Samsung, the good old brand which is widely known among the end consumers as the giant South Korean company producing a hell lot of electronic products and some consumers even know that they have a separate military force and manufactures even military cannons! Samsung also produces a lot of audio gear by working along with the famous AKG- A Harman Company which is eventually owned by Samsung itself.
The Galaxy Series is very famous in the Samsung product lineup and especially in the audio products range the Galaxy Buds Plus is their last iteration of TWS with nice sound output and excellent battery. The buds live of course are the latest offering after the buds plus but they come under the ear buds category.
The Buds Pro is the advanced version of the Buds Plus with added features like ANC and some specific features which of course will work only if you have a flagship Samsung Smartphone. The sound quality is a big improvement over the Buds Plus and in this review let’s see in detail about the advancements brought in the Buds Pro over the Buds Plus and see whether the PRO is really worth over the PLUS.
Driver Unit: 11mm Woofer + 6.5mm Tweeter
No of Microphone: 6
Active Noise Cancellation with Ambient Mode
Battery: Ear bud: 61mAh, Case: 472 mAh
Water Resistance: IPX7
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Touch Sensor, VPU (Vice Pickup Unit)
Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP
Codec Support: SBC, AAC, Scalable Codec
PACKAGE AND CONTENTS:
The buds pro come in the usual small box but this time in a black color. Its slip-on type and inside the box there is the TWS itself embedded in the case. There is also a USB type C cable, a small box with extra 2 pairs of ear tips. The medium size ear tips are placed in the buds itself. There is a quick start guide and also warranty detail information.
DESIGN AND FIT:
The design of the case is similar to that of the galaxy Buds Live. A small pocket friendly square shaped case which is thankfully matt finished this time hence no more fingerprints in the Phantom Violet color. They are available in other colors like Phantom Black and Phantom Silver. The branding is done in front of the case which is subtle. The USB c port is situated at the back portion of the case. A single light indicator is present in front of the case for depicting the battery level of the case and the charging status. There is another indicator light inside the case for depicting the battery status of each earbud. The case is totally pocket friendly and very nice to touch in the hand. The hinge is not as premium as the air pods pro and doesn’t provide any satisfying feel while opening and closing but good enough.
The design of the buds though is completely redesigned from the Buds Plus. Now the buds area has increased but however the overall thickness is reduced a lot hence no more appearance of the buds sticking out of your ears. The inner structure of the buds is completely revamped by designing based on the anatomical structure of the human concha part of the ear. The nozzle length is reduced in size and the ear tips now occupy most of the nozzle area hence comfort is taken up a notch. The size of the buds are reduced hence it feels lightweight and provides a pretty snug fit even during intense workouts and surprisingly it even provided me a better fit than the buds plus. Since human ears are different from one person to another it’s better to try them out before making a purchase because TWS are mainly meant for convenience than sound.
There is also a wind chamber in the external faceplate which helps in reducing the wind noise while calling. There are pressure relief vents in the inside and outside of the buds pro which helps in maintaining the ear pressure balance so that during heavy workouts you won’t feel the unwanted pressure change which alters the sound.
The ear tips are soft and have an additional mesh layer which prevents the earwax from entering the nozzle. The ear tips seem to be proprietary since some slots are given on the nozzle for ear tip placement hence its advised to safeguard the stock ear tips.
The overall sound signature I would say is Warm V shaped. Initially I thought that Samsung would again cling on to the Harman Target Curve in their pro version too but thankfully now it’s slightly deviated from that people’s preference curve. That Harman Curve led to that shrillness and shouts in the high end in the buds plus. Now in the pro version it’s like Warm Harman, the shouts get reduced and more emphasis is done in the lower midrange hence now the upper end shouts are resolved. The low end has also been improved thus providing a nice warmer sound.
Now the bass is nicely improved over the buds plus. The rumble in the low end can be experienced and the midrange now feels fuller and rounded. In the previous version of the buds the low end is very subtle and in the normal EQ mode they just sounded pretty flat. Now in the buds pro even in the normal EQ preset the bass is well rounded and resolved. Even in busier bass tracks they were able to retrieve the details in the low end while maintaining the low end punch, attack and the tightness.
