Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review – 6 Months Later

Are the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro worth it agains the competition? We have some thoughts.

Products in this video:

Galaxy Buds 2 Pro (Affiliate Link)

Sony LinkBuds S (Affiliate Link)

Sony WF1000-XM5tant Sky Connect (Affiliate Link)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Affiliate Link)

Google Pixel Buds Pro (Affiliate Link)

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Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Review

by Josh Teder


It’s been six months since I bought a Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro pair. While I don’t think they’re the buds everyone should get, I’ll explain who these buds are for and answer some of your questions along the way.

Sound Quality

Now, the first thing I like about these buds is their sound quality overall. You can now get these buds for $120 to $170 depending on the retailer, and I’ve left purchase links in the description so you can check whatever their current price is, considering that they sound very good, especially when paired with a Samsung Galaxy device. That’s because Samsung uses a proprietary codec called SSC, which stands for Samsung Scalable Codec, for encoding and decoding 24-bit audio compared to the normal 16-bit audio used by other codecs. And that tech, paired with the drivers found in these buds, gets you a really nice, well-balanced sound that, at times, can be punchy with a really nice wide soundstage.

Comparison with Sony WF-1000XM5s

Now, I got a ton of questions about how these buds sound compared to the brand-new Sony WF-1000XM5s. I still prefer the XM5s over the Buds 2 Pro because of their better bass fit and substantially better battery life, at eight hours of ANC playback versus the five hours you get with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. When you compare the Sony’s to these buds, the Sony’s help identify two shortcomings with the Buds 2 Pro sound quality: mainly, they lack a bit in dynamic range compared to the Sony’s, and their bass is also a bit lacking. But that’s likely due to their ear-tip design.

Ear Tip Design

Let me explain: With both the Sony WF-1000XM5s and the LinkBuds S, which I’ve also reviewed, Sony uses ear tips that go further into your ear canal, creating a better seal, which often nets you better bass performance.

Noise Cancellation

Overall, I’d put the noise cancellation of the Buds 2 Pro on par with buds like the LinkBuds S or the Pixel Buds Pro. It’s good, but not best-in-class. This is a shame because I really like the drivers Samsung puts in these buds. If they had a bit better sound isolation, I think they’d be one of the best buds on the market.

EQ Adjustments

Thankfully, you can somewhat adjust the EQ of these buds. But the EQ feature that Samsung implemented for them was not what I was expecting. Samsung only gives you a few select options. The dynamic one was the closest to the adjustments I wanted to make, but it was still a bit too bass-heavy. I don’t know why Samsung just doesn’t let you have a full EQ like the buds from Sony and the Pixel Buds Pro, which I’ve also reviewed.

360 Audio Feature

Now, related to audio, Samsung marketed another feature quite heavily with these buds: 360 Audio, which can make it sound like speakers are all around you. It uses head-tracking technology to make it sound like the sound coming from your phone is actually coming from where your phone is physically located.

Gimmick or Useful?

To me, this feature, like it is on a lot of Apple products, is mainly a gimmick for earbuds. The only scenario where I’ve ever found this feature worthwhile and useful is when I use it with my AirPods Max and my Apple TV 4K when watching content. Because in that scenario, the AirPods Max are actually able to reproduce a surround sound environment, and it’s quite convincing.

Dolby Atmos

Would I buy these buds over another brand just for the 360 Audio? No. You could still get buds like the Pixel Buds Pro or the new Sony Buds and still benefit from Dolby Music through services like Apple Music. However, with earbuds in particular, I haven’t really found much benefit in using Dolby Atmos music. Where Dolby Atmos really makes a difference with music listening, in my experience, that has been with headphones like the AirPods Max and with speakers, specifically the Sonos Era 300, a speaker design signed from the ground up specifically for Atmos and spatial audio.

