Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Buds and beyond


The Buds 2 Pro has been upgraded in two areas that count, namely the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and audio quality. — Photos: Samsung

What better time than now to invest in a set of wireless earbuds? With the country opening up, it’s the best way to listen to music while on the move.

This is especially so since wireless models have improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and Samsung’s latest – its flagship Galaxy Buds 2 Pro – proves just that.

Fine fit

Both the earbuds and the charging case have a matte finish – they not only look better but feel “softer” and grippier to the touch.

They also don’t get as greasy compared to last year’s shinier version, but I am unsure if they are prone to scruffs and scratches.

The Buds 2 Pro – available in Bora Purple, Graphite and White – has a matte texture that's 'soft' to the touch.The Buds 2 Pro – available in Bora Purple, Graphite and White – has a matte texture that's 'soft' to the touch.

The Buds 2 Pro is less chunky than its predecessor, offering a more comfortable fit that doesn’t put too much pressure on the ears. It also juts out less for a sleeker look.

Like the previous model, it’s rated IPX7 for water resistance – you don’t have to worry about working up a sweat while using the earbuds.

Touch controls have been improved. The Buds 2 Pro registers taps more accurately, making it easier to answer calls, control music playback and adjust the volume directly on the earbuds, without having to reach for the phone.

One of the new features, and a rather novel and unexpected one, is Neck Stretch. You will be reminded to stretch your neck if you have been looking downwards for 10 minutes. Suffice to say, I got reminded one too many times.

The smaller and lighter earbuds offer a comfy fit.The smaller and lighter earbuds offer a comfy fit.

The wireless range was fantastic – I could move about freely in my house without the audio cutting off, even when I was separated by walls and doors.

As for battery life, I got about four to five hours, with the charging case providing at least three additional full charges.

I was never concerned about running out of juice because the case only takes five minutes to charge the earbuds for one hour of playback or 10 minutes for two hours.

The case can be charged wirelessly – even with a phone if yours supports PowerShare – or with a USB-C cable, and one comes bundled.

Augmented audio

The Buds 2 Pro has been upgraded in two areas that count, the first being the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC).

Five minutes of charging with the case will get you an hour of music playback.Five minutes of charging with the case will get you an hour of music playback.

I could sense the difference as soon as I put them on – the fan, air condition and outside noises faded away, leaving only a faint hum.

Even in louder environments, the earbuds’ three microphones did an excellent and noticeably better job at rejecting noise than the original Buds Pro.

The improved ANC helped me to enjoy my music more while out and about, and – I hope – focus more effectively in games.

The other major improvement is in audio – I didn’t have to listen hard to tell that the Buds 2 Pro sounded significantly better than the previous version.

Purple is all the rage for gadgets these days.Purple is all the rage for gadgets these days.

Favourite tracks by Nirvana, Sting and Aerosmith all sounded more detailed and with better depth.

There was no distortion that I could detect, whether in the highs or lows, and the soundstage felt wider.

This was complemented by the improved 360° audio that shifts the sound as you move your head, giving you better positional audio.

It works particularly well with some music, making it sound like you are at a live performance.

The bass sounded satisfyingly punchy without being too aggressive, which is especially great when watching movies.

Of the three microphones, two employ beamforming tech to capture voice with minimal interference.

Whether it was calls or video conferencing over Google Meet, I was told that I sounded clearer and better.

The Buds 2 Pro registers taps more accurately, making it easier to answer calls, control music playback and adjust the volume directly on the earbuds, without having to reach for the phone.The Buds 2 Pro registers taps more accurately, making it easier to answer calls, control music playback and adjust the volume directly on the earbuds, without having to reach for the phone.

There is also a handy voice detection feature that will automatically lower the volume of the music when you have an in-person conversation.

Evolved ecosystem

It goes without saying that you get the most out of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro when using it with Samsung products.

The smart switch feature, for instance, lets you seamlessly switch the earbuds’ connection between multiple devices that are signed on to your Samsung account.

If you are watching a movie on a tablet and receive a call on your smartphone, this feature will route the call to your earbuds. It also supports the new Samsung TVs, but I didn’t get to test it on one.

The only catch is the cost – the earbuds carry a hefty RM899 price tag – but it’s a worthwhile addition if you are in Samsung’s ecosystem.

GALAXY BUDS 2 PRO

(Samsung)

Wireless earbuds

SPEAKERS: Two way speakers (tweeter + woofer)

CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 5.3

BATTERY: Up to 5 hours/18 total with ANC; up to 8 hours/29 total without ANC for music

DIMENSIONS: Case – 50.1 x 50.2 x 27.7mm; earbuds – 19.9 x 21.6 x 18.8mm

WEIGHT: Case weighs 43.4g; earbuds weigh 5.5g

PRICE: RM899

RATING: 4.5/5 stars

Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, 1-800-88-9999

PROS: Superb two-way speakers; noticeably better noise cancellation; fits firmly; rated IPX7 for water resistance; loads of features.

CONS: Pricey.

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