With the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro – it seems that Samsung is shooting itself in the foot.
Introduction, App, Multipoint and Extras
Let us explain. Let’s start with the Galaxy Wearable app. It’s decent and lets you do some of the things we’ll talk about in this video, especially related to sound. But – unlike many other buds – this isn’t available on iOS and while you can use the earbuds with an iPhone over Bluetooth, you won’t be able to change any of the settings without the app. So that’s something to keep in mind for your Apple users. The Samsung buds have a voice detect feature that automatically enables ambient mode when it detects that you’re talking. This is a good feature similar to Sony’s speak-to-chat. Unfortunately, Samsung’s implementation doesn’t pause your audio when you start speaking. So instead of it being seamless, you’re listening to your surroundings but also your audio at very low volumes giving you tons of FOMO. You’ve basically missed your guitar solo – they don’t last so long these days to begin with.
⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯🛒 Links For Latest Prices⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯
🎧 Buy the SoundCore Liberty 3 Pro: https://geni.us/Liberty3Pro
🎧 Buy the Sony LinkBuds S: https://geni.us/Sony-Link-Buds-S
🎧 Buy the 1More Evo: https://geni.us/1MoreEvo
🎧 Buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: https://geni.us/BudsLive
🎧 Buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: https://geni.us/SamsungGalaxyBudsPro
🎧 Buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: https://geni.us/SamsungGalaxyBuds2
🎧 Buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: https://geni.us/Buds2Pro
Another place where Samsung is becoming a victim of its own success and prison is the multipoint situation. Many earbuds let you connect to 2 devices at the same time – called multipoint. Samsung doesn’t let you do that. Samsung has an implementation where if you’ve logged in with your Samsung account, you get a notification to switch to another device. Now – here’s the thing. We’re willing to bet that they’re many more Google accounts in the world than Samsung accounts. With the latest Android updates, you simply use your Google account to use the same earbud with any other Android phone. It’s pretty simple.
Now – Samsung lets you use Microsoft Swift Pair because Samsung and Microsoft are besties, but it does NOT let you connect using a Google Account. Which was fine a year ago. But today – I can use all my Sony earbuds and headphones and a few others across my many Android phones seamlessly. Even if I’ve never paired it with that device before using Android Fast pair. Bixby is another prison we’re not going to talk too much about. Again, the find your buds location is connected to Smarthings Find – an app for which – you guessed it – you login with your Samsung account. Too bad that Samsung’s stuck in a prison of its own with auto switching. It’s their customers that suffer the most from this. Instead of ending this section on such a somber note, let us at least comfort you by saying that the Buds 2 Pro like its predecessors does support pull connection. So if you’ve paired it before then you can select it from the bluetooth list and off you go! Samsung has been a victim of its own success and that clearly shows in the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in a number of ways. The most obvious of those is the build quality.
Build and Comfort
So already having a fairly compact case, there isn’t much room to shrink down the case. They all come with USB C (fast charge?) and wireless charging. Where Samsung is trying to innovate is the shape of the buds. And we are very happy with the size, design and comfort of the Buds 2 Pro. I mean don’t get us wrong, we liked the Buds 2 that came before these, but these are just a smidgen smaller which means that these might be the most comfortable buds of this format that we’ve tested. Whether you’re working, sleeping or moving around, the overall design and weight distribution means that these are very comfortable. All while getting a good seal. I can see myself doing bench presses in these because they don’t get loose or pop out when I go horizontal. The fact that they are IPX7 makes them perfect for your fluid needs. Although you’re going to have to be careful with dust since they’re not rated for that. Hence the X. We do however get comments on the channel though that eartips on Samsung’s older buds cause allergic reactions in some people.
This has never happened to us, but it isn’t clear if the materials have changed. So if it happened to you – maybe you shouldn’t bother with these. However – everyone has different ears and we review this product not just for our ears, but also for all of your ears. So say the buds don’t grip your ear holes as they did ours – it’s going to be a problem. Because this tiny earbud has basically one curvy surface for touching and adjusting. That means every time you try to adjust the fit, they’re gonna pause or do something else you don’t want them to do. Again a consequence of the size and shape constraints that Samsung wants to adhere to.
