The latest earbuds from Samsung feature powerful active noise cancellation.
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Newest and finest earbuds from Samsung. Credit: Mashable / Kyle Cobain
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro will be highly popular with those who enjoy the Samsung ecosystem, but everyone elses should at least give the Beats Fit Pro some thought first.
Mashable Rating: 4
- Cool Factor
4.5 learning curve
Value for the Money 3.75
- Strong ANC and audio quality
- Extremely cosy for extended periods
- Samsung devices offer lots of customization options
- Access to fundamental functionality is blocked for iPhone users
- Charging case’s battery life is inadequate
Having heard that? It is the sound of a quiet moment. In both private and public settings, you can avoid distractions by focusing on that lovely emptiness. That is the whole point of noise-canceling earbuds, and Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro do a better job of capturing that point than any previous model of Samsung ‘buds.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro cost $230, which puts them on the more expensive end of the wireless earbuds spectrum. However, given their superior audio quality and active noise cancellation, Samsung fans may make these to be the best earbuds to purchase.
the distinctive vertical ridge. Credit: Mashable / Kyle Cobain
Apart from a few significant differences, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are most physically similar to the Galaxy Buds 2 from a year ago. The egg-shaped earbuds are still available in three colors—graphite, white, and bora purple—and include a silicone tip that fits directly into your ear canal. But this time around, a substantial modification significantly improved the fit and comfort.
On the inside of the earbud’s body, a section of the “egg” shape has been removed and replaced with a vertical ridge. This performs the same function as a rubber stabiliser on other earbuds, such the Beats Fit Pro, in terms of securing the fit. After wearing the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in my ears for a short while, I quickly realised that my initial impression was incorrect. During more than a week of nonstop testing, they remained unbelievably comfy for hours at a time and never threatened to move.
Apart from that, anyone who has used Samsung’s previous earbuds will be familiar with the physical design of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The other adjustments are more minor, such as a 15 percent size decrease (which undoubtedly helps comfort) and a tiny vent hole on the interior beneath the vertical ridge that, according to Samsung, helps airflow.
Typical touch controls for basic playback and ANC are available on the outside side of the device: one tap to pause, two taps to go ahead, three taps to skip back, plus touch-and-hold to turn ANC on or off. On a Samsung device, you can enable or disable these in the settings menu, but there isn’t much more customization available.
Samsung is an expert
With the Galaxy Wearable app, you have a good selection of alternatives. Screenshot courtesy of Samsung
Speaking of settings, it goes without saying that the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro work best when connected to an Android device, preferably a Samsung product. You’ll need the Galaxy Wearable app, which comes pre-installed on Samsung handsets or is additionally accessible through the Android Play Store, in order to make any aspect of their functionality.
It should go without saying at this time, but I’ll say it anyway: iPhone users are out of luck in this situation. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro can still be used as a Bluetooth device, but you won’t be able to update the firmware or make any settings changes. This is one of the very few situations in which I believe Apple’s Beats Fit Pro triumphs.
Simply opening the charging case next to a Samsung device initiates the connection prompt, which speeds up setup. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s Bluetooth pairing mode can be activated by touching and holding both earbuds together while they are in the case for a short period of device. Although I would prefer a specific Bluetooth button for this, the current solution is adequate.
The Galaxy Wearable app itself is reasonably simple to use and doesn’t provide many surprises. You can toggle on and off features like touch controls and voice detection (which turns off ANC as soon as you start speaking), switch between several ANC modes, fiddle with a simple sound equalisation, and alter a number of other minor settings. By tethering the sound to your phone and turning on spatial audio, which is enabled by the 360 audio toggle, the audio will appeard to be coming from the direction of your phone even if you are turning your head away from it. Although this is useful, I would never want to use it.
Although there is a respectable level of customization, I would prefer more control over which touch commands accomplished what. Of course, if the earbuds didn’t sound excellent, none of that would matter. There is one more feature exclusive to Samsung in this regard: 24-bit “HiFi” audio. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are said to automatically deliver better audio quality when used with a current Samsung device than when used with an iPhone, for example.
However, comparing testing on an iPhone against the Galaxy Z Fold 4, I can’t say I observed a significant difference. The good news is thats it does not really matter because these ‘buds sound great with any device.
This small speaker packs a punch. Credit: Mashable / Kyle Cobain
I won’t claim that the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have the best audio quality of any earbuds I’ve ever used because Beats Fit Pro probably still has a (close) lead in that category. However, I wouldn’t think twice about purchasing these if I were a devoted Samsung user who wanted earbuds thats bring the noise (and keep it out).
It’s generally a thrill to listen to anything with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The bass bumps loudly, sounds in both high and low registers glide through your ears delightfully, and it’s just a pleasure in general. Throughout my testing week, I listened to a wide range of musical styles, from the bass-heavy electronica of the Tetris Effects soundtrack to the upbeat anti-war fervour of Sturgill Simpson’s “Call to Arms,” and everything sounded just as it should.
If you pick up these bad boys, “Call to Arms” in particular is worth a test. The whole family will enjoy it, and it keeps expanding and adding instruments over time until the composition is so dense thats you can still hear a new instrument with each subsequent listen (as long as your family is okay with you ranting about U.S. foreign policy). The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are capable of picking up every instrument in a song like this, which is really vital for audio equipment.