Galaxy Buds Pro review: Samsungs AirPods Pro-beating earbuds – The Guardian

Tue 19 Jan 2021 07.00 GMT

Samsungs latest Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds include noise-cancelling, virtual surround and improved sound, making them an opposition to Apples AirPods Pro.At ₤ 219, they are the brand-new top-of-the-range earbuds from Samsung, sitting above the ₤ 179 Galaxy Buds Live and ₤ 159 Galaxy Buds+. The Buds Pro have silicone ear pointers and a basic shape comparable to the Buds+ however look more like the Buds Live. They are kept in an exceptional, compact, square charging case that easily suits the cash pocket of a pair of jeans.The design of the Buds Pro is an amalgam of the companys previous efforts. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe brand-new earbuds are larger and heavier than the Buds+ and do not twist to suit the concha of your ear in quite the exact same way, protruding a little further, however are still small compared with competitors. They do an excellent job of avoiding putting pressure on the delicate parts of the ear, kept in place by the oval ear pointers– of which there are three sizes in the box.They were comfortable and stayed safely in my ears but you can twist a little lip of the earbud under the cartilage of your ear to lock them in location if needed. The earbuds are water resistant to IPX7 standards, which implies they can be immersed in up to one metre of water for as much as 30 minutes, making them a few of the most water-resistant earbuds available.Specifications
Water resistance: IPX7 (one metre up to thirty minutes).
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, SBC, AAC, SSC.
Battery life: 5 hours ANC on (up to 18 hours with case; 28 hours with ANC off).
Earbud dimensions: 19.5 x 20.5 x 20.8 mm.
Earbud weight: 6.3 g each.
Motorist size: 11mm woofer + 6.5 mm tweeter.
Charging case measurements: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm.
Charging case weight: 44.9 g.
Case charging: USB-C, Qi cordless charging.
Connectivity and controlsThe Galaxy Wearable app on Android deals with pairing, controls, updates and noise-cancelling settings. Picture: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe Buds Pro support Bluetooth 5 with both the universal SBC and AAC audio standards utilized by many devices. They also support Samsungs own “scalable audio codec”, which can offer higher-quality audio however just works with Samsung devices. They are suitable with all standard Bluetooth gadgets and support automated pairing with Samsung and other Android gadgets via the Galaxy Wearable app plus Swift Pairing with Windows 10 PCs. Unlike their predecessors, the Buds Pro are not supported by the Galaxy Buds app on an iPhone, so iOS users can utilize the earbuds but will not be able to alter settings or upgrade them.
The earbuds just link to one device at a time but assistance smooth switching (so you do not have to manually detach) and a brand-new auto-switch system that can be used with Samsung gadgets running OneUI 3.1 or higher such as the new Galaxy S21 series. Either earbud can be utilized on its own.Connectivity to a Galaxy Z Fold 2, iPhone 12, MacBook Air M1 and other devices was excellent.The exterior of the earbud is touch delicate. The Buds Pro are repairable but unlike previous Samsung earbuds the battery can not be changed, ultimately making them disposable.How we are altering the method we rate sustainability of consumer electronicsThe earbuds and case are made from 20% post-consumer recycled materials.
They deal with numerous music genres well, with a larger soundscape than the majority of earbuds. Acoustic, guitar-based tracks such as the live variation of the Eagles Hotel California sound warm, inviting and filled with detail. Theres lots of punch and raw energy in grunge or rock tracks, while high-tempo electronica sounds appropriately energised. The earbuds do an admiral job of rendering really deep bass, while even orchestral ratings such as Holsts Planet suite sound grand and full of nuance.Occasionally, you can get struck with a little too much treble, such as extremely prominent trumpets at greater volumes, however overall they sound truly fantastic, matching top rivals such as the Jabra Elite 85t. Theres a restricted equaliser that can switch in between preset modes such as “dynamic” or “bass boost” in the buddy app.Active sound cancellingMics on the outside, consisting of inside a wind-noise reducing chamber, identify unwanted noise that is then cancelled out. Picture: Samuel Gibbs/The GuardianThe Buds Pro have a number of active noise-cancelling and ambient sound modes. There are two levels of noise-cancelling readily available. On high, the noise-cancelling is reliable at minimizing low rumbles and some mid-frequency sounds however falls slightly brief of the effectiveness of the Elite 85t and AirPods Pro. The Buds Pro were likewise affected to a greater extent by the fit of the earbuds– twisting and locking them in location against the inside of my ear substantially improved the quantity of sound they obstructed out.
The ambient noise mode, which pipes the sound of the outside world into your ears, has 4 levels and can be immediately activated when the earbuds find you speaking. It works pretty well for quick discussions or hearing statements however doesnt sound as natural as the very best available.The earbuds also have Dolby innovation that tracks the motions of your head in relation to a phone or tablet to create a virtual surround sound Samsung calls 360 Audio. It just deals with gadgets running Samsungs most current software OneUI 3.1 but, unlike competing systems from Apple and others, it is able to produce the virtual surround result for any video, not just those with Dolby soundtracks, anchoring the noise to the screen. The effect is remarkably good.ObservationsThe case is quickly pocketable, which helps keep the buds safe and charged. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian.
You can set Samsungs Bixby voice assistant to listen for the wakeword “Hey Bixby”.
Game Mode lowers latency for audio that is in sync with the action on screen for games with Samsung devices.
Call quality was reasonable: my voice was clear and background noise was reduced however I sounded a little distant and not as crisp as the finest rivals.
Sneezing, blowing my nose and coughing triggered the auto-ambient noise mode when active.
PriceThe Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro cost ₤ 219 and are offered in black, purple or silver, delivering on 28 January.For comparison, the Galaxy Buds Live have an RRP of ₤ 179, the Galaxy Buds+ cost ₤ 129, the Jabra Elite 85t cost ₤ 219.99, the Bose QC Earbuds cost ₤ 249.95, the Sony WF-1000XM3 cost ₤ 149 and the Apple AirPods Pro cost ₤ 249. VerdictThe Galaxy Buds Pro are Samsungs finest true cordless earbuds yet.They pack outstanding sound with strong noise-cancelling into comfortable and little earbuds without stalks, which have great battery life and a great, compact case– a mix thats still difficult to find. They are also waterproof to a high standard, which cant be said for many rivals, and are made with recycled materials.
If other Samsung earbuds are any indication, you should be able to discover them with a reasonable discount if you shop around in the near future.Unlike previous Samsung earbuds, the batteries in the Buds Pro can not be replaced, which is a frustrating action back and eventually makes them disposable, comparable to most other true wireless earbuds, losing them a star. They can be utilized with an iPhone but are not supported by the Galaxy Buds app, so you cant change the settings or keep them up to date.The Galaxy Buds Pro are Samsungs true AirPods Pro-beaters for Android– an exceptional set of premium daily real wireless earbuds.Pros: excellent sound, solid noise-cancelling, seamless changing, great controls, comfortable fit, outstanding case, solid battery, no stalks, IPX7 water resistance, made of recycled materials.Cons: expensive, battery can not be replaced, some functions limited to Samsung gadgets, can just link to one device at a time.The earbuds clip into the case through magnets and the cover shuts with a gratifying snap.

