Galaxy Buds are Samsung’s answer to the wireless earbud trend. While there are still a number of brilliant wired headsets, this new minimalistic design has been gaining traction in recent years. As of August 22nd, the latest model is the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro which features excellent in-ear sound and competent ANC (Active Noise Cancellation).
While they may not kick Apple Airpods and Google’s Pixel Bud Pros off the top spot — depending on which model you have, Samsung provides the best equalizer. It is incredibly simple to use, though offers a fair bit more customization than the alternatives.
On top of its more than proficient equalizer, you are given six different presets that cover several different desired sounds.
In this article, we are going to familiarize the reader with how to access the equalizer and use it with confidence. We will also give a few ideal settings for all music as well as specialized settings depending on the genre you like, not excluding podcasts and audiobooks.
Finding The Galaxy Bud Equalizer
To access the equalizer, you will need to install the Galaxy Wearable app. Depending on which model you have, the user interface will be different on the app when connected. Regardless, the method for finding the equalizer is fairly simple.
- Open the Galaxy Wearable app.
- Select Earbud Settings and look for the Equalizer option.
Simplicity is nice, huh? Depending on the product you purchased this may look different than another reader’s screen.
While the display may look a bit different, the results are roughly the same across the board. You should see nine-different lines ranging from 63 – 16k, which we will discuss below.
Equalizer Settings & How They Work
The truth is that most people in the studio would prefer that you leave the equalizer neutral. This is because when you tweak it – whether you mean to or not – you are distorting the original sound to fit your preferences.
Where this argument starts to lose ground is when we consider that almost all audio devices will play sound differently depending on what’s under the hood.
So even though Roger Miller might sound fantastic on an old vinyl player, playing Chug-A-Lug through a portable speaker might require a bit of tweaking on the listener’s part. Though for those who aren’t familiar with how equalizers work, it looks like a lot of different interesting switches to ruin your audio.
In the interest of getting those new to equalizers familiar, let’s give a brief overview of what the Galaxy equalizer changes.
The simplest way to understand the range of audio frequencies is to think of them as vocal cords. At the low end, you have deep, booming bassy tones. At the higher end, you have crisp, sparkling, optimistic vocals. So Sub 100 hertz is going to produce a thick, low tone while anything about 3,000 Hz or 30 kHz will sound far higher and more acute.
63 Hertz is going to be any and all bass instruments, several deeper drums, and most of the thump in music and audio. While the human ear can pick up noise as low as 20 Hz, this is close to as deep a sound as we can distinguish.
125 Hertz does not change much compared to its deeper counterpart, though it does alter the higher notes on previously discussed instruments and sounds like bass, drums, etc. At this range, the sound will have a deep, thick resonance. It is a bit brighter, less low in the ear, and is more heard than felt when compared to 63.
250 Hertz is when we start to get into the lower part of the mid-range on audio. At this frequency, the lower notes on string instruments and some percussion will start to introduce themselves.
500 Hertz really isn’t that different from 250 for most folks. It is obviously a bit higher, though still covers the same patch of sounds and instruments in the lower midrange.
1,000 Hertz is where some vocals will begin to introduce themselves along with more neutral notes from several instruments.
2,000 Hertz comes with a lot of the usual suspects sitting here, as well as several flutes and some horns. Sounds here will sound far less deep and begin to start having a more melodic, slightly sharper tone.
4,000 Hertz brings in a few more string instruments like the violin, higher notes on guitars as well as higher notes on a piano. This also ends the mid-range of audio as far as the Galaxy equalizer is concerned. Past this, we are dealing with mostly treble, high pitches, and digitally produced noise.
8,000 Hertz is when you are now entering the high-end. Some folks with hearing issues may not even be able to detect some of these noises, where trebles overpower the rest of the audio. Be careful past this range as tweaking it too high can result in harsh, unpleasant shrieks in the music or sound.
16,000 Hertz is a bit under the highest pitches the human ear can detect at 20,000 hertz or 20kHz. So it goes without saying that the tingly above-ground sounds heard can create a nice overall package, though can also very easily overpower the rest of the sound. There are a few genres that need a bit of love here, just tread lightly.
