Samsung released the Galaxy Buds Pro last year, as a competitor to Apple’s AirPods Pro. The earbuds included a 360 Audio feature, which changes the direction of audio to match head movements, similar to Apple’s ‘Spatial Audio’ on the AirPods 3 and other headphones. Now the functionality is coming to the Galaxy Buds 2, thanks to a new software update.
The Galaxy Buds 2 is receiving a new firmware update, with a version number of R177XXU0AVC8, which mentions 360 Audio support and Bluetooth improvements in the changelog. The update was just pushed to my own Galaxy Buds 2, and there are other reports on social media.
Even though new features are always nice, 360 Audio is more of a gimmick than anything else. Unlike Spatial Audio on Apple devices, which is intended to be used with audio content built for 360 degrees, Samsung 360 Audio works with audio coming from most apps. It simply shifts the positioning of the stereo channels based on your head movements, or at least, it’s supposed to — I couldn’t get it to work with Spotify at all.
Samsung says the firmware update also improves audio quality during voice calls, which is probably more useful. If you haven’t recieved the update yet, try pairing your Galaxy Buds 2, opening the Galaxy Wearable app, selecting ‘Earbuds settings,’ and finally tapping ‘Earbuds software update’ near the bottom of the list.
The Galaxy Buds 2 was just released in the latter half of 2021, so there haven’t been many other software updates. The other notable improvement arrived shortly after release, when Samsung added support for the Buds 2 to the company’s Galaxy Buds app for Windows. That allows all the settings and options to be changed from a Windows PC, instead of just from the Galaxy Wearable app on mobile devices. The Galaxy Buds 2 have also gone on sale a few times over the past few months.
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