Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Cable
    9. Front
    10. Angled
    11. Side
    12. Rear
    13. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Soundstage
    5. Imaging
    6. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Active Features
    1. Wireless
    2. Battery
    3. App Support
  6. In the box
  7. Conclusion
  8. Q&A
Reviewed on Sep 19, 2016 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Samsung Level U Pro
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings
7.1Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
6.6Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.0Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.3Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.6Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Samsung Level U Pro deliver a solid overall listening experience. They're comfortable for an in-ear model. They're wireless, and the around-the-neck design makes them stable enough for sports. Unfortunately, their noise isolation is a little weak for loud environments, and their build quality feels a bit fragile.

Test Results
Design 6.6
Sound 6.6
Isolation 7.0
Active Features 7.7
Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Lightweight, around-the-neck design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Thin and fragile audio cables.

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6.6

Design

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Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Design Picture

The Level U Pro are reasonably well-made headphones. They have a lightweight and wireless around-the-neck design that's sufficiently stable for jogging or exercising. The in-ear buds don't put as much pressure in the ear canal, which makes them slightly more comfortable than regular in-ear models. They're not too cumbersome to carry on your person but won't fit in any pockets. Unfortunately, their build quality feels a little cheap and susceptible to wear and tear.

Style
Samsung Level U Pro Design Picture 2

The Level U Pro have a stylish around-the-neck design. The sleek, blue neckband fits well and has a smooth, glossy finish that doesn't irritate the skin or catch on your clothing. The in-ear buds have magnetic backs that stick together to make them more manageable when not in use. However, and in-ear tips are fairly regular. These headphones look decently well-made but the audio cables, on the other hand, are not retractable and feel a little cheap compared to the rest of the build.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Level U Pro Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.10 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0 lbs

The Level U Pro are moderately comfortable in-ear headphones as long as you don't mind the around-the-neck design. The neckband is lightweight and flexible so that it won't be too noticeable during long listening sessions. However, if you place the neckband under your clothing, the audio cables that connect to the ear buds will rub against it and transmit the vibration noise to the audio you're listening to. Also, they have pretty conventional in-ear tips, which may be uncomfortable for some.

7.5 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones; the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with, your audio device.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Level U Pro Controls Picture
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes

The level U Pro have an efficient button layout and control scheme. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons deliver good tactile feedback, although they're a little small for larger hands. However, the button placement might take a bit of time to get used to.

7.5 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Level U Pro Stability Picture

The around-the-neck design of these headphones makes them considerably stable. They won't fall from your neck if you run or jog with them but depending on how well the in-ear design fits you, the earbuds may get a little loose during strenuous exercise. Also, if the neckband is placed under your outfit, the audio cables can get hooked or tangled and pull the earbuds out of your ears.

6.5 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Portability Picture
L : 6.63 "
W : 5.88 "
H : 1.50 "
Volume : 58.48 Cu. Inches

These headphones are moderately portable. They're a lot larger than typical in-ear headphones because of the neckband design. However, they are not as cumbersome to carry around on your person as full sized headphones. They easily rest around the neck and can be tucked under your shirt or outfit. Unfortunately, they don't come with a case, and won't be portable enough to fit into a pocket.

0 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case

6.5 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability; material quality; cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Level U Pro Build Quality Picture

The Level U Pro are decently built headphones. The neck band is sturdy yet flexible and won't easily break under physical stress. Unfortunately, the audio cables are a little thin and susceptible to wear and tear compared to the rest of the build. They could snap if they get repeatedly hooked to an item of clothing if you often place the neckband under your outfit.

Cable
Samsung Level U Pro Cable Picture
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

Comes with a USB charging cable.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
6.6

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Frequency Response

The Level U Pro have an above-average sound quality but struggle to create a good soundstage. They deliver an exciting audio reproduction that will please fans of bass. However, instruments and vocals are a bit drowned out by the slightly over-hyped bass-range. That, combined with the dip in the mid-to-higher frequencies, further pushes the instruments to the back of the mix, making the overall sound, a little boomy and muddy.

8.3 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.29 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10.0 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.63 dB
Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.79 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.42 dB

Excellent Bass Range performance. The, response is virtually flat, but slightly hyped. So the bass will sound punchy and deep, but it would also be a little boomy and overpowering vocals/leads.

