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Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro was designed to dazzle even wireless audio snubs

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Over the past few years, the TWS (True Wireless Stereo) market has been steadily growing. In fact, nearly all audio and mobile brands now have their own TWS portfolio.
Meet Galaxy Buds Pro with the S21 series

Why? Convenience. They are easy to use and can be connected and reconnected to different devices effortlessly unlike Bluetooth earphones in the past.

AND, thanks to the recent advancements in wireless audio technology, we are seeing more and more wireless audio solutions that are close to what picky listeners are looking for—an amazing sound experience.

Notable South Korean tech leader Samsung believes that its new Galaxy Buds Pro is among the best in that regard.

Why? The firm noted that this can deliver HiFi-grade sound despite being a wireless device.

This even has the sound by AKG branding. To those who don't know, Samsung owns Harman, the company behind over 20 brands including audio companies AKG, JBL, and Harman/Kardon.

Those picky listeners are labeled audiophiles.

Just a quick back story. Most in the audiophile community are wireless audio snubs. It is because there is more noise that travels in the air compared to high-quality and oxygen-free audio gears.

To keep it short, an audiophile is a person who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Anyway, let's check it out.


Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro audio performance (Hear the Best of Your World)

Good fit, good seal, good sound
Good fit, good seal, good sound

First, the fit is essential in achieving optimal sound, and for us, the Galaxy Buds is Samsung's best yet in that regard. Apart from having a nice and minimalist design with no sharp edges for better comfort, the fit is generally impressive.

The in-ear insertion is not too shallow and not too deep. Just right. Personally, I'm quite impressed with the seal out of the box.

In total, Samsung included 3 sizes: Small, Medium, and Large to give most consumers a nice fit and seal.
Each bud comes with two speakers
Each bud comes with two speakers

For the tech that Samsung used, we are glad that it didn't stick to the usual single driver (speaker) set up in order to achieve better sound performance.

Note: There are few single drivers on other audiophile-grade earphones that sound better than some multi-driver setups. But, most of the time, those with more than 1 driver will perform better sonically.
With Woofer and Tweeter
With Woofer and Tweeter

The South Korean firm is probably the first mainstream mobile maker that we know to come up with two drivers. In particular, it uses a larger 11mm Woofer designed for deeper bass response and a 6.5mm Tweeter for a crisp treble with minimum distortion.

Most of the time, multi-driver earphones are a little bit harder to drive as they require more power. But this time, impressively, we only needed 50 to 60 percent of the volume to make it shine. If you wanna go higher than that, it is possible and there's very minimal distortion. But, we won't recommend it as it may damage your hearing over time.

Besides, it has a very good type of ANC (one of the best) that effectively blocks outside noise without jamming with the other frequencies of the sound and affecting its sound performance in a negative way.

As expected, the sound signature is V-shaped to emphasize lows (bass) and highs (treble) of the audio spectrum.

This type of audio profile performs great with Rock, Hip-Hop, and Pop.

Bass response is quite tight and reasonably fast. It is a bit thumpy with a pretty emphasized sub-bass. It is considered as big in the bass department, but not overpowering. A good sign.

Traditionally, the vocal sound will be sitting in the background behind the bass and treble with a bit recessed mids. But not this time, Samsung ensured that this is a well-tuned earphone that made the vocals still sound above-average even if it doesn't have something like an armature driver for extra clear vocals.

In fact, it can make female vocals shine. Male vocals are decent on the buds as well.

It also has plenty of treble with a satisfying sparkle. For us, it has excellent highs. Those who love bright and energetic sound will enjoy this. There's just an occasional sibilance also known as hissing or an emphasis to the letter "s".

Similar to a lot of in-ear earphones, the soundstage will be narrower and won't be concert or 3D-like. Don't get us wrong though, it has an above-average soundstage for earphones with designs like this one.
Connected to a Galaxy device

If you want to artificially increase the soundstage, it has the Dolby Head Tracking and Dolby Atmos. This will be great for watching movies and playing games. It is also quite nice for audio listening.

