with microphonics when their cables bounce around. I hit the AKG earbud cable against my desk and didn’t hear a single vibration without music playing in the background.

There’s an inline microphone with a remote control that is clicky. The buttons easy to use without having to look down and the microphone performs flawlessly. The earbuds are made to fit in your ear and isolate out background noise with proper fitting ear tips.

With earbuds, nothing is more important than getting the right fit. If your ear tips are too small the ear pieces will have difficulty staying put and sound quality will suffer. Sound will leak out and it will also leak into your ear giving you an improper representation of the sound quality. There are three sizes – S, M, L – silicone ear tips that can be swapped out and they should cover most consumers’ ear sizes. I swapped out the medium ear tips for large and the sound difference is incredible simply because no sound is leaking.

With a proper fit you can appreciate how great these free earbuds sound. They highs incredibly crisp and up-front, so much so they can hurt your ears if you turn them up too high. However the lows are deep and punchy, while the mids are perfectly balanced to create an overall sound package that anyone can appreciate. It’s difficult to find detailed specs of the free earbuds, but I’d guess they are have dual drivers. There’s no hint of muddiness with the sound pumped all the way to maximum, although I’d highly recommend that high of a volume for fear of ear drum damage. I love to test out headphones/earbuds with Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. The recording is supremely clean and you can hear every detail in balance and harmony with the AKG earbuds. I know earbuds are good when I forget that I’m testing them and turn to enjoying my music instead of analyzing it which is what I do with this gift from Samsung.

These are earbuds that I’d actually pay for, even at $100. I don’t care if they were made by AKG or Samsung, all I care about is if they sound good and if the build-quality is made to last. With a proper fit they sound fantastic and they won’t die on you since they don’t need to be charged like wireless counterparts.

Most people probably would never spend $100 on earbuds or headphones, which is why I appreciate Samsung giving away the AKG earbuds even more. Its consumers not only get to look at a stunning display, they get to immerse themselves in it with awesome audio too.

Most manufacturers overlook earbuds, but Samsung one upped them all by including the AKG earbuds with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. They’re well-made, sound rich and detailed, and best of all they’re free.

Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ at Samsung.com.

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