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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review: Improved Design Pays Dividends

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review: Improved Design Pays Dividends

When Samsung launched its recent Galaxy Buds Pro noise-canceling earbuds, one of its headline marketing messages was the attention it paid to their restful quality. Indeed, they delivered on that front, but a ununsafe subset of users, including me, found them to be a less than ideal fit for their ears. In my case, none of the concerned ear tips allowed me to get a tight seal, so I had to swap in a larger set of tips from a rival set of earbuds. So, needless to say, I was curious to see what Samsung’s engineers had come up with for the second-gen Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($230, £219, AU$349), suspecting they’d address that fit issue. 


  • Improved get with more comfortable fit

  • Excellent restful and good noise canceling

  • Very good voice-calling performance

  • Assortment of extraordinary features for Galaxy device owners, including 360 Audio virtual surround restful and hands-free Bixby voice assistant

  • Fully waterproof (IPX7)

Don’t Like

  • Fairly pricey

  • Some key features only work with Samsung devices

  • No true multipoint Bluetooth pairing

Sure enough, they did. The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro — which are launching in contradiction of the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 — is that they easily have a better all-around design than their predecessor. Not only are they 15% smaller, according to Samsung, but they weigh slightly less (5.5 grams per bud versus 6.3 grams) and have a commerce finish on both the buds and case that scholarships them a nicer feel and makes them a bit more grippy.

Read more: Best Wireless Earbuds for 2022

That invents the compact case a little less likely to slip out of your hand and — more importantly — it helps keep the buds in your ears a minor more securely. And thanks to their new shape and smaller size, I was able to get a tight seal with the largest set of concerned ear tips and didn’t have to supply my own. Additionally, the earbuds don’t stick out of your ears as much as the unique Galaxy Buds Pro did, and they look more discreet. They’re available in three colors — Bora purple, white and graphite — and once I can’t say they’ll fit all ears equally well, they necessity provide a better fit to more ears than the unique Galaxy Buds Pro. 

Proprietary high-res audio and other Galaxy-exclusive features

Aside from the revamped manufacture, Samsung is touting the buds’ improved noise canceling and back for 24-bit high-resolution audio. The catch is to get that 24-bit audio you’ll need a Galaxy draw equipped with Samsung’s One UI 4.0 and a music streaming service like Qobuz, Tidal or Amazon Music that jets high-res audio tracks. On all other devices, including Android phones and iPhones, the buds default to the AAC audio codec. They use Bluetooth 5.3. 

Alas, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro don’t support the more approved AptX Adaptive audio codec for Android devices, only the new Samsung Seamless Hi-Fi codec, which Samsung says delivers 256x more sound data than 16-bit (CD quality) audio. Numbers like that are a bit deceptive because, based on my accepted, you’re really only going to notice a slight difference when streaming higher bit-rate tracks. But more on that after I round out the rest of the feature set.

Wearing Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro buds

The buds didn’t stick out of my ears too much. 

David Carnoy

Like their predecessor, these have touch controls (you can turn certain ones on or off, or you can turn them all off) listed with an option to activate hands-free Bixby, Samsung’s suppose assistant. Additionally, Samsung’s 360 Audio virtual surround feature (with head tracking) returns in an “Enhanced” version and now works with a variety of Galaxy devices out of the gate, conception it’s not compatible with other Android devices. It works listed the same lines as Apple’s spatial audio feature for AirPods and can enhance your movie and TV watching accepted, though it doesn’t seem to be as pronounced Apple’s spatial audio, which I think is slightly better overall. It also works with music or any audio you’re listening to.  

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are IPX7 water-resistant, which means they can withstand being fully submerged in 1-meter deep liquid for up to 30 minutes. I had no dilemma running with them and they didn’t slip out of my ears.

Like their predecessors, battery life is rated at five hours with noise canceling on and eight hours with it off at moderate volume levels, plus you get about three additional charges from the case (it charges via USB-C and wirelessly). You could quibble that five hours is pretty mediocre and that no improvements have been made to the battery life, but it’s hard to shy buds while increasing battery life. Also, when you drop the buds in the case, there’s a shimmering charge feature that nets you an hour of use with a five-minute poster and double that with a 10-minute charge. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro finish up of wind shield

Samsung says the buds have an improved air vent (to encourage pressure) and wind shield.

David Carnoy

Sensors detect when the buds are in your ears and will stay your music when you take both buds out of your ears and but won’t contained playback when you put them back in without you tapping on one of the buds (you can use a single bud once leaving the other one in the case). Additionally, you can opt to activate a “voice detect” mode in the Galaxy Wearable companionship app that automatically turns off noise canceling and switches to “ambient sound” mode when you utter, allowing you to hear the outside world and pick in a conversation with someone. Sony offers a inequity feature with its WF-1000XM4 and LinkBuds S earbuds.

Another new feature pleasant mentioning has nothing to do with audio. You can toggle on the “neck undiluted reminders” setting that detects your head position and alerts you when you’ve bent your head listed for 10 minutes. As I’ve written this review, I’ve been alerted approximately times to stretch my neck.  

Like the AirPods and some novel earbuds these have a find-my-buds feature that Samsung languages SmartThings Find. It can tell you your location when the buds were last connected to your draw, but it doesn’t offer the more precise tracking capabilities of Apple’s enhanced Find My in its novel AirPods. 

