Reviewed on Mar 07, 2018 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Samsung Level U Pro
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
6.8
Mixed 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:
6.9
Critical 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:
7.0
Commute/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:
7.4
Sports/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:
7.1
Office
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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:
5.5
Home Theater
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Score components:
5.4
Gaming
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Score components:
Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 6.8
Isolation 7.2
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 7.7
Connectivity 3.8
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Samsung Level U Pro are above-average headphones for most use cases. They're decently comfortable in-ears, with a wireless around-the-neck design that 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.

See our recommendations for the best Earbuds.

Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Lightweight, around-the-neck design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Thin and fragile audio cables.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.8

Design

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Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Design Picture

The Samsung 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 if you leave them hanging around your neck. However, the neckband is not as flexible as some of the other around-the-neck models so they won't fit into any pockets. Unfortunately, their build quality feels a little cheap and susceptible to wear and tear especially the thin audio cables.

Style
Samsung Level U Pro Design Picture 2

The Samsung Level U Pro have a decently 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. The 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 Samsung 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.

7.1 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.
Samsung Level U Pro Controls Picture
Ease of use : Average
Feedback : Above-average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
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What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through : N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The Samsung 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.

9.4 Breathability
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What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.6 C

These headphones a have breathable in-ear design. They do not cause any significant temperature increase since they do not cover your ears. They trap a little bit of heat within the ear canal but it's negligible and should not make you sweat more than average. The neckband isn't factored in breathability since they will most likely go over an item of clothing.

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
Stand required : N/A

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
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

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 Samsung 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.

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.

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

These headphones come with only one USB charging cable.

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6.8

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.)
Samsung Level U Pro Frequency Response

The Samsung Level U Pro is an average sounding pair of closed-back in-ear headphones. They have a good, extended, and relatively consistent bass delivery that should be adequate for all genres from classical to EDM and Hip-hop. They also have a well-balanced mid-range and a good treble. On the downside, their bass tends to be boomy, and their mid-range is a bit recessed and cluttered. Also, their treble is on the warm side, resulting in an overall sound profile which is slightly bass-heavy but lacks a bit of clarity and presence on vocals and other lead instruments. Additionally, and like most other closed-back in-ears, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

8.2 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
:
2.69 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 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
:
2.41 dB
Mid-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
:
2.35 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
:
3.84 dB

The Samsung Level U Pro have a very good bass. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Accordingly, low-bass, where the thump and rumble common to EDM, Hip-hop and film scores sit, is hyped by more than 2dB. This indicates a deep and extended bass with ample sub-bass. Mid-bass and high-bass are virtually flat, but overemphasized by 2dB and 4dB receptively. This adds a bit of emphasis to the bass guitars and kick drums, but makes the overall sound a bit boomy as well.

8.0 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
:
2.6 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 muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.07 dB
Mid-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 boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.28 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-2.3 dB

The mid-range is very good. The response is very even and rather flat, but there is an 8dB tilt from 250Hz to 700Hz, and a 2dB underemphasis from 700Hz to 2KHz. This nudges vocals towards the back of the mix and gives more emphasis to the bass instruments and lower harmonics of lead instruments. The result is a mix that is slightly muddy and cluttered, and vocals that are a bit thick sounding.

8.0 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
:
3.47 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-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
:
-2.19 dB
Mid-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
:
-2.67 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
:
-0.12 dB

The Samsung Level U Pro have a very good treble performance. The 5dB dip in low-treble negatively affects the detail and articulation of vocals and lead instruments, but the effect will be subtle. The narrow 10dB dip at 8KHz will also have a negative but small effect on the presence of sharp sounds such as S and Ts.

Raw Frequency Response
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What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
8.4 Frequency Response Consistency
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What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Consistency L Samsung Level U Pro Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
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What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.31 dB

The frequency response consistency is excellent. If the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the Samsung Level U Pro, they should be getting a consistent bass and treble delivery with each re-seat.

9.2 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 Group Delay Samsung Level U Pro Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
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What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
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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: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
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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: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
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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: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
2.2

The imaging is great. Their weighted group delay is 0.12, which is among the lowest we have measured. The GD graph also shows that the entire response is well below the audibility threshold, resulting a fast and tight bass, as well as a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched. This ensures an accurate placement and localization of objects (like vocals and footsteps) in the stereo image.

