NoisyGeeks

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review (1)

Buds pro are Samsung’s best foot forward in the TWS market

With 4 different sets of earbuds launched in less than 2 years of time, Samsung has been on a roll in the TWS arena. One of the products from this assembly line are Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. Launched alongside the Galaxy S21 phone, Buds Pro – is a premium TWS offering from the Samsung family. Offered earlier as a freebie with pre-orders of S21, these buds are now available in the range of $179.99 – $199.99 in 3 vivid Phantom hues.

These have the potential to become the go-to earbuds for any smartphone owner as it strikes an ideal balance between features and price. Sturdy and shiny, Buds Pro retains the superior feel of Buds Live but replaces the bean-shaped design of the latter with the in-ear shell form of Buds Plus, which helps to enjoy the epic sound without any leaks.  

Galaxy Buds with their build, performance, and market share have gradually become a direct competition to the Apple Airpods series. A huge distinction, however, remains the pricing. Galaxy buds are priced slightly cheaper than Apple’s equivalent products and even some other competitors in the premium bracket like Sony, LG, Sennheiser, and Jabra. 

So, are these earbuds worth your attention? We would say an emphatic YES!

This review aims to uncover the good, bad, and ugly of Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. We have used, tested, and verified multiple aspects of these earbuds to get you on with the things that matter, skipping the side clutter. Slide right into the important details!

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Review in a Nutshell

 

Pros

Cons

On-the-go Qi Wireless Charging

Narrower soundstage for audiophiles

Great Call Quality

Advance Codec Limitations

Availability of ANC with low and high levels

Patchy Voice Assistant Experience

Blingy and trendy finish

Not suitable for extended comfort use

Decent battery life

ANC experience not up to the mark

Immersive Sound

Upgrade to Samsung TWS line up: Comparing Buds Pro with its Predecessor Buds+

The Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds Plus are quite similar headsets in their look and feel. And why not! Both have the same manufacturer and were launched just months apart. The major distinguishing feature to be considered is that Buds Pro offers ANC while Buds Plus relies completely on passive isolation. Considering the power-consuming nature of ANC, the Buds Pro has a much shorter battery life than the Buds Plus.

 

Feature

Buds + (Predecessor)

Buds Pro

Waterproof Rating

IPX2

IPX7

Active Noise Cancellation

Not available

ANC available

Play Time

11H Earbud / 22H with Case

8H Bud/28H w/Case 

(ANC OFF)

Talk Time

7.5H Earbud / 15H with Case

5H Buds/17.5H w/Case (ANC OFF)

Comfort and Fit

More comfortable and secure fit owing to wingtips

No wingtips. Little uncomfortable for prolonged use

Bixby Voice Wakeup

NA

Available

Color Options

5 options – White, Cosmic Black, Aura Blue, Cloud Blue & Red

3 Options – Phantom Black, Phantom White, Phantom Violet

Price

$149.99

$179.99

What has not changed – Dual way dynamic speaker system, microphone quality, USB-C charging, Wireless Power Share, Compatibility with Galaxy Wearable App and support for AAC, SBC & Scalable Bluetooth codecs.

Before we dwell further, check out how Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro fares on key decision influencers for a buyer? Here is the rating.

Influencer

Rating for Galaxy Buds Pro

Sound Quality

Excellent

Waterproof Rating

Excellent

Design

Good

Comfort

Average

Noise Cancellation

Average

Battery Life

Good

Excellent – Exceeds Expectations

Good – Meets Expectations

Average – Meets Expectations but needs some improvement

Poor – Doesn’t Meet Expectations

Who should consider buying Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

So who would love using these buds? Check out to know if your use case fits in here.

  • Casual Listeners – If you are among those TWS users who like to keep things simple and just care about clean, good audio for your music, games and video streaming, then you won’t be saddened with Buds Pro.
  • Active listeners who are high on Style – Not all those who work out believe in raw and rugged. There are many who don’t want to compromise on sophistication or style even while doing their gym or run. Galaxy Buds Pro offer snug and secure fit that is suitable for an active lifestyle that refuses to give up on the grandeur. 
  • Samsung Phone Users – Samsung users are in for a treat because they get a host of special features supported selectively by Buds Pro. Those using the latest Samsung Phones and Tablets can get enthralled by spatial 360 surround audio, auto switch between Samsung devices, exclusive gaming mode, Scalable Bluetooth Codec, and many such “Samsung” only feature. 
  • If you care about Water and Sweat – If you often tread around water/ rain/ splashes/ sweat, you would love wearing the Buds Pro. With IPX7 water proof rating these are built to last some solid battle against moisture. 

Lets’ explore how easy or difficult it is to set up and tune these buds!

What’s inside the box?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro comes packed inside a neat-looking box with shiny metallic fonts on the front and highlights of the features at the back. Inside the box, you get the standard user guide and for the first time TWS users, there is even a diagram that shows how to insert the earbuds correctly in your ears. 

