Soundpeats says its $37 true wireless earbuds are better than Samsung Galaxy Buds. Are they? – CNET

soundpeats-truengine-3-se

The Soundpeats Truengine 3 SE sound way better than their Cheapskate-exclusive $37 price tag would suggest.

Rick Broida/CNET

Lots and lots of companies ask me to write about their true wireless earbuds. Not many are willing to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. It went down like this: The folks at Soundpeats invited me to try their new Truengine 3 SE earbuds, noting that “some reviewers claim they’re better than Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.” Usually the comparison is to AirPods, so I was intrigued.

However, I responded that I didn’t have Galaxy Buds and therefore couldn’t do a direct comparison. No problem, they said, we’ll send you a pair to test for yourself.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review

Challenge accepted. That’s some pretty bold confidence right there, especially considering the price disparity between these two. The Galaxy Buds Plus list for $150; the Soundpeats, for $50. And before I dive into the outcome of my testing, a deal: For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the Soundpeats Truengine 3 SE wireless earbuds for $36.99 after clipping the on-page 10%-off coupon and then applying promo code BLPWJPRX at checkout.

I want to make absolutely clear that the promise of “free Galaxy Buds” had zero bearing on my evaluation. Rather, I was glad to have the opportunity to test a premium product other than AirPods. (With rare exception, I focus on cheapie earbuds.) And now that this comparison is done, the Galaxy Buds are headed to the donation box.

Here’s the upshot: The Soundpeats earbuds sound good. Very good. Way better, in fact, than you’d expect for $37. Credit the dual dynamic drivers (same as Galaxy Buds have), Qualcomm 3020 chipset, AptX technology or some other techno-blab I won’t pretend to understand. They’re just good.

Starting with a Spotify playlist called Songs to Test Headphones With, I went back and forth with the two sets of earbuds. I don’t have the highly tuned ears of, say, CNET’s David Carnoy, but I will say I liked the Galaxy Buds just a little better overall. The sound quality seemed ever-so-slightly warmer. However, there were a few times I forgot which pair I had in, and found myself impressed by the sound and thinking, “Oh, these must be the Buds” — and they were the Truengine.

I’ll also note that the Galaxy Buds stayed put in my ears a little better thanks to their little fin — but that was an issue only while running. With the Soundpeats, I felt like they might fall out at any minute (though they never did, even after four miles). The Galaxy Buds can play longer on a charge, too — a whopping 11 hours, to the Soundpeats’ 6.5 — and they come in a case that supports wireless charging. The Soundpeats case is strictly USB-C.

Does any of that add up to a willingness to spend an extra $113? Definitely not. While I can’t agree the Truengine 3 SE earbuds are “better” than Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, I believe they’re a steal at $37.

Your thoughts?

Read more: The best true wireless earbuds for 2020

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