1.4 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 Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
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What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
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What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
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What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
N/A
Openness
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What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. 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, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage 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
:
3.6
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 will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
1.4
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

The Samsung Level U Pro, like most other in-ears, have a poor soundstage. This is due to the fact that pinna (outer ear) resonance activation is a big part of creating a speaker-like and out-of-head soundstage, but in-ears don't interact with the pinna resulting in a soundstage that is perceived to be inside the listener's head. They also have a closed-back design, which makes the soundstage less open than that of open-back headphones.

8.0 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
:
1.118
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
:
0.95

The harmonic distortion performance of the Samsung Level U Pro is very good. In the bass range, the amount of harmonic distortion is very low, and not affected by the level. This suggests that these headphones should be able to handle a few dBs of EQ boost in the bass range before distorting. However, their THD in the treble range is a bit elevated, but still within good limits and shouldn't be audible to most.

7.2

Isolation

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Score components:

The Samsung Level U Pro have a decent isolation performance despite only blocking noise passively. They prevent some high-frequency noise from seeping into your audio with the quality of their seal. However, they don't fit in the ear canal as snugly as some the other in-ear headphones, so they won't isolate as well in loud environments. On the upside, they barely leak, so in noisy conditions, you can mask some of the ambient noise by playing your audio at higher volumes and not worry about disturbing others.

6.4 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 300Hz-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: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
15.44 dB

The noise isolation of the Samsung Level U Pro is mediocre. 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, which is where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit. However, in the mid-range, important for cutting out speech, they achieve about 17dB of reduction which is good. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they achieved almost 30dB of isolation, which is also good.

8.8 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
:
29.01 dB

The leakage performance is great. 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 mostly consists of sibilances (sharp sounds such as S and Ts) and will be barely noticeable to people around you, unless you really blast your music in a very quiet place.

6.5

Microphone

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What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
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What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
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What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
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What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
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What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The integrated microphone has an average performance. Speech recorded/transmitted in quiet environments will sound very thin and noticeably muffled. It could also sound a bit sharp and piercing in certain situations, but it will be decently understandable to the people listening to it. In noisy situations, the Samsung Level U Pro perform well and are able to separate speech from ambient noise to a good degree, even in moderate and loud environments, such as a busy street.

5.0 Recording Quality
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What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
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What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
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What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
507.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
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What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
5.45 dB
HFE
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What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3568.48 Hz
Weighted THD
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What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
7.458
Gain
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What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
38.89 dB

The recording quality of the mic is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 508Hz indicates a recorded or transmitted speech that sounds very thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.6KHz, suggest that speech will lack detail and articulation, but it will still be decently intelligible. The 15dB peak starting at 2KHz, however, could in certain situations (like with our Pink Noise test signal), make the S and T sounds very sharp and piercing sounding.

7.9 Noise Handling
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What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Samsung Level U Pro SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
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What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
27.71 dB

The Samsung Level U Pro's integrated microphone is good at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of more than 27dB, suggesting that this microphone should be able to handle most situations pretty well, except for very loud environments such as subway station.

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 Samsung Level U Pro have a good battery life and decently customizable app. They lasted about 9.5 hours on a single charge and have a good auto-off timer to conserve power whenever you're not using them. They also have a fairly good app that lets you tweak their sound profile to your liking. However, it's only available on Android for now which makes them a bit less customizable for iOS users. 

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.
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
:
9.5 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
Power Saving Feature
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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.
:
Auto-Off Timer
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 Samsung 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.

7.0 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
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
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
Show Help
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.
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
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
Show Help
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
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

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 and an adjustable auto-off timer. However, there are no room effects to enhance your audio like some other headphone apps, and the battery indicator doesn't provide enough information. The app is also not available for iOS users which is not ideal.

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

3.8

Connectivity

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What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 32% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Samsung Level U Pro are Bluetooth headphones with simultaneous multi-device pairing but no NFC support. They have a stable and low latency wireless connection with support for both aptX and aptX(LL). This makes them decent enough option to watch videos or movies provided you find a transmitter dongle that also supports aptX or aptX(LL). On the upside, they also have an above-average wireless range considering their portable size. Unfortunately, they have no other connection option but Bluetooth.

6.8 Bluetooth
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What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 79% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • 0% PS4 Compatible
  • 0% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
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What it is: A Bluetooth profile that's allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example switching from your phone to your home or work PC.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
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.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

These headphones do not have NFC support for Bluetooth pairing but can connect to two devices simultaneously. They also automatically pair to the last synced device once you turn them on.

