On this point, Samsung has a lot of experience in making truly wireless headphones. While the company soon flexibleed its design mechanism with the Galaxy Buds line, it didn’t always nail the details. It recovers quickly with the second part, Galaxy Buds +, and since then Samsung has continued to refine the aesthetic, improving the sound quality and adding handy features. It even found time for a polarized open-wear model with Galaxy Buds Live.
While the Leguminous Live was Samsung’s first headset with active noise cancellation (ANC), the open design made the feature ineffective. With Galaxy Buds Pro launched early last year, the company is finally offering true ANC, but there’s still room for improvement in terms of both noise blocking and overall sound quality. Now Samsung is back with version 2.0 among its flagship headphones, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($230). Not only is this kit smaller and more comfortable, but it also represents the great achievements the company has made over the past year and a half. However, the most attractive features are still reserved for Samsung followers.
- Wonderful sound
- More suitable
- Improved ANC
- Samsung Exclusive Features
- Battery life
- Call quality
- Touch control makes proper adjustment complicated
Overall, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a design quite similar to last year’s Buds Pro, but with a few notable changes. First, this new model is 15% smaller than the 2021 version, which means they fit better in your ears and are more comfortable in the long run. Furthermore, Samsung has added a vent on the inside of each earphone to help relieve pressure. Of course, their diminutive stature means they fit snugly in your ears, leaving very little sticking out of your head. It’s a design that Samsung adopted very early on for its earbuds, and subsequent models have continued to be pleasingly slim.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has a soft-touch matte finish while the Galaxy Buds Pro is a glossy finish. I prefer the former because it’s more pleasant to the touch and not a fingerprint magnet. However, it doesn’t necessarily provide more of a grip, and the surface doesn’t affect touch controls. The included charging case for the Buds 2 Pro is covered in the same matte finish, so it’s also very tactilely pleasant. Like the Buds Pro, this model is IPX7 rated, allowing you to submerge the headphones in “fresh water” up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes, according to Samsung.
Most of the touch controls are mirrored on both headphones. There’s a single tap to play/pause, double tap to skip forward, triple tap to go back, and customizable touch and hold gestures. That long press can be used to change the noise control – ANC/ambient sound, ANC/off, or ambient sound/off – or to summon Bixby, activate Spotify, or control the volume ( decrease on the left, up on the right). If you don’t want to sacrifice some other features for volume, there’s an additional Labs option that lets you double-tap the front edge of the headset to adjust the sound level.
It’s a bit difficult to master, but I didn’t have any serious problems with edge mining once I understood it. The real discomfort with the touch controls comes in when you try to adjust the fit of the headphones. The Buds 2 Pro fit well, but as is the case with all true wireless models, you have to frequently reposition them in your ears. Due to the sensitivity of those touch panels and the small size of the buds, it’s easy to make a wrong touch when you’re just trying to re-adjust. It has happened often enough to be very frustrating in the past two weeks.
Software and features
Like previous Samsung earbuds, all features and settings for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are accessible through the Galaxy Wearable app on Android devices. Unfortunately, the company has remained consistent with recent models by not offering an iOS version. Samsung used to have onr, which makes its bud a great choice for both operating systems, but that hasn’t been the case for a while. You can still use the headphones with an Apple device, but you’ll lose some of the more compelling features if you do.
Inside the app, you’ll get the battery percentage for both the headset and the case right on top. The home screen also gives you access to noise controls, so you can see what mode is active (ANC, off, or ambient sound) and make changes to the software if needed. Just below, there are options to enable/disable Voice Detection, 360 audio, touch controls, and find lost headphones. Voice recognition is a new Samsung feature that can tell when you’re talking and automatically activate ambient sounds and lower the audio volume for quick chats.
By default, the tool will return to normal 10 seconds after you stop speaking, but you can also set that time to 5 or 15 seconds. In my tests, the Voice Recognition worked well, and it doesn’t seem to be as easily fooled as Sony’s version of the feature. It also continues to work when I connect to my MacBook Pro, not just to a Samsung or Android device. However, I prefer Sony’s method of pausing the audio completely over just turning the volume down with the Speak-to-Chat tool. So while it’s handy, Samsung’s choice of Sony’s feature isn’t easy to use despite its more accurate voice detection.
Collection: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review | 12 photos
Collection: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review | 12 photos
The Galaxy Wearables app also offers more detailed settings such as EQ presets, headset fit check, notification reading, hands-free Bixby, ambient sound during calls, in-ear detection for devices calls, seamless connection with select Samsung devices, neck strain reminder and Labs Features. There are many things packed in this software. Everything is pretty straightforward, but I will note that the second Labs tool is Game Mode designed to minimize lag.
There is also an Accessibility section that allows you to adjust the left/right balance. Here you can also choose to keep ANC active when you remove a headset (Buds 2 Pro disables this feature by default), and you can adjust the volume and tone of the ambient sound to suit your hearing. his senses. Some help with environmental sound amplification not new for headphonesbut it’s nice that Samsung offers a degree of customization here.
One category still in use is LE Audio. Samsung mentioned this during its recent event, explaining that the feature will allow you to record 360 ambient sound while streaming or recording. For example, if you are going live. Not many details have been shared, except for the feature that will launch later this year. Buds 2 Pro will also support Bluetooth LEThe next generation wireless audio standard is being Introduced for the first time in 2020.
Samsung’s earbuds never really impressed me in terms of sound quality. They ranged from good to good, but never really great. Well, for the first time, the company has wowed this annoying headphone reviewer. The Buds 2 Pro pack plenty of bass with a pleasingly open sound that’s both full, detailed, and clear. The lows are also deep and nuanced, not just a heavy dose of thunder boom.
Many earbuds deliver a balanced sound with good bass. What separates the great from the good often lies in the subtle details that are hard for something so small to reproduce. Samsung does this with a combination of a 10mm woofer for the low end and a 5.3mm tweeter for treble reduction. Across many genres, that setup allows for a clear and deep sound, keeping songs layered and immersive rather than compressed and cluttered. For example, Amanda Shires’ vocals seem to float on every song throughout her latest album Take it like a man.
A key part of the upgraded sound quality is 24-bit/48kHz Hi-Fi audio processing. Samsung’s new Seamless Codec (SSC) enables 256x more audio data to be transferred from your device to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. On the previous model, 24-bit audio was converted to 16-bit by the time it reached the headset. Swiping through the Android developer settings confirmed that 24-bit/48kHz was indeed coming from the Galaxy S21 FE 5G that I used to test the Buds 2 Pro, but there was no mention of the bitrate. That number would be an indication of overall quality.