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Samsung Level On Wireless Pro review: A wireless, noise-cancelling headphone with special appeal to Galaxy S6, S7 owners

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The Good The Samsung Level On Pro offers Bluetooth wireless streaming and active noise-cancellation in a fairly compact folding design that offers good sound quality for Bluetooth. The headphone supports Samsung's proprietary audio format available in its latest smartphones. A carrying pouch is included and the free Level companion app for Android devices allows you to tweak the sound.

The Bad Samsung's ultra high-quality audio has very little impact on sound quality and is only available on its devices; headphone doesn't do quite enough to distinguish itself from competing models.

The Bottom Line Another good but not great headphone from Samsung, the wireless Samsung Level On Pro has enough merits to make it worth considering, particularly if you're someone who owns one of Samsung's latest smartphones phones.

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 9
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Samsung jumped into the headphone game a few years back with its Level series, which includes on-ear, in-ear and over-ear models. They tend to be quite likable headphones -- both in terms of their design and performance -- but they don't necessarily wow you.

The new-for-2016 Level On Wireless Pro Bluetooth headphone, which features active noise cancellation and and lists for $250 (£230, AU$400), falls into the same camp: a good but not great headphone for the money.

This successor to the standard (non-Pro) Level On includes support for Samsung's proprietary Ultra High Quality Audio or UHQA Bluetooth streaming format, which is supposed to offer superior audio performance when streaming over Bluetooth. UHQA streaming is available only on Samsung's latest Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge+ (the standard S6 does not support UHQA), Note 5, and Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

While the Level On Pro is best paired with a Samsung phone -- there's a companion Level app for Android phones that allows you to tweak the sound with various preset sound profiles -- this does work with any Bluetooth-enabled phone, including iPhones.

It's fairly comfortable but as its name implies, this is an on-ear model, and isn't quite as comfortable as a full sized around-the-ear headphone, though it is more compact. I liked how it folds up to fit in its included carrying pouch and it has an attractive, mostly plastic design, that seems pretty durable and is Samsung's answer to Beats headphones.

The Samsung Level On Pro has touch controls and comes in two color options (black and bronze).

Sarah Tew/CNET

Like the Level On, this Pro version has touch controls on the outside of right earcup so you can tap the headphone to pause and play your music or swipe to raise and lower volume or skip tracks forward or back. I'm a fan of the touch controls, but not everybody feels the same way because you sometimes accidentally touch the earcup while adjusting the headphone on your head and end pausing your music, which is a little irritating.

The headphone worked well as a headset for making calls but if you're looking for a headphone with heavy duty noise-cancellation this isn't it. Although it does a reasonable job cutting noise, the NC is fairly light and it isn't as effective as the noise cancellation found in Bose QC25 headphone. However, the lighter NC may appeal to those who are sensitive to the sensation of pressure that active noise cancellation can put on your ears.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours, which is good but not great.

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