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Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: True wireless earbuds in your budget

Samsung’s Gear IconX 2018 wireless earbuds pack punch with impressive sound quality. Find out more about the device in our detailed review.

tech Updated: Oct 16, 2018 16:29 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Samsung Gear Iconx Price,Samsung Gear Iconx Price In India,Samsung Gear Iconx Amazon
Planning to buy a new wireless earbud? Check out our review of Gear IconX 2018(Samsung)

Brand: Samsung
Product name: Gear Icon X 2018
Price: Rs 11,999 (Rs 13,990 launch price)
Key specs: 4GB internal storage, Bluetooth support, USB Type-C, 340mAh battery (case) and 82mAh + 82mAh battery (earbuds).
Rating: 4/5

Shortly after Apple introduced AirPods, a number of brands introduced their own truly wireless Bluetooth headphones. The closest competitor to AirPods is Samsung’s Gear IconX which launched in India earlier this year for Rs 13,990.

What sets Samsung’s second-generation Gear IconX apart from competition is that it comes with 4GB built-in storage which lets you store hundreds of songs. You can download the songs on the phone via Bluetooth or simply connect the device (the case) with the PC via USB cable.

Samsung Gear IconX: Design
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 retains the same design language of the predecessor. The charging case, similar to Apple’s AirPods case, has two slots for the earphones. On the back of the case is the USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer. The port sits between an LED indicator and Bluetooth button. On the front, the case has a button for the unboxing.

The earbuds have rubber and plastic build. The buds come with wingtips in different sizes depending upon users’ preferences. Next to rubber is the metallic charging contact points. The rubber is protruding so that your ears don’t press hard against the metal.

Despite a small form factor, Samsung Gear IconX has near-excellent build quality and definitely looks and feels premium. The plastic rubber design gives it unique look. Though, it takes a while to get used to the small form factor and how to use it for longer period of use and in different circumstances such as walking or travelling in metro. If you are totally new to the concept of truly wireless earbuds, try using it indoors before taking them out.

Samsung Gear IconX: Getting started, features
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 works best with Samsung phones, thanks to the dedicated Galaxy Wear hub for the company’s wireless devices. We tried out the new earbuds with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. Samsung’s wireless earbuds also works with iPhones, however, there are a few limitations.

In order to get started, you need to download and install the Gear Wear Hub on your device. Now choose the Gear IconX from the list of devices to be paired. The application will prompt you to enable Bluetooth for pairing. Just make sure your earbuds have full charge, if not, plug them in before trying to pair.

Gear IconX 2018 is merely a hardware platform as the main magic happens within the hub application. The application shows you a comprehensive list of things you can do from the device. It also has a bunch of controls like adjusting sound in the both buds, equalizer for sound management and fine tune the ambient sound according to your preference.

A closer look at the charging case of Gear IconX ( Samsung )

Other things you can do from the app is transfer music, choose from where to play music from (phone or Gear IconX). Under the settings, you can manage notifications, enable voice guide and more.

Samsung Gear IconX earbuds come with gesture support as well. For instance, tapping once on the bud will pause the music. Tapping the bud two times will skip track. You can control the volume through these gestures as well. But we will recommend adjusting volume via the phone for sheer ease of use.

Samsung Gear Icon X: Sound quality, performance
Don’t have high expectations from wireless earbuds. These earbuds are not on par with wired/wireless headphones from JBLs, Seennheisers and other top brands, for now. In case of Gear Icon X, the sound quality is pretty decent. If you like bass-heavy music like me, you will be impressed with Gear Icon X. I played a wide array of songs on the Gear Icon X are Don’t Let Me Down (Daya, The Chainsmokers), Huggin & Kissin (Big Black Delta), and Afreen (Coke Studio).

There’s some solid punch but of course some tracks feel slightly flat which may not really be a bad thing. There’s fair amount of clarity though better ambient noise cancellation could have made it much more appealing.

Samsung Gear IconX 2018 comes with bigger and better battery life than the predecessor. During our use, the earbuds delivered up to 4 hours back up in a stretch. If you choose to listen the preloaded songs only on the device, you can squeeze higher battery life.

Verdict
Samsung Gear IconX 2018 is a lot better than the company’s older generation wireless earbuds. From impressive sound quality to ease of use, Gear IconX 2018 stands out from the competition. Currently, the device is available online for much cheaper at Rs 11,999. If you have been looking for your first wireless earbuds, Gear IconX 2018 is worth trying out.

First Published: Oct 14, 2018 18:52 IST