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AirPods 2 vs Galaxy Buds+ vs Freebuds 3: A TWS earphones battle!

Which one should you get?

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True wireless (TWS) earphones are a dime a dozen now and it’s gotten even harder to choose which one you should get. For this article we’re comparing three TWS headphones that hover around the same price point: the Airpods 2, Galaxy Buds+, and Freebuds 3.

Vincenz (AirPods 2), Dayle (Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+), and Rodneil (Freebuds 3), have been using their own TWS headphone, but sat down together and took turns listening to each pair for the purposes of this article. Yes, we cleaned each pair before exchanging because hygiene.

A few ground rules: Settings for each device is set to default. We all listened to one of the greatest songs of all time that also happens to be masterfully produced — Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Let’s start with the surface level. What do you guys think about each one’s design? 

Rodneil: I was never a fan of how the AirPods look. That stem thing sticking just looks weird to me. Obviously the Freebuds 3 followed the same look so design-wise, I prefer the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

Vincenz: I despised the look of the AirPods the moment it was introduced — it looks like the ordinary EarPods without the wires. Same goes with how Huawei copied the “stem” buds from the AirPods. I’ll go with the Galaxy Buds+ on design. It’s unique and small.

Dayle: I have the Galaxy Buds so I’m quite biased with the design of the Buds+. I was never a fan of the stem design so the AirPods and Freebuds 3 aren’t exactly my cup of tea.

What about the fit? 

Rodneil: I don’t really have a lot to say about the fit. Perhaps it’s because I’ve gotten used to the Freebuds 3. Although to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan at first. If I had to choose, I’d still go with an in-ear one — like the on the Galaxy Buds+.

Vincenz: I never liked the fit of the old EarPods but the AirPods 2 suit my ears perfectly. Same goes for the Freebuds 3 with almost the same design as AirPods. Years ago, I was using a wired JBL Earbuds that were also in-ear and wearing the Galaxy Buds+ felt similar. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it — it even has extra ear tips in the box so you can find that perfect fit.

Dayle: The AirPods and Freebuds are identical but the fit of the Freebuds are more likely to slide off your ear than the AirPods. I like the fit of the Galaxy Buds (still biased) because they feel so light. At first you might feel that they’re coming off, but they won’t. It’s tried and tested (by me lol), you’ll get used to it.

As mentioned earlier, we all listened to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Can you describe the listening experience for each TWS earphone?

Rodneil: I had high hopes for the Galaxy Buds+. Those hopes were immediately shattered. Compared to the AirPods 2 and the Freebuds 3, the Galaxy Buds+ just didn’t deliver the same level of audio experience that I expect from this price point.

The volume on the Galaxy Buds+ didn’t get loud enough to distract you from your surroundings. It’s also lacking that rich texture which is surprising since the Galaxy Buds performed okay in this regard. It’s just really lacking in a lot of aspects.

I felt the AirPods 2 and the Freebuds 3 delivered a similar audio experience. If you close your eyes and turn the volume up enough, you’ll really feel immersed in the song. I will give a slight edge to the Freebuds 3 since I felt its active noise cancellation (ANC) feature truly isolates you from your immediate environment.

Vincenz: I’d go first with the Galaxy Buds+ since I least liked its sound quality. Other than the low audio level, I barely heard the bass — or that powerful beat whenever the music hit its “climax”. I even tried playing with the additional EQs but it really lacks THAT feature as it leans more into clarity.

The FreeBuds 3’s (ANC) isn’t perfect but it gets the job done. It really depends on how loud the song is. Audio levels are fair enough and I enjoyed listening to the songs with the volume at around 70%. The quality is decent but most of the time, the vocals overpower the background music — to the point that it feels muffled and trebly.

I’d still go with the AirPods 2 in this case. Even without ANC, I was able to hear a richer, fuller sound experience — even with just around 60% volume level. The vocals blend well with the background music and synths, and its bass is the most powerful compared to the Galaxy Buds+ and FreeBuds 3.

Dayle: I really want to hear and feel everything that’s going on in a song and frankly, the AirPods did that for me. You can hear all the beats per instrument with the vocals still clear and crisp and everything is just the right balance, it’s the perfect audio harmony. No, I’m not a legit audiophile but I know good quality audio when I hear one.

Now with the FreeBuds, it’s still a good listening experience overall. It has an evidently powerful bass at a normal volume but when you turn it up, the bass sounds distorted. Other than that, the FreeBuds is good for its price.

Last and maybe sadly also the least for me are the Buds+. This pair, though the vocals are clear, has a flat sound even after you try to increase the volume. I’ve also tried switching between preset equalizer settings but still the audio didn’t get better and only made the vocals sound muffled. If anything, the first Galaxy Buds are still a better buy. Hopefully though, Samsung can still improve the audio quality with updates in the very near future.

