Great fit, even better ANC!
In August, Samsung came up with a series of flagship products that included Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Of the range, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro was one product that we felt had the potential to significantly improve on its predecessor, given how the audio performance of the flagship wireless earphones still approaches the ideal standard. After reviewing both foldable smartphones and Galaxy Smart Watchwe turned our attention to the best TWS that Samsung offers. Samsung has priced the Buds2 Pro at Rs 17,999, so if you’re looking to upgrade, you’ll probably want the best at that price. So how does this TWS stack up against other premium earphones on the market? We’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro for a week, here’s our in-depth review.
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Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro Review: Design
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When you unbox the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, you get a charging case with the earbuds inside, a USB-C charging cable, two extra pairs of earbuds, and a quick start guide. The box itself is very elegant and compact.
The square charging case has rounded edges and sides and has a rubber matte finish. A small notification light sits on the underside of the lid, while the USB charging port finds its way to the back. The matte finish feels quite premium, but the case tends to attract smudges from dirt. Other than that, the hinge and lid are pretty sturdy, and the case can easily withstand rough use.
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After opening the lid, you will notice a warning light between the two charging modules. The headphones are smaller compared to the previous avatar, which significantly improves the fit. The headphones will also get a matte finish. Similarity in texture enhances the feel of the product in your hand. Each earcup also includes a microphone and ANC pressure relief vent.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro fit like a charm. By reducing the size of the earbuds, Samsung has significantly improved the fit. The rubber texture coupled with the light weight of the earplugs provides a great level of comfort and you can easily wear the earplugs for hours without noticing they are there. The cut was so snug and airtight that we didn’t even feel the need to adjust the buds that often.
Buds2 Pro has an IPX7 rating, meaning it can easily withstand light rain and sweaty workouts. At work, the Buds2 Pro proved to be one of the best TWS we’ve used. The rubber texture doesn’t slip even when things get sweaty. The headphones require minimal adjustment once you put them on and you can barely feel them when you have them on.
Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro Review: Performance
While the Buds2 Pro are excellent in terms of build quality and comfort, what really matters to most users is the audio performance and level of ANC they provide. First, the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro are incredibly easy to connect, especially for Samsung users. We used Buds2 Pro with the Samsung Galaxy M31 and the ease of connection was unparalleled when we tried using the headphones with other non-Samsung smartphones.
“Samsung Seamless Codec” is reserved for Samsung smartphone users, while other Android users have to rely on AAC or SBC codecs. The “auto switch” feature is also exclusively reserved for Samsung users. Samsung will also introduce LE audio support when it becomes available in the future. Android users will need to download the “Galaxy Wearable” app to use all the features of the headset. Since the app is not available in the App Store, iPhone users will have to settle for the most basic features. One of the better parts of using the Buds2 Pro with a Samsung smartphone is that it prompts you to connect the headphones every time you open the charging case lid, even if Bluetooth is turned off on your smartphone.
Moving on to the audio performance, Samsung definitely upped his game on the Buds2 Pro. The output has a good mix of frequencies. The sound is not overtly bassy, the lower frequencies blend very smoothly and provide a very balanced sound profile. However, if you want your music to have a strong bass element, you can use the ‘Bass boost’ function from the equalizer in the Galaxy Wearable app. All in all, the Buds2 Pro delivered a rock-solid sound output.
When it comes to ANC, the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro is probably the best in the business right now. Wearing the Buds2 Pro indoors, we were able to easily tune out the general noise and white noise looming around the house. Lower frequencies were completely canceled. Traveling with the Buds2 Pro in the ear also proved to be an amazing experience. Engine and traffic noise have been largely muted. The higher frequencies of the blaring horns still came through but didn’t prove to be annoying. Excellent ANC quality, along with a comfortable fit, means you can easily put on the headphones on a long flight or bus ride and experience the luxury of silence on the go.
During phone calls, the performance of the Buds2 Pro was satisfactory, but Samsung can definitely improve in its future iterations. The headphones do an excellent job of isolating the voice from ambient noise, but the quality of the sound transmitted during a call still remains a bit square and flat. There is certainly room for improvement here.
If you want to get the most out of your Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, you won’ted to download the Samsung Wearable app. The Wearable app gives you access to a wide range of features and unlocks the true potential of Buds2 Pro. First, you can turn off ANC or set it to ‘Ambient Sound’ mode. Samsung’s “Voice Detect” feature can also be turned on from the app. This feature turns off ANC and lowers the music volume every time it detects your voice. Volume and ANC will reset when the headphones do not detect your voice for 15 seconds. This feature is very useful when you’re around people, but you’ll definitely need to turn it off if you want to sing along to music with headphones on.
Samsung has also incorporated “360 audio” into the Buds2 Pro. 360 Audio hits you with sound from all directions and creates an immersive experience. Head tracking adjusts the direction of sound when you turn your head, so it always sounds like it’s coming from a video source. We found the 360 Audio feature to be quite nice when watching videos, but in its current form serves no purpose when listening to music.
Finally, in the equalizer you will find 5 presets, but the option to manually control the output is missing. You can also customize the touch controls with the Wearable app. If you are actively using your smartphone while listening to music, you can also turn off touch control.
With ANC enabled, Samsung claims you’ll get up to 5 hours of playback on the headphones, with another 18 hours in the case. With ANC off, you can work on the buds for up to 8 hours and another 21 hours in the case. We always used the Buds2 Pro with ANC enabled and got a steady 4 hours 55 minutes from the headphones. Compared to the competition in this particular price segment, Samsung should aim to increase these numbers. However, if you’ll be using these headphones mostly at home, battery life won’t be an issue.
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After a week of thorough use, we have only good things to say about the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro. The price tag of Rs 17,999 might be a bit expensive, but the audio output and state-of-the-art ANC more than make up for it. If you’re looking to upgrade to premium TWS with high-end ANC, you might want to consider spending a bit more on the Buds2 Pro. However, if you’re using an iPhone, we suggest you stick with AirPods, as the range of features will be extremely limited with the Buds2 Pro.
Excellent level of active noise cancellation
Very comfortable fit
A significant improvement in the sound profile
Some features are reserved for Samsung smartphones
Battery life could be a little better
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