Design and Touch
Given the those constraints, Samsung still lags behind the rest of the industry with touch controls. Volume controls, for example are an ‘experimental’ feature buried in the labs and cryptically named ‘double tap earbud edge’. Once enabled, we were able to actually change volume with varying degrees of success by double tapping on the tragus – that’s this part over here, that’s this part of the ear. Look at you – learning about earbuds and human anatomy! That calls for a like! Anyway – you have basic media and call controls at your fingertips but except play / pause and noise cancelling control, they’re all disabled out of the box. Maybe Samsung’s not sure about its touch controls? So if you’re someone who does not dig into the app, you probably will never even use most of these controls. And we for one believe that volume control is the most basic thing you should have in terms of controls. We’re sure when Apple does it, they will nail the feature, but till then Samsung ought to do better than to compete with Apple. So again – Samsung’s choice of keeping the case and earbud design unchanged, is pretty much the reason for these limitations. And this also is one less reason to upgrade from another Samsung bud.
Battery and Charging
Another place where Samsung is hitting self-goals is the battery life. 5 hours on earbuds with ANC on and 8 without is just about inching towards acceptable. These are their numbers and you have to factor in that this will degrade over time. Meaning you will have to charge the buds more often, making your life just that little bit worse. Although there is a size difference, for reference, the recently released Pixel Buds with the Pro moniker gets you 7 hours with ANC and 11 without. Luckily Samsung has some excellent fast charging with 5 minutes of charging giving you 1 hour of use and up to 2.5 hours in 10 minutes. But this is the case though – the buds will still need to be charged in the case. Luckily – you can use one bud on its own for music or calls while this happens. There’s also wireless charging and you can use the Samsung reverse power share feature to share battery life from your phone to your buds. Reverse charge works on any phone that supports it, not just Samsung. Although it wouldn’t have surprised us if Samsung went exclusive on that.
ANC and Transparency
The ANC across the board is better than the Galaxy Buds Pro – whether it’s low end sounds or the middle and higher frequencies like human voices. However while sitting at a workplace, it somehow struggled to filter out one higher pitched voice that was rather loud. So we think at certain higher frequencies, it’s still a bit wanting. The transparency is also still top-tier although it falls a little shy of the Galaxy Buds Pro. We’d put it like this – if the Galaxy Buds Pro gives you superhuman hearing, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro gives you above normal hearing while wearing the buds. The best part of these new buds is that they have very little white noise, which you notice especially when it’s very quiet. Making them really comfortable for having in your ear all day. Not as low as the Airpods Pro maybe, but definitely comparable to the Google Pixel Buds Pro which also has some of the lowest white noise outside of Apple. So overall – these might be – in every conceivable way – one of the most comfortable buds we’ve ever tested.
Sound of Samsung
We’ve always maintained that the Galaxy Buds line are some of the best sounding true wireless earbuds bar none and again – that’s where Samsung is becoming a bit of a victim of its own success. Given the fact that the Buds Pro and Buds 2 that came before this sound pretty good – they had to do something with the Buds 2 Pro sound. And they did it with… marketing! Yes – they marketed the crap out of their 24 bit audio, but you know there’s no one better to explain it than Brandon from This is Tech Today. https://twitter.com/thisistechtoday/status/1557479519635722240 Their Samsung Scalable Codec also has the APTX like ability to scale up to a higher bit rate. So now that the tech gobbledygook is out of the way – let’s just talk about what matters the sound hitting our ears.
Well, looking at the chart and how they sounded to our ears – we think these are once again excellent. You know what Samsung does really well is not shy away from exposing the listener to the higher frequencies and it’s not different here. It’s a good, balanced sound. The overall sound is a bit richer than the Galaxy Buds Pro and the better codec etc gives you a slightly increased treble performance. The bass is still tight and solid as ever. These tiny buds give you excellent instrument separation as well. In Polyphia’s loud, the guitars really soar over the instruments, but sometimes the ride hits border on shrill. The imaging on these is also pretty good probably due to that sound signature. This time the EQ presets that Samsung provides seemed to have been worked upon as well. Dynamic adds a lot of punch and turns up the bass and treble a lot while still remaining enjoyable. The soft preset turns down the treble a bit while compensating in the mid-bass and mids to give you a longer, fatigue-free listening experience. But if these sound so good on Samsung phones because of the proprietary codec, how do they sound on other devices? Well we’re glad you asked, because we’ve tested them. The thing is – good hardware and good DSP always trumps codec limitations. When I listened to these buds connected to my Macbook Pro which I assume uses AAC – these still sounded pretty fantastic.
