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

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


The new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers many new features. But one important thing is missing from its box.

James Martin / CNET

When you buy one Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra You may find that the box feels a little lighter than normal. No, it’s not the new plastic on the Note 20 that is causing that lightweight feel. The real reason is that Samsung no longer includes wired headphones in the boxes of its high-end phones. Pause and let that take effect. Are you outraged Are you indifferent Are you even using the provided headphones that came with your phone? Is that a deal breaker for you?

The news of Samsung’s headphone omission follows rumors that Apple does not include headphones or power adapters in the box of the next iPhone, aka that iPhone 12. If that’s too extreme for you Samsung also has a charger included.

There’s a “What’s in the box” section on the Note 20’s website that doesn’t have headphones. Samsung has confirmed that all of this is true and that premium phones sold in North America do not come with wired headphones.

To quote Kent Brockman of The Simpsons when he thought space ants were invading the earth: “For one thing, I salute our new insect overlords.”

It’s wonderful that the new Galaxy Note 20 phones don’t have headphones out of the box. Think how much e-waste will be minimized. Samsung could become a role model for other phone manufacturers who will hopefully follow suit. The earth isn’t really designed for yearly phone upgrades.

Here is my attempt to answer all of your questions about Samsung’s missing headphones.

Currently running:
Look at that:

First look: Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra


Does it really come with less?

I know people will be pissed off that they’ll pay more than $ 1,000 (that’s $ 50 more than last year, grade 10) for a phone that has fewer things in it. Physically, there are fewer things in the box, which in turn can be good for the environment.

However, I would argue that both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra offer more. You get 5G, a high refresh rate display (on the Ultra), a faster processor, better telephoto cameras, longer support for operating system upgrades, Higher resolution video, Gorilla Glass Victus (also with the Ultra), a faster S-Pen and larger screens.

Are you getting less value?

It doesn’t help that Samsung for years highlighted the value of its $ 99 “bundled” wired headphones. So if last year’s Note 10 was $ 950, shouldn’t Note 20 be $ 851?

That depends on how much you appreciate the improvements and new features I mentioned earlier. As we’ve seen with other phones this year like the Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8, 5G phones cost more. At least that’s what they’re doing right now.


Do you notice something is missing? Fortunately, the Galaxy Note 20 also comes with a charger.


Do you really need “free” headphones?

I urge you to look around your house, car, pockets, or office (if you are lucky enough to have access now). You may already have wired headphones that can work.

But that’s a little more complicated. You need headphones with a USB-C port. Last year, Samsung removed the headphone jack from the Note 10. Even if headphones are lying around, they likely have a 3.5mm headphone jack and are not compatible with the new Note phones. The Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra also do not have a headset socket for the 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 then there is nothing to worry about. Samsung will continue to include wired headphones with a USB-C port in the box.


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

James Martin / CNET

What should I do if I don’t have USB-C headphones?

Samsung has your back. If you need USB-C wired headphones, Samsung customer care can get a pair for free. The company even takes care of shipping and handling.

What about bluetooth headphones?

Hope Samsung hopes people choose to do it. Not only is the cable gone, but you can also use a pair of bluetooth earbuds on your devices. A pair of wireless headphones like the new one Galaxy Buds Live (Nicknamed “Galaxy Beans”) costs $ 170. This is definitely a lot more than free. But you will likely be keeping a pair of wireless earbuds longer than a wired giveaway.

Note that the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra can work together with a range of Bluetooth headphones and earphones. Actually, Check out this list of the best true wireless earbuds out there. If you want to save money, check out this list of the best cheap real wireless earbuds, where the most expensive option is $ 52.

I have no more questions. What should i do next?

Check out ours ongoing review of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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