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Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are infectious in all the wrong ways

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Wireless earbuds have become such commonplace in society that you can get a great pair of cheap wireless earbuds that come with some helpful features without spending much money. However, the best wireless earbuds that offer excellent sound quality, impressive ANC, and amazing battery life will cost quite a bit more. One of the options leading that category is the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

But what happens when the excitement of finally picking up a set of these high-end wireless earbuds comes crashing down because they cause you to get an ear infection? This is exactly what happened to a lot of buyers, myself included.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

I anxiously awaited picking up a pair of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro to replace my aging Galaxy Buds that I had been using regularly for the last two years. The original Galaxy Buds were the first pair of earbuds that I could rely on for good sound and reliable connectivity. But features like ANC and tunable audio were missing entirely, and the Ambient Mode was a bit lackluster.

So, with the release of the Galaxy Buds Pro, I was ready to upgrade to improved wireless earbuds from a brand I knew and trusted. After I excitedly unboxed my new Pro set in March 2021, I immediately cleaned them with an alcohol wipe, just as I have with every other thing that goes into my ear. Properly cleaning your headphones and earbuds out of the box or after use can help prevent residual germs and other foreign matter from manufacturing from getting in your ear.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro hype was real, and I was ready to retire my original Galaxy Buds to experience the new hotness.

After the initial cleaning, I popped them into my ear and paired the Galaxy Buds Pro with my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. I tweaked a few settings and listened to a few of my favorite songs before placing the earbuds back into the charging case so I could get back to work. The initial audio test lasted about 15 - 20 minutes, and I came away impressed with the audio quality and the comfort of the earbuds — it all went downhill after that.

That same evening my ears were a little itchy, but I didn't think anything of it. Full disclaimer, I had never had any ear infection issues before, so I didn't know what symptoms to be aware of. I woke up the following day with wet ears and some crust on them — both gross and uncomfortable. I wasn't in any real pain, but I wasn't a fan of how my ears felt. I abstained from putting anything in my ears and took care of them to get the mess cleared up ASAP. After about a week, the drainage was gone — as were the crusty bits — and so was any inflammation.

It took nearly a full week of treating my ears and keeping earbuds away from them to clear up the initial infection.

With my ears cleared up, when the next opportunity came up to use my new Phantom Purple Galaxy Buds Pro, I took it and happily enjoyed some music and a video call. However, I had installed replacement foam tips this time to see if the factory ear tips were the root of the problem. It wasn't.

I used the earbuds for about an hour before giving them a rest and continuing with my day; a few hours later, I started to get the familiar itchy feeling in my ears. This time, I became more suspicious of my new earbuds.

When I mentioned the concern and recurring situation to my wife, she, like myself, thought something else must be at fault. I had used a lot of different earbuds from a variety of companies, as well as earplugs for various noisy home projects, all without issues. The earbuds being the culprit didn't seem likely, so we thought something else was going on.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

After another week of giving my ears a rest and some self-care to get them cleared up, everything was back to normal. Cautiously, I used only the left earbud from my Galaxy Buds Pro for a 45-minute video call. Unfortunately, the irritation struck again, but only in the ear that I had the earbud in.

Apparently, after this attempt of using the earbud in only my left ear, the irritation quickly reached the point where I had a full-blown ear infection. By 9 a.m. the morning after the last usage, about 12 hours from the time I stopped using the left earbud, I was in a lot of pain, and my ear had swollen to the point that the doctor I visited was unable to get a tool inside to try and assess the extent of the problem.

After my third attempt at using the Galaxy Buds Pro, my left ear had enough, and I got a severe ear infection.

The doctor gave me a prescription for ear drops and an oral antibiotic. Unfortunately, I would have to suffer through some of the worst pain I had felt in my life before the medications would be able to begin taming the infection. My temperature jumped to over 102°, even with the doctor recommending 800mg of ibuprofen and 1000mg of acetaminophen to help manage the pain.

Source: Chris Wedel/Android CentralSwelling of my ear 6 hours apart.

It took nearly three days for the swelling to subside so that the doctors could look and determine if my eardrum had ruptured. Thankfully, it did not, and it took just as long for swelling to go down enough that I could chew solid foods. This was the last straw, and I began digging to see if I was alone with these infectious issues.

I found multiple instances of others experiencing similar problems with their own Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds. A Reddit thread by user satcom805 described nearly the same experience I had. The user noted that they had owned and used the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds+ without issue, but after only the first use of the Galaxy Buds Pro, they began to experience irritation in their ears.

Changed materials in Samsung's latest earbuds appear to be causing these issues.

While the user satcom805 didn't mention the need for medical interaction to help with the irritation caused by the earbuds, Reddit user Graphic_Delusions did. However, in both threads, other users describe various levels of discomfort that their Galaxy Buds Pro had caused. These are only two Reddit threads outlining experiences with these earbuds, but they aren't the only installments out there.