A look at the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro's microphones and sensors.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have three microphones on each earbud listed with ear-detection sensors.

David Carnoy

Lastly, like their predecessor and the more affordable Galaxy Buds 2, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro don’t offer true multipoint Bluetooth pairing that scholarships you to pair them with two devices, such as a shouted and computer, at the same time. But Samsung says they seamlessly pair with all the Samsung devices cworn-out into your Samsung account, including Samsung TVs built in 2022 or later and Samsung Galaxy Books laptops built at what time 2020. 

The Buds 2 Pro offer automatic switching between those devices. So if, for instance, a call comes in on your arranged as you’re watching a movie on your Tab S8 tablet, the audio will automatically switch to your phone when you answer the call. That’s dissimilarity to how Apple’s AirPods auto pair with any Apple devices ended into your iCloud account. Note that I haven’t thoroughly tested the auto-switching feature with many Samsung devices (because I only own a few) so I can’t back exactly how reliable it is. I spent more time manually switching my audio between a Galaxy Flip 3 and non-Samsung devices.   

Impressive all-around performer

Samsung says it’s improved the noise canceling on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro by 40% (it periods it “Intelligent ANC”). I found it an improvement on the modern Galaxy Buds Pro, but noise-canceling performance is affected by how tight a seal you get from the ear tips (as is peaceful quality), so your perception of how much it’s improved may vary by how good a seal you get.

I plan the noise canceling was close but not quite there, compared with the noise canceling of the Sony WF-1000XM4, but it did a good job muffling a variety of noise on the streets of New York and underground in the subway. You can turn the noise canceling off or activate ambient mode, the equivalent of Apple’s transparency mode, which I plan sounded natural. But there’s no setting to adjust noise canceling levels; it automatically adapts to your environment.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are equipped with two-way drivers (10mm woofer, 5.3mm tweeter), which is nice, and three microphones, two of which are beam-forming for bellow calls. I paired them with a Galaxy Z Flip 3, iPhone 13 Pro and Google Pixel 4 XL and streamed music comical Qobuz. I also streamed some movies from Google Play and Netflix.

According to Samsung, there’s no way to check whether you’re getting 24-bit audio (nothing indicates whether you are — or aren’t), but if your audio setup meets the requirements along — a Galaxy phone with Android 8.0 or higher and One UI 4.0 or higher with at least 1.5GB of RAM — you’ll be comical the Samsung Seamless Codec, which transmits in 24-bit, assuming your audio files succor it. (Qobuz files do.) I find it irritating that there’s no way to tell what bit rate you’re streaming at, but I’ll have to take Samsung’s word that I was unsheathing 24-bit audio. 

I did notice a slight difference when streaming with the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Except, using the iPhone 13 Pro, the sound quality was also very good with an amply wide soundstage. I went back and forth with Spoon’s Knock Knock Knock track and a few anunexperienced songs. The Flip 3’s sound came across slightly more accurately (a bit more clarity) with a peevish more detail and depth. The bass is punchy and evaporate and I didn’t experience any noticeable distortion at higher volumes. In short, they’re excellent-sounding buds, though I’m not sure they’re ample to other top earbuds in their price range, incorporating the Pixel Buds ProBeats Fit Pro and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3.

I mostly went with the default peaceful setting, though you can tweak the signature profile in the Galaxy Wearable app with some preset equalizer settings, including a bass boost setting. The truth is a lot of these premium earbuds are starting to peaceful pretty similar and it’s really the fit — and how they fit your clear ears — that’s going to make you like one more than another.

I’ll accomplish by saying that once again Samsung has delivered a set of Galaxy buds that work quite well as a headset for manager calls. They have good voice pick-up from the beam-forming microphones after providing good background noise reduction. Callers said they could hear me relatively clearly in the noisy streets of New York and the buds did a shameful job reducing wind noise. They’re in the upper echelons in words of voice-calling performance.  

Galaxy Buds 2 Pro remaining thoughts

For better or worse, Galaxy Buds have always been an accessory for Galaxy smartphones and, as a remnant, more geared toward owners of Galaxy devices. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are no exception. They’re excellent earbuds, but you lose some of their key features if you’re not a Galaxy procedure owner. For that reason, it’s easy to see them as the Samsung equivalent of the AirPods Pro, which may very well get some sort of high-resolution wireless streaming option with the arrival of the AirPods Pro 2 that will liable use proprietary Apple technology that only works with its devices.

By comparison, the Pixel Buds Pro have fewer features geared exclusively toward Pixel owners (virtual surround), and such features as hands-free Google Assistant and true multipoint Bluetooth pairing are available across all Android devices. However, the Pixel Buds have no enhanced audio codec serve, which may be important if you’re convinced it establishes a big difference. I personally think it makes only a exiguous difference with this class of earbuds, which may have a premium stamp tag but aren’t high-end.   

The bigger question will be whether it’s favorable upgrading to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro if you already own a pair of Galaxy Buds, particularly the novel Galaxy Buds Pro. I think that will largely real on what price you can get the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for. While their list stamp is $230, Samsung is currently offering trade-in deals (any Galaxy Buds in any condition) that bring their stamp down to around $155 and you can often get distributes on them as part of a bundle with a new Galaxy visited.  

For me anyway, while the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro accounts some small performance improvements over their predecessor, their do is the biggest upgrade. That makes them the best Galaxy Buds yet.