What other tracks/things did you listen to and how did each earphone fare? 

Rodneil: I’m a huge fan of bad-ass guitar riffs so there are two songs that I always make it a point to listen to when trying new headphones: Incubus’ “Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.”

The Galaxy Buds+ was surprisingly disappointing. Not only was the volume lower much lower, it also just didn’t have that rich sound that I had hoped it would have.

Both songs slapped pretty hard on the AirPods 2 and the Freebuds 3. I’m giving a slight edge to the Freebuds 3 because of it’s (ANC) feature. It’s perfect for that really immersive listening session.

Vincenz: Other than Bohemian Rhapsody, I listened to three other tracks: “Psycho” by Red Velvet, “Pagtingin” by Ben&Ben, and “All About You” by Taeyeon

During this listening session, I was able to answer all my questions about its audio quality. Just like what I said earlier, the AirPods 2 clearly delivered richer and fuller sound quality — and FreeBuds 3 comes close to its quality, just with an added ANC and less bass. The Galaxy Buds+, as expected, performed the worse. It sounded tinny compared to those aforementioned.

Dayle: I also tried listening to Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know”, Justin Bieber’s “Yummy” and “Intentions”, Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” and Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” (inspired by my spinning classes lol) to give me a feel of how each song sounds from each pair. So far the AirPods gave me that urge to bob my head to the beat (and maybe run to the gym) — FreeBuds 3 came in second.

Any comments on the battery life? 

Rodneil: I only probably have the Freebuds 3 on while I’m walking to and from work. And that’s not a long walk. Over the past few months I probably only charge it once every 10 days. The only time I used it for an extended period was during a 20-hour flight. It didn’t die on me at all and probably only charged it two days after arriving from that trip.

Vincenz: For someone like me who’s always stuck in traffic, I usually put on my AirPods to either listen to music or watch TV series and films. The AirPods 2 lasted me around three to four hours. With the additional case, you’ll get more than three times so you’ll get almost a day of listening. Just take note that everytime the AirPods get drained down to zero, it will take around 10 minutes to fully charge them up again.

Dayle: The longest I have my buds on is when I binge watch series and it lasts for about 5 hours on a good lazy weekend because, why not. The Buds+ definitely lived up to its 11-hour battery life promise, bearing with me all throughout my series marathon.

Which one would you recommend the most? 

Rodneil: You can’t go wrong with either the AirPods 2 or the Freebuds 3. If you’re using an iPhone, your best bet is to go with the AirPods just for that whole Apple ecosystem experience. If you’re on Android, the Freebuds 3 is a fine option especially with its ANC feature. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend the Galaxy Buds+. Not when the only thing it’s better at than it’s predecessor is the battery life.

Vincenz: If you’re the type of user who just listens to podcasts and TV series, the Galaxy Buds+ is not a bad option since it focuses more on clarity. If you like having ANC as an added feature, you can’t get wrong with the FreeBuds 3. But if you would ask my best pick, I would still choose the AirPods 2 because of the overall sound quality, not to mention the after-sales service you get with Apple.

Dayle: This goes against my Galaxy Buds loyal heart, but i’m going to have to go with the AirPods 2.

Accessories

OnePlus 11 series launches internationally

With OnePlus Pad and OnePlus Buds Pro 2

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Last month, OnePlus unveiled the OnePlus 11 series in China. A China-exclusive launch usually means a global launch is on the horizon. That’s just what OnePlus did today in New York. While the surprise was already spoiled last month, the brand still had a good share of surprises. Besides the international launch of the OnePlus 11 series, take a look at the new OnePlus Pad and the OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 Pro.

OnePlus 11 5G

As revealed last month, the OnePlus 11 5G is one of the first smartphones this year to tout the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. The smartphone comes with up to 16GB LPDDR5X RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. Plus, everything is made even better with a 6.7-inch LTPO 3.0 2K AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.

Behind everything, the OnePlus 11 touts its black-hole-inspired camera bump. The setup features three shooters: a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 32-megapixel telephoto shooter, and a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera. It also has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter.

Underneath everything is a 5000mAh battery, capable of 100W wired charging.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2

Touting the MelodyBoost Dual Drivers co-created with Dynaudio, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 expands its capabilities in the lower frequencies to deliver richer bass. Plus, it also has an equalizer crafted by award-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

It is also the first TWS earbuds to adopt Android 13’s spatial audio, making the pair a perfect device for YouTube and Disney+. With TUV-certified Smart Adaptive Noise Cancelling, the wearable can filter up to 48dB of noise from your environment — which users can customize with a transparency mode.

Finally, OnePlus says that a single charge can last up to 39 hours with the case.

