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Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro tips and tricks: Get the most from your new wireless earbuds

Samsung's new completely wireless earbuds are packed full of features. Here's how to take advantage of them.

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Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro have tons of features you'll want to learn. 

Samsung

Samsung announced the Galaxy S21, and along with the trio of new phones, the company also unveiled the Galaxy Buds Pro. The completely wireless earbuds compete directly with Apple's AirPods Pro, offering advanced features like active noise cancellation, long battery life and improved sound quality. 

They even have a feature that the AirPods Pro currently lacks. The Buds Pro can detect when you start talking and will lower the volume of what you're listening to and turn off ANC so you can have a conversation without removing the earbuds. Once you're done talking, the Buds Pro will go back to letting you rock out. 

I'll show you how to customize that feature, as well as walk you through various features and capabilities below. 

Pairing your Buds Pro is incredibly easy

After unboxing the Buds Pro, the only thing you need to do to pair them with an Android device is open the case and unlock your phone. A second or two later, you should see a prompt on your phone asking if you want to pair the earbuds. Go through the process, which takes, maybe, 30 seconds and then start using your new earbuds. 

If you're pairing them to a Samsung device, you should already have the Galaxy Wearable app already installed on your phone. If you're pairing them to another Android phone, you'll need to download and install Samsung's companion app before you can adjust settings and install software updates. 

After your earbuds are paired, launch the Galaxy Wearable app and follow the setup process. After you're done, you'll be able to adjust settings and view tutorials. 

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The sides of the Buds Pro are giant touchpads that you can use to control and alter playback. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Control music playback and answer calls

Each Galaxy Buds Pro earbud has a large touch area on the side, making it easy to quickly tap on the earbud and control playback or answer phone calls on the go. How many times you tap will determine what happens. Here's the official list of 

  • Single tap: Play or pause whatever you're listening to.
  • Double tap: Play the next track or answer a phone call.
  • Triple tap: Play the previous track.
  • Touch and hold: Customizable (more on that below) or decline an incoming call.
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Customize how your earbuds work for you. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Customize touch-and-hold for each earbud

As I just mentioned, you can customize what happens when you long-press on each earbud. Open the Wearble app and select Touch and hold from the list of options. Once there, select what you want to happen when you long-press on either earbud. Your options are:

  • Switch noise controls
  • Voice command
  • Volume down
  • Spotify

The Switch noise controls option will toggle between active noise cancelation and ambient sound. The latter of which will let in environmental sounds without drowning out the audio of whatever you're listening to. 

Adjust Active Noise Cancellation

There are two different levels of active noise cancellation you can pick from: High or Low. 

Open the Wearble app and scroll down to the Active noise canceling level and then select your preference. 

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Turn on Voice Detection if you want to use one of the latest features in the Buds Pro. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Auto-pause ANC when you start talking.

There's another button in the ANC settings section that brings a unique feature to the Galaxy Buds Pro called Voice Detect. As its name implies, when the Buds Pro detects your voice as you start talking, it will pause ANC so you can hear the person you're talking to. That way, you don't have to take your earbuds out. 

Tap on Voice Detect to turn it on and select how long you want the earbuds to wait after hearing your voice to revert back to previous volume levels and turn ANC back on. You can pick from 5, 10 and 15 seconds. 

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If you have a lot of Samsung devices, it's worth turning this feature on. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Seamlessly switch between Samsung devices

There's an optional feature you can turn on called Seamless earbud connection. When it's enabled, you're supposed to be able to "seamlessly" switch between devices that you're using the Buds Pro with. For example, if you're listening to a song on your Galaxy S21, and want to switch to a YouTube video on your Samsung tablet, your earbuds should automatically switch between the two without you having to go through the pairing process again. This feature requires both devices be signed in using the same Samsung account. 

Samsung claims this will also work with non-Samsung devices after you've done the initial pairing on both devices, but I haven't been able to test it yet. 

Either way, you can turn on the feature (or turn it off if you don't want to use it) by opening the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone and tap Advanced and slide the switch next to Seamless earbud connection to the On position. 

Pair your earbuds with another device

After pairing the Buds Pro with your phone, if you want to pair them to another device -- be it a computer, tablet or another phone -- the process is a little different. 

Take the Galaxy Buds Pro out of the case and put them in your ears. Long-press on each earbud for around three seconds, or until you hear a beep. After that, open the Bluetooth pairing menu on the device you want to pair with and finish the process. 

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Check battery life

Quickly check the battery status of the earbuds or the charging case, open the Wearable app and view to stats at the top of the screen. If you're using the Buds Pro, they'll be the only item shown. You can view the status of the case and earbuds while they're in the charging case and it's opened next to the phone. 

Install a software update

If there's a software update available for your Buds Pro, the Wearable app will let you know and walk you through the process. 

To make the update process as smooth as possible, make sure to place the earbuds in the charging case and follow the prompts in the Wearable app. I updated my Buds Pro after initial setup and it took under five minutes in total.

If you're still undecided about the Galaxy Buds Pro, make sure to read our full review. After that, read through our review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra -- it's a fine phone. And, finally, if you're ready to order the S21, here's how you can do just that