Samsung's back with another iteration in their illustrious lineup of Galaxy Buds with the Buds 2 Pro. While battery life remains the same, you'll find improved connectivity, better audio quality, and design changes that make for a more comfortable fit.
- Lighter and more comfortable to wear
- IPX7 water and sweat resistance
- Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity
- Supports Samsung's new 24-bit wireless audio codec
- Improved Active Noise Cancelation
- Five hours of battery life isn't enough
- Does not support Multipoint
- Audio switching limited to Samsung Galaxy devices
On the way out
The Galaxy Buds Pro were Samsung's first wireless earbuds with the "Pro" branding and they've lived up to the hype. Despite the impending discontinuation, these earbuds already include many of the same features as their successor.
- Cheaper even without any discounts
- Rated for the same five hours of battery life
- Supports AAC and SBC codecs
- Expected to be discontinued
- No true Multipoint connectivity
- Audio switching limited to Samsung Galaxy devices
Alongside the launch of its late-2022 product lineup, Samsung also introduced some new "Pro" earbuds. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro aim to replace the original Galaxy Buds Pro which was released with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 in 2021. And while Samsung made quite a few claims about improvements during its most recent Unpacked event. So let's see how Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. the Galaxy Buds Pro stack up and whether you should consider upgrading.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: What's the same?
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As we cover in the next section, there are actually quite a few discernable differences between the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro. However, even when you take the price increase into consideration, Samsung isn't offering as much of an upgrade as you might think.
For one, both of these earbuds are rated for five hours of battery life on a single charge with Active Noise Cancelation enabled. Putting it plainly, they fall quite short of the seven hours you can get out of Google's Pixel Buds Pro, but at least Samsung didn't make things worse. And speaking of ANC, you'll continue to be able to try and tune out the world around you with the new Buds 2 Pro, just as you could with the Buds Pro.
One feature that's available across the board — albeit a bit limited — is Automatic Device Switching. This makes it possible for you to be watching something on your Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and then automatically move over to your Galaxy Z Fold 4 when a phone call comes in. However, unlike some of the best wireless earbuds, this isn't true multipoint connectivity, as it requires that you are using Samsung Galaxy devices. Otherwise, you'll need to manually pair your Buds Pro or Buds 2 Pro with a separate device.
Those who are interested in using the best workout earbuds will enjoy knowing that both the Buds 2 Pro and Buds Pro are equipped with an IPX7 water resistance rating. According to Samsung, your earbuds are capable of sustaining being submerged in three feet of "fresh water" for up to 30 minutes.
And finally, another important yet expected feature that returns with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is wireless charging. You'll be able to drop these on practically any of the best wireless chargers or take advantage of wireless reverse charging on your supported smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: What's different?
Unlike the comparison between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4, the differences between the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds Pro are immediately apparent. For one, the case design has been slightly tweaked to accommodate the 15% smaller dimensions of the earbuds themselves. Samsung claims this was done in an effort to provide a more reliable and comfortable fit compared to the original Galaxy Buds Pro.
There are two noticeable design changes when you take the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro out of the box for the first time. The first of which is the matte finish found on all three color options, as opposed to the glossy and fingerprint magnet finish on their predecessor. Taking them out of the charging case reveals an even bigger change as the ear "fin" has been significantly slimmed down with Samsung's latest earbuds.
While the rated battery life and the actual size of the battery inside are the same, Samsung made a slight tweak to charging. Quick charging is still available on the Buds 2 Pro, but now, a five-minute charge will provide an hour of audio playback. This is double the length of time provided by the original Galaxy Buds as it offers 30 minutes of playback with the same five-minute charge.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Buds Pro worked rather reliably thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, but the Buds 2 Pro turn things up a couple of levels thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.3. This aims to provide a more reliable and stable connection between your earbuds and the best Android phones, even if you find yourself running outside or to another room.
The addition of Bluetooth 5.3 also brings support for Samsung's Seamless Codec HiFi, which is touted as being able to provide "full 24-bit audio for clear, rich audio." It's clear that Samsung is trying to push the limits of what's possible with truly wireless earbuds, attempting to improve audio quality and bring more "audiophiles" into the Bluetooth market.
The improvements don't stop there, as, despite the fact that the Buds 2 Pro essentially use the same two-way driver combination, Samsung claims that its latest Buds offer 40% better noise canceling. This is, at least in part, thanks to the improved tuning that has been done, the better fit that you'll enjoy, and overall enhancements to Samsung's "Intelligent ANC."
All of this brings us to the final two differences when comparing these two sets of earbuds. The first of which really only applies to those who are trying to decide which of these to pick up. It seems that Samsung has already removed the original Galaxy Buds Pro from its online storefront, so it's likely that we'll see them removed from other retailers.
Then, there's the price, and at $230, it's a tough pill to swallow, even with all of the "special" features that are packed into these tiny earbuds. The original Galaxy Buds Pro retail for $199, but if you can still find a retailer that stocks them, you'll likely be able to save around $50 or more.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: Making a choice
If you're looking to upgrade from the Galaxy Buds Pro to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, it's tough to recommend doing so. While the design changes definitely make for a more comfortable fit, and the ANC has been slightly improved, there's just not enough on paper to warrant spending that kind of money. The original Galaxy Buds Pro are still quite adequate for most people, with the only downside being that they will likely be discontinued entirely.
Which brings us to whether you should jump for the new Buds 2 Pro or grab the original Buds Pro. This one's not nearly as difficult, as the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are simply the better overall set of wireless earbuds compared to its predecessor. Even with the less-than-expected battery life, the Buds 2 Pro offer more features and better audio quality overall, while retaining the essence of Samsung's Galaxy Buds lineup.
Matte finish on everything
The matte finish on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro not only deters unsightly fingerprints, but it also just looks better overall. Samsung also slimmed down the design to make these more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, while throwing in some improved audio quality features.
Get 'em while you still can
If you're looking to upgrade, there's really not much of a reason to, as the Galaxy Buds Pro are really quite good. But if you're deciding between these and Samsung's new Buds 2 Pro, you're better off spending a few extra bucks for the new earbuds.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.