Samsung Level U Pro review:

A collar-style wireless headphone that offers a comfortable fit and improved performance

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Samsung Level U Pro is a lightweight, sweat-resistant wireless Bluetooth headphone offers offers a comfortable fit and is one of the better sounding Bluetooth headphones with an around-the-neck design. It vibrates when a call comes in and has well-placed buttons.

The Bad Buds look and feel a little cheap. It would have been nice if Samsung had included its Stabilizing Wing Ear Gels to lock the 'buds in your ears while running. There's a bit of treble push.

The Bottom Line Despite a few small downsides, the Samsung Level U Pro is one of the better sounding collar-style Bluetooth headphones and offers a comfortable fit.

7.5 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Sound 8.0
  • Value 7.0

LG remains the sales leader in collar-style "neckband" wireless Bluetooth headphones, but plenty of competitors are available, including Samsung's Level U Pro ($100; £120; AU$130). This is a noise-isolating headphone, which means you jam the tips into your ear canal and seal out the outside world. That's different from the more affordable Level U, which has buds that sit loosely in your ears, like Bose's SoundTrue In-Ear wired headphone.

As with all Bluetooth headphones, the Level U Pro connects wirelessly to your smartphone (or tablet), doubling up for enjoying music and as a headset for taking calls.

The Level U Pro features a noise-isolating design (you jam the tips into your ear canal).

Joshua Goldman/CNET

A set of buttons on the right side of the neck band allow you to pause and play your music, answer/end calls, skip tracks forward and back and raise and lower the volume. The buttons are well placed and easy enough to operate by feel alone.

Like the aforementioned LG Tone headphones, the Level U Pro's earbuds are magnetic and clasp together to help "reduce clutter when not in use." However, they don't retract like they do on some LG collar-style headphones. When I wasn't using them, I often left the buds dangling on my chest, unclasped, and sometimes forgot I was wearing the headphone (it's lightweight). And that's why people like this type of Bluetooth headphone: You simply leave it around your neck and stick the earbuds -- or often just a single bud if you're taking a call -- in your ears when you need to.

The 'buds adhere magnetically.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

If you do have a Samsung phone, this does support Samsung's UHQ Audio standard, which is supposed to provide (wait for it) "Ultra-High Quality" Audio over Bluetooth. The jury's out on how much of a difference it actually makes, but it's a small plus to use the headset with one of Samsung's latest Galaxy phones that support UHQ Audio.

It's also worth noting that if you have an Android phone, you can download the free Level App to access and control advanced settings of the headphones which include the ability to have the headphones read text notifications to you. There's also a volume monitor and an equalizer that allows you to tweak the sound.

As for other extras, the headset is water-resistant (the standard Level U isn't). Battery life is rated at 9 hours for music playback at moderate volume levels. That's decent though not exceptionally good.

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