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[REVIEW] The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Is The Best Earbuds Made By Samsung, And That's A Bad Thing

Is it any good?


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[REVIEW] The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Is The Best Earbuds Made By Samsung, And That's A Bad Thing
Take a look around the market and you'll see plenty of choices when it comes to true wireless earbuds.

There are those from your established audio brands such as Bose and Sennheiser, and there are also those from smaller brands that are offering almost exact the same performance but at a more affordable price range.

(If you're looking for a pair of affordable true wireless earbuds, check out our article here)

But over the years, we've seen smartphone manufacturers releasing their own audio products to shake up the market a little bit, and the latest one is Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro.


The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro succeeds the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Galaxy Buds Live as Samsung's entry into the crowded true wireless earbuds market.

It was launched almost at the same time with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Series earlier this year, and it is priced at RM799.

With the Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung claims that they've improved on what the previous two earbuds were lacking, and they've also decided to double down on cool features.

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We know what you're thinking: Samsung is pretty good when it comes to making electronics and smartphones, but are they good when it comes to making earbuds?

Here's what we think about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro:

Design

Unlike the more 'revolutionary' bean-like shape of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, the Galaxy Buds Pro reverts back to the in-ear form. 

This may be a welcome change for some, but after having used the Buds Live for a while now and getting used to slotting them into our outer ear without any fuss, it definitely needs a bit of getting used to, especially when you're so used to not having something inside your ears.


Despite its size, the earbuds themselves are pretty light. The outside of the buds are made of highly-glossed plastic, which also houses touch-capacitive sensors.

Although it does look somewhat premium, we're not particularly a big fan of the way the earbuds look. While its predecessor, the Galaxy Buds Live, looks futuristic, the Buds Pro looks awkward and clunky.

The good news is, as the bottom half of the earbuds will be hidden inside your ear when you wear them, strangers can only see the glossy plastic bit of the earbuds, so at least it still looks kinda nice from the outside.


This time around, the charging case for the Galaxy Buds Pro has more of a matte feel to it, compared to the Galaxy Buds Live's reflective gloss.

The case is nice to hold, but it can be quite slippery, so always be careful when you're holding it.

It's the same size as the Galaxy Buds Live's case, so it's compact enough to slip into your pocket. It also features a status LED on both the inside and outside of the case.

We've also noticed that the case has a stronger magnetic pull to it and the flap doesn't open as easily, so you can almost be certain that you won't accidentally flip it open when you're rummaging around in your pocket/backpack. 

And yes, you can charge it wirelessly too, which is always a plus when it comes to wireless earbuds.


Speaking of which, the battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is good. Samsung claims that you'll get five hours of usage per charge, and during our test, the number holds up.

We managed to get up to seven hours of use time before we have to pop in in the case to be charged again, and that will add another 10 to 13 hours.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro comes in three colours: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet, to match the colours on this year's Samsung Galaxy S21 Series.

The latter two will definitely stick out, so we recommend taking the Phantom Black pairs if you want something more subtle.

Fit

Despite how unconventional it looks, we have to say that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro fits snugly enough in our ears.

We took the Buds Pro out for a couple of runs, and we are happy to report that they stayed in our ears pretty well despite all the movements.


However, like we mentioned above, the earbuds are kinda bulky and clunky, so they're not really recommended if you're the type who likes to wear your earbuds to sleep, due to the way it juts out of your ears.

Also, we also found that although the Galaxy Buds Pro fits pretty stably in your ears, it will still shift around a little bit because the earbuds lack any fin or mechanism that locks them into your ears. 

We found ourselves adjusting the earbuds back into place every now and then. To make it even more annoying, we almost always accidentally activate the touch-sensitive controls when we're adjusting the ear buds.

We know, we know; it's just the price we have to pay if we want to use wireless earbuds.


Thankfully, Samsung knew that fit is very subjective, so they've provided you with two additional sets of eartips.

You can find the pair that suits the shape of your ear canal and the pair that gives you the perfect seal so that the music doesn't leak out.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is pretty comfortable to wear for a long period of time. The vents at the side of the earbuds do a pretty good job eliminating the pressure that builds up in your ears.

We had no problems wearing the earbuds for hours on end, and we don't reckon you would too.

Sound quality

Here comes the most important question: how does the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro sound?

Like you'd expect, they sound great.


The Galaxy Buds Pro is powered by an 11-millimeter woofer and 6.5mm tweeter, and just like their headphones and earbuds of old, they are tuned by audio manufacturer AKG.

The sound quality is pretty balanced: the trebles are crisp and clear, the bass has a pretty good thump to it and the soundstage is pretty good.

The songs sound like they are supposed to, and because we're not a hardcore audiophile, that is more than enough for us to rock to Queen or sway to the tunes of Michael Buble.


Even if you don't like the way your Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro sound, you can always tweak the EQ of the earbuds using the Samsung Wearables app. 

But this also happens to be the biggest drawback of the Galaxy Buds Pro: the earbuds are specifically tailored for Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

If you're using a Samsung smartphone, you get the full suite of features -- which is fair enough, considering that Samsung would also love to build a connected ecosystem of gadgets and devices like Apple -- but this is bad news for iPhone users and yes, even other Android smartphone users.

There's no Samsung Wearables app for iOS devices, so if you happen to use an iPhone, you're stuck with connecting the earbuds to your smartphone via Bluetooth connection, and that would obviously result in slightly poorer sound quality.

To test the earbuds and fully check out the its features, we had to borrow a family member's Samsung smartphone because there was no support for an iPhone. It gave us a feeling that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is reserved just for Samsung smartphone users, and all you other people are not welcomed.

However, you could still use the active noise cancellation and ambient noise features on your iPhone, so that's a small win.


Speaking of active noise cancellation (ANC), the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has it and it works fine.

Samsung claims that the Galaxy Buds Pro can cancel out almost 99 per cent of outside noise, and during our test, we have to admit that it does a much better job at cancelling noise than the Galaxy Buds Live.

It works great at silencing white noises -- the sound of your fan, the sound of your air purifier, the sound of the tyre roars in the car, etc. -- but it doesn't stand a chance if you walk into a café full of people.

Like, when we did the active noise cancelling test at a café, we couldn't hear the conversation of the couple next to us, but we can still hear the muffled voices and hums of the background. 

The ANC won't completely tune out all the noise, but just enough so that you can hear yourself think. There's also a toggle in the Samsung Wearable app that lets you choose between high and low levels of noise cancellation, so that's a plus.

So, to sum it all up, the ANC on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro works well to a certain extent, but we still think it needs a little bit of improvement.

Verdict

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is a solid pair of true wireless earbuds.

It has most of the features you want in a pair of earbuds: great sound quality, a comfortable fit, good active noise cancellation feature and a much welcomed bridge into the Samsung ecosystem.

If you are already using a Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Pro is hands down the perfect audio companion for your smartphone.

But we feel that it's the exact same bridge that would turn a lot of people away from buying it.


The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is made to work well with Samsung smartphones, just like how the Airpods is made to work well with Apple devices.

There's really nothing wrong with creating an ecosystem for your own products and for your hardcore fans to enjoy, but the reason why Android users will not buy the AirPods will be the exact same reason why iPhone or other Android smartphone users will not get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Cutting off a certain population of smartphone users for the sake of ecosystem exclusivity would, no doubt, turn people away. 

And that is a damn shame, because the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is a pretty good pair of true wireless earbuds.

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