- BIGFOOT – MALFNKTION
This track just pumps out the sub bass as much as possible and the buds pro sounds very dynamic and delivers that low end sub bass rumble nice and smooth. The attack is faster and under control. The separation is fantastic and the mid notes are clearly separated out from the bass attack. Overall I enjoyed the bass output from the buds pro and if you compare them side by side with the buds plus you would be amazed by the improvement they have done.
- THE SOUND OF THIS NATION – SAPTA
The low end kicks in seriously here. The mid instruments are nicely represented while maintaining the separation with the low end. The bass is well resolved in nature in the buds pro.
- DESERT BAE – SICKFLIP
The sub bass kicks in even deeper and sounds fantastic. The vocals sound not at all muffled even with the fast bass attack and enormous quantity of bass. Buds pro really proves that its Bass worthy
- BLOT – RUMINATE
Here is the proof for the controlled bass response in the buds pro. The bass is well controlled with nice punch and rumble. Most of the TWS I have tried lose in this test. At 2:30 the bass control is just awesome.
Overall in short words the bass is fast, well controlled, resolving, and detailed with sub and mid bass attack. It’s bliss to listen to bass heavy music in the buds pro. It’s not bass head approved but that tightness and control is what does the magic in the buds pro.
The mid are now given more emphasis than the buds plus. The lower mid are now taken forward and now they sound fuller and rounded. No more shrillness or shouts in the upper mid region. The vocals sound natural and the tonality is exceptional here. No timbre issues are found and it sounds as natural as possible throughout the listening
- PLAYTIME – MARGARETA
The guitar strings sound very nice and accurate. They are placed forward and provide a nice presentation. There are no shouts throughout the guitar playback time.
- LET IT ALL GO – ROSPIGG
Here a slight bloat in the mid section can be felt this is due to the heavier bass response of the buds pro. The emphasized bass sometimes just masks up the mid section thus appears bloated but they are very track specific and sometimes I like that bloat which gives the sense of complete roundness.
- DON’T DREAM ITS OVER – CROWDED HOUSE
The vocals are positioned forward and the guitars are placed forward with the drum kicks in the sides are represented well. The vocals sound nice and smooth. Many TWS struggles in the high notes and the result is sibilant but the buds pro is smooth and yet detailed.
- THE LAST GREAT AMERICAN DYNASTY-TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor’s voice is always a pleasure to listen to but listening via the Buds Pro is a different level of experience. The vocals are well controlled. Mostly the female vocals are pitched higher and many earphones struggle in providing a fatigue free listening experience but the Buds Pro easily passes it. I highly recommend it for a fatigue free listening yet maintaining the details in the high end.
Overall in short words, the mid section is tuned exceptionally well when compared to the Buds Pro. Now the lower mid section is fuller and rounded. No shouts in the upper mid and sounds smooth yet bringing out the enough detail.
The treble is nicely extended in the Buds Pro. Most of the TWS in the market tends to roll off early in the treble section but the Buds Pro extends well. The resolution is ok and the separation is above average. They bring out the brilliance in the upper end nicely without the harshness.
- GRAFFITI – CHVRCHES
At 0:44 when the high notes kick in they are controlled well and never reach the harshness or being sibilant. Her voice itself in the track is very high pitched but the buds pro kept it under control. The overall listening experience is smooth and no fatigue is experienced. The details were also not lost along and they sounded nice.
- MOVE YOUR BODY – SIA
Recently I found this track, recommended by my friend and this is one hell of a head banging track in terms of shouts! Most of the earphones struggle here and magically the Buds Pro sounded just opposite! They sound fantastic, and even though I was able to listen to the song completely, I started to love this track. The highs are really controlled in the Buds pro and not a hint of sibilant or harshness is experienced during my listening period.
The soundstage is good. Its width, height and depth are all above average considering the other similarly priced TWS in the market. The depth and height is however more than the width. The width is above average too when compared to the TWS like AirPods Pro or the Oppo Enco X. The resolution is also above average for the price. The imaging and other technicalities can’t be expected to be fantastic in Bluetooth earphones because of the codec’s and the Bluetooth limit. This has the Samsung Scalable Codec but however it’s not a big difference compared to the SBC or AAC codec.
Technicalities wise they do a good job as good as the wired audiophile grade in ear monitors. But for a TWS it’s way above average and even I would say it matches 80 percent of the technicalities of wired high end audiophile earphones.
