Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro true wireless earbuds are now official

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Today at its Galaxy S21 Unpacked event, Samsung announced the company's newest truly wireless earbuds – the Galaxy Buds Pro.

And it's official – the Buds Pro will be released in select markets starting January 15, for the price of $200, which is $50 less than Apple's AirPods Pro earbuds.

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Design and color options

The charging case of the Buds Pro looks mostly identical to the one for Samsung's previous wireless headphones – the Buds Live. It's made out of glossy plastic on the outside, matte plastic on the inside and features smooth, curved edges. It opens up like a wedding ring case. As for charging, it quick-charges via a USB Type-C port on its back side.

The Buds Pro earbuds themselves resemble fairly traditional sports earbuds, as opposed to the bean-shaped design Samsung tried out with the Buds Live. As with previous Samsung earbuds, the Buds Pro feature touch controls for playing and pausing music, triggering Bixby, answering phone calls and pairing.

The Galaxy Buds Pro will come in three color variants, to match the Galaxy S21:

  • Phantom Black
  • Phantom Silver
  • Phantom Violet

Notably, the Buds Pro earbuds have an IPX7 rating, which is higher than on any previous Samsung earbuds. In addition, to help cut down on waste, Samsung has used 20% environmentally conscious post-consumer materials for the Buds Pro.

Active Noise Cancelling and Ambient Sound

The Galaxy Buds Pro have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and alternatively can be set to Ambient Sound. According to Samsung, the ANC on the Buds Pro can cancel out up to 99% of noise from the user's surroundings.

Like the ANC, which has two levels – low and high – Ambient Sound is adjustable, letting you boost nearby voices at up to +20 decibels, if you wish to hear what people around you are saying loud and clear, while wearing the Buds Pro.

Water resistance

Unlike Apple's AirPods Pro, which are IPX4-rated, or Samsung's previous Buds Live, which were IPX2, the Buds Pro have a rating of IPX7. This means that they've been tested to survive submersion in up to a meter of fresh water, for up to 30 minutes. Still, Samsung doesn't advise using the Buds Pro on the beach or in pools.

The higher IP rating brings better peace of mind, but always remember to wipe down your earbuds with a dry cloth if they're wet, before putting them back in their case. Because as with most other IP-rated earphones, the charging case itself is not water resistant.

Sound quality and microphone

Each earbud sports an 11mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter, responsible for the reproduction of bass and treble respectively. Samsung promises a dynamic and balanced sound, with deeper bass and crisp treble.

For when you're video conferencing or on a phone call, the Galaxy Buds Pro use a Voice Pickup Unit and three microphones to optimize voice clarity. Samsung says that the microphones can separate out unwanted sounds, while allowing your voice to be heard loud and clear.

For filtering out wind noise in particular, which is often a problem during calls on a windy day, the Buds Pro also sport a chamber-like Wind Shield module.

Notable features

Among the more notable features Samsung revealed for the Galaxy Buds Pro are:

  • 360 Audio, which uses Dolby Head Tracking technology to essentially simulate having a physical surround sound home theatre system, in which you're at the center of.
  • Multi Mic Recording will allow you to capture voice and surrounding sounds with both your Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy smartphone in tandem. This may be especially appealing to YouTubers and as vloggers, as it should deliver richer voice recordings in general.
  • Game Mode will reduce the sound latency between your phone and Buds Pro, so that you can hear what's happening in the game immediately and be able to react quicker.
  • Bixby voice wake-up, which will only work with Galaxy phones or tablets running One UI 3.1 or higher.

Check out our Galaxy Buds Pro first look for in-depth information on all of the Buds Pro's features, specs and more.

Battery life

According to Samsung, the Buds Pro can last up to 18 hours with the case and ANC on. Alternatively – up to 28 hours with the case and ANC off. It's also notable that a mere 5-minute quick-charge can add up to an hour of additional playback time.

As for the actual size of the Buds Pro batteries, the case of the Buds Pro sports a 472mAh battery, while each individual earbud has a 64mAh battery inside. The case is also Qi-certified for wireless charging.

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