Cases And Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Professional assessment: sound, battery, options

“Galaxy Buds Pro offers excellent convenience, solid audio quality and good ANC. But they’re not a complete package with tricky touch controls and just average call quality. ”

  • Automatic audio passthrough is awesome

  • Simple and small charging case

  • Comfortable design

  • Great bluetooth connection

  • Touch controls can be tricky

  • Touch controls still cannot be customized

  • The call quality is not “Pro” at all

Samsung’s accessory strategy seems pretty consistent: switch to a category and repeat the steps. The smartwatches and fitness trackers appear to be updated randomly and without a set schedule. The same applies to smartphone accessories. More recently, it has jumped into true wireless earbuds in large measure. The first Galaxy Buds were released less than two years ago in March 2019. Since then, we’ve released the Galaxy Buds + and Galaxy Buds Live, which only launched a few months ago, in August last year.

Now we are here with the new Galaxy Buds Pro. It is not immediately obvious what is so “pro” about them, other than that they have a few extra features over Buds Live and are more expensive. But I’m here to find out.

Sound quality and battery life

True wireless earbuds will never impress audiophiles. Fortunately for Samsung, I’m not an audiophile. As someone who is perfectly satisfied with the audio quality of mine Bose QC35 bluetooth headphonesWith my car’s standard stereo system and my last half-dozen pairs of true wireless earbuds, I can’t particularly complain about the sound quality of the Buds Pro.

A basic equalizer with presets for Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble Boost is available in the app. The earbuds sound rather flat in “normal” and the other modes feel … overly processed, but luckily I was happy with “dynamic” for all of my listening. I spend most of my day playing podcasts or YouTube music, and the Buds Pro play swimming.

When you have active noise cancellation (ANC) activated, everything sounds “better” immediately because you can hear everything more clearly. This will never challenge the ANC offered through over-ear headphones and really shut out the world around you, but it does a decent job of softening ambient noise and keeping you focused on your own audio. Samsung says you can “fine tune” the noise cancellation you want, but … you can’t. It’s either high, low, or off.

Get your sound quality expectations right and remember, these are true wireless earbuds.

You can say that my standards are too low, but I agree with the majority of potential Buds Pro buyers – as long as the quality is above average for the segment, we’ll be happy. What matters more is how good the rest of the experience is.

Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Samsung nails it with its battery life estimates. It cites the Buds Pro after eight hours of playback or five hours with ANC enabled, and that was right for me. I turned on ANC almost exclusively and I never received a low battery alarm. I won’t be wearing wireless earbuds for more than five hours in a row – they will come out to give my ears a break or because I just can’t hear anything.

Five to eight hours of battery is just right, and the case charges the buds quickly.

Like all real wireless earbuds, they charge very quickly in this case. Just 10 minutes will bring back a significant amount of charge, and the case is designed to hold one and a half charges for the earbuds. Not bad for a tiny case that includes wireless charging itself. The thick “circle” shape is still not as pocket-friendly as the elongated Google Pixel Buds case, but small enough not to be a problem.

One thing that could affect battery life more severely is answering phone calls during the day, which I rarely do but test because Samsung has put so much emphasis on call quality. Calls frankly were not clear or of any high quality. When used with my Galaxy S21, the inbound quality was flawless – my outbound quality was poor. Callers said I sounded “blurry” and it echoed when I spoke inside. If I do a quick test and listen to someone else talking on the Buds Pro, I understand what it means – the Buds Pro delivers outbound audio just like any random phone on the speakerphone. Her voice is flat and mixed with a lot of room noise.

Features, design and comfort

Samsung made a bold decision with the Galaxy Buds Live, introducing a new design that rests on the outside of your ear instead of using earbuds that fit in your ear. It had little to no passive noise isolation to make her more comfortable, and instead tried to rely heavily on ANC. It was uncomfortable and they never really fit my ears – in addition to providing noise isolation which was terrible on the city streets.

The Buds Pro revert to a “normal” design, with rubber earbuds that go into your ear and provide passive suppression, in addition to ANC. Even with these earplugs, I found the Buds Pro more comfortable than the Buds Live. I immediately adjusted to the larger tips like I usually do and they naturally found their place in my ears and didn’t require much adjustment.

The Buds Pro are much more comfortable than Buds Live – with better noise isolation.

