Samsung’s Galaxy Bud2 Pro is a surprisingly aggressive reinvention of the Buds line. Rather than jumping away from the Buds Pro design, these Bluetooth earbuds clearly started with the Galaxy Buds 2 look and then took an Exacto blade to the body, cutting out bits and pieces to make room for better ones. microphones and sensors to improve fit, audio and noise canceling capabilities. That Samsung did this while making the earbuds 15% smaller than the previous Buds is impressive.
The result is an already impressive pair of buttons that, in my brief hands-on, gave a great fit, especially good active noise cancellation (ANC) and rich audio.
There’s also the promise of great battery life (29 hours with the case and without using ANC).
I’m also happy that they have IP7X to survive a drop of water or splashes, although I haven’t been able to test that.
These aren’t the cheapest earbuds at $229.99, but they’re packed with features and seem poised to take on the best Apple has to offer in terms of Bluetooth earbuds.
Release date and price Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro on August 10 at the Unpacked event, where it also announced the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro costs $229.99 and is available in Graphite, White and Bora Purple. It’s up for pre-order now and will hit stores on August 26.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro design and operation
Compared to the last Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, the Buds 2 Pro is significantly lighter at 5.5 grams than the 6.3 grams Buds Pro.
Between the case and the case, the Buds 2 Pro seems to be a hybrid between the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and the original Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. The bean-like design retains a little bit of the sharpness of the last Pro, but with the softer hue and largely curved design, it looks more like the Buds 2.
Still, the cutouts for sensors and microphones are much more significant and visible than on any previous Galaxy Bud version. This isn’t about looks though, it’s about audio performance, specifically Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) which can use all those mics to capture sound for calls and audio pass-through, as well as all the ambient noise you don’t get away with. to take do not want to listen to.
The Buds 2 Pro comes pre-fitted with the medium-sized silicone earbuds, which worked well for my ears, but it’s easy enough to get rid of those silicone earbuds and replace one of the other two size options.
You can’t really talk about the earbud design without addressing the fit. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro feel as good and secure as they look. I found that a firm grip on the outside of a knob, inserting the silicone end into my ear canal and then turning the knob counterclockwise until the small lip rested on one edge of my tragus worked perfectly to ensure a secure fit and create a seal. They never felt loose, uncomfortable, or like they were about to fall out of my ears.
By the way, there are sensors on that lip so that the Buds 2 Pro know when they are in or out of your ears.
The earbuds have an IPX7 rating, which means they can withstand a drop in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. And they should be able to withstand sweat and a splash of water.
Case wise, it’s a nice, small (think pocket-sized) square clamshell design, with magnetized charging ports for each button. There’s a power and connection light on the front, a USB-C charging port on the back, and that’s it.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro noise and noise cancellation
Let’s start with the active noise cancellation because, as Samsung promised, it’s impressive (even in my short field experience).
As soon as I put the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds in my ears, I noticed that ambient sounds all came through a little differently. This could be because Samsung is overprocessing the audio it picks up and relays to my ears. However, when I briefly put my finger on a button and turned on ANC, I was honestly a bit shocked by the thunderous silence.
To put this into perspective, the noise cancellation felt a little more complete than what I get on Apple’s AirPods Pro. It’s not a big difference, but there is something. Samsung says the earbuds cut out 3db more than the previous model.
To be clear, the ANC does not deliver total silence. I still hear loud and high-pitched sounds, including my heavy-handed typing, but pretty much everything else is gone. It’s almost too much.
Of course the ANC is great when you listen to something by means of the Buds 2 Pro like music or a movie.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro now supports 24-bit audio and Dolby Atmos. Apple and Tidal support this form of lossless audio, but as I’m not a real audiophile, I’m not sure I can accurately describe the difference.
Here’s what I can tell you: these are some excellent sounding buds. I installed Apple Music on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and found the Spatial (Dolby Atmos supporting) playlist.
This is how I described the experience in my notes:
Sound is good
Clear as a bell
Nice bass beat support
Head filling sound
While the bass was lacking on A Ha’s Take On Me, the highs were pretty good, the mids sounded great and all the percussion came across strong. The high note with an echo towards the end was fantastic.
I think colleagues may have noticed that I bumped my head on the music. I couldn’t help it.
Cold Heart Remix by Elton John and Dua Lipa definitely provided a stronger bass beat. The general lack of heartbreaking bass is a limitation of almost all earbuds, unlike over-the-ear cans, which can completely cover the ears and slam your head shut with audio. Still, I was impressed.
In all the songs I listened to there was a great clarity of voice.
After the music, I loaded up Amazon Prime and started playing James Bond No Time to Die, a movie with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
It sounded great. There was no mud in the action and Dolby Atmos puts the sound around my head. A car drives to your right, crashes into a hill, flies over your head, and crashes to the left as a helicopter flies in from left to right. Every sound was where it should be in relation to the on-screen action.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro battery
Each button is powered by a 61 mAh battery, and Samsung rates the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for 5 hours of playback with ANC on and 8 hours with it off. The 500mA charging case can provide a total of 18 hours of play time without ANC and 29 hours with ANC off. The case also supports wireless charging on a Qi-based charger.
Due to my limited field test, I can’t tell you much about battery performance. Stay tuned for a full review, which should answer that question.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro seems to be a good mix of smart design and winning audio technology.
The tops fit perfectly and don’t look crazy. Noise cancellation is above average and the audio is, in my experience, exceptional. This is rich, resonant sound in a small package that you could easily forget you’re wearing.
Price-wise, they fall in the mid-range: cheaper than the Apple AirPods Pro, but more expensive than Buds 2 or AirPods 3. The solid audio, top-notch ANC, looks and potential battery life probably add up to a reasonable value.
Apple may want to up its game for its anticipated AirPods Pro 2.