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two minute review
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are best considered the Apple AirPods Pro equivalent of the Samsung Galaxy S21 line of phones.
Like Apple AirPods Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro offer active noise cancellation. Both headphones also support spatial audio, making TV shows and movies more entertaining and immersive. And you'll also find five hours of battery life offered by these buds before they need to be recharged. It's easy to see why the Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro feature in our best guide to true wireless earbuds.
But the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro offer more than those basic features if you own one of Samsung's best phones or a Samsung tablet, and they can tie everything together in the Samsung ecosystem. For example, they offer multi-point pairing, hands-free support for Bixby (but not the Google Assistant), and the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app.
As you'll learn in our Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review below, these earphones also use Samsung's proprietary Evolutionary Audio. This supports UHQ audio streaming over Bluetooth at up to 24-bit/96kHz, SmartThings Finder, and multi-microphone recording, allowing you to use the Buds as a lavalier mic when recording video on your Samsung phone.
In the same way that the AirPods Pro were updated in the form of the AirPods Pro 2, the Samsung Buds 2 Pro has since been released. The latest version of the Samsung Buds Pro that we're reviewing here, the 2 Pro offers several improvements, including a sleeker design. streamlined that's 15% smaller to accommodate better microphones and sensors for improved fit, audio, and noise-canceling capabilities.
However, if you're considering the original Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, they're still a great option, especially for Samsung phone owners. Read on for our full Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro on Amazon for €99.99 (opens in a new tab)
Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Colors: Ghost Purple, Ghost Black, Ghost Silver
Dimensions: 20,5 x 19,5 x 20,8mm (headphones) 50,0 x 50,2 x 27,8mm (charging case)
Weight: 6,3g (earbuds) 44,9g (charging case)
Battery: 5 hours (ANC on)
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: price and availability
- The release date was January 14, 2021.
- Available for € 199 / € 219 / AU € 349
- Not much more expensive than the Galaxy Buds Live
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro were released alongside the Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone on January 14, 2021 (the day it was announced on Samsung Unpacked) on Samsung's website and became widely available from January 15, 2021. .
In terms of price, the Galaxy Buds Pro will set you back $199 / £219 / AU$349. Although now that the new Galaxy Buds Pro 2 have launched, you might find them harder to find, but when you do, they'll probably be more cheap. For example, at Amazon.com, they are now part of a deal that only gives them €99.99. It's a similar story on UK Amazon, where you'll find them for €114.95.
It makes sense that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro initially cost a bit more than their predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, which cost $169.99 / £179 / AU$319 at launch. Considering how much better the Pro version is, it's worth the upgrade. You can read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review to find out how they compare.
Interestingly (and confusingly), Samsung has released these compact docking true wireless earphones. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro release date came just five months after Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and less than a year after the launch of Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. It's not clear why Samsung is in such a rush to release them, but it's causing a bit of a bottleneck.
That said, if you're looking for cheaper alternatives, you don't have to look far. Look for a deal now that time has passed since launch. Or read our Sony WF-SP800N review and our Jabra Elite 75t review for wallet-friendly alternatives that offer active noise cancellation for $50 less. That is if you don't mind skipping Samsung-specific features.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: design
- Available in three colors
- They are long for the earphones and stick out of the ear
- Equipped with numerous sensors and microphones.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are available in three colours: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet to match the new Samsung Galaxy S21, and the color of the Buds will match the color of the charging case that comes with them.
Speaking of the case, it's shaped like a small treasure chest: there's a concave lid that opens in the middle and flips over. It's fairly compact, which is nice when you want to slip it into your pocket, and it has a status light on the inside and outside of the case that turns green, yellow, and red depending on how much battery is left in the case itself.
As for the Buds, they are a far cry from their bean-shaped predecessors. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have returned to their usual form as sound funnels equipped with ear tips.
Funnel is probably the right word to describe them, as they are quite long for headphones, measuring just under an inch (20,8mm) long. However, the Buds need all that space for their multitude of sensors, pogo pins, and microphones.
You get a selection of bits in the box. (Image credit: Future)
The exterior of the Buds has a shiny, reflective plastic coating that's tactile, and two more microphones with a windscreen that reduces ambient noise when you're walking outside. All of this houses the 11mm woofer and 6,5mm tweeter, which we'll discuss in more detail in the performance section below.
So how do they adapt? Well, despite their almost futuristic appearance, the way the headphones stick out of the ear makes them bulky and awkward. Wearing them in bed would be uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. And because they don't have a way to "lock" them into your ear, they move around periodically, which means you'll have to readjust them or the seal will weaken and noise cancellation will slowly diminish as you wear them. .
To help alleviate some of these issues, inside the box are two extra sets of ear tips to help you get a better seal, which is absolutely essential. You'll also find a headless USB-C charging cable, part of Samsung's decision to reduce waste (yeah!) and a potential hurdle for people just buying their first headphones (boo).
Learning to control them isn't difficult and can be mastered quickly: default controls include a single touch to play/pause music; a double tap plays the next song or answers/ends a call; a triple key plays the previous track; and a touch and hold activates its preset function, which switches between ambient canceling and noise canceling modes by default.
This last command can be customized, but you'll need the Samsung Wearable app to do it.
Overall, they're surprisingly comfortable to wear for long periods of time and don't suffer from pressure build-up thanks to the external venting, but because of the way they stick out of the ear, they're not the most attractive. headphones or very comfortable to wear in bed.
The headphones have an IPX7 water resistance rating. (Image credit: Digital Jargon)
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: features and noise cancellation
- Basic noise cancellation needs to be stronger
- However, the IPX7 rating is the best in its class.
- SmartThings Find is niche, but it could be a lifesaver
The two main features of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are their active noise cancellation and their IPX7 waterproof rating, the highest rating for Samsung earphones to date.
Until now, Samsung headphones were only IPX2 or IPX4 waterproof. That meant they were good for a few drops of rain or a bit of sweat, but they weren't the kind of thing you'd want to have around during intense workouts.
With IPX7 certification, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are protected against immersion in fresh water for 30 minutes at a depth of up to one meter, that is, if they fall in the bathtub for one minute or if you want to clean them under running water. you won't win You don't have to worry about them. It's a big step up from Samsung and rivals the highest standards of other headsets.
So how good is this noise cancellation? Well, that's good…for Samsung. The three built-in microphones certainly help the Galaxy Buds Pro do a better job of shielding noise than the Galaxy Buds Live, but they're no better at noise canceling than, say, Sony's best headphones (read our Sony WF -1000XM4 for more information). ) or most flagship on-ear headphones with ANC.
Wearing them around the house for a few days, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro were able to drastically reduce sounds from loud air purifiers and humidifiers, but had no luck when someone else in the house was playing music. They're good enough that you can't hear nearby conversations in another room, but anything louder than someone talking will be audible via ANC.
The other side of the active noise cancellation coin is audio boost, also known as audio passthrough, accessed by long-pressing the capacitive touchpad. The Galaxy Buds Pro can take audio from outside and direct it into your ears, amplifying sound by up to 20dB, making them convenient for use in aircraft terminals while waiting for your flight to be called through the mail system. voicemail or at the deli counter. .
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro also have some Samsung-specific features worth noting: There's a hands-free Bixby mode, which works exactly as you'd expect, and a Find My Earbuds feature powered by SmartThings Find.
SmartThings Find, located in the SmartThings app, can show you a map of where your devices are, even when they're offline and disconnected from Bluetooth. This should give you peace of mind in the event of theft and at the very least help you track them down if you can't remember where you left them.
Finally, if you have multiple Galaxy products, you can…