The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds are official, here's what you need to know.
These are Samsung’s next-generation wireless earbuds, extending the company's lineup of in-ears that typically perform as excellent accessories to the best Samsung phones.
With a confirmed MSRP of S$328.00, they're priced marginally higher than the original Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, but the updated version has a more refined design, plus a handful of audio upgrades and some fresh color options.
The first-gen Galaxy Buds Pro had been Samsung’s best wireless earbuds to date, thanks to a waterproof design and improved noise-cancellation at a fair price, so it's enticing to see feature and performance advances on the new model coupled with competitive pricing.
Read on for everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds, from the tweaked design to battery life, audio enhancements, and more.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Price and availability
Samsung’s earbuds pricing has always seemed reasonable, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have had a slight increase to $328 for the second-generation model.
By comparison, the Google Pixel Buds Pro launched last month at $299, while Apple's AirPods Pro have a $379 MSRP, although they can be regularly found discounted for considerably less.
You can pre-order the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro now from the Samsung store, and they'll go on full sale on August 26. Customers who pre-order will enjoy $40 e-voucher off on selected Watch Straps and related accessories. While stocks last.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Design and fit
The design of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro look pretty similar to that of the Galaxy Buds Pro but Samsung says they are 15% smaller, despite having approximately the same dimensions as their predecessor. Thankfully, they look nothing like the awkward Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. The weight is under 0.2 ounces per bud.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are available in three fresh and non-glossy color options: Graphite, White, and Bora Purple. The non-glossy finish should mean they'll be less of a fingerprint magnet than the Galaxy Buds Pro or Buds 2 models.
As with the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Buds 2 Pro are rated to IPX7 for water resistance, which means they're protected from sudden downpours or sweat while working out, and will even offer protection from being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for short periods. The charging case is not rated for water resistance.
We haven't yet tried the Buds 2 Pro in person for more than a few minutes, but given the design we imagine them to offer similar levels of comfort to the Galaxy Buds 2, meaning they should be fine to wear continuously for 2-3 hours.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Battery life
Battery life has become a high priority for all wireless earbud makers, so we're hoping that Samsung has made some advances here.
As with the Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung claims the Buds 2 Pro will be good for 5 hours with ANC on and 8 hours with it switched off. The case, meanwhile, should provide 20 hours with ANC on and 30 hours with it off.
In our testing for the previous-gen model, we recorded an average of around 4 to 4.5 hours when taking high volume, streaming, and listening modes into account. The case added an additional 18 hours of ANC listening.
By comparison, Google's Pixel Buds Pro are rated at up to 11 hours battery life (7 hours with ANC on), with around 2.5 further charges offered up by the charging case. This leaves AirPods Pro trailing behind in terms of day-to-day battery life performance.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Features
Tap gestures and digital assistant integration are said to be improved on the Buds 2 Pro, and their control scheme consists of tap/hold gestures, motion detection and digital assistance. Samsung's Bixby assistant is fully compatible, as you'd expect, and can be activated through the touch-and-hold gesture — but there's no mention of Siri or Google Assistant support.
Take calls on-the-go with powerful ANC29 to eliminate outside noise. The new Galaxy Buds2 Pro allows users to escape into their own world and simultaneously stay connected to their life.
Samsung's says the Buds 2 Pro have 40% more effective active noise cancellation (ANC), and features like Ambient Sound, Intelligent Conversation Mode, and HD Voice are incorporated to improve the listening experience and call quality experience.
Note: Some advanced settings are only available on Android devices running Android 7.0 or higher, but we suspect that's most of you by now.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro support Bluetooth 5.3 with audio switching to seamlessly switch the audio connection to your phone with a touch of a finger — Auto Switch 30 is compatible with Galaxy smartphones, tablets, and even Samsung TVs (2022 onwards) for seamless audio experience.
Bluetooth LE support is expected to come later this year — the latest Bluetooth specification with support for Auracast to enable streaming “to an unlimited number of nearby audio devices."
If you happen to misplace the Buds 2 Pro, SmartThings Find is said to be able to locate them quickly, whether they’re located in the charging case or not.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Sound quality
Sound tuning is by Samsung-owned audio specialist AKG. The Buds 2 Pro feature a newly designed 2-way coaxial speaker driver to handle separate mid/bass and high frequency bands. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer support for 24-bit audio thanks to Samsung's new seamless audio codec that can handle hi-res music streams from compatible Samsung devices, and sounds similar to the new Lossless Audio codec from aptX expected to become widely available on Android devices later this year.
Enhanced 360 Audio with multi-channel sources is also onboard — a spatial audio development of Samsung's own that uses Dolby Head Tracking to create a multi-dimensional sound experience with all kinds of audio and video content. This is exclusive to Galaxy smartphones with Android 8.0 and One UI 4.1 or later with 1.5GB RAM or above.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Outlook
Samsung’s wireless earbuds have been consistently good, but not always great in the way AirPods or even Bose and Sony earbuds usually are. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro look like continuing in much the same vein. We'd hope for modest improvements in sound quality and ANC, while we definitely prefer the new design based on what we've seen so far.
They have some tough competition, though, and we'll only find out how they compare when we do our full assessment and pitch them against their nearest rivals. Our full review will be available in the coming days, along with face-offs against their closest competitors, so stay tuned for more.