When it introduced the Galaxy Buds Pro this week, Samsung spent a lot of time designing its two-way speaker. The company claims that these headphones have “the most complete sound” of its true wireless range to date. After spending a week with them, I can tell you that is certainly true. Inside, an 11mm woofer handles the low end while a 6.5mm tweeter keeps the highs crisp and punchy. The result is a wide soundstage with real depth and solid clarity.
The vocals are crisp and cut even the most chaotic genres like progressive rock and metal. TesseracT Without, for example, has an atmospheric quality open to explosive drums and buzzing guitars. When tested with the Note 10+, this progressive metal sounded huge, not at all compressed like some headphones tend to do. The results aren’t as good when I switch to my MacBook Pro, but the sound quality is still solid. And with other genres, the details show through, with a big inch of bass when a song calls for it.
Thanks to the Galaxy Buds Pro ear tips, the ANC really makes a difference. It blocks out constant background noise like a dishwasher or a fan. Like most ANC setups, this won’t completely negate someone’s noisy zoom call, but it’s better than nothing.
In the Galaxy Wearable app, Samsung offers a selection of audio presets if you need something besides the default setting. There’s no manual EQ here, so your options are limited. And based on my experience, the sound the company gives you right away works best for most genres anyway.
To take over Apple’s spatial audio on AirPods Pro, Samsung offers a 360 Audio feature on Galaxy Buds Pro. It works the same as what’s available on Apple’s more sophisticated headphones. Built-in accelerometers use Dolby Head Tracking technology to create more immersive sound with Dolby Atmos content. The idea is to mimic surround sound by keeping the audio in the same place as you turn your head, so that you can “feel” which direction it is coming from.
Unfortunately, I was unable to put this to the test. 360 Audio will debut alongside the S21 range it was just announced this week. It will be available on Galaxy devices with One UI 3.1 or higher. When it arrives, it will be accessible through the Advanced tab of the Galaxy Wearable app.
As always, Samsung is improving the quality of calls on its latest headphones. Many companies do this, but ultimately perform poorly in practice. Samsung says the Galaxy Buds Pro can separate unwanted noise through a combination of three microphones and an accelerometer, or Voice Pickup Unit (VPU). Additionally, the company explains that one of the external mics is tuned with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to focus more on your voice rather than background chaos.
When I tested this, the person on the other end said I looked like I was on speakerphone – a common assessment of using headphones to make calls. They said they could hear the background noise, but it never stifled my voice. They quickly noticed that I sounded just “good”, not exactly crisp and clear.
As mentioned earlier, Samsung has also equipped the Galaxy Buds Pro with Wind Shield technology which should help you sound better when you need to take an outside call. Unfortunately we didn’t have any wind in North Carolina last week so I couldn’t test this. However, wind noise can be devastating to call quality on the headphones, so even a small improvement would help.
For everything Samsung overestimates, the company has passed the battery life estimates. It says you’ll be able to listen to the Galaxy Buds Pro for up to five hours with ANC and hands-free Bixby turned on. During my testing, I almost hit that mark on point every time, plus or minus about five minutes. When you factor in the charging case, you get up to 18 hours of total listening time.
If you need a few more hours, disabling the ANC and Bixby voice cues will allow you to push these headphones to 8 o’clock, or 28 hours in total with the case on. Plus, Samsung’s fast charging feature will give you five hours of listening time in five minutes. Finally, the Galaxy Buds Pro case is compatible with wireless charging – whether on a carpet or rug, or even on the back of a Galaxy device with Power Share.
It is clear that Samsung is targeting the AirPods Pro here. I mean, he named this model the Galaxy Buds Pro after all. The price, features, and sound quality align with Apple’s premium option of its popular headphones. Due to the addition of ear tips, the AirPods Pro are more comfortable than the base model, and the basic hands-free Siri functionality, quick pairing, and wireless charging are all there. The AirPods Pro also offer automatic device switching and spatial audio, so if you’re looking for something more that a lot of other headphones can muster in terms of immersive sound – and you’re an iPhone user – it’s worth it. worth taking into account.
In terms of total package, Sony WH-1000XM3 are always my first choice. Since their introduction in 2019, few companies have come close to delivering the mix of audio quality, noise cancellation, customization and features that Sony offers on its flagship model. For those who are primarily concerned with sound quality, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are the best option. They’re more expensive, but when it comes to pure audio chops, the company has come up with the formula for clarity, detail, and tuning for the tiny in-ear devices.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are Samsung’s most complete set of true wireless headphones to date. Unfortunately, these are also the most expensive. The sound quality is the best of any Galaxy Buds device to date and the really efficient ANC works well. Features like hands-free Bixby, automatic switching to ambient sound when talking, and wireless charging complete a compelling package. Galaxy Buds Pro will need this 360 Audio to fully compete with AirPods Pro, but it will happen soon. With this feature set, fans of the Samsung Galaxy series finally have a premium audio accessory to match their tech phones.