Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: Longer-lasting wireless earbuds

Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: Longer-lasting wireless earbuds

Even in case you still have a phone with a head-phone jack, chances are you’re interested in accurate wireless earbuds â€? they’re those without a cable connecting the two nubs that go into your ears â€? because who actually likes cables?

There’s a ton of wireless wireless earbuds flooding the market this holiday season. The majority are aimed at Apple’s AirPods, like Samsung’s new Gear IconX 2018.

At $199, they’re pricier compared to AirPods, too. So how do these people stack up?

The IconX 2018’s are Samsung’s second stab in true wireless earbuds. The original types took a fitness-first approach, cramming in a heart rate sensor inside.

It was a neat idea that differentiated the IconX from other non-smart wi-fi buds, but the sensor also supposed less room for battery. And when there’s any one thing that wi-fi earbuds needs to nail, it’s lengthy battery life.

Much-improved battery life

The IconX 2018 final five hours on a single charge. The situation adds an extra charge.


Thankfully, Samsung actually seems to be focusing these days, because on the IconX 2018’s the heart rate sensor’s gone plus battery life has jumped from regarding 1 . 5 hours to 5 hours for streaming music from the phone.

And if you pay attention to music directly from the IconX’s 4 GIG of internal storage (it retains about 1, 000 songs), they need to last up to seven hours when compared to 3. 5 hours from the outdated model.

The IconX 2018’s lasted almost exactly five hrs.

I put them to the check for a few days and they held up in order to Samsung’s battery claims. Streaming songs from Spotify on a Galaxy S8, the IconX 2018’s lasted nearly exactly five hours. On a couple of occasions, they lasted just a few moments more, which is on-par with what I’ve seen on AirPods.

Some people may bemoan the loss of the guts rate sensor, but I’m more happy without it. With AirPods enduring five hours on a single charge, Samsung had no choice but to suit that or one-up them.

As fantastic as five hrs of battery life is, the IconX’s still can’t compare to the AirPods in two key ways: quick charging and charging case capability.

If you’re short promptly, a 15-minute charge within the situation gets you three hours associated with listening time on the AirPods. The 10-minute charge in the IconX 2018’s only gets you a hour associated with listening time. That’s a huge gulf of mexico there.

Each earbud has a touchpad for controls.

Each earbud has a touchpad for controls.


Worse, the IconX’s getting case only holds about one particular extra charge good for another 5 hours. In comparison, the AirPods situation is good for up to an additional 19 hrs of battery life, which works out in order to a little under four extra fees.

It’s already bad sufficient that I have to charge up my mobile phone and smartwatch every night, so it will be nice to not have to charge up our wireless earbuds with them.  

With AirPods, I can go a few days while not having to juice them back up if I’m running them down all day long (they last a week or longer in case I’m only using them during my commutes).  

But with Samsung’s wi-fi earbuds, charging them up virtually every night is virtually a must if you need to be sure they’ll last.

Consumer sound quality

If you caused it to be this far, you’re probably thinking why sound-quality isn’t at the top of our critique list. And there’s an excellent answer for that: they sound typical, just like the AirPods.

Okay, these people sound a little better than AirPods along with slightly deeper bass and mids and highs that are just barely better. But this is mainly because of the much better sealing from the in-ear tips compared to dramatically better drivers.

The Gear IconX fit seal in sound really nicely because of the in-ear design.

The Gear IconX fit close off in sound really nicely due to the in-ear design.


That’s just the reality of true wi-fi earbuds that cost $200 or even less. Most of them sound average, hardly better than the cheap pack-in ” cable ” buds that come with some phones.

The IconX sound good for the actual cost, so long as you don’t expect any kind of audio fidelity that’ll blow a person away.  

On the in addition side, there’s still an background sound mode (activated by pushing and holding on either earbud’s trackpad until you cycle through its menu), which lets you listen to music but still hear what’s happening around you.  

It’s really useful for when you’re strolling down the street and still want to hear onset traffic. It’s a little weird in the beginning because when you speak it sounds such as you’re in a small echo chamber, yet I quickly got used to this.

AirPods are still king

As dorky as AirPods look (and they do look cheesy using the long stems), they’re more suitable for many individuals if only because they last so much lengthier with the included case.

Though they cost an extra $40, Samsung’s IconX 2018’s aren’t too cheap. They’ve got decent sound, fair battery-life, and fit snug in the ear (they never fell out once). I feel AirPods connect with iPhones much better and faster, but once you have the particular IconX 2018’s paired up to a Samsung phone, connecting is as simple since opening the Samsung Gear application.

Image: raymon wong/mashable


There are a few things I prefer around the IconX 2018’s over the AirPods. I love that there are touchpad controls on both wireless earbuds, and you can swipe up and down to control quantity and tap to play and stop. Double-tapping and triple-tapping with 2 fingers to skip to the next plus previous tracks, respectively, felt much less intuitive. Why can’t I just swipe forwards or backwards?  

And while the heart rate sensor’s been reduce, there’s a new virtual trainer that can motivate you to pick up the speed when you’re running. I guess it’s a fine feature, but I would have favored longer battery life instead.

There’s also another thing that annoys myself: the case. It’s kind of big. The particular AirPods case is the size of the pack of dental floss. Samsung’s IconX 2018 case is more small than the original’s and nowhere close to as large as the case that is included with the Bose SoundSport Frees, yet it’s large. If it’s going to become this big, it had much better come with lots of charges, and however, it doesn’t.

The case (middle) is too large and doesn't hold as many charges as the AirPods. At least it's not as huge as the Bose SoundSport Free case (right).

The situation (middle) is too large and won’t hold as many charges as the AirPods. At least it’s not as huge because the Bose SoundSport Free case (right).


If you’re deeply within Samsung’s device ecosystem, after that these might be perfect. After all, could possibly be designed to play better with Samsung phones and smartwatches.  

They’re also fine for hitting the gym or even for a quick run. But if most likely doing longer fitness rounds, I would look into Beats’ PowerBeats 3 or even BeatsX, which last up to 12 hours and 8 hours, correspondingly. These aren’t true wireless earuds (they’ve got a wire), yet they’re more suitable for sweating throughout. Plus, there’s absolutely no way might fall out of your ears on an operate.

Samsung Gear IconX 2018

The Good

Snug, comfy fit that doesn’t fall out â€? *********************************) Convenient touchpad controls â€? *********************************) Longer battery life than original

The Bad

Large battery situation � *********************************) Battery case just holds about one charge

The Bottom Line

The Gear IconX 2018’s are better than the original, however, not the longest-lasting true wireless wireless earbuds.



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