This is a very brief summary and doesn’t go into the countless horns, strings, and classical instruments that were largely omitted. Though from this, you can get a rough idea of what needs to be adjusted if you find the audio displeasing.
Galaxy Bud Equalizer Presets
Like most products that come with an EQ, you have a few preset options that save you from tweaking the settings manually. There are six in total that cover most options the average audio enthusiast would need. These are Normal, Bass Boost, Dynamic, Soft, Clear, and Treble Boost.
Depending on which model of Galaxy Buds you have, the sound will change differently. So even though Bass Boost may sound great on the Buds+, it may not be as pleasing when using the Buds Pro.
Normal is exactly what it sounds like. Several people recommend leaving the equalizer alone if you are satisfied with the sound. At this preset, things will remain neutral and you won’t hear too much over-emphasis anywhere unless the music forces it.
Bass Boost brings the bass into the driver’s seat and stuffs a good bit of the high-end into the trunk. This will make the audio not as clear, though provides more thump and obviously bass. Genres like Rap and EDM would be nicely accompanied by this preset.
Dynamic is often described as normal with a firm push and that feels about correct. If Normal is neutral, Dynamic is the same on a good bit of caffeine. Everything will be elevated and the overall sound will be deeper. This is a favorite of several consumers, though it can be overpowering for certain songs.
Soft is ideal for those that find the high-end to be far too shrill or rough on the ear. The bass seems to stay about the same, though the upper mids and treble are brought down considerably. For a more mellow, reserved sound – Soft is a solid pick.
Clear is on the opposite end of the table from the Soft preset, pushing down on the bass and low end and leaving the treble undisturbed. This won’t boost the treble or higher pitches, but will instead lower the bass considerably to allow them to have more room. If you do want more treble, you will want to look towards Treble Boost.
Treble Boost is appropriately named as the preset that pushes forth the crispest, clear upper-end tones while letting the bass sit in the corner to think about what it’s done. Strummy, twangy country might benefit from this preset as well as bubbly pop songs. Some folks also enjoy this for narrative audio like podcasts.
Universal Equalizer Settings
Before we go into specialty settings based on genre, let’s take a look at some configurations that many swear by for all forms of sound. It should be said ahead of time that all of these are up to personal taste and there is no definitive right answer. This is especially true considering that this article covers a few different earbuds with varying default audio.
We would be intentionally ignorant if we didn’t bring this up, regardless of how simplistic an answer it may be. While there is certainly no wrong way to tweak your equalizer, many people swear by the fact that you shouldn’t touch it at all. The reasoning behind this is that music is already tweaked to the specifications of what the artist or producer desired when recording.
By moving any part of your equalizer, you are altering the original design of the audio. The counterargument is that some equipment can’t replicate the neutral audio as beautifully as we would like. If you are satisfied with the default audio of your Galaxy buds, it may be best to leave them be.
The “Arrow” Configuration
While this doesn’t have an official title, it resembles an arrow pointing down on the equalizer. What you will want to do is raise the 64 slider up to +2, gently raise 125 to +1, leave both 250 and 500 alone and lower the 1k to -1 dB. 2k can stay neutral, +1 dB for 4k, and both 8k and 16k can move up +2.
This is a gentle introduction to this equalizer setting and if you want more crispness or bass, raise the high and low ends as needed. Bear in mind this setting is meant to be used across all audio devices, not just Galaxy Buds, so it may sound a bit peculiar to the ear depending on how your earbuds replicate the sound.
If you are looking for a bit more thump in the bass, you can push down on the 4k, 8k, and 16k and raise the 64 and 125-hertz sliders as much as you prefer. A safe place to start would be around +3 to +4 dB and tweak from there.
The “Seagull” Configuration
Once again these are not labeled configurations, so we just went with what it looks like – a noisy water vulture. Unlike its shoddy moniker, this preset actually sounds pretty good! While it may seem somewhat similar to the previous setup, it offers more emphasis on both ends of the mid-range.
