Samsung is announcing the $199.99 Galaxy Buds Pro today, its most premium set of true wireless earbuds yet. They feature an in-ear design similar to the Galaxy Buds Plus but are aesthetically inspired by the Galaxy Buds Live. The Buds Pro aren’t bean-shaped, but they’ve got the same metallic-looking style and a similar charging case. The tweaked design “reduces the contact area between your ear and the bud, improving comfort and minimizing any clogged-up feeling,” according to Samsung.
More important is that Samsung says they deliver the “best audio experience yet” of any of the company’s earbuds thanks to an 11mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter. The active noise cancellation should also be much improved since these earbuds now create a full seal with your ear. Samsung has also refined its ambient sound mode, which now lets you amplify surrounding noise by up to 20 decibels. The Galaxy Buds Pro are able to detect when you’ve started speaking, and they can automatically switch into ambient sound mode and lower music volume when you do. We’ve seen this convenient trick on headphones like the Sony 1000XM4, but it’s still relatively rare in earbuds.
Samsung says the Galaxy Buds Pro also offer the best microphone performance yet from the earbuds lineup; they’ve got three built-in microphones and a voice pickup unit to help you come through clearly on phone and video calls. “One of the outer microphones also has a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) rating, further eliminating background noises,” the company said in its press release. “In addition, Samsung has integrated its new Wind Shield technology into the Galaxy Buds Pro. While a less protrusive shape minimizes the wind contact area, specially designed chamber with mesh filters out wind interference.”
The Galaxy Buds Pro offer excellent IPX7 water resistance. Image: Samsung
Some features of the Galaxy Buds Pro seem to take after Apple’s AirPods Pro: there’s 360 audio “featuring Dolby Head Tracking technology” when watching videos on a Samsung phone or tablet — a clear answer to Apple’s spatial audio. And the Buds Pro will also switch between Samsung mobile devices automatically.
Battery life is about on par with other premium ANC earbuds: Samsung says you can expect up to five hours of continuous playback with noise canceling enabled (eight if it’s off), and enough juice in the case for an additional 13 hours (20 hours with ANC off) of listening time. The Galaxy Buds Pro are rated IPX7 for water and sweat resistance, so they should be able to handle even your sweatiest workouts.
The Galaxy Buds Pro will come in black, silver, and purple colors to match the new Galaxy S21 lineup. You can preorder today, and they’ll be available from retailers as soon as tomorrow, January 15th.