Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Wireless Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Earbuds Review
Written by Pete Anthony Last updated on:
Samsung has been around forever, and is currently one of the largest and most globally recognized electronics companies in the world. The larger companies are generally not as competitive in the audio market as the smaller more niche and perhaps more focused/dedicated audio companies are, and Samsung specifically has never really been known as an audio company or for their audio gear. But, due to a few relatively recent acquisitions, and subsequent manpower put into their audio division, the Galaxy series earbuds have received a lot of high praise from the audiophile community.
The Galaxy Buds Pro is, as of the time of this writing/update, the highest end product of the series, featuring an all new design, active noise cancellation, touch controls, and a fairly hefty price tag to pay for it all.
box on arrival
back of box, product info
I know that some people in the audio world are big on packaging and that product unboxing and presentation is a thing. I’m not one of these people, and I normally wouldn’t nitpick on something like this, but for a premium audio product with an msrp around $200… I mean come on, the packing tape completely ripped the paint off the box and took some of the product information text with it.
out of the box
After I took a flower pedal laden bubble bath to calm down from that horrendous packing tape, open sesame. The packaging seemed fine for at least shipping, but was otherwise pretty underwhelming. Like I said I’m not a box/presentation guy, but, at this price-point… I dunno, maybe at least some nice packing foam rather than a cardboard sleeve. Even I’m a little irked to see other earbuds for less than a quarter of the price have nicer packaging than this. I would have also liked to see more replacement tip options and perhaps styles to achieve an ideal as possible fit – small, medium, and large is the bare minimum inclusion, even in the budget-tier.
Included with the headphones:
quick start pamphlet
two pairs of different sized replacement tips
usb type C charging cable
earbud side, tip and no tip
earbud front nozzle
Fit and comfort:
Short nozzles with a non-contoured/ergonomic case is usually a bad sign for fitting, but, I was able to get a decent fit with the large tips (I almost always wind up using medium/default tips for reference). They feel a little shallow in my ear canal, and I could tell the seal and sound changed slightly if I smiled as wide as I could, but it was barely noticeable.
You simply have to tap the shiny outer side of either bud to active the touch controls, which I found easy enough to use. Both sides are responsive and you hear a nice chime that corresponds to the command you gave it: one aesthetic beep to pause, two to track forward, three to restart then track back. I did accidentally pause a few times when I was trying to adjust the earbud fit on the fly.
One annoyance: no built in volume changing touch control! why!? I don’t want to download Samsung’s app to “program” that function in. sorry. At least it can be done, but I’m not sure if the on/off function for active noise cancellation (touch and hold by default) would get replaced.
charging/carrying case top
charging/carrying case bottom
usb C female charge port
The case feels nice – it’s about 2 inches long/wide and an inch tall, easy to fit in a pocket. It snaps open/shut and the indicator lights on the inside and outside turn green when the earbuds and case respectively are fully charged.
The earbuds themselves are IPX7 certified and resistant to water at full immersion for up to 30 minutes, but the charge/carry case is not rated for water resistance. Keep in mind that immersible earbuds won’t continue to work under water because Bluetooth can’t penetrate water.
I fired up my usual test playlist, and if I’m unable to take any critical notes within the first 30 seconds that’s an unusual good sign that I’m listening to a real winner. I also was noticing song details that I normally don’t, yet another good sign.
The Galaxy Buds Pro does sound really good, maybe even… dare I say… *amazing* for the non-elite price/equipment-tier. Nice even response with solid detail and clarity coupled with a pleasantly warm and airy sound signature. Not an easy feat to accomplish at any price bracket.
Any major, deal breaking issues:
None the I could detect. That would be a major dissapointment for such a highly touted product at this price-point.
Sound signature/response curve:
It feels pretty even and flat, maybe with a slight dip in the mid-high range – low-mid details caught my attention in a way they normally don’t when I test less expensive earbuds.
The bass quality is good – nice and full, with my normally drops coming through pretty much all the way, but maintaining tightness and tone. I wouldn’t call these earbuds bassy, though it might be a bit emphasized with slight roll off at the bottom.
Isolation and noise cancellation:
The isolation without the active noise cancellation (anc) isn’t particularly great – I’d put it around low-medium. The anc, though, is very good. I run a big GE portable AC and tower fan in my room during the summer which I’d probably ball park guess is around 50 dB of noise. The AC turned into a mere faint whisper when I turned the anc on without anything playing into the earbuds, then, I couldn’t hear it at all once the music started, and the sound quality didn’t seem to deteriorate at all regardless of weather my amazing but unfortunately loud AC unit was turned on or not.
The Galaxy Buds Pro has a 1 year warranty against manufacturer defects (source). This is admittedly short/minimal for the price-point – many wireless earbuds for a small fraction of the price also have a year of coverage, and it’s not uncommon for headphones in the three figure price-tier to have 2 to even 5 years of warranty coverage.
Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
After my initial listening/review test, I can definitely see why the Galaxy series is so highly regarded in the audiophile community – The Galaxy Buds Pro do sound pretty amazing, and fidelity wise may very well be the best active noise cancelling earbuds you can get without an elite niche monster price tag. I’ve listened to a lot of earbuds, and that is not a sentence that I write lightly – I’ll continue to use and a/b test these and I might come back and revisit that claim.
An msrp of $200 is a lot for a pair of wireless earbuds. It would really stink to drop one of these in a river. The fit is not the absolute greatest either, but that didn’t compromise the excellent sound quality in my opinion.
If you’re looking for something less expensive that you won’t have a coronary over losing, I’d recommend either the TOZO T6 (reviewed here) or T10 (reviewed here). They don’t sound as brilliant as the Galaxy Pro does, but they still sound very good for their fraction of a price, and the TOZO charging cases also have their respective IP codes for water resistance while the Galaxy Buds Pro case does not.