The Galaxy Note 20 doesn’t come with headphones and that’s a good thing

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The brand new Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely packs a whole lot of new options. However its field is lacking one necessary factor.

James Martin/CNET

While you purchase a Galaxy Be aware 20 or Be aware 20 Extremely you may discover that the field feels somewhat lighter than regular. No, it isn’t the brand new plastic again on the Be aware 20 that is inflicting that mild feeling. The precise motive is that Samsung not features a pair of wired headphones in packing containers of its high-end phones. Pause and let that sink in. Are you outraged? Are you detached? Do you even use the included headphones that include your telephone? Is that this a deal-breaker for you?

The information of Samsung’s headphone omission comes on the heels of rumors that Apple won’t include headphones or a power adapter within the field of the following iPhone, aka the iPhone 12. If that is too excessive for you, Samsung does still include a charger in the box

On the Note 20’s website there is a “what’s within the field” part that’s absent of any headphones. Samsung confirmed that each one of that is true and that it will not embody wired headphones within the field for premium telephones bought in North America.

To cite Kent Brockman from The Simpsons when he thought space ants have been invading Earth, “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.”

It is fantastic that the brand new Galaxy Be aware 20 telephones omit headphones from the field. Take into consideration how a lot e-waste it will decrease. Samsung might develop into a job mannequin for different phone-makers who will hopefully observe go well with. Earth is not actually designed to deal with yearly telephone upgrades.

Here is my try to reply all of your questions on Samsung’s lacking headphones.

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First Look: Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra


Does it really come with less?

I know people will be pissed that they’re paying $1,000-plus (that’s $50 more than last year’s Note 10) for a phone that comes with fewer things. In a physical sense there are fewer things in the box, which again can be beneficial for the environment.

Yet, I’d argue that both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra come with more. You get 5G, a high refresh rate display (on the Ultra), a faster processor, better telephoto cameras, longer OS upgrade support, higher resolution video, Gorilla Glass Victus (also on the Ultra), a faster S-Pen and larger screens.

Are you getting less value?

It doesn’t help that for years, Samsung made a point of highlighting the $99 value of its “included” wired headphones. So if last year’s Note 10 cost $950, shouldn’t the Note 20 cost $851?

That comes down to how much you value the improvements and new features that I mentioned earlier. As we’ve seen with other phones this year, like the Galaxy S20 line and OnePlus 8 line, 5G phones cost more. At least they do right now.


Notice anything missing? Luckily, a charger is still included in the box with the Galaxy Note 20. 


Do you really need another pair of ‘free’ headphones?

I’d challenge you to look around your house, in your car, bags or office (if you’re fortunate enough to access it right now). You might actually already have a pair of wired headphones that can work.

But this is a little more complicated. You need a pair of headphones with a USB-C connector. Last year, Samsung eliminated the headphone jack from the Note 10. So even if you do have headphones lying around, chances are they have a 3.5mm headphone jack and won’t be compatible with the new Note phones. Also the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra don’t come with a headset jack to USB-C dongle.

I don’t live in North America, why do I care?

You make a good point. If you don’t live in North America, you have nothing to worry about. Samsung will continue to include a pair of wired headphones with a USB-C connector in the box.


If you need a pair of USB-C headphones that will work with the new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung will send you a pair free.

James Martin/CNET

If I don’t have USB-C headphones what am I supposed to do?

Samsung has your back. If you need a pair of USB-C wired headphones, Samsung’s customer service will give you a pair for free. The company will even cover shipping and handling.

What about Bluetooth headphones?

That’s what Samsung is hoping people opt for, I’d wager. Not only is the wire gone, but you can use a pair of Bluetooth earbuds across your devices. A pair of wireless headphones like the new Galaxy Buds Live (nicknamed “Galaxy Beans”) cost $170. That is definitely a lot more than free. But you’re likely to keep a pair of wireless earbuds longer than a wired freebie.

Keep in mind, the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra can work with a number of Bluetooth headphones and earbuds. In fact, read this list of the best true wireless earbuds. If you’re looking to save money, check out this list of the best cheap true-wireless earbuds, in which the most expensive option is $52.

I’m out of questions, what should I do next?

Take a look at our ongoing review of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Patrick Holland