Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: True wireless headphones with intelligent ANC & 360 ° audio

They are there! They are there! Samsung’s much-anticipated unpacked event finally took place today, January 14th and the South Korean manufacturer presented the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. These are truly wireless headphones with ANC, which in some cases are even included with the new Samsung Galaxy S21. Tech Markup is going to have a Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review below.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro price is 229 euros. The headphones can be pre-ordered from this Thursday until January 28th via the official Samsung Store, a wireless charger is included.

With 229 euros, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is logically located in the high-end segment. But they’re cheaper than the Sony WF-1000XM3 (€ 250) or Apple’s Airpods Pro (€ 280) at their respective release prices.

The design is significantly more classic, or at least less experimental, than the Galaxy Buds Live launched last August, but the full range of high-end features is there. Solid 4 to 8 hours of battery life (with and without ANC), intelligent and adaptive noise cancellation, 360 ° audio, etc. The Buds Pro is more than interesting on paper, even if Samsung is silent about some important technical details.

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has a more classic in-ear design than the Galaxy Buds Live / © Samsung

Balanced sound for all tastes with an emphasis on microphones

Like many manufacturers, Samsung is unfortunately rather laconic when it comes to the audio specifications of its headphones. How big is the frequency range? Which audio codecs do the new headphones support? No information was provided on this subject. (I will update the article as soon as I get a response from Samsung).

Samsung, however, promises that the Galaxy Buds Pro will “deliver a dynamic and balanced sound experience” using an 11 mm woofer and a 6.5 mm tweeter to reproduce bass and treble. The result is likely a “V” signature that accentuates both ends of the frequency spectrum while leaving the midrange a little behind.

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Of course, we have to convince ourselves of this in our tests. But this audio profile corresponds to what the majority of manufacturers offer and therefore what the majority of users expect from true wireless headphones.

Samsung also highlights the quality of the microphones for phone calls (or video conferencing). The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has 3 integrated microphones per earphone, 2 of which are responsible for analyzing external noise (for ANC) and the other for analyzing noise in the ear. An additional voice recording unit per earphone is also included and is only intended for voice.

Samsung states that the Galaxy Buds Pro is capable of recognizing the user’s voice and isolating it from ambient noise for better call quality. Samsung also mentions its Wind Shield technology, which is used in the design of the Buds and helps limit wind-induced audio interference through aerodynamics and the presence of a line filter.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Technical datasheet

Specs
Dimensions & weight
  • Earphones: 19.5 x 20.5 x 20.8 mm, 6.3 g
  • Casing: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm, 45 g
battery
  • Headphone: 61 mAh
  • Casing: 472 mAh
Battery life while listening
  • ANC to: up to 5 hours on the headphones / up to 18 hours with the bag
  • ANC off: up to 8 hours on the headphones / up to 28 hours with the bag
Battery life with charging case
  • ANC one: up to 4 hours only headphones / up to 14.5 hours with charging case
  • ANC off: up to 5 hours only headphones / up to 17.5 hours with charging case
Microphones 3 microphones per earphone (2 outside, 1 inside) + 1 voice recording unit
driver AKG coaxial 2-way loudspeaker with 11 mm woofer and 6.5 mm tweeter
Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • No multipoint, automatic device change only with a Samsung smartphone or tablet registered to the same Samsung account
ANC
  • “Smart” active noise cancellation: 99% reduction in Ambient noise / 2 setting levels
  • Transparency mode: Enhancement of ambient noise up to +20 dB / 4 setting levels
Waterproof IPX7
Charging options
  • USB-C wired charge
  • wireless charging with Qi standard
  • wireless reverse charging
To dye Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Purple

Smart, adaptive, and energy-efficient ANC

Samsung offers active noise suppression for the Galaxy Buds Pro. This is standard with current true wireless headphones and even Soundcore has integrated the feature into its new Liberty Air 2 Pro. This ANC would be “intelligent” and would reduce ambient noise by up to 99%. We would have liked clearer and more specific figures, e.g. B. with information on the number of decibels.

Active noise suppression offers two setting levels. Samsung explains that the ANC can adapt to your sound environment. Perhaps the Galaxy Buds Pro with the microphones and an algorithm adjust the intensity of the ANC according to the intensity of the outside noise itself.

Since the active noise cancellation works automatically, it should also consume less energy. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has an announced battery life of 5 hours when listening and up to 18 hours with the case with activated ANC. Without ANC, the runtime increases to up to 8 hours (and up to 28 hours with the case).

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The Galaxy Buds Pro is designed to strengthen Samsung’s ecosystem, even if that means limiting functions on other devices. / © Samsung

The Galaxy Buds Pro support wired USB-C charging, wireless Qi charging, and wireless reverse charging. However, the manufacturer does not provide any precise information about the speed of this charge. It is also not known how long it takes the device to charge.

Samsung also highlights the various transparency modes for enhancing ambient noise. The Galaxy Buds Pro has a “talk” mode that automatically amplifies outside noise when you are talking to someone by turning the headphones off the ANC and/or turning down the music volume.

Strangely enough, we get the very useful information that this ambient mode is able to amplify ambient noise by up to +20 decibels, with the setting being made in 4 levels.

Bluetooth multipoint limited to Samsung products, game mode and 360 ° audio mode

One of the most important functions to discuss in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review, however, is the ability to switch effortlessly and smoothly between paired devices. If you watch a video on your tablet and the boss suddenly calls you, you can automatically switch the sound from your tablet to your smartphone.

The only catch is that this feature is only available on Samsung devices. So it is a kind of proprietary multipoint Bluetooth. Samsung states that the automatic changeover only works with Samsung smartphones and tablets that have to be registered with the same Samsung account.

It’s a shame Samsung is limiting such a useful feature, but the decision is understandable from Samsung’s point of view. Because in this way the manufacturer naturally strengthens its own ecosystem. Isn’t Apple doing exactly the same thing?

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is available in 3 colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Violet / © Samsung

Another interesting feature is the integration of Dolby’s 360 ° audio technology into the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. This technology uses “head-tracking” functions and is intended to enable the user to perceive the direction of the sound that moves around him when he is watching movies or playing games. Apple also introduced a similar feature with the AirPods Max.

A 3D spatiality of sound that should also work during recording and not just during playback. Specifically, Samsung explains that its Buds Pro would be able to record sound in 3D, for example for a video, by synchronizing the headphone microphones with those of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

I can’t wait to try this feature out and see how much it improves the audio experience. Finally, Samsung promises a “gaming” mode to minimize latency and optimize the gaming experience.

What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review? Which function are you most interested in? What are your expectations of 360 ° audio for microphones? And what about the price/performance ratio at the recommended price of 229 euros? Let us know in the comments.

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