Galaxy Buds2 Teardown: Great Buds with One Big Flaw

This text is based on a script for our Galaxy Buds2 teardown video. It may not perfectly reflect the dialogue in the finished video.

In this video we tear down Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2. Samsung has a pretty good track record of making these things repairable, but after the disappointing Buds Pro earlier this year, we’re not taking any chances. 

Intro: frantically opening wireless earbud cases, all cases only have one earbud. 

Has this ever happened to you? You need two wireless earbuds, but all your cases only have one earbud! So frustrating! Today, we have the answer for you. Say hello to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds… 2. That’s right, each case comes with two earbuds: one for each ear. Now you can listen in sweet, sweet stereo. 

(Text on screen) iFixit cannot guarantee that Galaxy Buds2 will come with two earbuds. This intro is just a joke. If you are missing an earbud, do not buy a new pair. Use the find an earbud feature in the Galaxy Buds app.

Seriously though, if, somehow, your wireless earbuds only come with one bud, get a refund. Don’t buy another pair. Okay! Today I’m looking at Samsung’s newest addition to their Buds lineup, the Buds2. Believe it or not, this is not Samsung’s second pair of wireless earbuds … it’s their fifth

Weird nomenclature aside, Samsung actually has a pretty good track record for making these things repairable. But earlier this year, the Buds Pro were a bit of a disappointment to us, with their soldered battery connection and tougher-than-average glue. Those buds were promising more ingress protection than these though, so my guess is these will be at least slightly better.

Our trusty green vise deforms the green egg just enough for me to get a pick in and separate the two halves. That adhesive was definitely less sticky than the Buds Pro—probably thanks to the lower IP rating. We’re off to a good start! The top comes off cleanly, and inside we are treated to a nice pink shell with a tiny circuit board resting on top. The board is lightly adhered in place, and I can fully remove it right away thanks to the connector toward the back of the bud here. 

This clump of stuff in the center is the rechargeable button-cell battery, housed in a plastic shell. I can already tell we’ve got some soldering ahead of us, so let’s get that out of the way. To get there, I have to take the shell off the battery so I’m not accidentally melting it with a soldering iron. Now, over at our soldering station, two quick pokes liquefy the solder holding the battery contacts in place. 

We have been such big fans of Galaxy Buds for the last few years precisely because they have not used soldered connections for their batteries. I hate to say it, but I think we’ve seen a shift in the Buds team’s design preferences. Soldering doesn’t necessarily make something impossible to repair—it’s actually pretty easy, like you just saw! 

But here at iFixit, when we think about and measure repairability, we’re thinking about DIY repair, usually done at home. The simple fact is, for now, most people don’t have a soldering iron or the know-how to wield one. So, that’s a bummer for these buds’ repairability. 

To help us feel better, I’m going to try to dig out Samsung’s dual drivers, which look more accessible here than they usually do. I’ll start with some heat, and then begin some careful prying. Where a lot of wireless earbuds have a single speaker, Samsung, since the Buds+ last year, has been stuffing two speakers into some of their buds: a tweeter for high frequencies, and a woofer for the low.

Sure enough, they’re in here! Each of these tiny metal boxes is a little speaker. Not easy to get to or replace, but pretty cool to see and think about how so much sound comes from such a tiny package. 

Finally, let’s do a speed run through the case, which hopefully is just as good as all the other buds cases. An opening pick and a spudger to pry up the buds’ bed, loosen a few screws, and woah! Battery comes right out. That’s even better than previous cases.

From here, you could unstick the 1.8 watt-hour cell from its well, or replace them together. On the back, you can see the contact pads where this meets the springs on the circuit board underneath. 

A couple more screws for the lid of the case, which separates with ease, and I’m actually going to stop there, because the rest of this is pretty familiar! We’ve got a circuit board with more contact pins to wirelessly charge the buds, charging indicator LEDs, then around back the USB-C port, solder joints where the wireless charging coils connect to the circuit board, and a plastic bracket between the main board and the charging coils.

All-in-all, this was an interesting adventure! I’m disappointed that a soldered connection seems to be the new Bud standard, but these are still very far from the worst wireless earbuds on the market to fix. Ahem, AirPods. I’m especially glad we were able to get a peek at the dual drivers, and I love that the case is easier than ever to open and swap a battery in. 

The Galaxy Buds2 earn a 5 out of 10 on our repairability scale.

Thanks for watching, get subscribed to see teardowns of more new gadgets—we’ve got new iPhones, AirPods, and an interesting Pixel phone all on the horizon.