Push up 64 to +3, +4 for 125, +3 for 250, +1 for 500, and leave 1k as is. 2k should sit +2 or +3, 4k goes up to +4, 8k goes up to about +5 and 16k sits a few hairs below +4.
This setting is pushing everything up pretty high, so it may be wise to test it out at a lower volume first. This is going to really raise the push of several mid-range instruments as well as bass and treble. The downside is that it may be a bit too intense for some ears, particularly on more intense tunes or narration.
Galaxy Equalizer Configurations By Genre
Despite the all too common phrase being, “I listen to all kinds of music, except country” we can usually pinpoint our tastes to about 1 – 3 different genres. Thankfully, each genre has its own horde of audio sleuths who have done a good bit of audio tweaking to find some of the best presets you can get by genre. So while these may not be the definitive “best choice” for a certain style of music, they are a great place to start.
Rap is a genre that has become synonymous with heavy bass. Because of this, it is one of the more important things to look at when you are tweaking your equalizer to fit bass-heavy tunes. The 64Hz slider is going to be the big one to look towards, as a good portion of rap beats like to live around that neck of the woods. You can also push up the 1k and 2k sliders to allow the lyrics to hit a little harder.
On the higher end, it is usually wise to leave everything neutral in hip-hop genres. The exception would be for more melodic, crisp beats that bring in higher-pitched digital sounds as well as classical and jazz instruments.
The obvious preset choice would be Bass Boost, though Dynamic and Soft could also work very well. We will leave it up to the judgment of the reader which they prefer, though all have a place in some subset of the genre.
“If my music is too loud, you’re too old!” Said the middle-aged man with hearing loss. Rock is an incredible genre that has several wonderfully creative musicians contained within it, along with numerous subgenres that all sound very different. Because of this, it can be hard to find the perfect configuration, though there is actually a previous setup that does it a good bit of justice – the arrow arrangement discussed earlier.
To avoid being redundant, however, here’s another stab at the genre. Push the 64-hertz slider to +3, with 125 just under it at around +2. 250 should be raised slightly above the median line, though keep 500 and 1k neutral. 2k can be kept neutral or raised by a hair, 4k and 8k should be around +2, with 16k a bit under +3 dB.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, nor can it be. Try not to stress too much about making sure each slider is exactly where we have stated, but rather how they sound when testing rock. The general thought about rock is that the lower end and higher end should be raised, while the mid can usually remain neutral.
A good preset for rock would likely be Dynamic, as it puts emphasis just about everywhere.
Pop music is typically defined as popular, well-known music that has a contagious beat or lyrical hook that sticks with you long after the song ends. Most folks that spend their days letting the Billboard top 100 wash over them tend to prefer the vocals more than anything else. Because of this, you will want to put extra attention towards the mids, with a little oomph put into the bass and treble.
To start, raise the 1k and 2k sliders up around 10% or more if you’re bold, with 4k sitting at around +1. Depending on how high or low the song is, the bass and treble can be slightly raised. Pop nowadays comes with a lot more action in the far ends of audio so it may be suitable to push the 64, 8k, and 16k-hertz slider up slightly. We will leave that up to your discretion.
This is admittedly a difficult genre to nail down due to how wide a net it casts. So if you listen to more bubble pop that sits on the high-end, favor the 8k and 16k-hertz slider more. If you like catchy electropop that utilizes more bass, stick to the ground level a bit more and tweak the 64 and 125 sliders.
The preset will come down to what song you are listening to, and there isn’t one we can truly nail down as “ideal” for the genre.
Whether you enjoy folk, acoustic rock, or albums destined for the shelves of a stylish coffee shop – we’ve got you covered. There are some acoustic albums that feature some amount of bass, but they can sometimes lack the warmth we desire in the genre.
Broadly speaking, most songs in this genre will require some love from the mids. The idea is to put the comfortable pluck of acoustic guitars at the front of the center while allowing the vocals some room to breathe.
For the sake of creating a bit more comfort in the sound, it would be wise to raise the 125 and 250 sliders slightly. Following that, you will want to push up the 500 and 1k sliders a fair bit, perhaps around +2. Be careful when changing the equalizer too much as it can really make a mess of some acoustic songs, and the sliders we are changing can easily stuff up the audio.
