Galaxy Buds Pro review: Worth the upgrade?
Galaxy Buds Pro review: Worth the upgrade?
8:50

Galaxy Buds Pro review: Worth the upgrade?

Audio
These are Samsung's new Galaxy buds pro earbuds. They're $200 with Active Noise Cancelling and a totally new design with new drivers. So how do they stack up against other noise cancelling true wireless earbuds? And are they worth upgrading to if you already have the galaxy buds plus, let's get right into all that. [MUSIC] As I said in my earlier launch video, these sort of seemed like a cross between the galaxy buds plus and the galaxy buds live. And while the earbuds look different from the buds live the charging case is essentially the same. It's nice and compact and has USB C and wireless charging the buds pro coming three color options Phantom black, silver and violet and they are fully waterproof. With an IP x seven rating. It is the highest yet for a set of Samsung earbuds. I got the black version, and the buds did fit my ear securely. I was able to run with them without a problem, but I gotta say the buds plus fit me a little better overall. They just kind of nestled in my ears and they have a little rubber fin that helps lock them into place. There's no fin on the buds Pro. Samsung told me that some people felt the buzz plusses tips probed into their ear canal a little too deeply. So with this new design that doesn't quite have as deep of fit But the problem is that I couldn't get a really tight seal with any of the included ear tips and nozzles and the tips have an oval shape. And for whatever reason, I didn't get a tight seal and it really impacted the noise canceling performance, more so than even the sound quality I was like, damn, the noise canceling sucks, even though Samsung says it cancels out up to 99% of external background noise. Well, what I did was, I went hunting for some new tips, which I happened to have lots of, because I happen to review a lot of earbuds. It seems, a little blasphemous to use, Apple ear tips with a Samsung product, but I pulled these big yellow tips off the beats flex, and stuck them on the budge pro, and suddenly the noise cancelling worked a lot better. I have a noisy h back unit, in my apartment that blows air, and I went from hearing it, a little too clearly, to have the sound muffled, really well basically on par with the noise cancelling of the AirPods pro. However, the noise cancelling isn't as effective as the noise cancelling of the Bose QuietComfort earbuds. Now you may very well get a good fit with the included ear tips, my ears a little bit weird, so you might do a lot better than I did. But I'm just pointing all this out because it's pretty crucial to get a tight seal especially when it comes to noise cancelling [MUSIC] As far as the sound goes, I did lose a little bit of bass without a tight seal. But after I switched over to the bass boost mode in the app They sounded just fine. And once I went with those big yellow tips, I turned off the bass boost to get a more balanced sound. Samsung told me it's focused a lot on the sound quality and says these have. An 11 millimeter woofer for deeper bass and 6.5 millimeter tweeter for Richard treble. I did hear the difference in my listening test. And if you sound better than both the buds plus and the buds live, the bass is a little deeper and better defined than the bass on the bus plus and the treble does have More sparkle to it. The buzz plus still sound quite good. They just end up coming across as a warmer, more forgiving headphone. If you compare it to the buds Pro, I'm not sure these are quite there with some of the very top sounding true wireless buds like the Sennheiser Momentum true wireless two Integrado Gt 220 that offers slightly more refined sound, but with a tight seal they are among the best sounding true wireless earbuds particularly under $200. And they sound more detailed and dynamic than the AirPods Pro with punchy bass and relatively open sound. They should work well with a variety of music genres. And as I said, you can tweak the sound in the app a bit though I mainly stuck with the default sound profile. Okay, let's move on to features along with the Active Noise Cancelling you get in ambient mode that lets you hear the outside world As well as a couple of notable bonus features, the first recognizes when you are talking and automatically lowers the volume of your music, and fires up ambient mode. So you can have a chat with someone, it's the same feature that's on Sony WH-1000 X Mark4 over your noise canceling headphones, And it's pretty cool unless you talk out loud yourself a lot or have frequent one sided conversations with your pets. In that case, you'll want to turn it off in the app. The feature works with all Android phones, not just Samsung's Galaxy models, but it isn't supported with Apple iOS devices. Has because unlike the galaxy buds plus and Galaxy buds live, these ear buds don't link up with the galaxy buds app. for IOS, though you can stream Bluetooth audio just fine from an iPhone. You just don't get any extra features. I should point out something about the ambient mode. You can adjust the amount of amplification, with a low setting, it sounds more like a transparency mode that lets you hear the outside world in a more natural way, or the extra high mode really does amp up the amplification and augments little sounds, you could touch your Your shirt here and you would hear it. That said the ambient mode even in the low setting doesn't sound as natural as the air pods transparency mode. The other bonus feature is something similar to Apple's spatial audio virtual surround feature. It's called 360 audio. Samsung says it features Dolby head tracking technology which enables you to stay at the center of the scene when you're watching a movie or TV show. I haven't tested it yet because it currently only works with the brand new Galaxy S21 models and isn't available yet for legacy Samsung smartphones and tablets like the note 10 or tab S6 that I'm using. That'll happen down the road with a note 20 probably the next in line for an update for 360 audio. And sadly, it doesn't work with any non Samsung Android devices. But as soon as I try it out, I'll update my text review on CNET with comparisons to Apple spatial audio, but apologies for not covering it in depth at this time. Like with previous galaxy buds, there's also a low latency gaming mode and the earbuds automatically switch between your Galaxy devices and automatically pause your music when you take one of them out of your ears or both out of your ears for that matter. However, there is no true multipoint Bluetooth pairing prescription between a computer and your phone for example. And these don't support the aptech streaming audio codec for people who care about that. You can use the left or right here but independently. That means you can use a single bud to make calls or just to listen to audio. And not surprisingly, the buds pro performed very well in my voice calling tests. Samsung says, they have three microphones plus a voice pickup unit, that's called the VPU. They're equipped with noise reduction technology that helps limiting wind noise in particular. Caller said my voice sounded a touch clear while I was using the AirPods Pro, but the noise reduction with these was very good. [MUSIC] And people said they could hear me well even in fairly noisy environments. Battery life with noise canceling may seem a bit disappointing to buds plus owners. You can get up to five hours of playback at moderate volume levels and up to eight hours with noise cancelling off That noise canceling number is similar to what you get from other noise canceling buds like the AirPonds Pro but the buds plus are known for having stellar battery life up to around 11 hours. [MUSIC] The end, I have to say that the best thing about the galaxy buds pro is their sound and call quality and noise canceling is also effective. If you get a tight seal They fit me pretty comfortably but as I said, the buds plus fit me a little more comfortably. If I own the buds plus I'd certainly be tempted to get these because they are a step up in sound quality, but after using them for a few days, I wouldn't necessarily be racing out to buy them if I already owned the buds, plus Which are a nice value at around $100 or even less online for those who don't have the buds plus or plus live and have been waiting for the budget pro to arrive. These are mostly a really good set of to us here but and they should improve with firmware updates and also come down in price a bit. But like the buds live, which fits some ears better than others, how they fit will ultimately determine just how good you think they are. I'm David Connick for CNET. Thanks for watching and let me know your thoughts on the budge pro in the comments section, especially if you've used them already. Take care and stay healthy.

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