Issues with 360 Audio and Dolby Atmos

But in general, with these buds, Atmos sounds fine. However, if you enable 360 Audio and then enable Dolby Atmos on a service like Apple Music, it actually sounds horrible. I’m assuming it has to be a bug, but with both settings on, songs sound echoey and reverberating. It’s like someone took your phone, started playing music on its speaker, and then chucked it into the world’s largest bathroom. Samsung markets the 360 Audio feature as being compatible with Dolby Atmos, so I’m not exactly sure how this got so screwed up. If you’ve run into that or know what the hell is going on, definitely let me know in the comments.

Mic Quality

The next thing to look at with these buds is their mic quality. Here’s how they sound compared to some of their competition: These are the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and this is how their mics sound. These are the Pixel Buds Pro, and this is how their mics sound. These are the Bose QC IIs, and this is how their mics sound. And these are the Sony WF-1000XM5s. And these again are the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, these are how their mics sound. Let me know in the comments which one you thought sounded better when experiencing the transparency mode on these buds, which I have enabled right now. Overall, I actually think it sounds pretty decent. I can hear my environment very well when I use transparency mode, and when I’m listening to my voice, it sounds clear. The only knock I’d give the transparency mode is that when I hear my voice, it still sounds a bit artificial. It’s almost like someone turned the gain up a bit too high on the mics used on the buds, and it doesn’t sound like I’m not wearing them. To be fair to Samsung, this is pretty typical for buds in this price range.

Design and Case

Another great thing about these buds is their design and case. Overall, I found them to be a pretty comfortable set of buds, though not as comfortable as the LinkBuds S. they’ve been pretty good for flights. I used them on a short-haul flight, and the noise cancellation was pretty good. I haven’t used them on a long-haul flight yet, but I don’t actually think their battery life would really last the entire flight. Their battery life is only rated for five hours, which is on the low end when you look at buds in this price range. The Pixel Buds Pro has much better battery life.

Comfort and Fit

While they’re comfortable, because the buds are still kind of wide towards the ear tips, I could see how it could still make somebody’s ears a bit sore. Also, while I haven’t had a problem with them on walks or hikes, for going on a run or going to the gym, you might want a bud design with a stabilizer arc, like those made by Beats, Bose, and Google, for a more secure fit.

Water Resistance

These buds are water resistant. They can actually be submerged for up to 30 minutes with their water resistance rating, which is better compared to the higher-priced Sony WF-1000XM5s. Those only have an IP4X rating, which means they’re just splash-resistant.

Case Features

Another thing I’ve come to like about these buds is their case. It’s pretty slim, can hold 18 hours of battery, and I love the grippy material Samsung used in the design. Plus, it has wireless charging, as the tech gods intended.

Samsung-Specific Features

And because these buds are made by Samsung, you do get some Samsung-specific features with them. Like Samsung SmartThings Find, which will show you the location and even give you an audible alarm when you walk away from them so you don’t actually leave them somewhere you don’t want to. They have other features, such as sharpening the sound for phone calls when you’re in a noisy environment, auto-switching between Samsung devices, and a gaming mode to minimize audio delay. They also have a conversation recognition feature that’ll lower the volume when you’re talking to someone, which is pretty nice. But if you sing along to music, you will likely want to keep that feature off.

Playback Controls

Playback controls are pretty straightforward. You just tap once to play and pause, twice to skip forward, three times to skip back, and tap and hold the left button to cycle through transparency mode and noise cancellation. They have an experimental feature that you can access within the bud settings, which allows you to raise and lower the volume using the edge of the earbud.


So, now let’s talk about recommendations. Do I recommend the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro? Yes. However, I don’t think they’re the buds for everyone, mainly those who don’t have a Samsung phone. If you don’t have a Samsung phone, I’d personally shop around a bit, and I’d probably only end up on these buds if they were on a really good sale. I’d spend more for the Sony WF-1000XM5s if you want better battery life, noise cancellation, and sound.


If you’re an Android user, especially a Samsung user, and you want a pair of wireless earbuds with great sound, decent battery life, an ergonomic design, and decent noise cancellation, I think these are definitely a buy.

Make sure you follow our site for more Samsung reviews, like my review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. You can get to that review here:

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