7.2 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.8 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds boxy. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.08 dB
Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and honky. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.83 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2.5KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-5.05 dB

Decent Mid Range performance. Low-mid is relatively balanced, but with a 5dB tilt favoring lower frequencies. This is the continuation of the Bass Range overemphasis, but its effect on the Mid Range will be quite subtle. However, Mid and high-mid are underemphasized by about 5dB, pushing vocals/leads to the back of the mix.

7.2 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.36 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2.5KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.38 dB
Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.63 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.99 dB

Above average Treble Range performance. The dip in low-treble is the continuation of the underemphasis in the Mid Range. It will have a negative effect on the clarity and detail of vocals/leads. The sharp 10dB peak at around 9KHz will make the sound of these headphones relatively sharp and piercing, but because of the narrow width of the peak its effect won't be as bad as it looks in the graph.

2.1 Soundstage
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What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
PRTF Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in Pinna-Related Transfer Function of the headphones, compared to that of a loudspeaker. Whether the soundstage is perceived to be unnatural, located inside or in front of the head, is dependent on this quality. The more the headphones activate the HRTF resonances of the ear (similar to what loudspeakers do), the more the soundstage will be pulled out from inside the listener's head. This quality affects both stereo and mono content.
When it matters: When a natural, in-the-front soundstage is desired, similar to that of a loudspeaker.
Good value: <5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
12 dB
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
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What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones takes some of the characteristic of its environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality affects both stereo and mono content. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: When an open, wide and roomy sound is desired.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
1.1
Correlated Crosstalk
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What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.01 dB

Poor Soundstage. Due to their in-ear design, these headphones don't interact with the pinna at all, and therefore their sound may be perceived to be located inside the listener's head. Also, these headphones are isolating and very quiet, therefore not being able to produce an open and immersive Soundstage.

7.8 Imaging
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What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Samsung Level U Pro Phase Response
Phase Error
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in the phase, from the ideal flat response.
When it matters: When an accurate and transparent imaging is desired.
Good value: <60°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
64.73 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
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What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <0.3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.23 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.78 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
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What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <90°
Noticeable difference: 30°
:
17.22 °

Good Imaging. Phase error is low, although the Bass phase shift, and the Treble spikes are on the high side. Additionally, the drivers of our test unit were quite well matched, which is a key factor in accurate imaging.

9.7 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.06
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.047

Very good distortion restuls. At 90dB SPL these headphones perform quite well. At 100dB SPL, the distortion remains relatively the same, which is excellent. The parts where the amount of harmonic distortion at 100dB falls below the 90dB level is most likely due to the distortion levels being less than our noise floor.

7.0

Isolation

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Score components:

The Level U Pro are passively isolating headphones. They're able to block some high-frequency noise with the quality of their seal. However, they don't fit in the ear canal as snugly as some the other in-ear headphones, which lets a bit of the ambient noise seep into your audio. On the upside, they barely leak, so in loud environments, you can mask some of the ambient noise by playing your audio at higher volumes and not worry about disturbing others.

6.0 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-15.03 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-1.65 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-16.77 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-29.46 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 200Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <18dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
15.44 dB

Poor isolation. These headphones don't have active noise cancellation, and their performance is similar to most other non-noise-cancelling in-ears. They provide very little isolation in the Bass Range, but their performance in the Mid and Treble Ranges is good. They achieve an average of 17dB of isolation in the Mid Range and about 29dB of isolation in the Treble Range.

8.9 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
30.31 dB

Excellent leakage. Not only the overall level of the leakage is quite low, but the range is quite narrow too, limited to 3KHz-8KHz. This results in a leakage that is barely noticeable, even at high volumes.

7.7

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Level U Pro have a decent battery life for an in-ear headphone and a stable and low latency wireless connection. They support both aptX and aptX(LL) which makes them decent headphones to watch videos or movies with. They also have an above average wireless range considering their portable size.  They also have the Samsung level app which gives you access to equalizer options and power saving features.

7.5 Wireless
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.1
SBC Latency
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What it is: The latency for the default sub-band coding of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 170ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
189 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 130ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
177 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
36 ms
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
44 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
152 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
No

The Level U Pro have a surprisingly great wireless range. They performed well above the average, maintaining a stable connection up to 40 ft when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room. Their direct line of sight range, however, is incredible and can easily be recommended for large open offices or to use outdoors. This range is far greater than most in-ear headphones, and it's due in part to the space that the neckband offers for a better, more powerful Bluetooth receiver. They're also quite simple to pair the power switch quickly puts the headphones into pairing mode without needing to hold a button like some other wireless models.

