Lets simply get to it: Samsungs Galaxy Buds Pro are the very best true wireless earbuds that the business has actually made yet. For their $200 asking rate, you get a comfy fit, reliable active sound cancellation, and good, punchy sound quality. These earbuds improve on Samsungs prior efforts with clever features like a speech detection mode that instantly decreases your music and lets you hear the outdoors world as soon as you begin talking.
But they also inch Samsung closer to a siloed-off world, not unlike Apple, where the very best experience is reserved for individuals who stay with Samsung-branded devices. A few features like 3D audio and automatic device switching– sound familiar? — only work if youre utilizing these earbuds with a Samsung phone or tablet. The majority of people arent going to be cross-shopping the Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro because theyre designed for various mobile os, however Samsung has never leaned into its own community with earbuds quite like this. Luckily, theres enough great for everyone else that the Galaxy Buds Pro still come out a success.
8.5 out of 10
The Buds Pro are an amalgam of the Galaxy Buds Plus– they have an in-ear style with silicone ideas– and the outdoor Galaxy Buds Live, from which they borrow some style cues. The outer housing is a classy mix of shiny and matte surfaces and has actually been redesigned to protrude less from your ear. Samsung says this revamped shell likewise “lowers the contact area between your ear and the bud, improving comfort and decreasing any clogged-up sensation.”
The wing tips from the Galaxy Buds Plus are gone; Samsung got the message that some clients experienced pain from those over time. Instead, you get the normal three sizes of silicone ear pointers, which are a bit shorter than before to assist with the low-profile design. Samsung informs me it has considered consisting of foam pointers but has actually up until now held back. Youll also discover an area of mesh on the exterior. This covers one of the 3 built-in microphones and is there to function as a wind shield for voice calls. (More on that later.).
Best sound quality yet for Samsung earbuds
Voice discover feature is incredibly practical
IPX7 water and sweat resistance
Improved mic efficiency
Samsung says it has now pulled off the same technique, so the Buds Pro needs to instantly change between your Galaxy smart device and tablet. The laptop computer gets left out of Samsungs formula entirely, which makes the function rather less helpful. Automatic switching feels like a makeshift solution up until Samsung can get to multipoint.
Both of these capabilities require you to be relatively entrenched in Samsungs environment. 3D audio only works on Samsung hardware, so if your Android phone is from a different brand name, you lose out on it completely. Same chooses auto-switching. If neither function is necessary to you, that might not matter, however its something to keep in mind.
Worth pointing out is that Samsung isnt extending the very same level of iOS support it has actually maintained for the Buds Plus and Buds Live: the existing iOS app doesnt work with the Buds Pro, so you cant use functions like voice detect on iPhone. Im unsure what the thinking is there, however maybe Samsungs internal information reveals that few individuals are matching its earbuds to Apple devices. You can still match them and utilize noise canceling and ambient modes– just like the way AirPods Pro function on Android.
The Galaxy Buds Pro face stiff competitors all over you look, and you can discover exceptional ANC and sound quality elsewhere. With these newest earbuds, Samsung has combined much of what worked finest about the Buds Plus and Buds Live.
The Buds Pro feel great in your ears, sound better than any Samsung earbuds to date, and have hassle-free tricks to match their decent sound cancellation. Theres still a location for the Galaxy Buds Plus if all you want are wireless earbuds with a battery that simply goes and goes, and the Buds Live remain the better choice if you need environmental awareness at all times. However if youre snatching the Buds Pro as a preorder perk for a new Galaxy S21, you must be more than pleased.
The Galaxy Buds Pro blend design aspects of the Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Live.
Typical battery life
Some features just work with other Samsung devices
Touch controls can be picky
No more software application assistance on iPhones
The wonderfully pocketable Buds Pro charging case is so close in size and shape to the Buds Live case that accessories for the latter will fit the former, and it still charges over both USB-C and Qi wireless charging. However endurance is one location where these earbuds opt for really average numbers. Samsung guarantees up to five hours of playback with ANC made it possible for (or 8 with it off). Case top-offs put you at 18 hours of overall battery life or 28 without noise cancellation. Thats basically on par with the rest of the field, but it does not hold a candle to the 11 hours of constant audio that the Galaxy Buds Plus can. Unfortunately, it ends up the Buds Pro have a smaller sized battery capacity (61mAh for each bud versus 85mAh) on top of their more power-hungry ANC feature.
The Galaxy Buds Pro have two-way speakers in each earbud: theres an 11-millimeter woofer and 6.5 mm tweeter. Those are larger than what remained in the Buds Plus, though smaller than the single 12mm chauffeur from the Buds Live; in that circumstances, Samsung was most focused on getting acceptable bass out of an open-style earbud. Here, its aiming for “the most extensive noise in the Galaxy Buds line yet.” I cant speak to what “detailed” is supposed to suggest, however the Buds Pro are pleasurable to listen to, with an excellent bass thump, crisp treble, and a pleasant soundstage/ imaging.
