Review unit on loan from Samsung Singapore
Samsung Buds2 Pro are high-end wireless earphones with ANC released in August 2022 with the retail price of USD 229 / £219 / SGD 329. Pricing is comparable to the AirPods Pro which is USD 249 / SGD 349. Here in Singapore, the Samsung Buds2 Pro are available from Shopee SG, Lazada SG and Samsung Singapore.
In the box you'll get the earphones, case, USB-C charging cable, quick start guide, 3 sets of ear tips S, M (installed) and L.
Design - 5/5
The earphones are available in three colours: white, graphite and Bora Purple. The case is small, compact and portable. Surface is matte textured and all the edges are rounded off. Build quality is solid. The case supports USB-C and wireless charging.
Design and shape of the earphones remind me instantly of a beetle. Surface is also matte textured. The earphones are lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Fitting is good and the earphones do not have anything sticking out. It's difficult to dislodge the earphones with vigorous head movements.
The earphones are IPX7 rating and can be submerged under 1m water for 30 minutes.
Pairing with Samsung devices is as easy as opening up the case and Bluetooth will start pairing automatically. Pairing with non-Samsung devices requires finding the earphones through the Bluetooth settings.
Audio quality - 4/5
The earphones use Bluetooth 5.3 and audio codecs are SBC, AAC, and Samsung Seamless Codec (capable 24-bit 48kHz up to 2304kbps bitrate).
There's a 10mm driver for bass and a 5.3mm driver for treble. You can get better audio quality two good drivers even if less than ideal audio codec so it's a good choice to go with two drivers here.
Audio is clear with a good amount of spatial quality and soundstage for wireless earphones. Voice sound terrific and is in your head. EQ is possible but you can only choose from pre-programmed EQ settings.
Just for comparison purposes, Sennheiser IE600 (USD 699 / SGD 1099) that I'm using as reference sounds slightly cleaner, has slightly better spatial and soundstage, and does much better with details when there is a lot going on.
For example, with Stitches from Shawn Mendes at the 45s mark where all the instruments and voice comes in, it is easier to hear each instrument easily.
I would give 4 out of 5 stars to the Samsung Buds2 Pro for audio quality, and 4/5 is the full marks I give to wireless earphones.
ANC - 5/5
Active noise cancelling is effective at cancelling low frequency and loud noises. There's also a vent on the earphones that works great at removing the pressure from the void created by ANC.
App and features - 4/5
The companion Samsung Galaxy app has many features for the earphones. This app is only available on the Google Play Store. Those using Apple devices can still use the earphones but won't get many of the features advertised.
Here are some of the features from the app.
ANC controls: On, off and Ambient sound (to allow background audio pass through).
Voice detect: Detects conversations and lowers the volume of media that's playing.
360 Audio: Tries to create 360 degree soundstage. There's also head tracking where the sound source will change depending on where you're looking. 360 Audio sounds alright and not something I would use. In other words, these are not recommended for use with Apple devices.
Touch controls: Touch shortcuts depend on how many times you tap and how long you tap and hold the earphones. Below are the default shortcuts:
- Tap - Play/Pause media
- Double tap - Play next track
- Triple tap - Play previous track
- Touch and hold - Switch ANC modes (other options are for Bixby, volume and Spotify)
During calls, double tap will answer or end calls. Touch and hold will decline calls.
Find my earbuds: As the feature suggests. The app can make the earphones create a high pitch sound to help you locate them.
EQ: Choose from Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble Boost.
You can see all the other features in this PDF manual.
Battery life (with ANC) - 4/5
Battery life is 5hrs and the case provides another 18 hours.
Call quality (4/5)
Call quality sounds... alright. Calls are clear enough with and without background noise. One thing that separates the Samsung Buds2 Pro from other wireless earphones when talking calls is there isn't much distortion to voice when there's a lot of background noise.
The Samsung Buds2 Pro are good looking wireless earphones with satisfying audio quality and fantastic ANC. The use of two drivers really helps with getting better clarity with audio across all the frequencies.
The downsides would be the audio lacking fidelity or detail compared to even higher end earphones but that's not surprising or unexpected. Another downside is you won't get all the software features when using the earphones with non-Samsung Android devices, eg Samsung Seamless Codec (24-bit 48kHz). And those who use Apple device should avoid buying this because there's no companion app from the Apple App Store.
The price for these are on the higher end of wireless earphones. In terms of value for money, you'll definitely get more value if you are using these earphones with Samsung devices. If you're have a non-Samsung Android device, well, these are still pretty good earphones but locking out some of the features mean you're paying full price but not getting everything.