I reached out to analysts in an attempt to find out what may be the root cause of the irritant in the Galaxy Buds Pro, but they were unable to find an official answer. Media outlet Olhar Digital noted that nickel — which is known to cause skin irritation to some people — is found in the Pro's charging contacts. It also mentioned the use of acrylate instead of the acrylic used in the previous Galaxy Buds products.

To clarify the true cause of these issues, I initially reached out to Samsung Care on September 8. After multiple emails, on September 28, the spokesperson indicated they were "unsure of when there will be information released on the issues with the earbuds," but that information may be provided on the website at a later time "due to it being a common issue." They also said I should "continue to monitor the Samsung website for any news relating to the findings." However, Samsung mentions that prolonged use of the earbuds can cause some discomfort. It calls out in the user guide for the Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2, which I used and had the same irritation problems, that if you experience discomfort, you should remove the earbuds and stop using them.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Manual Screenshot

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

After months of ongoing ear problems that came from my use of the Galaxy Buds Pro and the Galaxy Buds 2 that I got with Galaxy Z Fold 3, I finally got in contact with Samsung after I found a few different threads in the Samsung Community with direct responses from Samsung Moderators.

The moderator replied quickly, telling me that my case would be sent to a particular group within Samsung to evaluate my extensive problems. After a couple of days, one of the specialists contacted me and asked me to send proof of the events. They wanted doctor's notes, product model numbers, receipts for the purchases, and any images I had to show the extent of the irritation. Luckily, I had recorded much of the ordeal.

With the medical records to prove my case and the device ID for both sets of earbuds, I convinced Samsung to issue me a refund for the products.

After about a week of back and forth with Samsung, I was notified that I would be getting a refund for the products. Some reports online mention that some afflicted users of the Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds 2 were also receiving a refund for medical costs due to the irritation. While I didn't get that, I am happy that Samsung did take steps to resolve my issues.

Unfortunately, this doesn't consider the bigger issue: Samsung isn't outright admitting to the public that there's a good chance that future Galaxy Buds buyers could experience the same problems. This is one of the primary drivers behind a class-action lawsuit against Samsung in regards to the Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds and Buds Pro

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Since using the Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds 2, I have periodically had flare-ups that require me to use prescription eardrops. Typically the irritation is gone after a day or two, and I'm fine. I've gone back to using my original Galaxy Buds along with other earbuds like the Pixel Buds A, ColorBuds 2, and the new Skullcandy offerings, all without issue.

If you have had similar issues with your Galaxy Buds Pro or Buds 2, be sure to reach out to Samsung for assistance. As I said, there are Samsung Community threads that not only have other users expressing their own run-ins with the earbuds, but also directly links to the admins for quick assistance. I hope that this editorial finds you with comfortable ears listening to great audio from your earbuds, but if not — you aren't alone.

Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.
85 Comments
  • I've seen the threads on the Samsung boards about the ear problems. It's hard to imagine there were no issues in the testing of the products prior to release. (speaking as someone who's had 4 reconstructive inner ear surgeries)
  • I have Buds Plus with no issues. Got the Pros with my S21 Ultra and started noticing itchy ears drainage. I never got to full blown ear infection. Disappointed to say the least.
  • I've been using them since the release date and no issues here.
  • Yikes. I'm really glad I've never had such problems with my Galaxy Buds Pro. I wear them every day for probably 5-6 hours, for work.
  • I've had the itchy ears problem which I put down to an allergy to latex or something in the rubber tips (certain watch straps also itch my wrists). That's why I've stuck with the Buds Live which do not have anything that goes into my ear canal.
  • It might be the buckle on the watch strap that is causing the reaction. It might contain nickel. See my comment about nickel allergies.
  • I recommend Galaxy Buds Live. They have a good fit and they don't go into your ear canal.
  • I second this recommendation... By far the best and most comfortable earbuds I've ever had... I wear mine all day with zero issues... I'm a UPS driver - I wear them in my ears, usually just 1 at a time, for 10-12 hours a day for phone calls and map nav
  • I had the exact same experience although I never got a full blown infection. I started to suspect the earbuds, so I did a search and found tons of threads where people had the same issue. I reached out to Samsung, and they had me send my buds to them. They told me since I didn't take any pictures or go to the doctor that they wouldn't do anything. However I did have to get downright hateful with them before they sent my buds back to me. I will never buy another Samsung product ever again.
  • Same terrible experiace dealing with Samsung with my buds pro. Didn't even give me a full refund for them. Switching over to apple slowly now. Was going to be a Samsung user for life, I always bragged about their products. But after this and how they continue to harm people by selling this dangerous product I will never buy a Samsung product again.
  • LMAO. Good luck! Get ready for the circus.
  • I've read a lot of this too. Though, from what I've seen, people keep complaining after they replace their tips to third party tips. Related to this, in-ear earphones has always had the problem for some people, so is it far fetched to consider this is more confirmation bias than an actual issue with these particular earbuds? It's not the first time influencers cause this type of reaction around Samsung devices, remember the Note 7? Like you also say in your writeup, there is nothing pointing to an actual chemical reaction so is it something else not related to these specific earbuds?
    One problem I can see with them is, the earbuds are extremely loud and they deliver that loud music with exceptionally low distortion. The problem is, ears suffers hard from high decibel punishment even if you might not be conscious about it. That, combined with the closed enclosure, causes your body to react to the damaging "infection" and you get a horde of white blood cells fighting off the problem.
    Samsung used to have a built-in volume control limiter forcing users to confirm on the screen when they wanted to raise the noise beyond that limit. I wonder if the community demanding removal that nuisance is the real problem here?
  • I get the same thing when using my Huawei FB Pro.I stopped using them and now im looking for over the ear headphones.I think its a very common issue,the ears gets f*cked up if u block the earcanal
  • This is the most irresponsibly written article I've seen here. Did you also not get the vaccine because of the .001% chance of a side effect?
  • RDF is better than science. It works every time as long as you're a believer!
  • Actually, it's very well-written and incredibly fair. Chris makes it clear that this was his personal experience, documents other examples, and gives us a timeline of his interaction with Samsung (which he also addressed respectfully and fairly).
  • rj160202, did you know it is also 99.9xx% recovery? Stop with your non sense.
  • If it's a nickel allergy, that affects like 18% of the population.
  • I had the same issue! Had to go to the doctor and get steroid drops to clear the infection up. Then Samsung denied there was any problem when I reached out with evidence and offered a $100 refund "buy out" to shut me up. Not even a full refund! I don't even care about money now I just want these earbuds taken off shelves so others don't have to suffer the same pain I did! FYI I have used and still use the original Galaxy buds and buds live and have had no issues and still have no issues. I experimented with the buds pro, cleaned them to make sure it wasn't bacteria, and used all factory parts. After less than 5 min of wear on 3 tests I got the same reaction, swollen ears, liquid discharge that took approximately 4 days to clear up after each time wearing earphones. Tests were 1 month apart to make sure I had completely healed. So for all your comments thinking this is fake go ahead buy some and when your ears swell shut and you have yellow gunk flowing out and they itch so bad you want to rip them off you will see why Samsung needs to pull these from store shelves.
  • I did buy them, have worm them non-stop. Nothing
  • Omg! I can't believe I just came across this. I've been suffering an ongoing ear infection in my right ear that's come and gone over the last 6 weeks. And coincidentally, that's the ear I use my Buds Pro in while I'm working from home. I've also never had an ear infection previously and never in a million years would have connected the ear bud to being the issue behind my ongoing ear problem. I can't believe it. Same issues.. My ear swelled up inside suddenly had some kind of clear, wet fluid that kept coming out. Which eventually crusted up. I keep cleaning it out of my ear. However, I've kept using my ear bud in the problem ear this whole time too. Unreal. What's the long term solution? Switch ear buds? I'm in shock right now.
