The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds offer several key improvements over its predecessor. They also come with new features that, like some of Samsung's recent products, require a Samsung smartphone to get the most of them. In short, they are probably the best true wireless earbuds for Samsung users. But if you don't have a Samsung smartphone, they are other solid alternatives out there.
- 10mm drivers
- ANC and transparency mode
- IPX7 (earbuds)
- 5 hours of playtime with ANC (18 hours with case), 8 hours without ANC (29 hours with case)
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is said to be 15% smaller in size than the previous version. These earbuds don't stick out as much. I did feel a slight discomfort from the earbuds pressing into my ears after wearing them for almost an entire afternoon. Given that the Buds 2 Pro offer up to 5 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation (ANC), I think most users won't encounter this issue. I also like the new matte finish on the earbuds (and case) that feels more grippy than its predecessor's glossy finish. The Buds 2 Pro is IPX7 certified, and can survive up to 30 minutes in a metre of water. They are more than suited for our rainy tropical weather.
New to these earbuds is support for 24-bit high-resolution audio. But you'll need a Samsung device running One UI 4.0, and a supported music streaming service like Tidal. I didn't manage to test this as I didn't have a Tidal HiFi streaming subscription. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also support 360 audio with dynamic head tracking, which is Samsung's take on Apple's spatial audio. Again, you'll need a Samsung device (One UI 3.1 for this). But it works well enough for music (Apple Music's Made for Spatial Audio tracks) and Dolby Atmos content in Netflix. These earbuds will also connect and switch easily between your other Samsung devices from smartwatches to the latest TVs. However, they don't support Bluetooth multipoint like the Google Pixel Buds Pro, and hence cannot connect to two devices simultaneously.
My favourite feature is the Voice Detect feature, which senses when you're speaking, and switches to Ambient Mode so you can hear your surroundings. The volume of any music playback is also significantly lowered. It works great — it only triggered when I spoke, and not when someone nearby is talking. But Samsung could go a step further, and include in-ear detection like many earbuds. Audio-wise, I like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound signature. Bass is punchy and noticeable without being overwhelming. ANC is excellent — there's a significant drop in low-frequency noise when it's enabled. But depending on your ear fit, the noise isolation is only average. I could still hear higher-pitched sounds like the voices of people around me.
In my testing, the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is close to the claimed 5 hours (with ANC). It's on the low side, but should suffice for most users. Overall, they are a solid choice for anyone looking for true wireless earbuds, though there are good alternatives like the Google Pixel Buds Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM4. But the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro should definitely be first on the shortlist for those with a Samsung phone. Get them from Samsung directly, or on Shopee and Amazon SG for S$328.
Note: Review set provided by Samsung.
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