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Samsung Gear IconX (2018) review: Samsung’s smarter earbuds

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Samsung's updated Gear IconX headphones provide good quality audio and decent battery life, but its touch controls and fit comfort can leave a little to be desired.

The good

  • Easy pairing, especially with Galaxy phones
  • Relatively subtle in the ear
  • Good battery life for their size

The bad

  • Pink is really, really pink
  • Touch controls are twitchy
  • Can be uncomfortable when twisted into the ear

Samsung's second take on its Gear IconX wireless headphones addresses many of the core problems that the first set had, with improved battery life and solid wireless range when paired over Bluetooth to a smartphone.

If you're very much in the Samsung camp when it comes to your mobile device selection they're well-suited with simple pairing and Samsung-exclusive features, but then there are now more than a few competitors in this space for the Gear IconX to contend with.

Design

  • Subtle, inconspicuous design
  • USC-C support on the charging case is handy
SamsungGearIconX_1_738

Performance

  • Onboard storage lets you listen to music without carrying around your phone
  • Decent audio quality for wireless buds
  • Impressive battery life compared to the competition
SamsungGearIconX_2_738

Features

  • Pairing is simple enough, though not quite as seamless as marketed
SamsungGearIconX_4_738

Verdict

SamsungGearIconX_5_738

Apple's AirPods are very clearly aimed at iPhone users, and Samsung's Gear IconX headphones are likewise best suited to folks who already use Samsung phones. Sales figures suggest that's quite a few folks, so if you're after a set of headphones to complement your existing use of Samsung's Android health apps, the Gear IconX are mostly recommended.

The touch controls could be a little less twitchy, and if you're an ultra-marathon runner the fit might not be comfortable enough for very long sessions. However, for average gym junkies, they're a great way to hear your favourite tunes while getting fit.


Alternatives

While Samsung notably hasn't dropped the standard headphone socket on its smartphones just yet, plenty of phone manufacturers have, and that means that you've got plenty of choices when it comes to standalone Bluetooth bud-style headphones.

If money is tight, consider Flowfonix's Buddies or Cygnett's Freerun headphones.

If the sports aspect of Bluetooth headphones is important to you and the IconX doesn't appeal due to the lack of heart rate tracking, consider Jabra's Elite Sport or Bioconnected's HR+ headphones.

Google's Pixel Buds aren't quite wireless (or for that matter quite as good as Google seems to think they are), but they could be a worthwhile consideration if you're rocking a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL handset.

You could always lead folks astray with relation to your smartphone brand allegiance and opt for Apple's own AirPods too.


What the other reviewers say

SiteCommentScore
The Verge"A well-rounded pair of truly wireless earbuds"N/A
PCWorld"You'll love the strong bass and 4GB of onboard storage, but these wire-free earbuds have scads of nagging drawbacks."3/5
Wired"They’re far from perfect, but these buds get a lot of things right."N/A
Tom's Guide"They don't have a heart rate sensor, but better battery life makes the second-gen Samsung Gear IconX earbuds worth considering."7/10
CNET"Samsung has improved the second-generation Gear Icon X to become one of the better totally wireless headphones, especially for Galaxy phone owners."7.3/10

Pricing and availability

Samsung sells the Gear IconX headphones in Australia for $299 outright.

Buy a pair of Samsung Gear IconX (2018) wireless headphones

Buy a pair of Samsung Gear IconX (2018) wireless headphones from Amazon

Longer battery life and better wireless range make the latest model of Samsung's Gear IconX earbuds a solid choice for Galaxy phone owners. Pick up a pair from Amazon Australia today.

View details

Specifications

Samsung Gear IconX

Build

Category
In-ear Headphones
Colours
Black, Gray, Pink

Connectivity

Wired/Wireless
True Wireless
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Version
Bluetooth v4.2
Bluetooth Profiles
A2DP,AVRCP,HFP

Features

Rechargeable Battery
Yes
Battery Life
Up to 7 hours

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