Even with hours of carrying around the house, running around running errands around town, and running, I never had problems with the readjustment or feeling like they were going to fall out. They are so small and so light that I’ve never had ear problems. My only problem with running was the ANC, which was causing annoying sound clips at almost every step. I had to turn it off, which honestly isn’t a problem – it’s best to have a feel for your surroundings while so out and about.

But that’s a little bit opposite to the way the Buds Pro were set up. From Samsung’s point of view, you should never have to manually turn off ANC or take out your earbuds as they have advanced intelligent audio pass-through capabilities. By default, a long press on one of the earbuds will activate audio pass-through and decrease the volume of your media so you can hear the world around you. More interestingly, the same thing can happen when the earbuds sense that you are speaking – it works seriously every time and wasn’t accidentally triggered every time you walked down the street, shopping in stores, and on the subway with people nearby to lead.

Audio passthrough works, but you can’t get around the awkwardness of speaking to people with it.

The audio passthrough works! The problem is, no matter how good the speech recognition and audio passthrough are, it’s still the hell of a lot of awkwardness to use in an actual conversation. I still have rubber earbuds in my ears, which affects my speaking volume. And the person you are talking to can see that you have earbuds, which only adds to the awkwardness.

Worse, for some reason if audio pass-through automatically turns on while speaking, your music just turns down the volume. So you know you are trying to talk to someone but you don’t turn off your music or podcast? It is confusing. It’s a no-win situation, however, as it’s always annoying to quickly pull out a tiny earbud (or two) when someone talks to you unexpectedly. So I assume that passthrough is better in a pinch – but I’d never plan to speak to anyone while wearing the Buds Pro.

Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

The only problem with the Buds Pro design is the touch controls – quite a big problem. Going back to the original Galaxy Buds, I could never use them consistently. There’s a single tap to pause / play, a double tap to search forward, and a triple tap to search back – but if I try either, there is no guarantee it will work. It usually fails when a tip is less registered than intended – a search becomes a pause, and a pause or game is simply overlooked. That could be my problem, although I’ve never had a problem with that Pixel buds’” Touch controls.

It is imperative that Samsung start with the ability to customize touch controls. That’s ridiculous.

A universal problem is that the controls are not customizable. You can just change the long press action – between ambient noise triggering, Bixby, volume down, and Spotify – and choose one action per earbud. Otherwise it’s set in stone, so now I have to decide whether to trigger ambient noise or adjust the volume … why? With other earbuds, you can customize and use separate Activities for each earbud. That’s not very “pro”.

Our opinion

The Galaxy Buds Pro are a great pair of everyday wearable true wireless earbuds. They’re neither suitable nor would they ever be for audiophiles, but the sound quality on offer is okay for the segment – and with a good ANC, they more than get the job done. Comfort is excellent so you can wear them for hours and maximize their battery life from five to eight hours. The body is compact – it is the same size as the Buds Live but smaller than the Buds Live Jabra Elite 75T – and the basics of the earphone experience, like a strong bluetooth connection and easy device switching, are very much appreciated.

They don’t have anything “pro” other than the fact that they are Samsung’s most expensive earbuds. In a vacuum of Samsung’s own line of earbuds, it’s strange that you have to pay $ 200 for Buds Pro, which in most cases isn’t much better than the $ 140 Buds Live – but when compared to over the competition They look pretty good at $ 200.

Are there any better alternatives?

Even at this high price, there are multiple competitors. Of course, if you have an iPhone, this is something you should consider the AirPods Pro – They don’t look that great, but the audio quality, ease of use, and noise cancellation are just as good. Alternatively there is the Jabra Elite 85twho are all around fantastic earbuds.

It’s also easy to find a great pair of earphones that are cheaper. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live have already been reduced to $ 140, and if they fit your ears properly, they make a great alternative. It is Galaxy Buds +that don’t have an ANC but are otherwise comparable cost only $ 110.

How long will they last?

The nature of wireless earbuds is that as long as you take care of them, they will last for several years with no problem. They are water and sweat resistant and have no moving parts. Just keep them in their case and they will be happy for years to come.

Should you buy it?

Yes. This is a great pair of true wireless earbuds for everyday use. They have solid audio quality, good noise cancellation, and audio passthrough that is the icing on the cake. They are expensive, but competitively priced with the other market leaders.

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