Updated: March 11, 2021 8:40:46 am
The Galaxy Buds, which I have been using since launch, offered great sound but had some issues too. My main pain point was how they kept falling out of my ears. As an iPhone user, I also struggled to take calls using the Galaxy Buds.
The new Galaxy Buds Pro finally addressed all those issues, to some extent. Samsung’s flagship wireless earbuds not only sound great but also come with features like active noise cancellation and 3D audio, making the Buds Pro as feature-packed as the AirPods Pro.
I have spent the past seven days using the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, and here’s how I found them.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Comfort and fit
The Galaxy Buds Pro reminds you of the Galaxy Buds+ which means they have a rounded earbud design with a glossy finish, as opposed to the open-air Galaxy Buds Live. Because the Galaxy Buds Pro are rounded and don’t protrude out of the ear much, the earbuds feel comfortable to wear over longer periods of time. In fact, they fit well and create a good seal that blocks ambient noise. Samsung also includes different silicone tip sizes which should create a good seal. These buds are extremely portable and the carrying case is small enough to keep in most pockets.
Like the previous in-ear buds from Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Pro also features touch controls. You can tap once to play or pause audio, tap twice to skip the track forward, and tap three times to skip the track backward. My issue with the touch controls is that they are pre-programmed and there is no way to remap them.
Not to forget the Galaxy Buds Pro have an IPX7 rating, meaning these earbuds are more durable against water and sweat. The AirPods Pro, in comparison, come with the IPX4 rating. They can withstand sweat but in the case of the Galaxy Buds Pro, you can submerge them in water for up to 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: The sound quality is ‘wow’
The Galaxy Buds Pro aren’t meant to impress audiophiles but rather people like myself who recently discovered the joy of listening to music while working from home.
Testing a pair of headphones or truly wireless earbuds is like attending a wine appreciation and tasting session. Audio quality can be subjective; it’s more about personal preference. As for sound quality, the Buds Pro are a step up from the original Galaxy Buds. For me, personally, the Galaxy Buds Pro felt well-balanced throughout.
When listening to “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile, the piano-based balled which has a neo-classical sound comes alive, with clear vocals. The earbuds do a good job with deep bass, in case of listening to “Up” by Cardi B. I also listened to YouTube videos and podcasts, and the audio coming from the Buds Pro was satisfactory.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Active noise cancelling
Working from home can be distracting at times, especially when you are in the middle of an important call. The Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds, however, do have active noise cancellation (ANC). Samsung claims that ANC can block up to 99 per cent of outside noise, and while I don’t have any mechanism to test those claims, these earbuds worked well to block out external noise. Since there is construction going on in my house, the ANC did a fine job in cutting down on noise coming from a tile cutter being run nearby. The ANC can be adjusted on the Galaxy Buds Pro — you can either set low or high. However, I didn’t find a lot of differences between them.
Besides watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts, I liked the Galaxy Buds Pro for attending calls. I can speak to the person on the other end of the call at normal volumes, even outdoors. The earbuds also have the 360-audio feature with Dolby head tracking technology. I could not test it as the feature only works with devices running Samsung’s latest software OneUI 3.1.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Battery life
The Galaxy Buds Pro can last up to five hours with the noise cancelling feature enabled. Thankfully, if you want more battery life, the case offers additional 2.5 charges. Turning off noise cancellation and the earbuds can last can support up to 8 hours of listening time and up to 28 hours with the case. The battery life varies on your usage. The supplied charging case also supports Qi-enabled wireless charging. There’s a light outside of the case that turns orange when the earbuds are charging, and becomes green when fully charged.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Designed for Android
To be clear, the Galaxy Buds Pro are made for Samsung’s Android smartphones and tablets. I used the Galaxy Buds Pro with both iPhone 12 and Pixel 3XL, and although the earbuds work fine on both devices, you won’t have the same audio features on iOS as would find on Android. When I used the Buds Pro with my iPhone 12, I realised that the Galaxy Wearables app on iOS lacks support for Samsung’s newest earbuds. I had to forgo features like 3D audio, customisable audio profile and settings. Luckily, I had the Pixel 3XL with me, so I could access a customisable audio profile using the Galaxy Wearable app and try out features like ANC, equaliser and voice detect, a feature that lowers your music volume and turns on ambient sound.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Should you buy them?
If you have an iPhone, choose the AirPods Pro and if you are someone who lives in Samsung’s ecosystem, go with the Galaxy Buds Pro. You cannot go wrong with either of them. I think the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro do come close to the AirPods Pro – be it in terms of hardware design to sound quality. The Buds Pro earbuds offer excellent sound quality as well as top-notch noise-cancelling. They are not cheap, though. At Rs 15,900, the Galaxy Buds Pro are definitely priced on a higher side but undercuts the AirPods Pro in terms of pricing.
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