- Sweat resistant
- Decent performance
- Could be more comfortable
- Treble is scratchy
Introducing the Samsung Level U Pro
The Samsung Level U Pro are a collar style wireless headphone, intended to be paired up with Samsung smartphones, but will work with other brands. A headphone which Samsung say will give users enjoy “Ultra High Audio Quality” when used in tandem with something like a Galaxy S7 edge. Lightweight and water resistant, the Samsung Level U Pro are in-ear noise canceling headphones.
Casting a glance over the Samsung Level U headphones. These collar style headphones have a few problems which are typical of the style, but is the improved sound performance enough to overcome them?
What do you get for your money?
Opening up the box we find the headphones themselves, three different sizes of ear gels and a micro USB charging cable, and the Samsung Level U Pro manual.
Design and features
The Samsung Level U Pro is surprisingly light. The main problem is the same one that all collar style headphones have, which is that they’re not all that comfortable if you’re not used to them. The collar sits at the base of the neck, and will shift about a bit, which could prove distracting when running. So they’re not entirely suitable for exercise. Nor will they sit comfortably if you’re wearing shirt or jacket with a collar. However, as collar headphones go, these aren’t too bad. The collar is ergonomically designed and has a flexible urethane joint; they’ve been designed for long term wear So if you’ve no issues with the collar style of headphone they may be worth a look.
The ear buds come out on short cables from the collar, and sit in-ear, the idea being that they isolate noise (unlike the Samsung level U, where they simply sit in-ear). Three different sizes are provided, so in theory, there should be noise isolation for all sizes of ear, but the buds do feel a little flimsy.
The plastic collar feels quite rigid, which could be a worry if you’re transporting them, they’d need to be packed carefully. But the plastic itself seems durable and well made. Weighing in at a mere 47g, these headphones are quite light.. The buds themselves have magnetic locks which keep the cables in place when not in use – a nice touch, your phone can also be configured so that when the buds are locked then incoming calls are diverted. Volume and playback controls are located on the right-hand side of the headphones. The playback controls can be used to skip track, and also to accept or reject incoming phone calls, dual microphones mean that this a decent headset for hands-free phone calls. Particularly useful is the noise reduction and echo cancellation on the microphones, which drastically reduce noise interference on hands-free calls. It’s a minor niggle, however, that the power button is located on the back of the headphones, which makes it slightly inconvenient to reach.
The battery offers 9 hours of playback time and 30 hours of standby time, which is slightly better than most other headphones of this type on the market. Recharging is via USB, and the USB port’s covering isn’t too chunky, so they don’t feel awkward.
One handy feature in the collar is its vibration alerts. When paired up with a companion app for Android phones the collar contains a motor which will vibrate to alert you of incoming calls or notifications (you would, however still have to stop and get your phone out to check, so some may find this distracting.
So long as you can fit the earbuds in comfortably, the Samsung Level U Pro does offer decent sound quality. When paired with a Samsung phone, Samsung claims, they offer Ultra High-Quality Audio, which delivers sound at a rate of 24 bits (twice the range of CD). There is only a limited range of Samsung phones which are compatible at present, though, as UHQA is a recent addition to Samsung’s lines. So check if your phone is compatible.
When paired with a different device, however, the sound quality is still pretty reasonable. Powered by 13mm dynamic and Piezo drivers tone is good and instruments are easily picked out. There’s good clarity to the sound in the mid-range, and a decent, but not overpowering, kick to the bass. There’s enough there to keep the tunes chugging along. The headphones do a good job in equalizing the sound range through the bottom end of the medium range. But there are a few issues with the treble when the volume’s amped up. It can sound a little tinny and harsh on louder tracks, and some sibilance creeps in on quieter pieces. It should be noted, though, that this is a problem which seems to occur with all wireless headphones I’ve tried, so if we’re comparing like with like, the Samsung level U Pro offers better sound quality than many other headsets of this type. The best, in fact, I’ve heard apart from the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC40BT. Given the higher price of the Audio Technica, this makes the Samsung Level U the best quality at this price point on the market.
Should I get them?
If you’re a fan of collar style headphones, then the Samsung Level U Pro could well be a good buy for you. If you’re an audiophile with a top end Samsung smartphone, then the Ultra High-Quality Audio gives these headphones the edge over other sets on the market. So a good set of headphones for Samsung users in particular, though the quality with other types of phones is fine also. If you have issues with the comfort and usability of the style, then maybe not. Probably not the best headphones for exercising in, but they are convenient for walking around town. Good headphones if you think you’ll be interrupting your music listening for a phone call or two, also.
In conclusion, the Samsung Level U wireless headphones don’t entirely transcend the problems of collar-style headphones. But they do offer good sound quality and performance at a reasonable price for this style, along with some handy and innovative features. A decent battery life and a lightweight body make them a good buy for this type.