Samsung
Fantastic sound, strong noise-cancelling, good battery, comfy fit and small case are powerful combination

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Samsungs newest Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds add noise-cancelling, virtual surround and enhanced sound, making them a challenger to Apples AirPods Pro.At ₤ 219, they are the new top-of-the-range earbuds from Samsung, sitting above the ₤ 179 Galaxy Buds Live and ₤ 159 Galaxy Buds+. Either earbud can be used on its own.Connectivity to a Galaxy Z Fold 2, iPhone 12, MacBook Air M1 and other devices was excellent.The exterior of the earbud is touch sensitive. The Buds Pro are repairable however unlike previous Samsung earbuds the battery can not be changed, ultimately making them disposable.How we are altering the method we rank sustainability of customer electronicsThe earbuds and case are made from 20% post-consumer recycled products. VerdictThe Galaxy Buds Pro are Samsungs finest true wireless earbuds yet.They pack outstanding sound with solid noise-cancelling into comfy and small earbuds without stalks, which have excellent battery life and a terrific, compact case– a combination thats still difficult to discover. If other Samsung earbuds are any sign, you must be able to discover them with a reasonable discount if you shop around in the near future.Unlike previous Samsung earbuds, the batteries in the Buds Pro can not be replaced, which is a disappointing step back and ultimately makes them disposable, similar to most other true wireless earbuds, losing them a star.

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