Mowing in the rain: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro kill noise
I'M mowing the lawn, it's raining, and I still have earbuds in, listening to my favourite music, without any of the noise of the outside world entering my head.
Welcome to the waterproof world of Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro, the latest addition to the audio wars being fought in the highly competitive world of smart audio.
The $349 buds are obviously designed to rival the Apple Airpods Pro.
And after just over a couple of weeks of testing, I can say they do a very good job.
The bass and volume are particularly substantial and the active noise cancellation is among the best we've tested.
You can just adjust the cancellation levels depending on where you are. If you are walking in traffic, for example, and you need to hear noise around you, you can switch it off completely.
Or if you are on a train or are pushing a noisy mower, you can crank it to the full level to cut out up to 99% of background noise.
Using the app, you can also set it up so it automatically switches off when you speak.
If you are talking, the buds can lower the volume and focus the microphone on who you are speaking with so you can hear what they are saying.
Of course, Galaxy Buds Pro are designed for use particularly with Samsung or Android phones, rather than iPhones.
But you can use them with an iPhone, as we did in some of our testing, without any dramas.
There is far more customisation, however, and better sound results, if you are using with a Samsung phone and the app.
Even with the iPhone though they connected very quickly through Bluetooth and the sound quality was good.
They are comfortable to wear, probably among the most comfortable buds I have tried, though they would not be great for sleeping in as they do protrude from the ear.
They are probably not something you would want to wear all day either but for decent walks or runs, train trips, workouts or watching a movie you hardly know they are there.
The Galaxy Buds Pro feature two-way speakers, 11mm woofer for full bass, 6.5mm tweeter, an inner mic and higher mic for picking up the user's voice clearly.
We tested on a windy beach a few times and the wind shield solution is good, even when you are on a call.
There are no less than three built-in microphones and a voice pickup unit, to ensure your words are clear.
Samsung says Galaxy Buds Pro also features auto switch to detect what you're listening to and instantly shift the connection to that device. So, when you're watching a movie on your tablet and get a call, it can switch the audio to your phone.
Then once you hang up, Galaxy Buds Pro connects back to the tablet.
Like Siri for Apple, you can also use Bixby to ask questions about the weather or how much battery life you have in your earbuds.
While we never reviewed the Galaxy Buds Live, most tech experts say they are a big step up, particularly with extra features like spatial audio support.
The IPX7 waterproofing is beyond what most offer, while the touch controls are simpe and easy to use.
If you have a newer Samsung device and are prepared to pay a bit more for your sound, we don't think you will be disappointed with the Pro buds.
GALAXY BUDS PRO SPECS
- Speaker: Two-way (11mm woofer + 6.5mm tweeter)
- Earbud weight: 0.2 ounces (6.3 grams)
- Charging case weight: 1.58 ounces (44.9 grams)
- Microphones: Three mics (two outer and one inner), voice pickup unit and wind shield
- ANC: Cuts up to 99% of external background noise, adjustable to two levels
- Ambient Sound: Amplifies up to 20 decibels, four adjustable levels, voice detect
- Battery life with ANC or Bixby voice wake-up on: 5 hours with 13 hours extra battery life in charging case
- Battery life with ANC and Bixby voice wake-up off: 8 hours with 20 hours extra battery life in charging case
- Bluetooth 5.0
- IPX7 water-resistance rating (fully waterproof)
- Colours: Phantom black, silver and violet