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รีวิว Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Samsung ดีแค่ไหน?

The Galaxy Buds Pro released alongside Samsung’s latest line of Galaxy S21 devices, and is meant to be Samsung’s proof that it can compete with some of the best true wireless earbuds in the market, including Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s well-received WF-100XM3.

With some notable upgrades in the specs department including improved noise control features and better overall sound quality compared to its predecessors, I took the buds for a spin over the course of two weeks to see how they fare as a premium option in the constantly-growing wireless earbuds space.

The feel of it.

The Galaxy Buds Pro feels premium in every aspect, from the charging case to the buds and included spare ear tips.

The case is small enough to fit in the palm, but carries a comfortable heft with the buds nestled inside. It opens and closes with a solid-feeling hinge accompanied by a magnetic snap, and is pretty much par for the course in terms of practicality, considering that it features both USB-C and Qi wireless charging.

The pebble-shaped buds themselves are also contoured and weighted well enough that they feel quite comfortable sitting in the ear for extended periods, although the lack of any wingtips meant that I had adjust the buds in my ear from time to time, which was a small annoyance (I’ll get to that in a bit).

Also, the ear tips are shaped in a way that they provide very good passive noise cancellation.

The buds and the case compliment each other pretty well, with the buds snapping in and out of the case without ever being finicky or unwieldy.

Plenty of tools.

Considering its status as a flagship pair of wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Pro come with an appropriate feature set that includes Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), touch controls, and customizable settings that can be messed around with via the Galaxy Wearables app that Samsung prompts you to download before using them on your device.

While the earbuds can be paired to a device as per usual (and they do connect really fast), the app comes with a host of handy options to personalize your settings, such as choosing what the tap-and-hold function does, choosing an equalizer preset, and turning touch features on or off. These features only serve to enhance the user experience, and for the most part, they work quite nicely.

Samsung, if you’re reading this, one feature I would like to see in future firmware updates is a full parametric equalizer that allows users to tweak multiple parameters of sound frequencies – more control over the listening experience is never a bad thing.

The touch controls aren’t anything particularly innovative, but they get the job done most of the time. One tap on either side of the buds for starting and pausing playback, two taps to skip to the next track or answer or end a call.

Three taps will jump to the start or go back to the previous track, and – as previously mentioned – there is a customizable tap-and-hold option that you can tweak in the app to either toggle between noise control, volume control, voice commands, or to activate Spotify.

These controls worked pretty well, but there was a little problem that I faced where adjusting the earbuds for comfort would often cause my music to halt due to accidental taps. I remedied this with the option to block touch controls on the app during long listening sessions, although it wasn’t completely ideal.

During my use, I opted to turn off the ANC feature to conserve battery life, but during instances where I actually did use ANC, I found it to work splendidly, filtering out most of the ambient noise with only irregular and loud noises seeping through. Everything else like electrical hums or the draft from air conditioners completely vanished.

In terms of battery life, the Galaxy Buds Pro fare well enough. While it definitely doesn’t boast the longest life for a product in its class, I found that the buds together with its charging case provided sufficient juice for most real-world use cases.

Samsung marketed the buds as having eight hours of playtime with the ANC off, and five hours with the ANC off, but during my testing, the battery life undershot these figures by about an hour each with medium-to-high volume playback.

If going without charging for long durations ever becomes an issue, the charging case thankfully will carry you through with its 472mAh battery providing up to 28 hours of extra listening time with the ANC turned off, and a bit less with the ANC turned on.

And as previously mentioned, the ability to power up via USB-C or wireless Qi charging makes worrying about battery longevity almost nonexistent.

How does it sound?

The listening experience on the Galaxy Buds Pro were also very satisfactory, in my opinion.

The buds were sufficiently loud, and the soundstage was fairly open for a pair of buds nestled tightly in the ears. When listening to music, I found myself able to identify different instruments quite clearly across various genres of music, and appreciated that there were no moments where I found the stereo width too narrow.

In terms of frequencies, the highs, mids, and lows were quite balanced across the board, with only a very slight boost to the bass and a bit of a spike at the upper end (at times, this made things a tad tinny at high volumes).

If you’re looking for a pair of buds that pump up the bass, the Galaxy Buds Pro will allow you just an incremental step-up in the app’s equalizer. But if you really want buds that hammer kick drums and basslines into your ears, you might be better served looking elsewhere.

The overall listening experience was actually quite nice, and definitely up to scratch for a pair of premium wireless earbuds. This is all probably unsurprising considering that Samsung has had professional audio brands like AKG, Harman Kardon, and JBL under its corporate umbrella for some time now.

Final thoughts.

The Galaxy Buds Pro can be bought at a recommended retail price (RRP) of US$199, placing below some of its competitors in the same category, but still more than all of Samsung’s previous entries in the Galaxy Buds line-up.

Considering its well-thought-out features and admirable sound quality, I’d have no problems recommending them as a choice for those looking for their next pair of wireless earbuds, especially under the US$200 mark.

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