There is a charging cable in a separate plastic box, which has a USB-A (one end) port to USB-C port (other ends) type cable. It comes without the charging head though, which is probably Samsung’s effort to reduce e-waste. There is another tiny little box that is cute to hold and look at. It nests the silicone ear tips in varying sizes. 

And finally, there is the clamshell-style charging case that reminds you of the case that came with Galaxy Buds Live. The case feels small but sturdy and is branded with “Sound by AKG,” implying that the company has plenty of audio expertise to leverage. The top glossy surface features touch-sensitive controls for volume, noise cancellation, and skip tracks.  The earpieces sit inside the case snugly and stay latched magnetically. There is a small indicator light on the front to indicate the approximate battery level of the buds. 

The companion “Galaxy Wearable” app on Android allows for all possible feature customizations and EQ setup. Settings within the app include the ability to switch between ANC and ambient sound mode, set the ANC and Ambient Sound levels, use the voice detect feature, customize the touch-and-hold controls, update the firmware, adjust the equalizer, and more.

Box Contents:

  • 1 × Galaxy Buds Pro Earbuds
  • 1 × Charging Case
  • 3 × Ear-Tips Pair (S/M/L)
  • 1 × USB-C  Charging Cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Wear and Care Tips:

  • One-Step Connection: Simply open the charging case and it will automatically connect to your phone (after being paired the first time)
  • Check for the L and R written on the buds
  • Make sure the mic mesh is facing down. Adjust for a snug fit inside the ears
  • Choose from S, M, or L if you feel they are not snug enough
  • While cleaning the buds, remove the ear tips first. Use a dry and clean brush/earbud to wipe the speakers, air duct, mic mesh and charging contacts. This will ensure crystal clear sound quality
  • In case your earbuds get wet, dry them thoroughly before placing them back in the charging case 

User Guide:

  • Single touch to play/pause your music
  • Double touch plays the next song or answers/ends a call
  • Triple touch plays the previous track
  • Touch and hold activates your preset feature, which by default switches between ambient and noise cancellation modes (Requires Samsung Wearable App for this feature)
  • After the firmware update, the users can now increase or decrease the volume by double tapping on the earbud edges. Increase with double tap on right end and decrease with double tap on left end. 

Features and Functionality

Tech Specs

Ear bud Dimensions

0.81 x 0.77 x 0.82 Inches

Case Dimensions

1.97 x 1.98 x 1.09 Inches

Speaker Type

2-way 11 mm woofer, 6.5 mm Tweeter

Item weight

1.58 ounces

Connection

Bluetooth 5.0 

Bluetooth Profiles

A2DP, AVRCP, HFP

Average Battery Life

5-18 hours 

Waterproof Level

 IPX7

Batteries

1 Lithium Polymer battery

Charge Port

USB-C

Voice Assistant

Bixby Support

Form Factor

Wearable In-ear accessory

Release Month & Year

January, 2021

Color

Phantom Series – Black, Silver & Violet

Connectivity and Compatibility

  • Buds Pro offers a stable, efficient wireless connection with Bluetooth 5.0 and supports SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. 
  • Taking a cue from the Apple ecosystem, the Samsung Galaxy Buds range also works the best when used with a Samsung smartphone or tablet. For instance, the advanced codec support for Samsung’s proprietary Scalable Bluetooth Codec, which is considered to be on par with the Qualcomm aptX codec that’s seen on many high-end wireless headsets.
  • The advanced Bluetooth codec is only supported on modern Samsung Android devices. 
  • These buds are iOS and Android Compatible. Advanced features require Android devices (Running on Android 7.0 or higher with 1.5GB RAM or above) and are enabled via Galaxy Wearable app on Android

Build and Comfort

  • Buds pro feature a bean-free design with rubber tips that lets you experience inherent physical noise isolation. These buds offer a secure in-ear canal fit, that doesn’t come off even while vigorously shaking your head. The design looks premium with its glossy and futuristic appeal. For someone with small ears, these might look a little bulkily awkward as they jut out of the ears.
  • The Buds pro suffer from a major drawback. They are not recommended for prolonged use as they do amount to some ear fatigue. So if you are planning to wear them to bed, you might want to reconsider. 
  • The build is reminiscent of Airpods Pro with Samsung redesigning the buds to have only the thicker air tips enter the ears with air vents at the top to release the air pressure. This makes the Buds Pro feel like a true mash-up of Buds Live, Buds Plus, and Airpods Pro. 
  • The split between metallic and matte shades is highly pronounced and lends a luxurious feel to the buds. All three Phantom shades – “Silver, Black, and Violet” look splendid and sophisticated for different types of users.
  • The buds can be used in mono mode with either earbud and stay inside ears, even while you work out, dance, or run with them on. 
  • The touch controls are a bit sensitive and might pause or skip a song as you try to adjust your earpiece

