When the original Galaxy Buds Pro came out in January 2021, it was considered by many to be the best you can get sound quality wise in true wireless earbuds, and I am inclined to agree. I have now reviewed well over a hundred pairs of headphones, many of them TWS earbuds, and the Galaxy Buds Pro always seemed to be on a level on its own, no matter how many other competitors I compared it to.
Samsung acquired Harman International in 2016, who is the de facto standard setter for optimal headphone tuning with their eponymous Harman Curve target, which is the continually evolving product of a lot of research that has spanned several years now. It’s not that surprising thus that Samsung, with Harman’s and its own research and tech, was able to create the best sound in the TWS market.
But it’s now been two and a half years since the original Galaxy Buds Pro came out, which might as well be a generation in wireless earbud time – the market continues to become exponentially more competitive. Suffice to say, the next generation of the Galaxy Buds series was one of the most anticipated releases in the recent headphone market.
Enter the aptly named Galaxy Buds2 Pro – it looks mostly the same, save for the updated slick matte style design, but does it actually one-up its older brother king of the mountain? I was definitely excited to find out for myself.
Galaxy Buds2 Pro vs Buds Pro Side by Side at a Glance
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Pro Have Improved Battery Life?
Yes, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro has slightly better battery life. The quoted battery life of the buds on a single charge is the same (5/8 hours with ANC on/off respectively), but the newer Galaxy Buds2 Pro do last a little longer than the older Galaxy Buds Pro do in my experience. The quoted total battery life with case recharges of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is also slightly better (30h vs 28h). The Galaxy Buds2 Pro’s Bluetooth is upgraded to the latest v5.3 (from 5.0), which improves both battery efficiency and signal range.
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Pro Have Improved Isolation and Noise Cancellation?
Yes, while the older Galaxy Buds Pro had great external noise blocking for its time (and that’s still relatively decent), the Galaxy Buds2 Pro has noticeably better external noise blocking, particularly in the mid to low ranges, which is what ANC is typically best for. I would definitely say the significant improvement here is in part to the improved case and tip design.
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Pro Have Improved Fit and Comfort?
Yes, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro also has a significantly better fit, and this was the one thing I was really hoping Samsung would improve. The older Galaxy Buds Pro sat somewhat shallow and the tips ran small, and even with the largest set of tips I wasn’t really able to get a solid seal, and it would break if I smiled wide enough or moved my head, face, or jaw around in specific ways.
The inside of the earbud case and nozzle of the newer Galaxy Buds2 Pro is thinner and longer, and they switched the nozzles and tips to a more standard circular shape over the oval shape of the older Galaxy Buds Pro.
The new tips still run a little small, but as you can see, the large replacement tips for the Galaxy Buds2 pro (which I once again used) are significantly larger than those of the Galaxy Buds Pro, and they fit and feel much better – I was able to get a nicely secure, deep, and comfortable fit with none of the seal breaking issues that the older Galaxy Buds Pro has.
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Pro Have a Better Case?
The case is basically the same as before, but just a teeny little bit smaller. I feel like the lid and hinge is slightly more tight and sturdy, but that could just be because its newer.
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Have Improved Onboard Controls and Features?
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro added a few neat new features, including spatial audio that’s compatible with Dolby Atmos and 24 bit Hi-Res audio compatibility. However, the Galaxy Buds2 has one of the same arguable shortfalls that the Galaxy Buds Pro has, which is that using these features as well has the Wearable EQ and customization app requires a Samsung device with Android.
If you’re on an iPhone, for example, all you’ll really be able to do control wise with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is pause/play and switch between ANC and transparency. There is supposed to be a double and triple tap command for tracking, but it just straight up didn’t work for me, and other users have complained about this as well.
If you’re looking for wireless earbuds with a comprehensive and feature rich app experience, and you don’t have a Samsung device, there are probably better choices out there for you.A note before the next section: this page describes how I evaluate the sound quality of headphones and earbuds.
Does the New Galaxy Buds2 Pro Have Improved and Better Sound?
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro has the same basic dual dynamic driver design that the original Galaxy Buds Pro has, but things have shrunk down a bit. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro tweeter and woofer are 5.3mm and 10mm respectively while the Galaxy Buds Pro tweeter and woofer are 6.5mm and 11mm respectively. Though that change might seem trivial, it is definitely significant enough to affect the sound profile. Furthermore, Samsung has almost certainly tinkered with the tuning of the subsequently released Galaxy Buds2 Pro.
I did a fair bit of back and forth, and I do think there is a difference between the two, albeit a minor one. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro has a little more emphasis on the mids and highs, and feels slightly brighter, and the consonantal sounds are slightly more pronounced and crisp. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro has a tone that’s a little flatter and less colored than that of the Galaxy Buds Pro.
Does that mean the Galaxy Buds2 Pro sound objectively improves upon that of the Galaxy Buds Pro? I would say that’s debatable, because sound styling preference is subjective to a degree, depending on the person and the situation. Do I think the Galaxy Buds2 Pro sounds a little better? I think that they do, even if just a little bit. I think the slightly greater V shape of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro makes the sound feel a little more natural and detailed, whereas the Galaxy Buds Pro sounds kind of airy and echoey in comparison.
Is the Galaxy Buds2 Pro a Worthwhile Upgrade Over the Galaxy Buds Pro?
If you already have a pair of Galaxy Buds Pro and you like them, there’s a good chance you won’t think the somewhat marginal improvements of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro are worth their premium-tier price tag. I would also say that if you can manage to find the now legacy Galaxy Buds Pro at a steep discount – and we have seen them – there’s a good chance they will still be the best sounding wireless earbuds you can get for the price.
But if you feel like you’re in the market for a new pair of premium tier wireless earbuds, and the improved fit, isolation, and ANC all sound appealing to you, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro are absolutely worth it. As I said in my review, they really do sound amazing, and are probably the best you can get fidelity wise from TWS earbuds as of now, regardless of EQ adjusting or not.
Get the new Galaxy Buds2 Pro wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the legacy Galaxy Buds Pro on wireless earbuds Amazon (affiliate link)