Galaxy Buds / Sony WF-1000 XM3 IEMs vs. wired earbuds/headphones?

I’ve seen from crinacle that he gave pretty similar scores to the Galaxy Buds and the Sony’s. Now, everywhere I’ve seen, people are saying that the WF-1000 XM3s earbuds are similar to the WH-1000 XM3 Headphones, and that the XM3 Headphones are similar to the XM2 headphones. Now, for me, I thought the XM2s sucked. I sold them and bought some classic meme headphones: V-Moda M100s and KZ ZSX headphones, just as some budget things to wear, and they’re miles better for me. I felt like I was stuck in the early 2000s listening to early day YouTube quality this whole time. Sound stage was even worse than my old Sennheiser and Audio Technicas. I’m quite enjoying what I’m using right now given the price, and given that I tried out the ATH-m50x as a reference, though I haven’t tried the Sonys, Sennheisers, and other lesser known brands in this price range, or some of the high ohm impedence headphones. My portable DAC/Amp died on me.

Anyway, sorry for getting off-topic a bit.
If the Galaxy Buds = the XM3 IEMs = the XM3 Headphones = the XM2 headphones, then by that logic, these things are either much worse than what I have, or somewhere along the line, Sony and Samsung drastically improved their IEMs and they’re actually quite good. Crinacle never favored the KZs he tried, but I know the ZSXs are a step above what he’s reviewed as well. I’ve seen people compare Galaxy Buds and the WF-1000 XM3 to similar priced IEMs ($100-150 price range) while others say they’re not even as good as the BLON BL-03s ($30-40). I’ve also seen that the wireless KZs are somewhat close to the KZ ZSX, and they’re considered worse than the Galaxy Buds, so… I’m hoping the Galaxy Buds are comparable to what I have. ANC isn’t really a feature I care for, and people sell the Galaxy Buds quite cheap on ebay and at refurbished outlets. There are some verified ones for about $50.

For reference for what I’m looking for - I just need good lows and mids, bass and detail, and decent soundstage. I’m very happy with the wired ones I’m working, honestly surprised the KZ ZSXs are about as enjoyable as the V-Modas.

tldr; not sure what’s garbage or not including the Galaxy Buds, Sony XM3 IEMs, V-Moda M100, and KZ ZSXs, for the price anyway. I haven’t had a good experience with true wireless IEMs before, trying to see if Galaxy Buds are at least worth $50 compared to similar Chi-fi IEMs.

The Samsung true wireless Buds are worth it
Prefer my Tin Hifi T4 over them for detail and stage

the Buds+ come out this week and I’m going to order 2 pairs(for my wife and myself for the gym) and return the first Buds after testing the Buds plus vs the current first revision

What I also tried and still use are the QCY T5 true wireless buds
quite detailed and flat sound- the usability is worse vs Buds

The new Buds + get iOS app support (for my wife important)

The first revision is top in usability with my Samsung S10

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I did hear about this, and they look to be pretty good. Ever since Samsung acquired Harman, apparently they’ve stepped their game up a lot. Great stuff coming out of Korea as always. (If only they could make good cars for the US, hah)
I might put up a review when I get them, though probably not worth it much with my limited gear experience.

Imagine if there was acutally a shop in my city that let me try out headphones. I feel like it probably wouldn’t work in the states since any good music shops just get robbed repeatedly here. I have to keep getting them from amazon and returning them to test, which I guess is fine since it’s free and I have prime, and shipping costs are dirt cheap to begin with, especially for Amazon but it still seems kind of dumb and wasteful for me.

I don’t do the “Amazon send back game” often

Last year I ordered over 180 times at amazon and returned 3 items.

I did not know about the Buds + when I ordered last week the QCY T5 for my wife (usage exclusive at gym)

They had some problems with usability and fit for my wife. So I thought I’m going to use the QCY T5 at gym and buy the Buds for my wife.
She loves the Buds and uses them everywhere.
Though without iOS support she misses some features.

