February 27, 2021

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Galaxy Buds Pro: Air Pods Pro, “I’m your wall breaker”

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First of all, let’s take a quiz: Do you remember the title of our Galaxy Buds live review?

What we didn’t expect at that time was that just less than half a year later, the latest work of the Samsung Galaxy Buds series of absolutely wireless headsets not only had “Pro” in the name, but the product strength is also Pro.

External: Make progress while ensuring stability

I can’t help but complain about that when I first got the Galaxy Buds Pro. I almost thought it was some new color scheme of Galaxy Buds Live. After all, the shape and size of the two’s charging box can be said to be almost the same. The versatility of Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ protective sleeves is even worse than that of the two.

Of course, besides the suspicion of saving mold costs, I am still willing to praise the Galaxy Buds Pro charging box. Those who have used Galaxy Buds Live should remember how compact the charging case is. Galaxy Buds Pro also inherits the advantages of small size and good lid damping. The matte texture is also consistent with the golden Galaxy Buds Live. The color of my silver version of the charging box should be pale mother-of-pearl blue, which will reflect pearly light under sufficient light. In addition to its beauty, it is much more durable than those glossy plastic products. The Galaxy Buds Pro box was accidentally pulled from the desktop to the tile floor, leaving no visible trace.

So if your usage habits are not too rough, you don’t need to use any protective cover for it.  The Galaxy Buds Pro without cover looks more beautiful.

However, the appearance of the headset body is a bit controversial. It is not as highly recognizable as the cashew shape of the Galaxy Buds Live. From a distance, it is just a bare convex mirror. Once my silver headset is dirty, It will be visible in the future. Moreover, this large touch surface also makes the Galaxy Buds Pro prone to accidental touches during wearing or taking off. The Galaxy Buds+ with a smaller touch surface should be more user-friendly.

Although the look and feel are still controversial, this time, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s cavity design seems to be the most successful of all Samsung proper wireless headset products so far. Its tapered cavity has a smaller cross-sectional area, and the pressure on the auricle will be significantly less than that of the Galaxy Buds+. The oval cross-section short tube silicone sleeve is more friendly to the ear hole. Although it is also an in-ear product, the wearing comfort of Galaxy Buds Pro is still significantly better than that of Galaxy Buds+, and it can even be worn comfortably when lying on its side (Can AirPods Pro do it?), IPX7 waterproof is also a handy Kind of peace of mind. In contrast to the Galaxy Buds Live, which is “good to hear and, and comfortable to hear,” you no longer need to do multiple choice between sound quality, sound insulation, and comfort.

Experience: No need to look at Apple’s taillights

Congratulations to Samsung, The first brand in the Android camp to make a truly wireless headset with a comprehensive experience that can compete with AirPods Pro on the same platform.

First of all, in terms of connection performance, the Broadcom BCM43015 that has been equipped with Galaxy Buds+ has not been changed so far, so the connection performance of Galaxy Buds Pro is not significantly different from that of Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live: pairing and connection are very fast, obviously more than including Most competing products, including AirPods Pro, are faster; the stability is still excellent, and there are few intermittent situations; when paired with S20Ultra, the delay is so low that it can easily meet the needs of shooting games such as “Peace Elite”, but it is still only suitable for “Game Center.”

We need to elaborate on two new features: seamless headphone connection and delay adjustment. Seamless headphone connection is suitable for Samsung devices that have logged in to the same Samsung account. There are two advantages from experience: One is that when you pair Galaxy Buds Pro with a Samsung device, it will appear on your other Samsung devices. There is no need to pair the devices in the paired list manually; the second is that switching between Samsung devices is faster and smoother than switching across brands (S20Ultra and iPhone 12). However, please note that Galaxy Buds Pro does not support a multi-device connection. After connecting a new device, it will be disconnected from the previous device; it cannot automatically switch between devices according to the scene like the AirPods series. “Seamless” is still far away..