There might be like a couple of percent difference in how the higher frequencies are represented, but other than that – these buds still sound excellent. So unless you’re someone who can clearly identify resolution changes like say LDAC vs a good AAC implementation – you will be very happy with these. Samsung also has a 360 audio feature which gives you a nice effect for movies, but the headtracking bit of it was less accurate than what Apple can achieve with its spatial audio. Nonetheless it’s a pretty fun feature to have.
Microphones and Calls
In terms of phone calls – Samsung has always been quite a solid choice in quiet and not so quiet situations. But how does the Buds 2 Pro do against its predecessor and the Sony LinkBuds S?
Microphone and Calls Verdict
In quiet conditions – pick a bud, any bud. You won’t be disappointed. What you might have noticed is that the Sony LinkBuds S are louder than both the Galaxy Buds Pros. On the Samsungs in noisy conditions you experience a huge similarity. You hear the traffic in the background but you still hear his voice when he speaks normally. When he started popping those popsicles a little softer you would need to really focus to follow what he’s saying. With so much background noise being heard on a call, we would assume these are fine for shorter phone calls since longer calls wouldn’t make it very pleasant for the other person on the phone. The Sony LinkBuds S takes another approach. It applies much harsher noise canceling, so you don’t hear that much of the traffic noise.
But the voice clarity does take a hit and sounds a bit distorted. Due to the higher volume, it’s much easier to hear what he is saying though. Damn it’s like the mics seem identical on both the Galaxy Buds, because even in windy they’re hard to distinguish from each other. Just like noisy, you hear the wind but the voice remains natural and reasonably clear. Again, not too pleasant for the person on the other end of that phone call having to deal with all that wind noise. The Sony LinkBuds S cuts out a lot more wind, has high volume and is clear enough to make out the speaker’s voice even though it may sound a tiny bit distorted at times. The vakman controls part is going to be short guys. Only the basics on all of them to answer, hangup and decline calls. However, Samsungs experimental feature for volume control does work! So that’s great news. All in all, the Buds 2 Pro does a decent job at phone calls as long as you don’t have crazy amounts of background noise or wind for long periods of time.
Is the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro worth buying?
Don’t get us wrong – the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is a fantastic set of earbuds. If money is not an issue and you’re not a tweaker, or if you like that Samsung jail – it’s worth buying. I mean – there’s something about buying products from well-recognised brands, isn’t there? I remember last year I wanted to gift my mom earbuds and since she had a Samsung phone, I just knew that the Samsung buds would be a good choice for her. She’s not going to be tweaking every little setting or even going into the app. And that’s the thing – in some cases, you would be ok with paying that premium. But at 230 dollars it’s very difficult for us to recommend these earbuds. I mean Samsung has made some improvements – very clearly. Shrinking down the buds, making them sound better – these are all solid improvements. But here’s the thing – even if you discount other great products like the Sony LinkBuds S, Google PixelBuds Pro, SoundCore Liberty 3 Pro or 1More Evo, you can still buy older Samsung products and you would not be missing out on too much. There are three things you can be sure of in life – death, taxes and getting Samsung products at a discount. So check out the links above and you’ll be surprised at the prices of the older Buds Pro and Buds 2 – both amazing earbuds, with pretty much all the same features. The Buds Pro are less than HALF the price! The Buds 2 are almost a THIRD!! Absolutely crazy prices!
The only time the Buds 2 Pro will make sense to us is – in the future. When they go on sale. Till then save your money and we’ll link all the alternatives we mentioned in the description below. Using those links helps out our channel at no additional cost to you. And becoming a YouTube member or Patron also supports our work.
You’ve been first saving money and then spending money and we’ve been DHRME.