  • That's my solution, changed earbuds. I now alternate with my original Galaxy Buds, Pixel Buds A, and Sony
  • I'm no medical doctor, but the speed of your inflammation in response to using the buds makes me wonder if you were having some sort of allergic reaction that then got opportunistically infected. Generally bacteria shouldn't produce that kind of itchiness and swelling so rapidly. But if you had inflammation get triggered in your ear that would be the perfect environment for the microbes to take advantage of. I use the Galaxy Buds Live which sit in the ears but have no contact with the ear canal. Still, this article has inspired me to give them a good clean and some time in my UV sterilizer just in case!
  • Yeah I forgot to mention in my article, but I did put them into my UV sanitizer also. Strange sweet of circumstances
  • Thank you so much for posting this! I too had the exact same issues with the Buds Pro and spent well over $500 in prescription drops and ENT visits to get it cleared up. I am reaching out to Samsung now as they should have to pay for this given it seems the product contains allergens that they do not disclose.
  • Thanks for writing about your experience. I had a bad reaction too when I first got them. So sad since they sound great. After lots of oozing itchy scabby pain for a few months, and then resting my ears from them for a few more, I switched to foam ear tips and that helped. I'm now careful to wear them for very limited duration (~30 min) which seems to be OK for me.
  • Relish in the experience. You people are always pushing for this direction in tech, and don't tend to care how hastily these companies push out the products.
  • You wrote "...I anxiously awaited picking up a pair of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro...", rather it should read "...eagerly awaited..." Anxiously, think anxious indicating fear, dread, someone who is full of distress or nervousness, and the like. Recall your Latin classes, anxious comes from "Angere" meaning to choke and strangle, certainly not something one would look forward to. The correct word would be eager, eager indicates positive thoughts good feelings looking forward to something. Yes, I too ordered Galaxy Earbuds Pro 2. Wearing them less than an hour my ear canal hurt. Changing the rubber ends did not help. Okay the next day gave them another go, same thing; returned them. Their sound was excellent, but I could not tolerate the ear canal discomfort. The wired Galaxy wired headset, and Apple's AirPods and EarPods are all comfortable.
  • Thank you for the info, but anxious was the correct word. I was nervous because I had spent hard-earned money on the product, and didn't know if I'd like them because they were different than what I had used before. I had high hopes because of the great experience of others, but those didn't guarantee I'd have the same.
  • I'll stick with my Airpods.....
  • Or you could also use a straw and get better sound quality than airpods.
  • I had exactly the same issue with the Buds 2. I've sent them back to Samsung and they are giving me a refund. I'm done with Samsung. I'm looking at Beats fit Pro now.
  • I don't know how to feel about this article. It just blows my mind that 99% of the commenters and author of this article don't know that this is a common issue with In-Ear headphones in general and would rather just trash on Samsung as if it's exclusively a Galaxy Buds Pro issue. It's a little bit irresponsible in my opinion and shows how little research was done. A simple google search would not only reveal studies that warn prolonged usage can cause irritation and infections but also other headphones have this issue, *cough* like the Air Pods Pro *cough*.
    I'm no scientist or doctor but I have had many experiences playing around with a wide variety of In Ear headphones and I believe a lot of it has to do with how the ear reacts to higher quality sound and more importantly, the fit. Everyone's ear canal is a little different and those Buds Pros are huge. I actually turned in my Pros for the Buds 2 for this reason and my ears haven't been sore or infected since. I also have turned on a threshold for the volume of my headphones and regularly clean them. Keep in mind, the Buds Pro basically have a sub and tweeter in them. They definitely bump and that can probably cause some kind of increase in ear wax production and discomfort in result. If your ears can put up with them, your gonna get top end sound but if not, these aren't the headphones for you.
    Like I have always told my peers when they ask for recommendations, your gonna have to really consider fit more than anything else. Some headphones out their could be the most banger set headphones out there but if you can't fit them in your ears comfortably, they are no good. Don't blame the company for not accomodating specifically your ear or
    write a whole editorial on it like it should be recalled. Just take advantage of the return and exchange policy and make a list of your top 3 headphones choices and test the fit from there. It's as easy as that.
  • You are correct, Azulua. I did a Google search and found this is a common problem among all brands of earbuds including Airpod Pro's such as this comment below which sounds much like Chris' experience: "Drainage and itching when using AirPods Pro I was given some Pro's for Christmas and the night after a workout, I noticed I had some drainage and assumed I had obtained an ear infection somehow. Didn't use them again for a few days and the itching and drainage stopped, used them again and the drainage came back with a vengeance that night, with severe itching and swelling in the external part of my ears. The drainage is clear, serous fluid, like that of an allergy."
  • I have the pro's since the release date , and never had a problem, I lost them, thank God I have insurance on them , they send me another pair , still have'em and still no problem using them without any itchy or infection on my ears
