We’re no strangers to seeing prototypes of devices before they launch but once in a while we also get glimpses of an actual retail version very early in the game. Almost mirroring the Galaxy S21 phones it is expected to launch with, the Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds now also have some hands-on exposure of its own, including a rather detailed first impression review. The good news is that Samsung seems to be continuing a tradition of performance and audio quality its earbuds have been known for. The bad news is that it may have skimped on one important feature.
In terms of the design, the Galaxy Buds Pro and its case look and feel smaller than their predecessors, which is actually a good thing for portability. The buds themselves take after the Galaxy Buds Live’s glossy surface while the charging case sports a more matte finish.
In terms of audio quality, the Galaxy Buds Pro is reported to perform quite admirably. Then again, Samsung’s earbuds have been reviewed to have quite decent performance, especially considering its price. YouTube channel Digital Slang also praised the buds’ ambient sound feature for being clear and loud enough.
The one thing that might disappoint interested buyers is the Galaxy Buds Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation. The YouTuber clarifies that it isn’t bad but also not that great either, at least not compared to the AirPods Pro which will be its direct rival. Then again, Apple’s earbuds also cost more than the expected $199 of the Galaxy Buds Pro.
Part of the Galaxy Buds Pro’s appeal will be found in Samsung’s accompanying mobile app that will let users tweak settings, include equalizer modes. The buds themselves, however, will have limited touch control options and some might find themselves still reaching for their phone even to just change tracks.