As for One UI’s new delay adjustment function in Sound Assistant, it applies to all Bluetooth headsets connected to Samsung devices it supports, not limited to the Galaxy Buds series, but the scene restrictions are more stringent. In actual use, it only works for the built-in audio and video applications, and third-party applications are not easy to use even if they have been added to the game center. So, for now, unless you use your mobile phone to watch the local video, this feature can be ignored-you ask how to solve the delay of online video applications? Let’s drag it into the “Game Center”.

In terms of battery life, the addition of active noise reduction and optimization of the worn Galaxy Buds Pro is naturally impossible to reproduce the exaggerated results of the Galaxy Buds+ alone for more than 12 hours. The official statement is that the playback time when active noise reduction is turned on and off is 5, respectively. +13 hours and 8+20 hours. In actual use, the power consumption is 18-20% for one hour of playback with noise reduction +60% volume, which is in line with the official claim. After all Samsung has always liked “reverse virtual standard” before, and there is no need to worry about its actual battery life performance. The previous Galaxy Buds features, such as fast charging and wireless charging, are not absent. Galaxy Buds Pro’s noise reduction performance should be the most noticed this time. After all, Galaxy Buds Live is limited by the open structure, and its comprehensive noise reduction effect is not as good as ordinary non-active noise reduction in-ear headphones (such as Galaxy Buds+). Star fans, including me, are counting on Samsung to regain its face this time. As for the actual performance. The evaluation I gave was “excellent”.

“Not bad” is that the active noise reduction effect of Galaxy Buds Pro finally reached the upstream level of current active noise reduction true wireless headphones. The good low-frequency noise reduction effect makes it highly usable in commuting scenes. Or the attenuation effect of fan sound is also good. One thing to note is that if you only try Galaxy Buds Pro’s active noise reduction in an office or a not-so-noisy street, it is easy to conclude that its noise reduction is weak. But the fact is that its noise reduction intensity adjustment is more dynamic than most competing products. It is obvious in the subway that the noise reduction intensity of Galaxy Buds Pro will be turned to a higher level, and the attenuation effect of low-frequency noise will be better than AirPods Pro. With lower ear pressure and comfortable to wear, the Galaxy Buds Pro can help me take a nap comfortably in a quiet office. Those products with higher ear pressure or cannot lie on their sides (AirPods Pro account for both) cannot do it. To this point.

However, like most other products, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s ability to attenuate mid-and high-frequency noise is inferior to AirPods Pr. However, I must say that active noise reduction headphones’ attenuation effect on mid-and high-frequency noise is not particularly good at this stage. It is reliable. The method has to be ER4 high-strength physical isolation. Excluding BOSE QC Earbuds, a product that can only be defeated, and Enco X, which has medium and high-frequency noise attenuating too much hip pull and other mainstream active noise reduction, true wireless headphones have noise reduction effects. All aspects can be classified into the same echelon, and there is a gap between each other. Moreover, active noise reduction will also have a negative impact on sound quality. Galaxy Buds Pro can achieve a relatively excellent noise reduction effect on the premise of maintaining the highest level of consumer TWS sound quality (we will elaborate on this later).

In addition to the noise reduction strength and ear pressure optimization, the anti-wind noise performance also significantly impacts the noise reduction experience. In this regard, the Galaxy Buds Pro is better than the OPPO W51, Enco X and Xiaomi Air 2 Pro in my hand. But compared with AirPods Pro, which is recognized as the most substantial anti-wind noise, Galaxy Buds Pro’s wind noise is still more apparent when active noise reduction or ambient sound is turned on.

The good news is that Galaxy Buds Pro’s call effect is excellent, and the interference from wind noise is minimal. This is in line with Samsung’s description of the microphone’s anti-wind noise design. After all, Galaxy Buds Live has already fixed the call wind noise. As a successor product, The Galaxy Buds Pro naturally makes no sense to suck back the toothpaste (Galaxy S21Ultra, which only supports 25W charging: it is offended). And the excellent call effect also gives me a reason to guess that the current Galaxy Buds Pro’s noise reduction/anti-wind noise effect under ambient sound is not perfect because the software optimization is not good. After all, it is not as good as the Galaxy Buds. Buds Live uses an additional bone vibration sensor but purely relies on microphone design and software algorithms, so it is not completely ruled out that a firmware update can improve its anti-wind noise effect in the future.