Overall, the Galaxy Buds Pro sounds very good for wireless earphones and I personally believe that this can compete with a few high-quality wired earphones at this price point.

Also, it may not have the balanced sound that purists prefer, but you do not need to set EQs anymore to make the other frequencies shine while not making the rest of the frequencies sound recessed.

It is still more detailed and arguably better than a few pricier wireless TWS earbuds for us.

Just take note of this...

The Galaxy Buds Pro supports SBC, AAC, and Samsung Scalable codecs. SBC and ACC are the standard audio codecs for wireless audio transmission and the Samsung Scalable codec is the company's own near-lossy codec that could impress picky audiophiles a little.

Lossy audio transmission is essential in ensuring that you get a CD-like audio file quality for your earphones to play.

The Scalable codec supports 24-bit/96kHz audio streaming over Bluetooth with a dynamic bitrate of 88 kbps to 512 kbps bit rate.

However, the Samsung Scalable codec only works for Samsung smartphones. Non-Samsung smartphone users will have to settle for the lower SBC and AAC. Hopefully, Samsung will add even higher forms of wireless audio codecs in future releases.

Fortunately, to be honest, the up to 320 kbps bitrate of Spotify is more than for a lot of listeners.

Other key features of the Buds Pro:

1. It has IPX7 water and dust resistance rating, the highest on TWS earphones yet. This means that you do not need to worry about sweat while working out or accidental water splashes. It can even survive accidental submersion up to a meter in water for 30 minutes.

2. ANC is very good and can block up to 99 percent of outside noise. This is a great feature if you do not want to be disturbed or you simply want to focus on whatever you are listening with. Using the Galaxy Wearable App, you can choose between High and Low ANC modes depending on your preference and situation.

3. It even has an Ambient Sound mode that has up to 20dB amplification to allow users to interact with the person they are talking to without removing the buds. Plus, with the help of the Galaxy Wearable App, you can choose among the four levels of Ambient Sound. Clever.
Front and back (USB-C at the back)
Front and back (USB-C at the back)
Top and bottom (wireless charging at the back)
Top and bottom (wireless charging at the back)

4. Battery life is as good as advertised. Even with ANC, it can last for around 5 hours. 8 hours if you will turn it off. That's rare.

5. The charging case is tiny. But, it can give you an extra battery life of up to 20 hours. It even has fast USB-C and wireless charging. In our experience, a quick 10-minute charge can provide around 2 hours of playtime.

6. It goes with 3 microphones with Wind Shield tech to block wind sound well for calls and occasional audio recording despite not having a stem.

7. Connectivity is impressive and stable. It connects easily to my PC, phone, and tablet.

Note: The Galaxy Wearable App only works for Android devices so far. 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Specs

Driver: 11mm Dynamic Woofer + 6.5mm Dynamic Tweeter
Microphone: 3-mic system
Battery: 61mAh (per earbud), 472mAh (charging case) w/ wireless charging
Sensors: Proximity, IR
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 (Scalable, AAC, SBC)
Others: IPX7 water splash resistance, ANC, touch control, pop-up and pair, USB-C, Colors: Phantom Silver, Phantom Violet, Phantom Black
Dimensions: 20.8 x 20.5 x 19.5 mm (per earbud), 50.2 x 50.0 x 27.8 mm (charging case)
Weight: 6.3 g (per earbud), 44.9 g (charging case)
Price: PHP 9,990

Our thoughts

Wireless audio is slowly getting there and it cannot be snubbed anymore.

If you are a casual user, you will be blown away by how good the Galaxy Buds Pro sounds at PHP 9,990 SRP.

If you are entering the world of audiophiles, but you want wireless buds for convenience, this is one of the best wireless in-ear earphones in the market right now for the price. It's a nice alternative for those who do not want to carry thick audio sources and extra amps or DACs just to hear good sound while on the go.

If you are a seasoned audiophile, this level of sound for a wireless device could surprise you. It is passable. That's not a bad thing since they are among the pickiest of listeners in the world.
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