0 Wired
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What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : N/A
Analog
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What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB
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What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
Show Help
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
PC Compatible
Show Help
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A

They have no wired option. If you want a good sounding wired in-ear, check the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear.

0 Base/Dock
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What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 4% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 4% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
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What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
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What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
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What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
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What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
Show Help
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
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What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
Show Help
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
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What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
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What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a dock. If you want a headphone that's versatile and has a dock, try the SteelSeries Arctis 7. However, it won't be as compact or portable.

8.5 Wireless Range
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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.
Score components:
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

The Samsung Level U Pro have a surprisingly great wireless range. They performed well above the average, maintaining a stable connection up to 40ft 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 wireless in-ear headphones, and it's due in part to the space that the neckband offers for a better, more powerful Bluetooth receiver.

5.0 Latency
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What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
Show Help
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) 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: 50ms 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: 50ms 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

The Samsung Level U pro have a decent latency if you can get a Bluetooth transmitter that supports aptX or aptX(LL). Without the right dongle, they default to SBC which has about 189 ms of latency which is fairly average for Bluetooth headphones but not suitable for watching a lot of video content or gaming.

In the box

Samsung Level U Pro In the box Picture

  • Samsung Level U Pro Wireless Headphones
  • USB cable
  • Earbud Tips (x4)
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

Samsung Level U Pro Compare Picture

The Samsung Level U Pro have a lot of features and an above-average sound quality that make them decently versatile enough for most use cases.  You can customize their sound profile to sound just the way you like but only on Android, which is a bit limiting for iOS users. They do not have the best build quality but they're relatively affordable for their performance and features compared to similar headphones.

Apple EarPods

The Apple EarPods are more comfortable than the Samsung Level U Pro. They lack a bit of bass but should sound good enough for casual listening, and they're very portable. Unfortunately, they have no convenient active features, like wireless or noise canceling and their open one-size-fits-all design isn't as versatile as Samsung's design. If you just need a pair of wired in-ears for watching videos, then the Earpods are a decent option but for most other use cases, the Samsung are much better.

Beats BeatsX

 

The BeatsX are versatile headphones with a good sound. They do not have an equalizer but sound better out of the box. They also have a slightly more durable, flexible and portable design that you can put in your pockets or leave dangling around your neck. They are better overall than the Samsung Level U Pro but they're also considerably more expensive so if you're on a tight budget get the Samsung instead.

Anker SoundBuds Sport

The Anker SoundBuds Sport are a cheap and affordable sports headset.They're a bit more optimized for working out and exercising but they perform a bit worse for almost all other use cases. They do not sound as good and they have a shorter battery life and wireless range. They're a bit cheaper but if you have a slightly higher budget, get the Samsung instead.

Jaybird X2

 

The Jaybird X2 are the slightly older model of the Jaybird lineup.  They're one of the most versatile headphones that we've tested with a decent sound, excellent isolation and great active features. They're a bit more stable for sports but do not benefit from the customization options offered by the Jaybird Mysound app like the newer X3 and Freedom models. They also have a slightly weaker battery life since they do not have any auto off features like the Samsung Level U Pro. The Jaybird X2 are mostly discontinued by the X3 but if you can find a pair, they're a bit better overall than the Samsung. Unfortunately, they're also bit more expensive.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

6.8Mixed 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:
The Samsung Level U Pro are versatile headphones that will perform above-average for most use cases. They have a good set of active features and excellent range. They also support aptX and aptX(LL), which makes them a bit more suitable for home theater provided you have the right dongle. Unfortunately, they do not isolate as well in loud, noisy environments and they're more optimized for Android, which is not ideal for iOS users
6.9Critical 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:
Average 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:
Above-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.
7.4Sports/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:
Good for sports. The Samsung Level U Pro 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.
7.1Office
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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:
Above-average for office use. The Samsung Level U Pro 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.
5.5Home Theater
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Score components:
Below-average for home theater use. They're comfortable and have a good wireless range. Their latency is strongly dependent on which codecs you use. This means they won't be ideal for watching movies if you're using the default Bluetooth SBC connection. However, with aptX LL they perform well above-average for watching videos.
5.4Gaming
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Score components:
Below-average for gaming. The Samsung Level U Pro have a mediocre microphone, and a bit too much latency to be suitable for gaming.
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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
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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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