Samsung introduced the Galaxy Buds Pro alongside the Galaxy S21 series, and after spending a lot of time with its latest and greatest TWS headphones, it’s time to share our findings.
On paper, the Galaxy Buds Pro are some of the best headphones on the market right now, building on the top Galaxy Buds + and adding ANC (Active Noise Canceling).
The new Galaxy Buds Pro looks like the predecessor Galaxy Buds +, but the case is actually closer to that of the Galaxy Buds Live – square with a hinge on one side. The Buds Pro come in three Phantom colors – Silver, Purple, Black – and all of them are spectacular.
There are three sizes of ruber tips in the retail box, but unlike the Buds +, you don’t get options for the fender tips. This caused issues with the fit for some of our team, who found the Buds Pro uncomfortable for extended use.
The comfort of the TWS earbuds varies widely from user to user and while the three sizes of eartips cover most ear types, the fact that the customization is more limited than the outgoing model isn’t great. .
Once you manage to nestle the buds in your ears, the magic ensues. The Noise Controls menu includes two levels of active noise reduction, low and high, and four ambient sound choices.
Active noise cancellation is really a godsend, and both options have practical use – High is for areas heavily polluted by noise like streets or supermarkets with unpleasant music. At the same time, Low is a softer setting that isolates heavy bass. Keep in mind that the Buds Pro offer great passive isolation, so even without ANC, outside sound was largely blocked.
Switching between ANC and Ambient Sound is a simple tap and hold, as long as it’s configured in the Wear app. The volume control is also done by touch gestures.
Galaxy Buds are extremely loud – we certainly don’t recommend listening to 100% music for an extended period of time. These are the most powerful headphones we’ve ever tested, but more importantly, they’re hands down the best headphones Samsung has ever made. The box bears the “Sound by AKG” brand, a reminder that the company has a great deal of audio expertise to exploit.
The manufacturer achieved the excellent sound experience with 2-way speakers with 11mm woofer for full bass and 6.5mm tweeter with low distortion – music sounds as crisp as it gets while podcasts are so detailed that we could hear details like crisp paper in the Background.
Samsung has also provided vents above each bud which help them sound less echoing.
The Galaxy Buds Pro also come with three microphones – a dual array on the inside to recognize where voice is coming from and a microphone on the outside to erase surrounding sound.
The Galaxy Buds Pro can be connected like any other Bluetooth headset. Nevertheless, they will work fine after installing the Galaxy Wearable app and the proprietary driver (both are available on Google Play and the App Store).
Samsung phones with One UI and Android 11 can connect two pairs of Galaxy Buds simultaneously, allowing two people to listen to the same music together. And they don’t have to be the buds Pro – two pairs of buds will do the job. There’s virtually no lag, and a user can even use headphones of different pairs to see the difference between the Pro and the non-Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro case comes with a battery capacity of 472mAh, while each bud holds a charge of 61mAh. In total, that would make 28 hours of gameplay with ANC off and 20 hours with ANC on. It’s excellent battery life and with the case supporting Qi and USB-C wireless charging, you’ll never run out of charging options.
5 minutes on a standard 5A pad gives about an hour of music playback, while a full charge from 0 to 100% takes about 60 minutes. Samsung claims the headphones can play music for 8 hours without the ANC and about 5 hours with the feature turned on, but we couldn’t match those numbers in our testing. We tested the Galaxy Buds Pro with a Galaxy S20, and they lasted just over 6 hours with ANC off and around 4 hours with ANC on.
Once again, we doubt anyone will be comfortable having the Buds Pro in their ears for that long, when a quick break every hour or so would make battery life practically an issue.
Samsung is selling the Galaxy Buds Pro for € 229 / $ 199, which is € 50 / $ 50 more than the Buds + price last year. However, we think the extra money is worth it, as the Buds are a great bundle – long battery life with easy charging options, wonderful immersive sound, and a trendy look.
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