OnePlus Pad

One of the new surprises for this event, the OnePlus Pad is the brand’s first flagship foray into the tablet market. The new tablet sports the Dimensity 9000 chipset, featuring the Cortex-X2 core clocking in at 3.05GHz of performance. It also comes with 12GB of RAM.

Outside the tablet’s impressive hardware, the OnePlus Pad comes with an 11.61-inch screen with 144Hz refresh rate. With a large 9510mAh battery, the tablet can reportedly last up to 12 hours while watching videos and up to a month on standby.

OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81

Finally, rounding out the brand’s efforts to expand its ecosystem, the OnePlus Featuring Keyboard 81 is the brand’s first mechanical keyboard. Built with Keychron technology, users can fully customize the keyboard according to their needs.

Price and availability

Both the OnePlus 11 5G and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 will start accepting preorders today. The devices will start shipping out on February 16.

The OnePlus 11 5G comes in Titan Black and Eternal Green. The smartphone will start at US$ 699 for the 8GB/128GB variant and will go up to US$ 799 for the 16GB/256GB variant.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro will come in Obsidian Black and Arbor Green. It will sell for US$ 179.

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Logitech Valentine’s accessory gift guide

POP series, Aurora Collection, more

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Logitech Valentine's

Logitech has just released its Valentine’s season gift guide for Singapore.

The list includes a great range of gaming peripherals they are known for, including the POP series, Aurora collection, and MX mechanical keyboards.

POP Series

Logitech Valentine's

 

For a minimalist and beautifully retro-themed setup, the POP Keys and POP Mouse are perfect additions.

The keyboard resembles a typewriter with its scooped mechanical keys, but also comes with 8 swappable emoji keys. The mouse features a top button that opens emoji menus for one-tap convenience.

These products are available in 5 fun and vibrant colors, giving playful aesthetic to users.

  • POP Keys: SG$ 169
  • POP Mouse: SG$ 54

Aurora Collection

Logitech Valentine's

Wanting a drift away from usual RGB gaming products? The Aurora Collection has a softer aesthetic with its dreamy take on headsets, keyboards, and mice.

Products under this line include the wireless gaming mouse designed for players with smaller hands, thanks to its compact form and sculpted thumb rest, and wireless gaming headset with rotatable ear cups.

The gaming keyboards, meanwhile, have a compact, tenkeyless layout, and adjustable height for comfortable all-day long gaming.

  • Logitech G735 gaming headset: SG$ 329
  • Logitech G715 gaming keyboard: SG$ 299
  • Logitech G713 gaming keyboard: SG$ 269
  • Logitech G705 gaming mouse: SG$ 162

MX Mechanical keyboards

Mechanical keyboards from the MX range deliver high-performance mechanical typing to boost productivity in the workplace.

The MX Mechanical, specifically, features the Tactile Quiet key switch to make it one of the quietest keyboards, while the MX Master 3S has an 8,000 DPI optical sensor.

  • MX Master 3S: SG$ 189
  • MX Mechanical: SG$ 339
  • MX Mechanical Mini: SG$ 289

Lastly, customers may also want to check the following devices:

Logitech G502 X PLUS – SG$ 255

Coming from the G502X series, this gaming mouse has some of the most advanced gaming technologies all rolled into an iconic form factor to help users achieve an unrivaled experience.

ERGO K860 wireless split keyboard – SG$ 229

Designed to improve typing posture, the ERGO K860 has an ergonomic design which showcases a curved, split keyframe. It includes a pillowed integrated palm rest.

Lift Vertical Ergonomic Mouse – SG$ 119

With a unique 57-degree vertical design, this mouse is a great fit for small and medium-sized palms as it takes the pressure off the wrist for a more relaxing grip.

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Logitech launches first-ever gaming earbuds

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Logitech G Fits

Logitech is venturing into the gaming accessories scene with the release of its first-ever gaming grade earbuds, the Logitech G FITS.

The wearables are the first earbuds from the brand to feature Lightspeed wireless, giving users pro-grade wireless connection for their PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, and Android devices via USB-A or USB-C.

The true wireless gaming earbuds have 15 hours of total listening time. That’s seven (7) on their own and an additional eight (8) with the charging case. When connected via Bluetooth, the total battery life in one full charge stretches up to 22 hours.

The Logitech G FITS also feature the patented Lightform technology, which allows users to get a contoured and custom fit in just a minute.

They simply have to connect to the Logitech G FITS app which then triggers a number of embedded LEDs and harden the gel-filled tips to suit one’s ear as ideal as possible.

The same app may also be utilized for an equalizer to tailor-fit the listening experience, especially if one wants to emphasize bass or fine tune the settings.

Price, availability

The Logitech G FITS is now available in major retail stores and online via Lazada and Shopee for SG$ 389.

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