Highlights

  • AKG-tuned sound
  • 24-bit audio on Samsung phones
  • No iPhone app

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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review: All about that sound!

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are extremely lightweight and come with a nice soft touch finish. Good enough to command ₹17,999, then?

Key Specifications
Price : ₹17,999

 

Bluetooth v5.3 ANC Transparency mode Wireless charging
24-bit audio (Samsung phones) AKG-tuned drivers 360-degree audio IPX7 rating
Our Review
9 / 10
Design9/10
ANC8/10
Connectivity8/10
Controls7/10
Battery8/10
Audio Quality10/10
Call Quality8/10
Pros
  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Lightweight
  • Decent call quality
Cons
  • Non-intuitive touch controls
  • No iPhone app

Samsung entered the TWS earbuds segment in 2019, and around 3.5 years later, the company is already challenging some major audio brands.

The new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro represent Samsung at its best when it comes to personal audio. Allow me to explain how.

Design & Fit

The Buds 2 Pro do not have the heft of some other premium earbuds. However, there is a soft-touch coating on both the earbuds and the case, which adds to the grippy feel.

Although quite small, the charging case is slightly on the thicker side. So, if you're like me, putting this case in the coin pocket of your jeans can be a bit difficult.

There are two LEDs on the case: the one on the outside shows the battery level of the case, while the one on the inside indicates the battery level of the buds.

I’m quite happy that Samsung continues to design its earbuds without stems, which makes them quite discreet and lightweight.

Speaking of being light, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are by far the most comfortable pair of Bluetooth earbuds I've ever used. They are also quite compact. As a result, even after wearing these buds for extended periods of time, I hardly experienced ear fatigue.

As standard, you do get interchangeable ear tips with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. But these earbuds are not best suited for running since the fit is not super snug.

The Buds 2 Pro are also IPX7 rated, meaning they can be submerged in water up to 1 metre for 30 minutes. But, there is no dust resistance here.

Connectivity

The Buds 2 Pro come with Bluetooth 5.3 and support only two universal Bluetooth codecs: AAC and SBC. But with Samsung Galaxy phones, the Buds 2 Pro stream audio over Samsung's own Seamless Codec, which promises high-res 24-bit quality. But, more on the audio quality later.

The earbuds connect to your phone via the Galaxy Wearable app that comes pre-installed on Samsung phones and can be downloaded through the Play Store as well.

But, this app is not available on iOS. So, while the Buds will connect to an iPhone, there is no way to customise them at all.

The Galaxy Wearable app itself is pretty straightforward to use and lets you toggle between different controls and sound settings.

Also worth noting is that these earbuds will only support multipoint Bluetooth connections with Samsung devices, and that too, if they are logged in to the same Samsung account.

I get that Samsung is trying to lock customers into its ecosystem, but at the same time, I feel that proper multipoint Bluetooth pairing, like that found on the Pixel Buds, should have been implemented on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Controls

Both earbuds have a tap-sensitive area at their centre which allows you to perform various actions.

However, the single, double, and triple tap actions are fixed. For instance, a single tap plays or pauses a song, which is quite handy initially ...until you realise that it is prone to accidental triggers every time you adjust the buds in your ear.

The only action you can customise is the long tap. So, you can either use it to control the volume, or to turn on noise cancellation, or to call Bixby ...but you cannot use two of these features at the same time.

It is worth mentioning that Samsung also has an experimental feature that allows you to control volume by tapping on the inner side of each earbud. While I do appreciate the gesture, it is quite finicky to use.

In addition to this, you also get wear detection, but you have to take out both earbuds to pause the media. Furthermore, the wear detection only works one-way, so wearing them back will not resume playing your media.

Audio Quality

There’s a 10mm driver and a 5mm tweeter in each bud, which have been tuned by AKG.

The wide soundstage of the Buds 2 Pro means that they sound fantastic. The buds pump out full, lively-sounding tunes with a balanced approach that is more suited for all types of audio.

The buds provide fantastic separation and clarity between vocals and instruments. I listened to a wide variety of music on these - ranging from classic rock to contemporary EDM - and everything sounded great with the Dynamic setting of the EQ.

You also have other preset EQs in the companion app which really help with the audio tuning if you are listening to one particular genre.

Now let’s clear the air around that 24-bit audio, shall we? And in simple terms, it is a niche feature because it has a lot of ifs and buts.

First up, you need a Samsung Galaxy phone because 24-bit streaming is only done over the Samsung seamless codec. Then, you also need a streaming service that supports high-res audio, and most popular streaming services in India, including Spotify, do not have lossless audio support.

However, all the great things I said about these earbuds’ audio quality remain unaffected because I mostly tested them over the standard 16-bit audio as well.

Another niche feature here is the 360-degree audio, which works well with compatible media, but won’t be used much by a majority of users.

The buds also have a handy voice detect mode which turns on the ambient sound mode and lowers the media volume when you talk to someone.

Active Noise Cancellation

The ANC on these buds is quite satisfactory. Also, thanks to a big air vent on each earbud, there is no artificial suction in your ears with ANC on.

The ANC can easily filter out low-frequency tones such as AC and fan hums. However, don’t expect it to mute any sound with a higher frequency.

There’s also a transparency mode on-board which works really well. The good thing is that you can activate transparency mode in calls as well.

Call Quality

Call quality via the inbuilt mic of the Buds 2 Pro is quite decent. It sounds perfectly fine indoors, but it can be a bit muffled if you are outdoors in a noisy environment. Here’s an outdoor audio sample.

Battery Life

The battery life of these earbuds is very good. You can get a claimed 8-hour playback time per earbud with ANC off. However, with mixed ANC usage, expect around 4.5 hours of playback time per earbud.

The case is capable of adding another 3.5 charges to the earbuds and you can charge the Buds Pro wirelessly or through a USB-C port.

Verdict

Samsung has done an excellent job with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro by making sure that they sound wonderful and are also comfortable to wear.

However, I do wish their touch controls were more intuitive, and it would have been nice to see non-Samsung phones get multipoint Bluetooth support as well.

All in all, however, these very well might be the best premium earbuds for Android. However, if their retail price of ₹17,999 sounds too steep to you, do remember that Samsung keeps offering good discounts on its earbuds throughout the year, which sweetens the deal even further.

Also watch: Oppo Enco X2 Review

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