So 2 days ago I saw a youtube video pop up and think it would be stupid not to try the new ones, while I can return the QCY T5 and the Buds v1

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As I bought my Samsung S8+ maybe nearly 3 years ago, they came with the first wired Samsung AKG IEMs
They sounded great(still have them as Backup in my backpack)
They started my interest in better IEMs and here I am now with Tin Hifi T2 Pro, T3 and T4… considering to invest in higher tier IEMs this year.

All right, so I got my Galaxy Buds in the mail.
Well, initially I was impressed by them with the songs I tested, but on anything with bass they kind of just fall apart and become unpleasant to listen to, both in sound and comfort. I think it’s related to the earbud tips, and I had to switch back to the stock ones after the Monoprice and Spinfits didn’t work out well (probably not the right model for this). I’ve seen some threads with good results from people using Comply or Foam Tips, and “actually getting bass” after doing that change. I don’t have the cash for disposable foam tips from Comply so I’m gonna see if the ones I’m getting from Aliexpress are any decent…

It’s crazy how much of a difference earpads/tips make on headphones, honestly. People think the V-Moda M100 Master is significantly better than the original, just because it has better stock pads, but I’ve tested them with replacement pads and they’re identical for me, and at $140 less, hah. So I’ll probably get around to finding better tips for the Galaxy buds since I like the convenience, but once I get my better cable I might wind up just using my KZs a lot of the time.

Tips are super important - like your room with a speaker setup.
You need to find the right ones for each IEM unfortunately.

In about 1 hour the Samsung live stream starts and I wonder if the Buds + get immediately available

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Yeah, I may splurge for some Comply tips just to test them out and see if they’re worth keeping. Not sure just yet, waiting on some foam tips from Aliexpress to see if that improves things slightly. Really if I had to score these buds vs. mine:

Keep in mind these scores are relative to each other, so if I had $10k these scores would probably be way different.

KZ ZSX is like a 9/10 for sound and 10/10 for comfort with Sinfit tips. It’s especially for songs with significant bass. Highs are kinda ehh but not really an issue for me. I also haven’t got my new cable, which may improve the sound slightly. They’re just very smooth and pleasant to listen with.

V-Moda M100s are probably close to the KZ ZSXs. I feel like the bass can drown out the vocals in a similar way to the Galaxy Buds, though. I actually think this depends a bit on the device, though. My home devices seem a bit better than my work laptop that I’m testing it on at the moment. Better soundstage, as they’re headphones, but I feel like once I change cables, I’ll hardly need to use these over the KZs. Comfort is excellent with custom pads - the offbrands on amazon and not the official XL Pads. A little known fact is that the M100 and M100 Master are essentially the same once you switch out the pads - I tested two pairs to see. Maybe an 8.5/10 or so. The KZs just somehow manage to have the right bass without drowning out the vocals, you know? I’m

Galaxy Buds are like a 7/10 listening to 60s Doo-wop or something like Kanye West’s Through The Wire. The bass is just like, gone when it should be there, or the whole song becomes muddy for songs with heavy bass. On songs with no bass it sounds comparable, like an 8/10. Mainly the soundstage is surprisingly decent, just not as good as I’d hoped. With my KZ’s same Spinfits, which are supposed to be CP360 for True wireless, they don’t sound right, are unplasant when there’s bass, and don’t feel comfortable overall. Stock is fine though strangely enough.

Sony XM2s are like a 6.5 - bass muddies the sound and clarity is lacking, similar the Galaxy Buds. Soundstage somehow felt completely nonexistent whenever I used these, and I even added a DAC and tried to EQ them because they’re slightly high impedence.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pros would have to be at least a 7 or 7.5 just for the sound stage improvement and quality improvement over the Sonys, but I haven’t had these for a long time so I can’t be sure.

Not sure if I should’ve put this in its own thread but ah well.

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if I go for sound, I go wired - to be open and honest

I sit 9hours at the office with the Focal Elegia closed back over ear, connected to my ifi xDSD which is attached via OTG cable to one of my Android phones and I don´t commute at all. So IEMs are really not my focus.

Buds or other true wireless are more for practical purpose - in my humble opionion

I now(right after the Samsung unveil stream) was able to preorder the “Buds plus” on Amazon and they should arrive this friday, februar 14th … will compare the v1 and write back