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Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Feature Audio Perks, but Only for Galaxy Phones

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 2
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in Bora purple.
Richard Peterson/CNET

What's happening

Samsung's $230 Galaxy Buds 2 Pro feature the company's 360 audio and higher quality sound, as long as they're paired with a compatible Galaxy phone.

Why it matters

Samsung's higher-end Galaxy headphones include features that do rival the Pixel Buds Pro and the AirPods Pro, but also rival them by locking exclusive features within its device ecosystem.

What's next

Samsung's new wireless earbuds debut alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5 line, all of which will be released later in August.

Samsung revealed the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds at its August Unpacked event, alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5 line. They cost $230 (£219, AU$349), and will ship on Aug. 26.

Like the previous Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung's pumping up how the wireless earbuds support what it calls 360 audio, which should allow for a surround-sound experience. But to make use of this, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro need to be connected to a supported Galaxy phone with at least Android 8.0 and Samsung's One UI 4.1 overlay.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also support 24-bit hi-fi audio, but that feature also requires a Galaxy phone that has Samsung's One UI 4.0 or above. 

Aside from those Galaxy-only enhancements, the wireless buds do have active noise cancellation and a battery rated for five hours with noise cancellation on -- which can stretch to 20 hours using the charging case. Without noise cancellation, the buds can last eight hours, stretching to 30 hours using the case.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have a water resistance level of IPX7 for water and sweat, making them good for the gym or a rainy day, and they come in three colors: Bora purple, white and graphite.

Now playing: Watch this: Watch Samsung Introduce Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The Galaxy Buds line often has inventive designs (I'm still looking for a sequel to the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live), but it's a bummer that it's continuing the industry trend of requiring a matching phone for the best sound quality. Google's new Pixel Buds Pro also require a Pixel phone for its spatial audio, and Apple is fairly notorious for including all kinds of perks for AirPods users when paired with Apple's devices.