Price: Rs 15,990
Specs: Active Noise Cancellation, Ambient Mode, Voice Detect, Touch controls, 11millimeter woofer, 6.5mm tweeter, two-way speaker, Charging cradle, up to 28 hours battery backup
Colours: Black, Violet, Silver
In the Box: Galaxy Buds Pro with charging cradle, Type-C cable
Launching wireless earbuds since 2016, Samsung has mastered the TWS category as the latest Buds Pro Buds have it all -- from great design, fit and sound to utility features such as active noise cancellation (ANC), enhancing ambient noise and automatically switching between the two when speaking.
Ditching the kidney bean design of Buds Live, the Buds Pro is more on the lines of the Buds and Buds Plus. The compact in-ear Buds Pro have a glossy finish at the top complementing the matte finish and rubberised in-ear tip (no wing-tips thankfully) and are placed in a matte-finish clamshell charging case. The buds offer a good seal, fits comfortably, without falling. However, the fit was iffy. While the right bud was comfortable and settled neatly, I struggled with the left bud. Even when wearing the buds, the app prompted me to wear both the buds to turn on ANC. Adjusting the left bud's fit a bit would address this issue.
The Buds Pro supports basic touch controls such as a single tap for play/pause music, double-tap for play next track and answer/end call and triple tap for playing the previous track. However, I was able to choose the action for touch and hold. I could choose between switch noise control (ANC/Ambient sound), voice command, volume control and Spotify, and I preferred assigning volume down to left and volume up to the right as the voice detect came in handy to automatically switch between ANC and ambient sound. And for accidental touches, there is also an option for block touches.
Pairing with an Android smartphone was simple. The Galaxy Wearable app installed a plugin for the Buds Pro from the Play Store, and this process of pairing took less than a couple of minutes. But unlike previous Galaxy Buds from Samsung, which paired and worked with iPhone too, this one doesn't.
The Pro Factor
The active noise cancellation on the Buds Pro is impressive. The ANC successfully subdued the background noise while playing music. Not so much when the music wasn't playing. Samsung claims that the microphones on the inside and outside monitor noise in real-time and allows the user to choose the ANC level. Between the high and low levels of active noise cancellation levels, I could barely feel any difference.
One of my favourite features on the Buds Pro is Voice Detect. I had to turn it on from the app but it perfectly addressed my problem of taking out the buds or pausing music while responding/talking to someone. With the Voice Detect feature on, the Buds Pro identified when I was speaking, automatically lowered the audio volume while switching to the ambient mode from ANC. As a result, I wasn't too loud and could comfortably hear the other person too. And when I stopped talking, within seconds the Buds Pro switched back to ANC. Even the ambient mode uses algorithms to raise the environment volume for better hearing. Wish it was intelligent enough to identify when I was singing and not turn on the voice detect feature.
Just like Spatial audio on the AirPods Max, Samsung too has added a 360 Audio that using intelligent motion-tracking sensor brings a theatre-like experience to the Buds Pro. But I could not test this feature as it works only with the flagship Galaxy S21-series.
Housing two-way speakers on each bud, the 11 mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter offer loud and clear sound. I played my testing playlist on the Buds Pro that includes different genres of music, with tracks like 'Something Just Like This' by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, 'Clint Eastwood' by Gorillaz, 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain' by Willie Nelson, 'Afreen Afreen' by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and many more. Overall, the sound was well balanced, with clear and pronounced vocals. Across tracks, the bass was deep, definitive. Even the highs were well balanced, didn't distract or hurt ears. There wasn't any distortion at higher levels. Besides, the Buds Pro app offers a host of preset equaliser modes including bass boost, soft, dynamic, clear and treble boost. Even the call clarity was good and the Buds Pro filtered the wind noise too.
All this is backed with a decent battery backup with about four hours from the buds with ANC on and a couple of hours more with ANC off on a single charge. The case was able to juice up the buds a couple of times. When completely dead, a five-minute charge juiced up the buds for about an hour's use. Although there is a Type-C port at the rear and can be charged using any Type-C cable, it also supports wireless charging (Qi-certified).
Overall, for Rs 15,990, the Buds Pro is impressive. It has a great design with a comfortable fit, rather impressive active noise cancellation and ambient sound mode, superb sound output, call clarity all topped with a great battery backup. It's undoubtedly the best buds from Samsung's stable.