As for Bixby voice wake-up, the wake-up success rate in a quiet environment is not much different from that of AirPods Pro’s “Hey Siri .” The wake-up success rate and command recognition rate in a not-so-quiet outdoor environment are not reliable, compared with Galaxy Buds Live. There is not much difference. However, I have always regarded it as a function that has the color of public execution, so I never use it, and whether it is useful to you, you need to answer it yourself.

These previous products do not make people think that Galaxy Buds Pro has any “stunning skills,” but the next is the highlight-there has not been any product that can impact AirPods Pro’s project: ambient sound.

On active noise reduction, wind noise resistance, and call quality, there are already products that can match AirPods Pro or even achieve a greater degree of surpassing. However, only the environmental sound quality is that Apple has not had any product that can pose a threat until Galaxy The emergence of Buds Pro. It is no exaggeration to say that in the environmental sound project, Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro’s performance is the same. The two’s environmental sound quality is quite natural, clear, and true, close to the experience of not wearing headphones. The only thing that drags Samsung back is that the Galaxy Buds Pro that I just talked about is not strong enough to resist wind noise, and It’s weaker in a windy environment.

But Galaxy Buds Pro has other advantages to talk about: First of all, its environmental volume is adjustable in four levels. You can adjust the ecological volume to a lower or higher level according to your needs, making the selection more flexible. I recommend medium or low volume. Too high ambient volume is easy to scare yourself by the sudden noise.

Then Samsung also added a voice detection function to the Galaxy Buds Pro. This function is similar to the smart hands-free dialogue added by Sony in the WH-1000XM4. The headset will automatically reduce the volume and switch to the ambient sound when detecting the user’s speech. Within 10 seconds, If you don’t speak, switch back to active noise reduction, which saves you the trouble of taking off your headphones or manually switching to ambient sounds in scenarios such as checkout. However, it should be noted that, like WH-1000XM4, it will be activated by coughing or throat clearing. If Samsung can provide sensitivity adjustment like Sony, the experience of this function will be more perfect.

Summary of the experience of using Galaxy Buds Pro: Fourteen months after its release of AirPods Pro, the ambient sound function, was finally broken by Galaxy Buds Pro. In other respects, the experience gap between the two has also narrowed a lot. It has been 15 months since the launch of AirPods Pro, and the Android camp finally came up with a product that can be confronted with it. I hope the legendary second Don’t launch AirPods Pro soon.

 

Sound quality: Only I can beat me

In the year since the launch of Galaxy Buds+, I have always regarded it as the sound quality benchmark for consumer-grade true wireless headphones. Regardless of the outrageous and outrageous products launched by some HiFi brands, Galaxy Buds+ is almost always the best solution for tuning and quality in the category of “something for people.” The sound quality of the last T0-level true wireless earphones that I have reviewed has a wide sound noise reduction cabin, which is only slightly superior in quality than Galaxy Buds+ and has not entirely surpassed it.

Galaxy buses Pro has a better performance in both aspects.

The recommended equalizer setting is still “Dynamic,” and most people like it. Because Galaxy Buds + does not have the function of active noise reduction, the sound quality comparison between them mainly refers to the function of turning off Galaxy Buds Pro for noise reduction.

Compared with Galaxy Buds +, Galaxy Buds Pro has higher tone fineness and density, which makes it more vivid. At the same time, Galaxy Buds Pro has more advantages in sound field breadth and dynamic, it sounds more undulating and atmospheric.

 

In terms of timbre, the low frequencies of Galaxy Buds Pro is at high and more reliable, and the vocal thickness has been significantly enhanced. Combined with changes in quality, Galaxy Buds Pro can be said to have a more pleasing performance than Galaxy Buds+ in almost any type of music, and it is also more listenable. After the noise reduction is turned on, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s thickness will be cut off, and the sound is closer to the Galaxy Buds+. That is to say, it is still stronger than the Galaxy Buds+ in the worst case.

Of course, we can’t expect the Galaxy Buds Pro to have an intergenerational advantage over Galaxy Buds+ in terms of sound quality. After all, the starting point of the latter is relatively high.

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