Since Samsung acquired Harman, the Korean company’s line of wireless earbuds have been lauded for their audio quality. Both the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro were great sounding earbuds, so expectations are high for the latter’s successor, the new Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
And it doesn’t disappoint. Not only is it the best sounding wireless earbuds yet from Samsung, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is also, in my opinion, the earbuds to get below RM1,000 if you want the best audio quality. I do have some qualms with it, but for the most part, it’s certainly worth the money.
What It Is
What sets the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro apart from its competition is the earbud’s ability to playback 24-bit audio via Bluetooth, promising a hi-fidelity listening experience. But there is a limitation to this: it can only achieve 24-bit audio playback when it’s connected to a Samsung phone running on One UI 4.0 or higher.
It also depends on which app is used, given that some streaming services (such as Spotify) don’t support 24-bit audio. While this is a feature worth highlighting, I personally don’t notice any major difference in audio quality between 24-bit and 16-bit. At least, not on a pair of wireless earbuds like these.
Aside from that, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also features active noise cancellation (ANC), a custom coaxial two-way driver setup, up to eight hours of use on a single charge – five hours with ANC activated – and of course, tuning by AKG, so the tuning of these earbuds is (as expected) excellent. Aside from that, the earbuds are offered in three colours: Bora Purple, Graphite, and White.
The Good Stuff
My favourite feature of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has to be its audio quality. It has strong, controlled bass, relatively neutral mids – though a bit too recessed for my liking – and pleasant treble that definitely doesn’t sound piercing or shrill to my ears.
Even though I’m not a huge fan of the Buds 2 Pro’s mids (more on this later on), I am very impressed with its bass response. It is punchy, textured, and most of all, satisfying. All of these are done without the bass bleeding into the mids – that would’ve made for a muddy sound profile.
The ANC of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is great as well. It can effectively eliminate low frequency sounds very well, making it ideal to be worn in, say, trains or busses. It can’t quite cancel out higher frequencies, unfortunately, though this is also true for most wireless earbuds with ANC.
As for battery life, I did manage to get Samsung’s quoted battery life of up to five hours (with ANC enabled) out of the Buds 2 Pro on a single charge. While this isn’t exactly class-leading, it’s more than good enough for my particular usage.
When necessary, I can always just pop the earbuds back into the charging case to quickly juice them up for a total of 18 hours battery life.
Another feature of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro that I love is the “voice detect” feature. When I start speaking, the earbuds will automatically let in ambient noise so that I can have a conversation. It’s similar to the “Speak-to-Chat” feature on the Sony WF-1000XM4, basically.
Last but not least is the IPX7 water resistance of the Buds 2 Pro, making it a great pair of wireless earbuds for working out. I can also quickly rinse it off after a heavy workout without worrying about water damage.
The Bad Stuff
As the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is a pair of wireless earbuds, it does have one inherent shortcoming: its technical performance isn’t particularly good. Detail retrieval is especially lacking, though this isn’t exactly an issue that is exclusive to these earbuds.
Though I dig the tuning of the Buds 2 Pro, I’m not too crazy about its recessed mids. As a results, vocals don’t sound as forward as I would’ve liked, and guitar solos on rock tracks are a tad too quiet for my taste. Then again, some folks may not mind this at all; they may even find this quality desirable.
And then there’s the passive noise cancellation of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro – or lack thereof. It’s not particularly easy to get a good fit with these earbuds, so it’s not as well-isolated as it should be. In short, ambient noise – especially higher frequency sounds – is still quite audible with the earbuds on.
Is It Worth It?
For RM899, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is an easy, easy recommendation, even with its shortcomings. It still has fantastic audio quality – best I’ve heard for wireless earbuds under RM1,000 – good ANC performance, and long enough battery life.
The value proposition of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro really cannot be understated. While RM899 isn’t exactly a small amount of money, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck here. If you want a pair of wireless earbuds with excellent audio quality for your daily transit or workouts, look no further than the Buds 2 Pro.
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