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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to Get Bluetooth LE Audio Support Via Firmware Update Later This Year: Report

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro could be first wireless headset with support for the new Bluetooth LE Audio codec.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to Get Bluetooth LE Audio Support Via Firmware Update Later This Year: Report

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are priced at $230 (approximately Rs. 18,000)

Highlights
  • Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are Samsung’s latest flagship true wireless headset
  • Bluetooth LE Audio’s LC3 codec promises better audio quality
  • Latency, power consumption could improve with Bluetooth LE Audio

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which recently launched globally at a price of $230 (approximately Rs. 18,000), have been announced by the Korean company to be ‘Bluetooth LE Audio' ready. However, there is no clarity on how this will be implemented currently, as the Bluetooth LE Audio specification has yet to roll out on mainstream wireless headphones and earphones. A new report now suggests that Samsung will offer Bluetooth LE Audio through a firmware update for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which will be available later this year.

Launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro currently support the SBC, AAC, and Samsung Seamless Codec HiFi (SSC HiFi) Bluetooth codecs. The SSC HiFi codec is the successor to the Scalable Bluetooth codec and supports 24-bit audio transmission, but will only work with select Samsung smartphones and tablets for now.

A report by 9to5Google suggests that the newly launched Galaxy Buds 2 Pro will offer Bluetooth LE Audio support later this year via a firmware upgrade.

What is Bluetooth LE Audio?

The Bluetooth LE Audio specification includes the new Low Complexity Communication Codec (LC3), which has been developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the organisation that develops and maintains the Bluetooth technology standard. This codec is the long-awaited successor to the SBC codec, which is universally supported on Bluetooth audio devices. It's unclear how Samsung will implement Bluetooth LE Audio support on the Buds 2 Pro for now, but it's highly likely that this will involve adding support for the LC3 codec through a firmware update.

Bluetooth LE Audio is set to roll out on wireless headphones and earphones in the coming months, and promises improvements in sound quality, latency, connection stability, and battery life. As the replacement to the SBC codec, the Bluetooth LE Audio standard will be available without any licensing fees as long as manufacturers use supported hardware and standards.

This could result in cost benefits that are passed down to consumers. Currently, manufacturers of wireless headphones and earphones are often compelled to license proprietary codecs such as aptX or LDAC, or develop their own, in the case of Samsung's Scalable and SSC HiFi codecs. The cost of this usually reflects in the price consumers pay for the product, so the adoption of a new, universal, and modern codec standard could benefit the wireless audio industry significantly, both for manufacturers and consumers.


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  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design / Comfort
  • Audio Quality
  • Battery Life
  • Value For Money
  • Good
  • Good looks and comfort
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Very good sound quality with the Scalable codec
  • Excellent ANC and hear-through
  • Good battery life
  • Bad
  • Works optimally only with Samsung devices, no app on iOS
  • Wider voice assistant support missing
Headphone Type In-Ear
Microphone Yes
Connectivity True Wireless Stereo (TWS)
Type Earphones
Comments

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Ali Pardiwala
Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at alip@ndtv.com, so do send in ...More
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