Samsung’s $229 Galaxy Buds 2 Pro feature the company’s 360 audio and higher quality sound, as long as they’re paired with a compatible Galaxy phone.
Why it matters
Samsung’s higher-end Galaxy headphones include features that do rival the Pixel Buds Pro and the AirPods Pro, but also rival them by locking exclusive features within its device ecosystem.
Samsung’s new wireless earbuds debut alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5 line, all of which will be released later in August.
Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds debuted Wednesday at the company’s Unpacked event, alongside the new Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5 line. Shipping Aug. 26, they cost $230 (£219, AU$349).
Like the previous Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung’s pumping up how the wireless earbuds support what it calls 360 audio, which should allow for a surround-sound experience. But to make use of this, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro need to be connected to a supported Galaxy phone with at least Android 8.0 and Samsung’s One UI 4.1 overlay.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also support 24-bit hi-fi audio, but that feature also requires a Galaxy phone that has Samsung’s One UI 4.0 or above.
Aside from those Galaxy-only enhancements, the wireless buds do have active noise cancellation and a battery that is rated for 20 hours with noise cancellation on. Without noise cancellation, Samsung says the buds can stretch to 30 hours between charges.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have a water resistance level of IPX7 for water and sweat, making them good for the gym or a rainy day, and they come in three colors: Bora purple, white and graphite.
Watch Samsung Introduce Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
The Galaxy Buds line often has inventive designs (I’m still looking for a sequel to the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live), but it’s a bummer that it’s continuing the industry trend of requiring a matching phone for the best sound quality. Google’s new Pixel Buds Pro also require a Pixel phone for its spatial audio, and Apple is fairly notorious for including all kinds of perks for AirPods users when paired with Apple’s devices.