Apple''s Beats Powerbeats Pro earbuds have been the headphones I''ve heard most. I was convinced that no other pair of buds would be able to provide the kind of bass that I required on a daily basis.
Despite their lack of high-end features that have since become the norm for wireless headphones, I used them even though their ear hooks caused me physical pain when worn for extended periods of time.
They weren''t even particularly well balanced in terms of audio, highlighting highs and lows at the expense of mids. That part I could live with their deep, club-like bass was just too good for the hip hop head in me to pass up.
So when Apple announced the Beats Studio Buds last year, I immediately jumped at the chance to purchase a pair. I convinced myself that I''d finally be able to cease my love/hate relationship with the Powerbeats Pro headphones and replace them with a more advanced pair of buds.
They''d also be more comfortable to wear, but they also would include the ANC and transparency features I''d been missing out on (the EQ stuff would have to wait until next time).
I''d set my expectations too high, because when I received my Beats Studio Buds, I could not have been more dissatisfied by them. Apart from failing to provide the bass response I''d come to expect fromBeats products, and not being too loud enough for my liking, their ANC and transparency capabilities were, at worst.
I get it, however, making earbuds out before you buy them for hygienic reasons. Unlike over-ear headphones, you must simply select the appropriate amount of time to make an informed decision, based on what others say. However, each person''s vocal preferences may not be more subjective.
I was left with three options: stick with the underwhelming Beats Studio Buds, return to the Powerbeats Pro, or try my luck with a third pair of buds.
I was asked to test out Samsung''s new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro headphones as luck, but for something completely unexpected to happen I''d finally discovered the in-ear headphones experience I''d ever wanted.
I didn''t expect anything to say that Samsung''s sonic prowess AKG and its parent company Harman have been behind Samsung''s audio equipment for years now. I was just concerned that these headphones would have been excellent.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro''s impressive bass isn''t too obnoxious, either. We''re talking clean, punchy bass without distortion, not the kind that feels like someone''s put a massage gun on your head and cranked it up to its highest setting.
Add in some of the best noise cancellation experiences I''ve encountered in a pair of wireless headphones (assuming that Sony''s WF-1000XM4 buds are said to be excellent in this regard), as well as a fantastic Ambient Sound mode, which appears to be responding to my earbud prayers.
After discovering the available EQ presets on Samsung''s Galaxy Wearable app, I ended the process with a Dynamic setting, which seemed to offer an excellent visual effects with a lot of bass. From there, it was time to see what the Buds 2 Pro was capable of.
The album "Boasty" (opens in a new tab) is a popular music channel for testing out any new headphones, mostly because of its brilliantly bouncy bassline. Not only did the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro handle this absolute banger''s punchy bass with ease, but also maintained absolute clarity at all times.
The next track I listened to was "Benzi Box" by MF DOOM and Danger Mouse, and once again I was treated to an exceptionally clean and deep bassline that came through loud and strong without overpowering the song''s vocals.
So far, so good. But how would they perform with EDM? The sluggish synthline of Nero''s thumping track "Satisfy" (opens in a new tab) shined with stunning lucidity, never once muddying the song''s wide soundscape. I''m now convinced I could throw anything at these buds and they''d come through with flying colors.
One of Samsung''s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro''s big selling advantages is its ability to deliver 24-bit Hi-Fi sound, which is described as a "high-dynamic range," giving you the ability to feel connected to the content youe listening to with a crystal-clear resolution.
After doing most of my listening tests via Spotify, I upgraded the Android app CloudPlayer, which provides 24-bit audio playback and is what I use to play FLAC audio files ripped from CD.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sounded fantastic to my ears when listening to Fleetwood Mac''s 24-bit "The Chain" (opens in a new tab) but I wouldn''t describe it as being streets ahead of Spotify''s version, which I compared it to immediately after. Both versions sounded fantastic, and the same applies to the heavier "Needles and Pins" (opens in a new tab) by Deftones.