- THE GIFT OF MUSIC – DREAM THEATRE
Here in this track you can appreciate the resolving ability of the galaxy buds pro and even other technicalities like the imaging and the soundstage. The soundstage is above average for a TWS and imaging is on point too. The drums are placed accurately and the guitars are placed appropriately. The drum sweeps nicely from both the directions. The whole transition is nice and smooth without any fixed points.
- BATTLING MUSK OX – JACOB SHEA
This track just gives a mesmerizing feeling when listening via the Buds Pro. The whole experience is like sitting in a live orchestral theatre. Sounds very spacious and air between the instruments. They never feel closed or very intimate. They have a good sense of space and air in between the instruments.
IMPROVEMENTS OVER THE GALAXY BUDS PLUS:
- COAXIAL DUAL DRIVER – In previous generation buds plus they too had the dual driver but in a different way where they are square shaped unique drivers. In the buds pro the dual drivers are usually circular shaped and placed in a coaxial manner hence the sound output will be much better than the buds plus.
- ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION – Now the buds pro is equipped with the ANC which is quite good but not up to the mark of AirPods Pro. The buds pro cancels out the low end frequencies pretty much but the mid frequencies tend to leak inside so the ANC is not very effective as the other competitors like Jabra, Apple, Bose or the Sony
- 6 MICS – Now the mic count has been increased from the buds plus hence now you can experience clear call quality. In my testing they were pretty good and even better than the buds plus and the additional wind chamber helped in isolating the wind noises while taking calls. The 6 beamforming mics helps in achieving the clearer call quality both indoors and outdoors.
- Ambient Mode is slightly improved over the buds plus. Now they appear slightly natural and less robotic but not better than the AirPods pro.
- VOICE DETECT – This feature is an under rated feature where when you start speaking the buds pro recognizes your voice through the voice pick unit AI and via the vibrations, following that it immediately reduces the volume and activates the ambient mode. After you stop speaking, 5 sec later it gets switched back to the ANC mode and turns the volume back.
- 360 AUDIO WITH DOLBY HEADTRACKING – This feature is exclusive to the Samsung Smart phones running One UI 3.1 which is of course only available in S21 series and S7 tab. It uses the sensors available in the buds pro and changes the direction of the sound based on your head movements. I don’t have the S21 series but based on other reviews it appears to be nice but not better than the Apple’s Spatial Audio. But the good thing with the Samsung’s 360 is it can be felt even while playing offline and YouTube videos which is very nice. I think Dolby Atmos can be experienced with a Smartphone enabled with Atmos like an iPhone.
The battery life actually got reduced from the galaxy buds plus because of the additional feature called ANC. This feature definitely drinks up a chunk of battery and achieves 5 hours of playback with 3 additional charges in the case giving a total of 23 hours. The earbud battery size has been reduced a lot from the buds plus because the buds plus lasted nearly 11hrs while the buds pro lasts 8hrs with ANC off also additional 20 hrs of battery backup in the case. Overall the battery life is pretty good when the ANC is turned off but with ANC turned on they are average.
They support USB C fast charging and also support the Qi wireless charging hence your charging options are pretty much covered.
Galaxy Buds Pro, the latest offering from Samsung definitely proves its worth of purchase. From the design to the sound output, everything feels premium and worth the money you spend. The AKG tuned coaxial dual dynamic drivers does the wonder in the buds pro by delivering a punchy bass, forward mid section with detailed highs. The nice part is even the technicalities found to be good or even excellent considering all the TWS in the market. Even after crossing the Bluetooth limitations, the buds pro delivers an exceptional sound and has some good set of features like ANC and Ambient Mode.
This is definitely a big improvement over the whole galaxy buds series and especially the buds plus. The negatives found in the buds plus are clearly rectified out in the Buds Pro.
Big thumbs up to the Samsung and the AKG team in tuning this awesome sound into these small gems. Overall for the sound quality alone I will pay the whole MSRP and get this TWS any day till a new gem enters the market. Until then this is the TWS you need and this is the NEW CHAMP.
PROS AND CONS:
- Warm V shaped sound signature
- Nice tonality and timbre
- Above average technicalities
- Fit and design
- Track specific bass bloat
This Review is Written By KATHIRAVAN.C
I’m Kathiravan from Tamilnadu. A budding audiophile here with high love towards music and audio equipment. My first experience of enjoying the hifi audio came when I started to use budget chi-fi gears and now it came all along the way of reviewing the gears with high end stuffs. I love reviewing audio products.