The competition is getting stiffer among TWS earbuds offering a lighter form factor and better active noise cancellation with each passing year. So, what has Samsung improved upon with its brand new Galaxy Buds2 Pro? 

Design

For starters, the Buds2 Pro cases and earbuds have a matte finish now, as opposed to the glossy finish from last time. The earbuds are built lighter too. I love the Bora Purple set I’ve got for review, and I’m sure Samsung’s betting on a whole lot of millennials and GenZs liking it too! 

User experience 

I have some mixed feelings about the touch controls on this pair. On one hand, I love how effortless activating any function is on the Buds2 Pro - the gentlest of taps gets the Buds to do what I want. And, this exactly is what backfires too. The buds continue to get activated accidentally, frequently - whether I’m just adjusting for a better fit, or trying to fall asleep at night listening to music when my hand brushes against it. 

Also, the volume controls with a quick double-tap on top of each earbud (tap right to increase and tap left to decrease volume) took me a fair bit of time to get used to, and is a bit of a hit or miss each time. 

The earbuds are IPX7 rated, which means they might survive in up to 1 meter of fresh water for less than 30 minutes. So, using them at the beach or in the pool is a strict no-no. Keep in mind that the charging case is not water-resistant, at all. 

The long press function is customisable - I could choose among volume up, volume down, activating Bixby, and opening Spotify. However, when I assign long press on the right ear to raise the volume, the app automatically assigns long press on left ear to decrease the volume. And, vice versa. So, if I want non-related functions, say long press on right for ‘Volume Up’ and long-press left to open Spotify - this choice isn’t really available. 

Noise cancellation 

Transparency mode works well letting just the right amount of ambient noise in - something I find especially useful while using these at work. The active noise cancellation is where I was left a bit underwhelmed. In my opinion, the ANC doesn’t filter out ambient noise to the extent it should, a standard that many of Samsung’s competitors seemed to have attained. It’s definitely an improvement upon the previous-gen Buds Pro, however, it doesn’t seem to be able to keep away conversation at close quarters or high-pitched noises like babies crying on a flight. The only silver lining with less than optimal ANC is that the earbuds don’t cause much discomfort while in use. 

Connectivity

The ‘Auto Switch’ mode lets me use multi-device connectivity - but only within the Samsung ecosystem. No such luck if you’re using any other manufacturer’s devices to connect your Buds2 Pro with.

I choose to have voice detection on, and the buds automatically activate ambient sound mode when I start speaking to someone in real life. The media volume is also automatically dialled down to let me hear ambient sounds or the person’s voice clearly. 

I used the ‘Hi, Bixby’ feature as well, and while it recognised and executed my voice commands fairly well, I wish it had a talk-back feature or at least an audible ping to confirm that it’d heard me. In the absence of such feedback, I had to keep looking at the phone to see if the command worked well, when all I wanted to do was finish typing this review on my laptop. 

Users have six equaliser presets to choose from - none of them customisable. I love the Bass Boost for music, and it gave a smooth, well-rounded acoustic experience, without making the bass unnaturally heavy. 

Battery life 

Unlike many other brands, the Samsung Buds2 Pro has two distinct battery indicators - one for the buds and the other for the case. Each earbud comes with a 61 mAh battery and the charging case with a 515mAh battery. The earbuds easily stayed on for close to 4.5 hours of play time with ANC used intermittently. 

Verdict

If you already use a Samsung smartphone or tablet and don’t own the Buds Pro already, by all means, give this a shot. If you’re using some other Android phone, you’ll be missing out on 360-degree audio, which is definitely one of the highlights. iPhone users will be better off looking elsewhere entirely.

Price - ₹17,999

Pros - Comfortable to wear for long periods of time, good sound quality, voice detection feature

Cons - Volume controls take some time to get used to, more customisation options needed

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