Treble can be raised, though be careful that the songs don’t become too shrill. A high point of acoustic music is the cozy, warm atmosphere it creates. Pushing too hard on the treble can quickly remove this, so raise the higher end at your own peril.
Bass Boost may be a little more thump than we need in this style of music, though it’s worth a try. A more preferable option is going to be Soft, which feels like it was made for acoustic ensembles and rainy days.
If you listen to EDM, Electronic, or house music regularly, you know that the genre is comprised mainly of digital sounds made through software and high-end computers. These beeps, boops, and drum beats are mainly featured in the opposing ends of the frequency range and will need to be emphasized depending on how they sound in your Galaxy earbuds.
If you do feel the need to tweak your audio, the best bet is to push up the 64, 125, and 250-hertz slider a bit with a heavy emphasis on 64 (+3 or +4). For higher-pitched sounds, move up the 8k and 16k-hertz slider as well, keeping in mind that these can get pretty shrill quickly. We won’t force you to keep the mids neutral, though we do recommend it.
It should come as no surprise that Bass Boost is going to be the ideal choice for this genre of music. Electronic does feature a fair bit on the top floor, although most of the action happens in the bass and low bass.
The twang of country music is mostly felt in the high-end, with some attention to vocals. Depending on the era and subgenre of country you are listening to, settings will need to be different. For instance, several modern billboard country songs are likely to benefit more from an equalizer based on pop music rather than Charlie Daniels.
Due to the brisk strumming and higher-pitched chords of country, try to raise the 4k (+1), 8k (+2), and 16k (+4) sliders upwards. Test this to make sure the highs aren’t too shrill before continuing onward. If you want a more warm sound, push up 125 (+2) and 250 (+2), leaving the 63-hertz slider alone. If you want more presence in the vocals, you can raise the mid switches a bit, though we will leave that up to your discretion.
Treble Boost is likely going to be your best bet as far as presets are concerned due to its heavy focus on the higher-end. If you find that the strumming hits your ear weirdly, try switching over to Clear. It won’t change the treble but instead push everything else down.
Audiobooks & Podcasts
Sometimes you run out of playlists to listen to and decide to casually sink twenty hours into an audiobook or podcast. They are great ways to speed through a long work day or time-consuming commute.
Depending on the type of podcast or audiobook you listen to it could feature one person talking, or an entire production with sound effects, songs, and several speakers. We will be giving recommendations based on both variations on podcast and audiobook.
For anything featuring one to two people talking without accompanying noise or ambiance, try pushing up the mid switches a bit. Push down on the 63 and 125-hertz sliders as bass noise at this level won’t be present in the human voice. 250, 500, 1k and 2k hertz can be pushed up to allow people’s voices to come through better. If you notice any crackling, compression, or shrillness, bringing down the 16k and 8k sliders could reduce audio irregularities.
For more professional narrations or podcasts, it may be wise to leave it neutral or slightly raise the mids (250 – 2k-hertz sliders) to allow narration to sit a bit higher than the rest of the show. If you find the varying add-ons distracting and unnecessary, you can choose to lower the 63, 125, 4k, 8k, and 16k sliders as you see fit.
Considering that no preset really shoves the mids forward, we would recommend settling for the Normal preset or even the Dynamic if you want a more intense experience.
Equalizers are really fun to play around with, but you can easily distort your music to the point that it is hard to recognize. Thankfully, Samsung has made a mobile app equalizer that is both simple to use and easily accessible.
While there are certainly going to be some people that disagree with some of these equalizer settings (it wouldn’t be a subjective topic without someone stating their opinion like fact), they are fairly good places to start.
Keep in mind that over-emphasis anywhere can spell a lot of trouble for your music, though it is all easily fixable.
Too much bass can ruin the clarity, over-excessive mid-range can make your music sound like it’s being played through a gramophone and too much treble is one of the more unpleasant experiences in audio. If you choose to experiment with your equalizer, the best bet is to make minor adjustments and test out the audio before pushing the slider up to 10 DB.