7.8 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
9.45 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
1.9 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Yes
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
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What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
No

The Level U Pro have a below-average battery life of 9.45 hours but have few battery saving features. You can stream audio and charge them at the same time. They also have an adjustable auto-off timer via the bundled app. They won't be the ideal headphones if you don't get the chance to charge your headphones throughout the day but their overall battery performance should be good enough for most users.

7.5 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Level U Pro App Picture
App Name : Samsung Level
iOS : No
Android : Yes
Equalizer
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What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
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What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
Yes
Room effects
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What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
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What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
Yes

The Samsung Level app is clean and practical and delivers a good set of features. It has a simple and straightforward interface, two types of graphic equalizers, an adjustable auto-off timer, and a noise canceling on/off button. However, there are no room effects to enhance your audio like some other headphone apps, and the battery indicator doesn't provide enough information.

Samsung Level U Pro Graphic Equalizer 1

Samsung Level U Pro Graphic Equalizer 2

Samsung Level U Pro Presets

Samsung Level U Pro Auto-Off Timer

In the box

Samsung Level U Pro In the box Picture

  • Samsung Level U Pro Wireless Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Conclusion Amazon SEE IT Right

7.1Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Level U Pro are versatile headphones that will perform above-average for most use cases except in loud, noisy environments. They have a lightweight, wireless design and decent sound but poor noise isolation.
6.6Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Not ideal for critical listening. They have a decent sound, but they're a bit too bass-heavy and lack the clarity in the higher frequencies that's usually expected for critical listening headphones. Also, the small closed ear buds can't produce a good soundstage.
7.0Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Average for commuting. They're lightweight, easy to carry around and have decent control scheme. However, they struggle in loud environments because of their poor noise isolation performance. They won't be the best option for noisy commutes or flights.
7.3Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
The Level U pro do well as sports headphones. They have an around-the-neck design that's stable when running or jogging. They're lightweight, portable and wireless. However, the in-ear tips do slide a bit in the ear canal during strenuous activity, which could be slightly frustrating.
7.6Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Good for office use. They don't block much noise, but thanks to their incredibly low leakage, you can mask the office chatter, by playing your audio at high volumes and not disturb others.
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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
0
Hi, In your review, you say that the Samsung Level app is for iOS and Android; however, based on everything I can find, it is only available for Android. Can you confirm that you were able to find an iOS version? Also, any idea on when you plan to review some of the newer sets of BT earphones? Specifically, I'm trying to decide between the Powerbeats3, the Samsung Level U Pros, Plantronics BackBeat Fit, and Bose Wireless SoundSport. I'll be using them for mild physical activity (walking), lawn work, and while sitting at my desk. Of most importance to me is comfort. I like something that fits like Apple EarPods (but the cable drives me nuts when I'm working with them on); I really don't like earplugs that go deep in your ear and seal them off - they make my ears hurt. I'll be using them with my iPhone 6s, Apple Watch Series 2, and MacBook. Sound quality isn't as important to me as comfort when wearing, Bluetooth reliability, and battery life. I mostly listen to podcasts; when I listen to music, I can't really tell the quality difference between CDs, MP3, satellite, or FM radio. The Apple AirPods would appear to be perfect for me, but from what I've read, they're not water or sweat proof, so I'm worried about spending that much on something that can get ruined so easily. Also, I've learned to avoid first generation Apple products based on bad experience in the past. I'm even considering the Samsung Level U (base ones for $approx. $25 not the Pros) as an under $30 quick fix and wait to get a more expensive pair in 9 - 12 months after we see what Apple and others release in 2017. Based on the criteria I've laid out, do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for catching the error on the Samsung Level U Pro. We can confirm that the Samsung level app is not yet available for iOS. As for the headphone suggestions, the Bose SoundSport Wireless will be the most suitable reconmendation for your needs, as they have a semi-open fit thats more comfortable than most in-ears. However, they're a bit pricey and some models have shown to not be as sweatproof as expected. We have yet to post the review of the QuietControl 30 but they have a similar fit in a more durable design and a longer battery life. But if you don't mind the neckband and fit of the Level U Pro (they have a regular in-ear fit but softer tips that makes them a bit more comfortable), then they're a safe and cheap option that perform well overall. Also, the BackBeat Fit and Powerbeats3 are on the list but it may take some time until we are able to review them.
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