  • Interesting I started having the same problem with my wired apple earphones. I use wireless earbuds a lot but at night while sleeping I used to use wired apple earphones forever and never had the ear infection problem. But suddenly started having over the last few months and I was able to narrow it down to using the wired apple earphones. Not sure if the earphones just is infected now since I never had the issue using them before. Not directly related to the story but was interesting since I went thru the same symptoms but with different wired earphones. And also I didn't do to a doctor, it just healed after a week or so and comes back again when I use the particular wired apple earpods.
  • I'm sorry but this article is painfully biased.
    Maybe the author isn't aware because they didn't do enough research, but this is an issue that is well documented and has nothing to do with these earbuds specifically.
    There are millions of people suffering from this from hundreds of types of earbuds. Earphones like the Airpods Pro had a massive surge of these as well, but the autor seems to only focus on trashing Samsung's earbuds.
    I'd like to believe that the author has some integrity, but that implies that there wasn't any research while writing this. So, not much credibility to go around...
  • Interesting that two of the most scathing comments here are from accounts made today and making their first comment. Wonder if you work for Samsung? Seems sus.
  • Yeah it is, they have a team that does this, or maybe even just common procedure for them in every complaints team. I experienced it in my ordeal with Samsung as well. They would have their employees leave comments to try and dubunk what you are saying. Samsung are real scumbags I found and just lie constantly when they are faced with a issue that might mean they would have to issue refunds to those asking for it.
  • "Yeah it is, they have a team that does this, or maybe even just common procedure for them in every complaints team." Correct. Samsung used to employ people to leave negative feedback/comments on HTC phones years ago. So having a team trawl the internet to attempt to sweep issues under the rug is not unusual for them.
  • That is some serious BS. My account was not created today, I'd wager without looking that there are plenty "new" accounts adding to this drivel, too.
    The facts are facts. This writeup is problematic for the owner of Androidcentral. This is slander and a given big money lawsuit, as this problem is a very well known issue for ALL in-ear headphones, ear plugs and just about anything else you'd stick into your ear for a prolonged time.
  • I'm not saying that these problems myself and others experienced are exclusive to Samsung earbuds, but these are the only ones that I have had this problem with. I wrote this to document my experience so that if others are having the same problems that they might be able to find recourse. I also bring it up because Samsung is one of the largest providers of earbuds and cast a wider net than other brands, again letting others know there is a way to get help. Regardless of brand, if someone is having similar symptoms then it could be the earbuds.
  • I don't really care what you say to defend a direct hitjob on one specific earphone. This writeup is made, from the headline to the end, to target one earphone model. You're repeatedly implying this with conspiracy theorist nonsense. Liability is based on what you initially say, not what afterthoughts you defend them with after you've spread the lies across a major internet news network. I don't know who approved this, but it will surely cost your boss a lot of money, considering the revenue impact of this particular business.
  • I assure you, I do not work for them or anyone related to Samsung. I just logged in with my Google account, I thought I already had one tbh.
  • Well, duh. He is writing from his own experience. He did also mentioned that previous Galaxy buds models had not caused him any problems, but these Galaxy Buds Pro have (I am also currently experiencing itchiness with the Buds pro and had not experienced any discomfort from my previous Galaxy Buds live) as well as many others have been commenting on this thread as well.
  • I have learnt that Samsung are now one of the worst perpetrators of lying and covering up problems about their devices. I had a issue with a 2020 model TV in which they did the same thing and denied there was a obvious issue that many others had experienced before and was documented and proven online. But this is even worse, covering up an issue about something that could potentially kill people is criminal.
  • Don't forget Note 7's that were literally exploding and burning people's property. Samsung claimed they had fixed the issue and released a supposed modified version that fixed the issue. Those blew up as well so Samsung had to recall the entire line of phones.
  • I have been using the buds pro since they came out and on average I wear at least one of them 12 hours a day. I haven't had any problems and for me they are the most comfortable ear buds I have ever owned.
  • Two sets of Buds 2 purchase last month. Itching. I've tried using UV and alcohol swaps including the case as well as ears and buds. Disappointing as they are so comfortable I forget they are in. Thanks for trying to raise more awareness.
  • I wear them 6 hours a day 5 days a week for about 5 months, never washed them in anything. Never had an ear infection though, you probably just have a disposition to them.
  • I had the same problem. The buds themselves weren't the issue rather they were the ear tips. I switched them out with another brand and all my issues went away.
  • The nickel used on the charging contacts of the earbuds are the likely culprit. I have had nickel allergies since I was young. First discovered it when the glasses I wore caused rashes to break out on my temples where the arms touched them. No manufacturer should use nickel on products that contact the skin as this allergy is very common. I had a dermatologist run tests and I was allergic to every metal he tested for. Metals like gold, silver, stainless steel have no effect. Was also positive for latex allergy. Those experiencing these rashes from the earbuds might want to contact a dermatologist to investigate if they have a nickel allergy.
