Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are in many ways the first truly competitive Bluetooth headphones for the Android platform. That’s not to say the original Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds Live aren’t great wireless headphones. But with the release of the latest Pro tier, Samsung is finally introducing the full range of features, making them a viable option for those who want the convenience of Air Pods Pro but own Galaxy devices.
Features include active noise cancellation (ANC), audiophile-style drivers, and many additional controls specific to the Samsung platform. I’m primarily an iPhone user, but my primary tablet is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, so I grabbed the earbuds to test both the native Galaxy workflow and the Bluetooth experience. Here’s how it all went.
Design: very glossy, very Samsung
I would call the design of the original Galaxy Buds “simple and elegant”. This is true for the “Plus” version, but when Samsung ditched the Galaxy Buds Live, the infamous bean shape surprised consumers. Some people loved it. , others hated him.
What bothered me the most about the Buds Pro’s design was the incredibly shiny metallic plastic used on the outside? To be fair, Samsung uses this design language on many of its flagship phones, so it’s no surprise to see bright and colorful options on the Galaxy Buds Pro. Even if the bean shape is gone, there’s no doubt that these glossy earbuds will stand out. . When you wear them.
Comfort: comfortable enough, but a bit cramped
Thanks to the thin ear flaps, the original Galaxy Buds were comfortable, sporty and worked well for my ears. When I first took the Buds Pro out of the box, I was disappointed to see Samsung remove the flap. But if you take a closer look at the shape, you can see a small bulge taking its shape and a rubbery exterior like an ear fin, and this actually gives a good grip on the ears as long as you turn them correctly while inserting them. Headphones.
The other side of the comfort medal is how they feel pressed into the ears. Samsung has tackled this in an interesting way. These earbuds fall in the narrowest range and sit high enough in the ears. While this is usually more of an issue for me (I don’t like cramped, tight seats on my earbuds), Samsung has added a metal grille that doubles as a vent.
Durability and quality: made to last
One of the main reasons for choosing Apple or Samsung earphones is that they take a lot of high-quality materials from the production of smartphones and tablets. The first aspect you come across when using true wireless earbuds is always the case and the battery case design speaks volumes about the quality of the product.
The case that comes with the Galaxy Buds Pro is sleek, compact and gives a nice, pleasant click when you close it. It’s a little hard to open if you don’t press your fingers under the lid at the right angle, so the magnet is a little too strong. But overall it feels good.
Sound quality and noise reduction: extraordinarily well-rounded
The “Pro” difference of these headphones is probably most noticeable in their sound quality. Samsung has opted for a dual driver for these headphones. It has an 11mm main driver that supports most music frequencies and a 6.5mm tweeter optimized for the high end of the spectrum. These two speakers are tuned according to best practices supported by AKG.
In addition, the vent added by Samsung allows the soundstage to “breathe” a little, enhancing the presence of sound. All this results in a balanced audio response, especially thanks to the dual driver design. Whenever you aim two different speakers at two separate parts of the spectrum, you relieve the pressure on one of them, which has to support the whole spectrum. This makes for a very nuanced sound and actually impressed me.
Battery life: nothing special
With headphones like the Galaxy Buds Pro, you’d expect the absolute best in every category, but one key aspect that’s missing here is long battery life. The headphones themselves seem to last around 5 hours on a single charge and 18 additional uses from the charging case. To be fair, these numbers aren’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but they’re far from the best.
Even more worryingly, these hourly amounts vary wildly if you use the add-ons a lot. Things like active noise cancellation, proximity detection, and 360-degree sound seem to drain the batteries a bit.
Connectivity and codecs – nice overall experience
One of the best reasons to choose Galaxy Buds over another brand is the ease of pairing with Samsung Galaxy devices. Mimicking Apple’s Air Pods offering, simply opening the Galaxy Buds case will trigger a pop-up message on your Galaxy devices, allowing you to easily pair them without having to fish through the Bluetooth menu.
However, this only works on Galaxy devices, so other Android phones can’t take advantage of it either. Once the earbuds are connected, you won’t notice much of a drop, and I’ve experienced very few hiccups that I’m used to with other true wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Software, controls and accessories – more than you’ll probably need
There are some downsides to battery life, so it’s clear that Samsung is making a choice – more features means a better product. Combined with the Galaxy Wearables app, these headphones offer quite a bit of value for money. I’ve already talked about adjustable ANC and transparency modes and 360-degree sound.
An interesting point in the transparency mode is this “speech recognition” option. When enabled, the headphones will record when you speak and pause the music for a pre-set amount of time and automatically enter transparency mode. The theory here is that you only start talking when you want to have a conversation, so the headphones move. This feature is a bit hit and miss and can be annoying if you just want to say a few quick words to a friend (rather than a whole.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs Apple Air Pods Pro
These two smartphone titans compete directly against each other in the feature set of these headphones. Both headphones work best with their home ecosystem, both sound great, and both cost around $200. AirPods do a little better in terms of noise reduction, but to my ears, Buds Pro feels a little more balanced in terms of sound quality.