Audio products that are included with phones usually elicit about as much excitement from me as a spontaneous trip to the DMV, but the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds included with the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones is a pleasant pair of freebie wired buds. While this lacks glitz and glam, it works reliably. When it comes to free, or less than $10 USD, it’s hard to ask for much more.

Editor’s note: this AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds review was updated on January 19, 2022, to include a contents menu and to add an Alternatives section.

Who is the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds for?

The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10e earbuds leaning against the rear of the phone.

The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds are included with Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones.

What is the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds like?

Although this pair of buds is a complimentary inclusion with Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds build quality is better than expected. The lower half of the cable preceding the Y-splitter is wrapped in cloth to prevent tangling. The cables that diverge from the splitter are coated in a rubberized material with a small but functional cable management zip.

A top-down image of the The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10e earbuds' inline control module.

Although the integrated mic and remote module feels cheap, it gets the job done.

Unlike Google’s included Pixel USB earbuds, the AKG branded housings retain a manageable shape with angled nozzles that prevent irritation. The cable descending from either earbud is ergonomically positioned to minimize friction at the ear, which makes wearing this evermore comfortable.

Interrupting the right cable is three-button mic and remote module. This also happens to feel like the most budget component of the headset as it’s unapologetically creaky when I click it. That said, it works and allows for virtual assistant access. Microphone quality is fine: my voice is clearly relayed, but when in louder environments ambient noise is transferred too.

Related: How to use Google Assistant with your headphones

How do you connect the Samsung AKG Earbuds?

You can connect the earbuds to any phone with a headphone jack. Due to its simple plug-and-play design, this works just as well on gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch and controllers for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S.

How does the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds sound?

This set of buds does a fine job at combating external noise and insulating the listener from the environment, assuming that properly fitted ear tips are used. So long as you’re able to get a good fit, you’ll hear the boosted low-end depicted by the frequency response chart. It’s not so overwhelming as to shake your bones, but it does make it easier to identify the main beat on a noisy bus. Clarity is lacking and masking is a slight issue seeing how the bass notes are twice as loud as mids, but hey, you’re only spending $10 USD at most here.

Lows, mids, and highs

In Avicii’s 2013 radio hit Wake Me Up, you can hear some masking. The song opens with rapid guitar strums before fading into the background as Aloe Blacc’s vocals take the stage. It’s here that the underlying, low-frequency synth noises mask most perceptible detail from Blacc’s voice.

At 0:40, a barrage of claps, drums, guitar, and more synchronize and it’s hard for me to distinguish them from one another. This auditory disorientation is only amplified—quite literally—by the fact that there’s a 2.5-7kHz spike in the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds’ frequency response. This range can amplify naturally occuring unpleasant resonances within the human ear canal that are only made more annoying when a seal from an earbud is formed. Interestingly, Sennheiser does the opposite and tunes a dip at this frequency range.

The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds has its flaws, but it boils down to this: this set of earbuds sounds good enough for a majority of casual listeners. Plus, the fact that it passively isolates as well as it does is a huge benefit that could end up protecting your hearing in the long run.

Should you get the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds?

The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10e earbuds on a lens filter against a black background.

The AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds included with Samsung Galaxy S10 phones feature angled nozzles for a comfortable fit.

While audio enthusiasts who purchase the Samsung Galaxy S10 may want a pair of higher quality earbuds or headphones on hand, the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds does a fine job at reproducing a pleasant sound with a bearable bass boost. For a pair of free earbuds, there’s not much to complain about. Worst-case scenario, you can just pass this off to a friend.

AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Read more: The best earbuds you can buy

What should you get instead of the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds?

The JBL Quantum 50 is a stellar set of wired gaming earbuds that costs about $25 USD. This has an inline mic and remote with a mute switch, and boasts very good sound quality for the price. Like the AKG earbuds, the Quantum 50 is very comfortable, though a bit bulkier.

The Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD is an excellent set of wired earbuds if you’re willing to up your budget significantly ($69 USD on January 2022). The Soul BYRD is one of the most comfortable wired in-ears around and it has a very flat profile that doesn’t protrude from the ears at all. Coincidentally, this is a great set of earbuds for listeners who like to listen to music as they fall asleep.

Frequently asked questions about the AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds

How do you use the microphone?

The microphone is automatically activated when you take a call or enter a recording app. Some recording applications allow you to toggle which microphone is used (e.g., smartphone mic or headset mic).

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AKG Samsung Galaxy S10 Earbuds