What you need to know
- Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 have gained a new software update that includes 360 Audio.
- Previously, this immersive sound feature was only available on the Galaxy Buds Pro.
- The update also includes Bluetooth improvements and better audio quality during voice calls.
In early 2021, Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds Pro (opens in new tab) with a few exclusive headline features, including 360 Audio. But this immersive sound functionality is no longer limited to Samsung's best wireless earbuds (opens in new tab).
A few Galaxy Buds 2 (opens in new tab) owners have revealed on Reddit (opens in new tab) that Samsung has begun rolling out a new software update for the more affordable pair of earbuds (via XDA Developers (opens in new tab)). The update weighs in at 3MB, and it includes 360 Audio, Bluetooth improvements, and better voice call quality.
If you’re accustomed to Apple’s spatial audio feature, Samsung's 360 Audio probably sounds familiar to you. It produces immersive sound from all directions by simulating a 360-degree soundstage. It accomplishes this by adjusting the stereo channels in response to your head movements.
The update should bring the Galaxy Buds 2 up to speed with their more expensive siblings in terms of features.
However, it's not a particularly exciting update. According to XDA, Samsung's 360 Audio does not provide a full-fledged spatial audio experience comparable to that found on Apple devices. It also appears to be sporadic with certain music streaming apps, such as Spotify.
It's unclear how widely available the spatial audio feature is right now, but one Reddit user claims that it only works with One UI 3.1 (opens in new tab) and up. This means that spatial audio is incompatible with the Samsung Galaxy S9 (opens in new tab) series and previous models.
Otherwise, if you have a compatible set of hardware, the latest update should arrive through firmware version R177XXU0AVC8.
You can also manually check for it by navigating to the Galaxy Wearable app > Earbud Settings > Earbud Software Update. This should start the OTA update, assuming it is available for your Galaxy Buds 2.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are the best wireless earbuds from Samsung, with improved audio quality, intelligent active noise cancellation, and a smooth, ergonomic design. The 8-hour battery life will keep you jamming all day, and the included charging case provides an additional 20 hours of listening time.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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