  • Nickel is fairly common in alloy, and some things are even nickel plated. I'd be surprised if the author had a nickel allergy he didn't know of until now. He could have developed a sensitivity, but if that was the case, he shouldn't have had a sudden, severe reaction to the buds. It would have been gradual, and he would (hopefully) have noticed the symptoms with whatever other contact he was having with nickel. Your story just further supports this, since you've known about it since you were young.
  • I've never been interested in ear buds. No reason t upgrade my Bose QC 35s which... I dunno... Maybe three years old... Buy quality and then Yu don't need to upgrade.
  • I don't like these sort of ear buds, they never fit comfortably in my ear canal and I worry about the tight fit preventing good airflow. I still prefer my Bose QC2 (yeah, it's an oldie) and a more recent set of AKG, but for small wired types I keep some of the round ones that sit in the outer ear cup.
  • Here's a good article regarding metal allergies: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-you-allergic-to-metals-6-surprisi...
  • Finally I hear from other people same what I have already like 8 months exactly when I by new earbuds pro from Samsung Galaxy. I have same problem, I tried like 5 different drops and nothing help just antibiotics what doctor prescribed. Believe me I am so tired from this problem ,every time when I used earbuds pro even 10 min. my ears start horrible etching and in a little bit start leaking, so in about a week it's healing if not use earbuds. I will really appreciate if any one knows how to fix this problem. I actually used Samsung earbuds previously old one and never have that problem, so I think it's really something wrong with Samsung Galaxy pro earbuds, maybe material what they use..... . I would like to hear some from company, I am sure they should know answer for us.
  • Thank you so much for posting this. I have had this same issue, for months. I had to go to the ENT twice, been on the steroid ear drops, as others have noted. It's been a terrible situation. I suspected the buds, just recently, as being the problem but had no "proof". Based on this article and these comments I think the buds, while awesome have been the culprit of a lot of pain and ongoing discomfort as well ad medical costs.
    As a loyal Samsung users I am so disappointed to have this problem and will reach out to the community linked in the article.
  • Thanks for the heads-up Chris, and I hope your ears recover well. I'm a recording engineer and have dozens of headphones and earbuds, and only one of them (non-Samsung) make my ears itch so I rarely use them. Most of my listening is with Sennheiser reference headphones, but for earbuds I primarily use HTC USonic because they make every other earbud sound lame. As for those claiming this article is biased, the author clearly states he uses other headphones with no problem. Chemical sensitivity is real, and Samsung should have avoided materials with known issues.
  • tl;dr - in my case, most likely an allergic reaction to something in the earbud tips I had Galaxy Buds, then upgraded to the Galaxy Buds+. Never had an issue--maybe averaged an hour per day. Then I upgraded to the Galaxy Buds Pros, used about the same amount of time per day, and my ears started getting all of the symptoms as described in the article--except for the infection part. I went to the doctor, who confirmed it wasn't an infection, but an allergic reaction. I got some expensive ear drops, let my ears heal, then tried the Buds Pros again with similar results. I eventually found the Samsung community thread and filed a claim with the product liability group. They were super easy to deal with. I sent in the purchase receipt, pictures of my ears, medical bills, and prescription receipt. I was provided a link to the payment portal within a few days, and the money was in my PayPal account after claiming it. I was definitely bummed because I looooooved the Galaxy Buds Pros. I bought a pair of Sony wireless headphones/earbuds (WI-BX400) for $28. Unfortunately, after a few times, the problem in my ears returned. I swapped out the included earbud tips with some really old, unused tips I found in my office. After that, the problem disappeared. When Walmart was offering the Buds+ for $59 earlier this month, I jumped on it. I figured that they worked for me before, they should be good for me this time around. Unfortunately, after a few times wearing them, I got the same reactions as before. I've now bought some memory foam tips to try. For me, I'm pretty sure it's something in earbud tips that is causing my allergic reactions. The metal charging contacts in the Buds+ are slightly embedded, and the WI-BX400 don't have those. In my older age, it appears I've developed an allergic reaction to latex, as my feet/calves broke out in hives and sores when wearing certain socks that contained 5% latex (some athletic socks as well as some dress socks). I hope buying memory foam and/or latex-free silicone earbud tips will solve the problem. I've also dismissed the metal allergy because I would think the reaction would be at the contact points rather than inside the ear canal. I have two pairs of Galaxy Buds2 (came free with the two Samsung tablets I bought last week during their ridiculous early Black Friday sale) that are waiting to be used (or sold).
  • This is exactly what i started facing. I got my purple buds pro with S21 ultra and started having the unexplained ear drainage itch n dryness. Iv never had ear infections before, I don't swim , no water in my ears..I'm at ease ever since I stopped using them but still have lasting effects. Too bad I didn't see a doctor to prove my claims n let them heal on their own.not sure if I can claim a refund. I had to get another over the ear earth's.waste of money. They keeping popping out as well.
  • Bei mir die selben Symptome seit Wochen. Bis hin zu Schwellungen und starken Schmerzen. Dann geht es wieder besser und verschlechtert sich auch immer wieder. Ich war auch schon beim Ohrenarzt.
  • I'm on the fence with this. But to the minority it seems. I don't think samsung needs to pull a "dangerous" product immediately and if they don't they are evil lol. Nor do I agree this is a problem solely with these particular earbuds or this particular brand. On the other if it is indeed due to nickel it would be nice if things can be revisited and other material could replace it.
