Samsung Gear IconX review

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Samsung Gear IconX review

It’s taken a few years for Bluetooth technology to get small enough to fit into earbuds, but since Apple’s AirPods dropped they are coming thick and fast.

Samsung’s second-generation earbuds, the IconX, are a very different product. They are squat little blocks vaguely aimed at fitness with clever touch input and running coaching built in.

As more wireless earbuds hit the market, we were hoping Samsung’s buds would be as good as its phones.

They nearly are – but there’s room for improvement.

Price and availability

The Gear IconX for 2018 cost £199 in the UK and $199.99 in the US direct from Samsung.

Make sure you don’t accidentally buy the old version if you’re shopping around for a cheaper price. We’d recommend buying them from one of the above links.

Design and build

The updated design on the IconX is pretty much what you should expect from wireless earbuds. The familiar rubber ear tip sits on a small blob of a unit that is a mirror image of the other.

Against your ear are small metal contacts present to allow for charging when you put the buds in the neat charging case. The case charges via USB-C with handy light indicators for charging progress.

There’s also a sensor to tell when you have the buds in your ears, so the audio pauses when you take both out.

Like the rubber ear tip, the rubber wing that tucks into the fold of your ear is also removable, and Samsung provides three sizes of each in the box to make sure you get the best fit possible.

The outside of each bud is a plain (in our case black) rounded triangle that is a touch sensitive control pad.

From first use, we were impressed with the IconX. Pairing with our Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus was (predictably) seamless using the Samsung Gear app and on-screen instructions. Putting each bud in your ear sounds a chime so you know each one is on and connected and meant we didn’t blast our music on the Tube out of the phone accidentally.

And not once did we have to manually connect the IconX – taking them out the case and putting them in our ears is all it takes and you’re ready to go provided you keep Bluetooth on your phone on the whole time after first pairing.

Tapping once on either bud pauses, twice skips track, three goes back and swiping up or down changes the volume. Then it gets complicated given the limited interface.

Double tapping also answers an incoming call and can switch between calls if you have two on the go. You can also long press to use voice commands, decline a call, turn the mic off during a call or read menu options aloud.

Double tap and hold skips playlists, if you have them set up. It’s a lot to remember and we found the music control useful but it’s often easier to action something using your phone.

The sound quality is decent for a small unit. The middle is a tad too sharp for our tastes, but the trebles are not too tinny by any means. As with most earbuds of this size, the bass isn’t anything to write home about but we listened to several familiar albums and were more than happy with the reproduction.

You can upload tracks from your phone or computer directly to the buds’ 3.4GB on-board storage. This works well, but if you don’t have all your music on your phone it can be a faff using the PC Manager software, and we preferred streaming music from our phone.

However we experience a great deal of dropouts and distrupted audio, usually with the left ear. It’s only for a couple of seconds and the audio always came back, but for a £200 product the frequency of it was disappointing.

Audio wise, R.E.M’s ‘Reckoning’ is the perfect level of jangle, though Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ lacks the bite of a more capable set of on-ears with a better sonic range. Then again they handle the bass and bounce of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ with only a hint of flatness.

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This article and images were originally posted on [Latest Articles from Tech Advisor] April 26, 2018 at 10:32AM. Credit to Author and Latest Articles from Tech Advisor | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day





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