The Galaxy Buds Pro is Samsung's latest earbuds. They were launched back in mid-January for the price of $199 (£219 / AU$349) - a similar price to the Galaxy Buds Live. Is the upgrade worth it?
The earbuds come in three colours - Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet. The latter of the three being a new colour - one I quite like. As well as this, these earbuds have a larger design than their predecessor, the Galaxy Buds Live.
The case for the earbuds is fairly compact and has an LED both inside and outside to show the battery status for both the earbuds and the case itself. Samsung has revered back to the Samsung Galaxy Buds design rather than carrying on with the bean-like shape of the Galaxy Buds Live. While they can be considered fairly long, however, all this space is needed for the sensors and microphones the Galaxy Buds Pro has. Over time, the earbuds may end up shifting, meaning the noise cancellation will weaken. The earbuds aren't the most attractive when wearing them. As well as this, I doubt they are comfortable to wear in bed due to their length.
The main features of this wireless headset are the IPX7 water resistance rating and the active noise cancellation. This is the highest waterproof rating of the Samsung earbuds. What does IPX7 mean? This means that the device can be submersed in one meter of water for about 30 minutes.
The ANC, however, could be better. The built-in microphones help the Galaxy Buds Pro to provide noise cancellation. While these earbuds are better than the Galaxy Buds Live when providing ANC, they don't top some other devices in the market.
Audio passthrough is another feature that the Galaxy Buds Pro has. This is to enable you the ability to hear the outside world better while still having the buds in your ears. The feature amplifies the sound of the outside world by as much as 20db. This makes the Galaxy Buds Pro useful to use when needing to listen to a PA system while waiting.
There are also some Samsung-specific features such as hands-free Bixby mode and the Find My Earbuds feature. The hands-free Bixby mode is fairly obvious - you can use Bixby without having to touch your phone. The latter of the features is extremely useful if you're a little careless like me.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds aren’t designed exclusively by Samsung – audio manufacturer AKG had also helped tune these headphones to get the EQ just right.
Well, the Buds Pro does have balanced sound quality but they are missing some clarity in the mids and highs, and have a smaller, isolated soundstage. The flat sound is really centered and not too rich.
The Samsung Wearable app does allow you to go in and tweak the sound however you like but none of them offer a wider, fuller soundstage. That said, that could change when Samsung introduces 360 Audio support later this year, which it says will bring “theater-like, multichannel sound” to the buds – but that feature wasn’t available to us during our testing process.
Samsung promises five hours of listening pleasure on one change. After which the charging case can provide an additional 13 hours if you have ANC turned on. If you turn it off the buds will last seven to eight hours, and you can get upwards of 20 hours of battery from the case.
Check out the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro on Samsung's site