Impressions: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro [Updated]

These are just first impressions of the newest Galaxy Buds Pro true-wireless in-ears from Samsung. They were released today and I purchased and got them this morning via Amazon for $200 USD.

The new Galaxy Buds Pro is the latest in this line that has spanned the original, last year's Buds Plus, and now this. This new version's major selling point is the addition of Active Noise Cancellation, which justifies the additional $50 price tag over the previous model.

In addition to the ANC addition, the new Galaxy Buds Pro sports a dual-coaxial dynamic driver setup which goes away from the original's single DD and the Plus's double horizontal driver setup.

The other key note here is that this version only has App support for Android and does not have iOS app support at this time. I don't know if this will be added in the future. That will limit iOS users to the default tuning preset and lack of customizations of settings.

It's also worth nothing that, like previous generations, the bluetooth codecs available are SBC, AAC and Samsung Scalable. There is no AptX or LDAC support here, and so the best overall sound quality will be when paired with Samsung devices.

The overall shape has been tweaked a bit to add room for the noise cancellation microphones and the profile is actually lower, and fits the best of all the Galaxy Buds previously. Please note, this is my favorite TWS in-ears for comfort and discreteness already.

Sound Impressions

Just note this is my first listening impressions after spending just one day using them off and on through out the day. The majority of the music I listened to was artists like:

  • Alison Krauss & Union Station
  • Tingvall Trio
  • Go Go Penguin
  • The Civil Wars
  • Radiohead
  • Sigur Ros
  • Sparta
  • James Taylor
  • Chromeo
  • Real Estate
  • First Aid Kit
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Sonic Youth
I'll listen to more stuff later.

First off, the ANC works and reduces room noise a bit. It works best for lower frequencies and is optimized for train and airplane noise, but it does muffle human voices and other sounds slightly. I would say the Sony WF-1000XM3 did a better job at this, but for the most part, most of my surroundings are ALREADY mostly isolated when using these without ANC on and just music playing. The added ANC will help reduce the lower frequencies which don't always go away with just having music playing.

The general sound profile of the new Buds Pro is really nice. It's a warmer-tuned set with an exciting treble range and a more articulate sound. I think this one is the best tuned yet, and I was a big fan of the original.

The Pro gets rid of the overly boosted sub-bass and adds quite a bit more lower-midrange which provides the warmer and smoother sound. The upper mids are no longer shouty, with a tamer and more natural gain here. Treble is the smoothest and most extended, by far, of the Galaxy Buds series, and is quite extended even when compared to non-wireless IEMs in this price range.

I find that the bass section is punchy and can hit pretty good when needed, and the treble to sound fairly clean. I did think that there was occasional upper treble harshness, and I could personally do with a smoother and relaxed treble myself.

Surprisingly, I like this overall. It's very enjoyable and timbre is mostly correct, outside the slightly bright treble. The midrange is much improved over previous generations.

Now, all of this is based on the Normal Setting.

Other Settings

With Bass Boost, I just wasn't much of a fan, because I don't like boosted bass. It does become a bit too much for my tastes and I think pushes the driver beyond its refined limits a tad.

The Soft mode has near perfect treble response for me. Its really good, but unfortunately the lower mid-range and bass is also elevated, making the overall sound feel more compressed and lacking dynamics, and just giving this an overall darker sound signature.

The Dynamic mode was actually one of my the more enjoyable ones for me. Like it sounds, it provided more life in the dynamics department with boosted bass and treble and giving this a more fun sound that actually doesn't sound inaccurate either.

The Clear mode was also one of my favorites. This reduces the lower-mids a bit, as well as a slight drop in upper treble and provides a cleaner and closer to reference sound, while still being weighted towards warmth.

Treble boost mode is the closest to a reference sound, but I feel like it's just a little bright for my tastes; mainly in the upper treble region. Despite not really being a basshead, I think the reduction in bass here loses some of the overall balance for most of my music and leaves me wanting more.

This is just a basic set of impressions right now, and hopefully I'll find time to write a more in-depth review in the future. These do remind me of an improved sounding Sony WF-1000XM3 with better clarity and technical performance. Until next time....

All Sound Profiles in One:

View the product ratings on Antdroid's IEM Ranking List and/or Antdroid's Headphone Ranking List