Sound quality

  • The sound has a rich, deep bass and silky treble as claimed by Samsung. The balanced and natural sonic signature remains for all music genres while using the Scalable codec. However, the soundstage and detailing felt a bit constrained with other codec versions. Nevertheless, the overall sound quality is premium when delivered through a dual driver set up in each earbud ( 11 mm woofers and 6.5 mm tweeters).
  • The sound is massively loud, warm, and vibrant, probably one of the best ones in the Samsung earbuds series. The gaming and video watching experience is outstanding owing to the low latency and clear vocals. 
  • You can even tune into your zen zone with intelligent ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). The noise-canceling function has a high and low setting, and you can swap between them depending on your surroundings. However, the ANC is not groundbreaking and lacks as compared to other brands like Apple and Bose. 
  • “Voice Detect” feature shines the brightest. It auto switches the device to ambient mode when it detects your speech and lowers the music down. Plus, It lets you remain aware of your surroundings with four ambient levels available for selection.  
  • With superior mic quality, you can remain connected over calls/virtual meetings with your voice coming out loud and clear. All thanks to the new design of the Buds Pro that features 3 mics.  
  • There’s also AKG tuning and support for Dolby Atmos audio (Similar to Spatial Surround Sound in Apple)
  • The Galaxy Wearable app includes preset EQ profiles like Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost for you to pick from. However, a customized EQ option is not available. The app also lets you turn on settings like automatic voice detection, which lets the Galaxy Buds Pro swap between paired audio sources more easily (provided they’re signed in to your Samsung account).

Added Perks

  • The SmartThings Find Function is helpful to locate your misplaced buds, regardless if they are on/off. 
  • IPX7 water and sweat resistant – Rain and splashes won’t interrupt your workout. They’re even protected for immersion up to 3 feet deep for a half-hour.
  • The buds pro support Qi wireless charging. You can share your phone’s battery by placing your earbuds on the back of your compatible Galaxy device. 
  • If you have multiple Galaxy products, you can switch devices seamlessly with the Buds Pro using the Auto Switch feature.
  • Fast charging of 10 minutes gives 85 minutes of listening time.

FAQs – Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Airpods Pro or Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro – Which one to buy?

The answer to this question is as tricky as the comparison between these two earbuds. Galaxy Buds Pro and Apple Airpods both have their own set of pros and cons. You need to pick basis the “pro” that you definitely want and the “Con” that you are ready to forgo. 

Who wins where?

Feature

Apple Airpods Pro

Buds Pro

Waterproof Rating

IPX4

IPX7

Active Noise Cancellation

Available and effective

Available but not fully effective

Battery Life

More (Approx. 24 hours)

Lesser (Approx. 18 hours)

Voice Detect 

Not Available

Available

Comfort and Fit

Smaller, Lighter and Comfortable for extended use 

Little bulky and uncomfortable for prolonged use

Voice Assistant

Seamless

Complex and Patchy

3D Sound 

Spatial Surround Sound

360 Audio 

Color Options

Only 1 option – White

3 Options – Phantom Black, Phantom White, Phantom Violet

Price

$249.00, Expensive

$179.99, Cheaper

User Profile

Suited for iPhone Users

Suited for Android Users

Is it worth upgrading from the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus to Buds Pro?

One of the biggest reasons why someone would want to upgrade from Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus to Galaxy Buds Pro is for its noise-canceling technology (ANC). Of course, other perks like Samsung 360 Audio and IPX7 water-resistant rating are huge advantages too. But if these things don’t appeal to you as a buyer then you can go for the Buds Plus that are cheaper and offer better comfort & battery life. 

What is the summary of customer reviews for Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?

The web is filled with tons of customer reviews for Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. The Top 3 highlights identified from these reviews include:

  • Fitment is an issue owing to the “hump” in design and the need to adjust them as they seem to fall out often
  • Great sound quality with warm musical notes
  • Noteworthy ability to dim the sound of music on detecting your voice

Verdict

With the Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung finally has a flagship true wireless headset that matches up to the competition. You get good sound quality, decent battery life, great voice quality, and speech detection ambient awareness. If you do not care about ANC effectiveness or are a Samsung Smartphone user, then at $179.99 these buds are a total bang for your buck. But if you prefer effective noise cancellation or wear buds for an extended time, then maybe you can look elsewhere.

That said, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro still continues to create waves when it comes to a true-blue TWS and costs much lesser than other premium counterparts. These buds confidently check off most of the “must-have” features and even perform decently on the “good-to-haves”!

What do you Like or Don’t Like about Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro? 

Let us know in the comments section. It is always fun to read the thoughts of our readers. We look forward to it!

ernests.embutnieks

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