    I have had contact dermatitis to nickel my entire life and severely at that. I had to stop wearing jewelry that wasn't expensive and "real" which was basically all jewelry since I was young. I had to modify my pants because eve. The backside of my jeans buckle would have my ENTIRE stomach covered in rash and oozing pus. (As would my ears, neck, wrist from the jewelry etc) Especially with the pants we tried so many different brands and it was all the same because it was commonplace. As time went on clothing and jewelry producers have seemingly stopped using nickel so willy-nilly. (Oroginally I thought I might have gotten over the allergy until I had a rogue pair of jeans humble me back to childhood). Even recently I put thoughtlessly a pair of car keys with a BMW key chain straight from the dealership. A month later the skin is still not fully healed. Perhaps I'm jaded from my experiences but it's seems par for the course to me. I'm sure for clothes and keyring and jewelry they wanted the cheapest option for the best return. And also because nickel is strong and scratch resistant. I do not know however if nickel is chosen for the same reason in electronics. As brands whose products have always been in contact with skin have moved away from using large quantities of nickel other industries have not because nickel is otherwise great! I'd advise people to go to a dermatologist. Allergist and ENT may not help get to the root of the actual problem as read in some of the comments. Knowing what you're allergic to can change your life. Lol unfortunately being apart of the minority makes your issues minor to others 😂😂 (again maybe I'm jaded lolololol) I'd like to add that I think he got an ear infection not from the buds but from the pus from his rash. So the original rash/pus caused the infection leading to way more pus and fever. Based on my own experiences and him describing his ear as "wet" that's broken skin juice and pus covering a rash/wound. Used to cover mine with gauze/tissue as it healed up. Probably not what should be done but it worked
  • I too go the infamous infection!! Extremely painful for me. But upon doing som research I figured out what this infection was for me atleast. It was a case of swimmers ear. So basically water gets in your ears and naturally runs out or drugs out. Well if one was to say take a shower and have long hair, the water gets in my ear constantly even out of the shower till I can shake it all out. Well I was in a rush one morning wash up, got dressed hopped in my car with no radio sooooo I popped in my buds with moisture in my ear. When I realized the mistake I was making I give my ears a light swab with a cotton swab juuuust to get excess water out that will get trapped in the ear due to extended wear of the buds. I work for 5 hours straight with my buds in and out all shift long. So moral is clean ur ears just a bit b4 using if u just got out the shower or pool.
  • I have been dealing with a severe infection since June. My ears are raw and constantly peel and drain all the time. Never had ear infections before but it sucks. Only got to wear my buds for a month. My ears are swollen so they wouldn't even fit now. Plus the worst part was the swelling of my ear drum. Worst feeling I ever been through
  • I'm speechless. I've been suffering from hear infection since June now knowing what it was. I've used in-ears for more than 10 years and all of a sudden this started happening. Just like another user mentioned, "wet fluid that kept coming out. Which eventually crusted up". I was nights without sleep due to the liquid leaking sensation. Then it would become a crust that bites your skin and you just want to scratch to get rid of the sensation.
    Multiple visits to the emergency clinic after and antibiotics, the feeling is not completely gone. I cannot tolerate over the ear phones just like before.
  • This is no infection. You have contact dermatitis to something on the earbuds. Metal allergy is possible. Could also be to the plastics or the paint used
  • My wife had the same issues, not me. I had to go pretty much with the same steps to get the refund. Samsung never admitted any issues with this matter. Luis
  • i was thinking of picking the pro as an upgrade to my buds live but after reading this I'm skipping them and maybe looking into the beats studio buds
  • This exact same thing happens to me with the AirPods Pro and Beats Pro. Both of these earbuds caused me to get ear infections in both ears. I’ve stopped wearing them altogether and can only wear the regular AirPods now that don’t have the silicone buds. There is something in the silicon I guess that I am allergic to. It is extremely painful and I won’t ever wear any type of silicon earbud again as no amount of noise cancelling is worth that pain.
  • Looking at all the feedback, I would bet that the source of these infections is not earbuds at all, but the wearer's feet. Why? Insulin resistance has reached epidemic proportions in the west. Insulin resistance drives high blood sugar and, in turn, fungal infections. So in all seriousness, the likely source of the ear itching is a cross-contamination from high-blood-sugar-driven athletes foot (or, even less savoury, an intimate fungal infection, as in "anywhere moist and warm").
  • Why would it suddenly start now with the Galaxy Buds Pro? He was already using earbuds, so the risk of transferring an infection hadn't changed with the new earbuds.
  • This feels like an issue not specific to Galaxy Buds. People's ears are gross, and similar stories also crop up on other products. That's why LG devices to put a Bacteria-killing UV light in their case to kill bacteria, or atleast I hope that's why. But my #1 issue with my Galaxy Buds is the uneven charging and discharging of the BB IDs and case themselves, where as there are times I open the case, the Left Bud reads 98%, the case is 70% but the right bud is 2%. And it isn't misalignment because magnets align bud placements for you and the case won't shut if they're not aligned properly and the red light shows they're charging. Or if everything is 100%, one of the buds will discharge substantially faster than the one. Both start at 100%, 2 hours later one is l ok ke 70% while the other is @20% and then beeping at you to charge it up in 20 minutes. The battery inconsistencies are just a ******* pain in the ass.