A lot of earbuds can make it seem like whatever is occurring in the middle of your head, but these do a strong job keeping instrumentation and vocals distinct. Sturgill Simpsons “Oh Sarah” and Troye Sivans “Easy” (with Kacey Musgraves and Mark Ronson) produce great showcases– in extremely different categories– of how layered the Buds Pro can get.
Bass heads might wish to opt for the “bass boost” EQ setting, and the tweeters can occasionally emit a little too much brightness and sibilance for some tracks like Jason Isbells “Be Afraid,” but for the most part I was very happy with the sound signature. I dont believe Samsung hits the very same fidelity as something like Sennheisers Momentum True Wireless 2, however those are nearly $100 more costly. I d be completely content with the Buds Pro as my everyday earbuds.
The Buds Pro are an amalgam of the Galaxy Buds Plus– they have an in-ear design with silicone ideas– and the al fresco Galaxy Buds Live, from which they obtain some design cues. Those are bigger than what was in the Buds Plus, though smaller sized than the single 12mm chauffeur from the Buds Live; in that circumstances, Samsung was most focused on getting acceptable bass out of an open-style earbud. The active sound cancellation on the Galaxy Buds Pro is much better than the Galaxy Buds Live, where it seems to barely do anything since theres so much outside sound to contend with. Worth mentioning is that Samsung isnt extending the exact same level of iOS support it has maintained for the Buds Plus and Buds Live: the existing iOS app doesnt work with the Buds Pro, so you cant utilize features like voice detect on iPhone. With these latest earbuds, Samsung has mixed much of what worked best about the Buds Plus and Buds Live.
I really like how these earbuds fit. They feel steady and twist into location for an excellent seal in my ear canal, without making my ears feel too plugged up. The air vent and decreased contact area actually do appear to make a distinction there, and I value that the Buds Pro do not visibly jut out from my ears like some rivals. If I have one review, its an old one: more than a few times, I inadvertently triggered the touch-sensitive controls when trying to adjust the fit of an earbud. Such is life with tap gestures, I expect. The controls can be switched off if this proves a problem for you.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Plus are ranked IPX7 for water and sweat resistance, which means they can survive a half-hour swim in fresh water– so even your sweatiest workouts and runs should not present any problem. Thats the greatest ranking amongst any of Samsungs earbuds and beats out the AirPods Pro, Jabra Elite 85t, and Bose Sport Earbuds, which are all IPX4. Either earbud can be used independently with mono audio if you prefer that alternative for voice calls or cycling.
The active sound cancellation on the Galaxy Buds Pro is much better than the Galaxy Buds Live, where it seems to barely do anything given that theres a lot outside noise to contend with. Samsung declares that the Buds Pro can reduce “up to 99 percent” of noise “at 118.43 Hz,” which is wildly particular and will not suggest much to many individuals. In my experience, Boses QuietComfort Earbuds, Sonys WF-1000XM3 earbuds, and the AirPods Pro all outperform Samsung at silencing the world around you, however Samsung does a perfectly adequate job at stifling street sound and family distractions. You can pick in between low and high levels of sound cancellation in case youre delicate to the impact.
Samsungs latest openness/ ambient mode still does not sound as natural as what Apple and Bose have attained, however its a guaranteed improvement over the really digitized version from the Galaxy Buds Plus. And the wonderful “voice spot” function, which automatically lowers audio volume and switches from ANC to ambient mode when you begin talking, is one of the very best aspects of the Galaxy Buds Pro. Sony did something comparable on its 1000XM4 headphones, but I have not seen this convenient technique in many earbuds, and now I want all of them at least had the option.
Samsung uses a “voice pickup system”– generally an accelerometer that senses jaw motion– to know that its you talking and not somebody close by. Controls work the exact same method as other Samsung buds, with a single tap to pause/ play, double to skip to the next tune, triple to go back, and an adjustable long press that can be utilized for volume, voice assistants, or ambient mode.
For voice calls, Samsung has a three-mic system and uses beamforming to isolate your voice from your environment. The lower profile of the Buds Pro helps battle wind noise, and the mesh-covered chamber does an excellent job filtering out any gusts if youre talking with somebody exterior. Clarity is also great, as you ought to have the ability to hear in Beccas video evaluation above. Speaking of voice, the Galaxy Buds Pro still have hands-free “Hey Bixby” capabilities.
Pro as in … AirPods Pro?
Theres no denying that a few functions of the Galaxy Buds Pro are heavily affected by Apples AirPods Pro. The first of these is 3D audio, which is Samsungs take on the immersive spatial audio capabilities of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Load up a movie with Dolby surround, and the Buds Pro will try to pack a surround sound listening experience into a pair of earbuds.
Samsung says that 360 audio utilizes Dolby head tracking technology, which “allows you to stay at the center of the scene when youre watching a motion picture or TV show.” In idea, this sounds comparable to Apples method, which uses sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes in the earbuds and your iPhone or iPad to keep the sound source anchored to your gadget– even when you turn your head side to side.
I cant inform you how persuading Samsungs 3D audio is or whether it compares positively to spatial audio since it needs OneUI 3.1, which for now is just offered on the brand-new Galaxy S21 lineup. The $1,300 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra that Samsung sent for this review doesnt have that update.