Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: TWS with smart ANC, 360° audio launched

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: TWS with smart ANC, 360° audio launched

We're here! We're here! The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked keynote has just finished and the South Korean manufacturer has unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, its new TWS with ANC. 

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro will be officially released on January 29th at a recommended retail price of 229 euros. The earphones are available for pre-order starting this Thursday until January 28th via the official Samsung store and will come with a wireless charger as a bonus.

At 229 euros, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro positions itself in the high-end segment. But they are still cheaper than the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 (€250) or Apple's Airpod Pro (€280 ).

The design is, well, classic especially when compared to the Galaxy Buds Live which was announced last August. It also boasts of the full range of high-end features you would expect on a EUR 200 TWS. The Galaxy Buds Pro claims to offer 4 and 8 hours of battery life (with and without ANC, respectively). Other features include intelligent and adaptive noise reduction, 360° audio etc. On paper, these Buds Pro look quite interesting.

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro has a more classic in-car design than the Galaxy Buds Live / © Samsung

Balanced sound to please everyone with emphasis on microphones

Like many manufacturers, Samsung is unfortunately rather laconic about the audio specs of its headphones. What is the frequency range? What audio codecs do they support? No information has been provided on this subject. (I'll update this article once I get an answer from Samsung).

However, Samsung promises that the Galaxy Buds Pro "deliver a dynamic and balanced sound experience", and that it uses an 11-mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter. The result is probably a "V" signature, which accentuates both ends of the frequency spectrum while leaving the midrange a little off.

We will obviously have to make sure of this during our tests. But this audio profile corresponds to what the majority of manufacturers offer, and therefore. to what the majority of users expect from true wireless headphones.

Samsung also emphasizes the quality of the microphones for phone calls (or videoconferencing). The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro integrate 3 microphones per earphone, 2 of which are designed to analyze external noise (for ANC) while the other analyzes the sound inside your ear. An additional voice pickup unit per earphone is also included and is dedicated to voice only.

Samsung explains that the Galaxy Buds Pro are able to recognise the user's voice and isolate it from ambient noise for better call quality. Samsung also mentions its Wind Shield technology used in the design of its Buds, which, through aerodynamics and the presence of a mesh filter, helps limit wind-related audio disturbance.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Technical datasheet
 

Specs

Dimensions & weight
  • Earphones: 19.5 x 20.5 x 20.8 mm, 6.3 g
  • Case: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm, 45 g
Battery
  • Headphones: 61 mAh
  • Housing: 472 mAh
Listening autonomy
  • ANC on: up to 5 hours on earphones/ up to 18 hours with the case
  • ANC off: up to 8 hours on earphones/ up to 28 hours with the case
Autonomy on appeal
  • ANC on: up to 4 hours on the earphones/ up to 14.5 hours with the case
  • ANC off: up to 5 hours on earphones/ up to 17.5 hours with the case
Microphones

3 microphones per earphone (2 outdoor, 1 indoor) + 1 voice pickup unit

Drivers AKG coaxial 2-way speakers with 11 mm woofer and 6.5 mm tweeter
Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • No multipoint, automatic device switching only with a Samsung smartphone or tablet registered on the same Samsung account
ANC
  • Intelligent" active noise reduction: 99%reduction of ambient noise / 2 adjustment levels
  • Transparency mode: amplification of ambient noise up to +20 dB/ 4 adjustment levels
Waterproofing IPX7
Charging
  • USB-C wired charge
  • wireless charging with Qi standard
  • reverse wireless charge
Colours Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet

An intelligent, adaptive and energy-efficient NCA

Of course, Samsung offers active noise reduction on its Galaxy Buds Pro. This ANC is claimed to be "smart" and is capable of reducing ambient noise by up to 99%. We would have liked to have clearer figures, with indications of the number of decibels for example.

This active noise reduction would offer 2 adjustment steps. Samsung explains that its ANC can adapt to your sound environment of where you are.

Being the automatic type, the active noise reduction would also be less energy-consuming. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro claims up to 5 hours listening time with the ANC on. This goes up to18 hours with the case. Without ANC, the listening time goes up to 8 hours and if you have the case nearby, it will extend up to 28 hours

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The Galaxy Buds Pro are thought and designed to strengthen Samsung's ecosystem, even if it means limiting some key functions / © Samsung

Galaxy Buds Pro supports a host of charging standards including wired USB-C charging, wireless Qi charging and reverse wireless charging. Samsung, however, doesn't reveal how fast the device will charge and at what speeds.

The Galaxy Buds Pro also features a "talk" mode that automatically boosts outside noise when you talk to someone by turning off the ANC and/or turning down the music volume. Oddly enough, here we are given useful information that this ambient mode is capable of amplifying ambient noise up to +20 decibels, with 4 levels of adjustment.

Bluetooth multipoint limited to Samsung products, game mode and 360° audio mode

One of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is the ability to switch between paired devices effortlessly. If you're watching a video on your tablet and suddenly someone calls you, you can automatically switch the audio from your tablet to your smartphone, then switch back to the tablet when the call is over.

The only catch is that this feature is only available on Samsung devices. So it's kind of proprietary at this point in time. Samsung specifies that the automatic changeover only works with Samsung smartphones and tablets which must also be registered on the same Samsung account.

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are available in 3 colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet / © Samsung

Another equally interesting feature is the integration of Dobly's 360° audio technology in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. This technology is based on head tracking and is supposed to allow the user to feel the sound moving around him. Samsung explains that its Buds Pro would be able to capture sound in 3D, for a video for example, by synchronizing the headphone microphones with those of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

I can't wait to test this feature and see how much it enhances the audio experience. Finally, Samsung promises a "gaming" mode to minimize latency and optimize the gaming experience.

What do you think of these Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro? Which feature are you most interested in? Do you believe in 360° audio for microphones? And what about the price/performance ratio at 229 euros? Let us know in the comments.

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