  • I have a problem with this article. The headline and the article makes it sound like there is a problem with the Buds pros that I have. But, by the time you get to the end of the article it feels like to me an opinion piece that lacks alot of facts. And before you call me a "Samsung shill " because I dis agree with this article and I just registered. I was bothered by the article I joined just ro add to the discussion. First, it makes it sound like a "Samsung problem " but, if you do a little research this is a common problem with in-ear headphones not just "Samsung Buds pro. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ear-infections-from-earbuds-are-on-... Also he states he tired different foam tips and had the same problem if I'm not mistaken. If that's the case then why blame the headphones. He never said anything about trying different size tips. I found tips that are too big cause pain and itching feelings. We never found out if he had an allergy to something in the headphones and tried to pinpoint it. I have a weird allergy. I can eat any seafood including shellfish and crustaceans
    but, Salmon makes me break out. Lastly the article doesn't have a resolution to solve or prevent the problem it's just his story that doesn't help or inform with the "Samsung Buds infection problem!" The title of the article should be "In-ear headphones can lead to pain, discomfort, and infections: This is my experience with the Samsung Buds pros. " and tell his story and link to more in-deft articles like the one I linked to.
  • Several people have commented that they had this precise issue with this particular ear bud and these ear buds only. The author said his other favorites are a Samsung product as well, and he never before had this issue. The growing concensus from the customers that had the same experiences is they only had this reaction from this model ear bud and maybe one other model. If consumers are getting this reaction only from one type, brand, or model of ear bud, one would think it is correct to conclude that the ear-bud model is the problem.
  • You know, I've been using the Buds Pro for many months, on average about 2 to 3 hours a day easy, and haven't had so much of a tickle in my ears. I have never had anything close to what the author has described. Am I saying he isn't being truthful or misstating his experience? No, not at all. He obviously is having a problem and connecting his recent Buds Pro usage to his ear infections. But, I tend to agree with what some have suggested that he is having an allergic reaction of some kind to the Buds Pro that most everyone else isn't having. So, it may be in his best interest to stop using the Buds Pro, as he said he has done, but seek further clarification as to what's causing this issue by being tested for allergies he may not know he has. Just a thought.
  • Both me and my wife have had same experience with the Buds2 Never with older Buds models
  • I think the problem is your expectation of this article. This isn't investigative journalism. It's someone reporting their issue with a device, and connecting it to issues that many readers and other users are experiencing. I would love to see someone dive into why this is happening, like by getting allergy tested or doing tests with the buds. But that would be expecting too much of places like these.
  • I was traveling and using ear buds on the plane. While at my destination, my ears experienced the fluid discharge and crustiness. Eventually, my ear swelled and I had to see a doctor. I received oral antibiotics and drops and an anti-inflammatory. I've been suspecting bud usage (I have Samsung buds, Amazon Echos) and have curtailed the use of anything that inserts in the ear canal. I am relieved to see I'm not alone.
  • I'm trying to view the posts regarding ear issues on Samsung's "community" page, and cannot. Trying to reach out to Samsung. Also cannot. I think joining the CA suit is the logical next step.
  • I just sent my Bud pros back to Samsung. I am waiting to see what they will do. My ears itch and I am getting a scab.
    I will keep everyone updated with Samsung solution.
  • It been 2 weeks since Samsung has contacted me asking for my proof of purchase. I sent the proof the same day. Since then no response from all my emails.
    Spent almost 3 hours on the phone 2 days ago and was promised someone would contact me in 24 hours. It's now going on 48 hours and I sent on Twitter a copy of Samsungs email and they also promised a 24 hour response.
    Today on Twitter I asked again and they apologized for someone not contacting me. Samsung said they will follow up.
    The last two years I have purchased a s20 ultra I also bought two S21 Ultras and I just got the Samsung 360 pro. This doesn't include all my other Samsung devices and accessories.
  • Samsung's response.
    We are contacting you to further assist you with your Samsung claim because we received your ear buds . As resolution we can provide you with a refund Please send receipt and ear photos I understand you don’t have photos of your ears when incident occurred but we ask you to provide a picture of your ears in current state for claim purposes and to be able to proceed refund. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thankyou,
    My answer to Samsung.
    I do not want a refund I want another pair without that issue. I do not care if it is the buds pro it can be another version.
  • I do agree 👍
    I got my diagnostic. I almost lost hearing sensation.
    Now it's almost a week of treatment 😩 and the bain just started to go away but also the bee's noise killing me.
    And because my job as an aircrew that stopped me from flying.
    Thank you Mr.Daniel for giving me a heads up.
    I have to mention that to my Doctor maybe need to change the treatment. If you need any more details send me an email and I'll send you all the diagnostic and the medical treatments.
  • I had called about this issue back in August. Got told they hadn't had any issues or calls about this before. I finally bought me aduf pair, the buds+. I don't have a problem with them. But as soon as u put one of the pros n my ears it starts all over again, with the itching, swelling, oozing, scabing nasty mess.