Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen Samsung release a pair of new wireless earbuds almost every six months. It has made us wait for a year this time around. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are a significant upgrade over earlier models.
Launched alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, are the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro worthy of being called the best Samsung earbuds yet? We’ll tackle that in this Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.
Design and fit
The design is unmistakeable Galaxy Buds but the overall footprint is smaller, 15% to be precise. This is much appreciated as wearing the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro for extended periods of time felt more comfortable than any of the previous models.
Smaller footprint, but exceptional fit
There were no problems with the earbuds falling out during heavy workouts or when out on a run. The IPX7 water-resistance rating ensures that come rain or shine, your earbuds will remain unbothered.
It’s great to see that Samsung retains the stemless design as the flush in-ear tip doesn’t just provide a more discrete look but also a tight seal. The earbuds sort of just disappear against your ears. At first glance, someone looking at you might not even notice them.
The signature Samsung touches that you’d expect are present here. The earbuds are made from plastic with touch panels on either sight. The case has Samsung’s familiar square design and the new color options with the matte finish look exceptional.
The touch panels work as you’d expect. They’re quick to pick up taps for play/pause and skipping tracks. They’re still as sensitive as we’ve experienced on earlier models so you will definitely encounter accidental taps when adjusting or taking off the earbuds.
Sound quality and performance
There were high expectations for the sound quality after Samsung revealed that the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro feature a new coaxial 2-way speaker with support for Hi-Fi 24 bit Audio and the new Samsung seamless codec. Let’s just get the million-dollar question out of the way.
Sound quality is the best we’ve seen yet on Samsung earbuds
We’re particularly impressed by how loud these tiny earbuds can get at maximum volume without any distortion while retaining clarity and providing excellent bass intensity. The range of the new sound drivers that Samsung has used for these earbuds is very good, perhaps too good because often we’d turn down the volume a bit.
Use these earbuds with a Samsung Galaxy device to get the best possible listening experience thanks to the Samsung seamless codec. These earbuds do work with all Android devices but on non-Samsung devices you’ll lose a bit of that quality. However, unless you’re a true audiophile, it’s negligible enough that most users won’t even notice.
You also have tons of options to tune the audio to your liking using the Galaxy Wearable app. It provides different EQ options that can be used to adjust the sound profile, which is pretty well balanced out of the box, so this isn’t something that most users will ever touch.
The 360 audio with head tracking feature deserves an honorable mention here. Using it is a blast as the feature provides a near enough true spatial audio experience. It’s not something that we’d have enabled all the time, but it’s great for when you’re consuming content that would be better served by spatial audio.
One thing that you’d miss is the lack of an auto-pause/play feature, which would stop whatever you’re listening to if you removed one earbud and resumed it once you put the earbud back it, but perhaps Samsung didn’t feel the need for this feature because of Voice Detect.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have left us seriously impressed with the quality and clarity that Samsung has been able to extract from these tiny earbuds. The listening experience is as immersive as it is enjoyable, making these earbuds worth their price tag.
Active Noise Cancellation
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is a permanent fixture on Samsung earbuds now and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro doesn’t disappoint here as well. The Intelligent ANC feature, when enabled with Voice Detect, seamlessly switches between ANC and Ambient Mode when it detects that you’re talking to someone, so that you can continue conversations without having to take out the earbuds.
Boy did the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro prove us wrong!
We felt that this might be more of a gimmick but boy were we proved wrong as the feature worked flawlessly. On its own, the noise cancellation is phenomenal. Testing it out on the notoriously loud London underground showed us just how good these earbuds are at canceling out background noise. We feel no hesitation in saying that these are potentially the best earbuds we’ve experienced for ANC.
Even in a packed tube, Voice Detect worked like a charm. Start speaking and it automatically lowers the volume and enables Ambient Mode so you can hear the person talking to you. Once you stop, the volume goes back up again and ANC begins blocking out even the loudest noises. This feature works very well and makes it super easy to carry conversations without needing to remove the earbuds.
In addition to the sound quality, the improved ANC experience justifies the price premium Samsung is charging for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro compared to the Galaxy Buds 2 that came out last year. The unmatched noise cancellation provided by the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is well worth the money.
It was great to see that Samsung made some hardware changes to improve the call quality, an area where its earbuds have historically left us wanting more. Better mics and a bigger wind shield ensure clear voice pickup without too much background noise.
Last year’s model also brought a new machine learning solution that actively blocked out background noises to improve the call quality. That has been retained and further improved to ensure that the call experience is second to none, at least in comparison to Samsung’s own earbuds.
Connectivity and features
Samsung always pairs its earbuds with exceptional software features that further elevate the user experience. It’s no different from the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Some familiar features like hands-free Bixby Voice wakeup, Game Mode, Easy Pair, and more are all present. Auto Switch is another great feature. It seamlessly transfers the audio between your multiple Galaxy smartphones, tablets and PCs.
Making the most of the Samsung ecosystem
For the first time ever, Auto Switch also works with Samsung TVs, so when you receive a call while your Buds are paired to the TV, they’ll automatically switch to your Galaxy phone so you can talk and switch back when you’re done. This is the perfect example of using products to further add value to your ecosystem.
The addition of SmartThings Find is great, too. It enables you to locate lost or missing earbuds by highlighting the last location connected. It also prevents you from accidentally leaving them behind by providing an alert when you forget a Bud and walk way.
Samsung’s battery life claims for its wireless earbuds have generally been accurate and that’s what we’ve experienced on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro as well. The company claims 5 hours with ANC and 8 hours without. Our real life experience has been par for the course of what the company states.
There’s plenty of capacity in the case with the larger 515mAh battery. That’s good enough for up to 18 hours of additional juice. Rest assured, battery life is not something you need to be concerned about with these earbuds.
For us it’s clear that the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is the best sleeper hit product that Samsung has announced this year. There normally not much fanfare for new earbuds, but don’t let the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro fall off your radar.
These are exceptional wireless earbuds that deliver great sound, an impressive ANC experience, all tucked in nicely into a small footprint that’s very comfortable to live with. What’s there to not like about the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro?
The answer is a resounding yes if you’ve been thinking whether you should buy the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Even if you have one of the earlier Galaxy Buds models, it’s well worth the $229 that Samsung is asking for them. For those who may be buying there first pair from Samsung, these are the perfect contenders to introduce you to the world of Galaxy Buds.