How does 24-bit audio sound like on a pair of wireless earbuds? That’s the immediate question when I unbox the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, it paired to my Galaxy Z Flip4 effortlessly when I open the case, I pop them into my ears and fired up the Apple Music app, played bad guy by Billie Eilish in Lossless quality, I was shocked by how well it sounded as if I was listening to wired audio on my favourite Intime Sora earphones.
Samsung has definitely made a huge leap in wireless audio since the last Galaxy Buds Pro, and the Buds2 Pro took that listening experience up a notch by delivering detail that I have never heard on a pair of wireless earbuds, but it doesn’t mean this pair of Pro earbuds is perfect either, which I’ll save that for later.
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro I got is the signature Bora Purple color and now comes with a matte finish case, which feels very nice when you run your fingers through it and isn’t prone to paint scraping like its predecessor, but the question of how long this type of rubbery material will last is still questionable especially when used in the Malaysian humid weather, as most gadgets with such rubbery surfaces will tend to get greasy after a while, so its best to get a protective case for it if you care about its cosmetics in the long term.
The earbuds has a slightly smaller form than the previous model and weighs 5.5g per piece, it is very commendable on how Samsung still managed to fit a two-way driver that comprise a 10mm woofer and 5.3mm tweeter on each side, I got a few friends with smaller ears to try out the Buds2 Pro and all of them liked how snuggly the ear tips fit them without feeling too much pressure when active noise cancellation is enabled.
Samsung has improved the touchpad’s sensitivity as I no longer find myself accidentally pressing the earbuds when I take one side out of my ears, though interestingly in-ear detection playback control only works when you take out and put on both earbuds, which is something to get used to if you usually take out one side expecting music to pause, but thankfully there really isn’t a need for me to do that all the time as the ambient sound mode kicks in as soon as it detects me starting a conversation with someone, which is a setting you can enable in the Galaxy Wearable app.
The pairing process of the Buds2 Pro is extremely straightforward for Samsung phone users, you pop open the case next to your phone and it instantly shows the pairing window to get you connected. For other devices, you will need to press and hold both earbuds’ touchpad while they remain inside the case, and one beautiful thing here is that you no longer need to initiate the pairing process every time you want to use it with previously paired devices, you simply go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and tap Connect, a chime will play to indicate a successful connection.
Despite that, the Buds2 Pro can’t connect to two devices at the same time despite having Bluetooth 5.3, which isn’t surprising but can be disappointing for those who wants to quickly switch audio sources between two devices, though with a secondary Samsung device such as a tablet, the earbuds does switch to the active audio source really intelligently just like Apple’s AirPods.
To the average user, 24-bit audio isn’t something that can be easily perceived even when you trying playing lossless music to their ears, not unless you are extremely familiar with how a particular music sound like before or care about the tiniest detail in instruments and acoustics, you are not going to find a big difference from other premium competing wireless earbuds.
The Buds2 Pro sound signature isn’t too different from the Buds Pro, where it is able to present low, mid and high frequencies without any bias, it will most certainly not satisfy the bass heads as low end bass sounded a little weak even when you set to the Bass Boost EQ preset, it is ultimately an all-genre pair of earbuds.
While I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I appreciate music and listen to lossless quality music on Apple Music almost every day, hence I am able to tell the difference when playing the same song with lossless quality on Apple Music and High Quality on Spotify, and man, I never want to use this pair of earbuds with Spotify if I can afford to, because the Buds2 Pro presents excellent clarity in details that makes vocals and every instruments brighter and like I mentioned earlier, it really feels like listening to a pair of wired earphones paired with an amplifier.
Unfortunately, this audio experience can only be exclusively enjoyed on Samsung phones due to the proprietary Samsung Seamless Hi-Fi Codec, and you will need to be at least on One UI 4.0 and above to have this feature supported, otherwise you will at most stream with the AAC codec.
With this Hi-Fi codec, it also means more data can be transmitted to the Buds2 Pro, which is the reason why you won’t detect any distortion or muddy frequencies in your music.
In addition, the 360 audio now feels more precise when I move my head around and it works with either music or movies, though I still very much prefer Spatial Audio on the AirPods Pro.
Other improvements in audio performance include much better active noise cancellation, which utilizes three microphones that cancels out more noise and even soft sounds like wind, its ambient sound mode finally feels on par with Apple’s transparency mode where my ears don’t feel that much of pressure as before.
While Samsung has greatly upgraded the audio performance of the Buds2 Pro, battery life is still similar to its predecessor with up to 5 hours with ANC On, while the charging case will extend that up to 18 hours, though I find it to be sufficient during the review period as my average listening per session only maxes out at 2.5 hours, this isn’t going to do well for those who are always on long-haul flights, it would have been great if Samsung had increased the battery capacity of the charging case to offer more charges though.
To be honest, its been a while since I have felt so excited about wireless earbuds, as most of them tend to compete with each other in terms of form and function, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro excites my ears with audio quality that’s hard to experience on others, and for the price of RM899, I recommend that you give it a go if that paltry battery life isn’t a big deal to you.