Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Buds Pro today. They're the company's second wireless earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation. Samsung released the first, the Galaxy Buds Live, in August last year. Their completely different design was one of the reasons why we felt the ANC wasn't as effective.
We mentioned in our Galaxy Buds Live review that the canal-type in-ear design of the Galaxy Buds+ was better suited to ANC. Samsung seems to agree. The Galaxy Buds Pro has a similar canal-type design and a whole host of improvements. Could these be the best wireless earbuds yet from Samsung?
Design and fit
The Galaxy Buds Pro improve upon the canal-type design of the Galaxy Buds+. We found them to be very comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. That's the impression we've formed for the Galaxy Buds Pro as well. Samsung has made subtle changes to the design in order to make the new earbuds more ergonomic. The comfort has been improved and the clogged-up feeling that you can get from the in-ear design has been minimized.
We particularly like the fit of the Galaxy Buds Pro. The standard tips provide a secure fit inside the ear canal. This means that the earbuds won't easily pop up during intense physical exercise. This makes them perfect for those who live an active lifestyle. That's also one of the reasons why the Galaxy Buds Pro have the highest IP rating (IPX7) of any Galaxy Buds product.
Sound quality and performance
We immediately noticed improvements in sound quality and performance when using the Galaxy Buds Pro for the first time. They were compared with the Galaxy Buds Live. The new and bigger two-way speaker system that Samsung has added appears to elevate the sound quality. The sound is clearer, louder and the bass has more oomph than its predecessors.
These observations are based on the limited amount of time we spent with the Galaxy Buds Pro for this hands-on. We'll conduct a thorough review of the new earbuds to truly test out Samsung's claims of improved sound quality. On the face of it, the hardware improvements that the company has made do appear to be doing exactly what they're supposed to.
Active Noise Cancellation
Samsung claims that the Galaxy Buds Pro offer the most intelligent Active Noise Cancellation on true wireless earbuds. Right off the bat we felt that the ANC is much better on the Buds Pro compared to the Buds Live. That's partly because of the inherent sound isolation that the canal-type design of the Buds Pro provides.
It also has to do with the improvements that Samsung has made under the hood. The Galaxy Buds Pro feature adjustable Active Noise Cancellation. You can choose between the levels depending on your needs. The higher level blocks out most background noise, perfect for when you're in noisy surroundings. The lower level is better suited to a quieter environment. This is certainly not a gimmick. We tested both levels and the difference is noticeable.
The Ambient Sound functionality has been enhanced to ensure that you remain even more mindful of your surroundings. Furthermore, the Galaxy Buds Pro can intelligently switch between ANC and Ambient Sound. If the earbuds detect conversation, they can adjust the relevant settings themselves so you can have a conversation with people around you without having to take them off.
All of this appears to work as intended but we're going to put them through a thorough test in our detailed Galaxy Buds Pro review.
The little time that we spent with the Galaxy Buds Pro wasn't enough to get an idea of what the battery life looks like. Samsung claims that you can get up to 18 hours of playback time with ANC on and up to 28 hours with ANC off when combined with the charging case. You can also get up to 1 hour of playback time after just five minutes of charging.
Our experience with previous Galaxy Buds products suggests that the actual battery life figures aren't that far off from what Samsung claims. We can expect that to be the case with the Galaxy Buds Pro as well.
We always felt that features like ANC were better suited to the canal-type design of the Galaxy Buds+ and Samsung has merely proven that with the Galaxy Buds Pro. The new product has left us with a great first impression. All of the features and capabilities that Samsung has highlighted appear to work as advertised.
That being said, we'll put the Galaxy Buds Pro through a rigorous test to give you a true picture of its performance and capabilities. Stay tuned for our full review which should be up in the near future.