Reviewed on Mar 07, 2018

Samsung Level U Pro Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.8
Neutral Listening
7.0
Commute/Travel
7.4
Sports/Fitness
6.8
Office
5.6
Wireless Gaming
5.4
Wired Gaming
6.6
Phone Call
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.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Isolation 6.9
Microphone 6.6
Active Features 7.4
Connectivity 3.3
Pros
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
  • Lightweight, around-the-neck design.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Thin and fragile audio cables.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  4. 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

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

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
Weight : 0.10 lbs
Clamping Force
:
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
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
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.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

Like the Sony WI-C400, 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
L : 6.63 "
W : 5.88 "
H : 1.50 "
Volume : 58.48 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are moderately portable. They're a lot larger than typical in-ear headphones (like the Skullcandy Jib) 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
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

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

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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

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.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
7.2
Bass-Heavy
:
9.3
Warm
:
5.6
Bright
:
7.2
7.9 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.23 db
Dips
:
1.48 db
8.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
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
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
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.

1.1 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
4.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
1.5

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.

8.8 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.103
WHD @ 100
:
0.056
6.9

Isolation

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.

5.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-15.02 dB
Bass
:
-1.66 dB
Mid
:
-14.62 dB
Treble
:
-30.03 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.

8.7 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
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.

6.6

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
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.

5.3 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
507.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
5.45 dB
HFE
:
3568.48 Hz
Weighted THD
:
7.458
Gain
:
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.

8.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
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.

7.4

Active Features

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. 

7.4 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
9.5 hrs
Additional Charges
:
0
Total Battery Life
:
9.5 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.9 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : micro-USB

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
App Name : Samsung Level
iOS : No
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
Graphic + Presets
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
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

3.3

Connectivity

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.

8.2 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
152 ft
Default Latency
:
189 ms
aptX Latency
:
177 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
:
36 ms

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.

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.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

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

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
No
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
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.

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

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. Overall, they're the best wireless earbuds under $50 for customization that we have tested so far. See our recommendations for the best cheap earbuds and the best Bluetooth earbuds under $100.

Samsung U Flex Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung U Flex and the Samsung Level U Pro have about the same performance overall. The U Flex are better-built and look more premium than the U Pro. They also have a more flexible neckband that makes them a bit more portable since you can fit them into some pockets, unlike the U Pro. The U Flex also have more customization options, but only on Samsung devices, unlike the U Pro which have the same features on all Android phones that support the Level app. The U Pro also isolate a bit better than the U Flex, but that is heavily dependent on the fit you can achieve with the provided in-ear tips. On the upside, the Level U pro have a lot more codec options, making them suitable for watching movies if you have the right Bluetooth transmitter with aptX-LL.

Sony WI-C400 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Samsung Level U Pro are better around-the-neck wireless in-ears than the Sony WI-C400. The Level U Pro have a more comfortable fit, a better battery performance overall, and a greater wireless range with multiple codec options. They're also a lot more customizable than the Sony, with a better default sound quality that you can also EQ thanks to the Level app. The Sony, on the other hand, have a much longer battery life on a single charge but do not benefit from some of the power-saving features on the Samsung headset. The Sony also has easier to use controls, although not by much.

Anker SoundBuds Sport Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Level U Pro are better in-ears than the Anker SoundBuds Sport. The Level U Pro sound better, have a more comfortable in-ear fit, and have a lot more customizable features. They also have a better wireless range and battery life. On the other hand, the Anker SoundBuds Sport have better isolation and will be more suitable to use in noisy environments. They also have a slightly default lower latency performance, although the level U Pro do have aptX-LL which will be better for watching movies if you have the right dongle.

Samsung Level Over Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Level Over Wireless are a much better wireless headset than the Samsung Level U Pro if you prefer over-ears to in-ear headphones. As expected, the smaller format of the Level U Pro makes them a lot easier to carry around than the bulky Level Overs. They're a lot more breathable and stable for sports and physical activity and also benefit from the same customization options as the Level Over. The Level Over, on the other hand, have a better default sound quality and they're also noise cancelling headphones, so they're a bit more suitable for noisy conditions and commuting. They also have a longer battery life than the Level U Pro.

Apple EarPods
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Level U Pro are wireless headphones, a bit more convenient for day-to-day casual use than the Apple EarPods, but the EarPods are a decent option if you prefer wired headsets to wireless ones. The EarPods have practically no latency when watching movies or gaming due to their wired design. They also are a bit more comfortable, especially for those used to the Apple earbud fit. On the other hand, the Samsung Level U Pro are a lot more versatile, and since they're wireless, they have a greater range and also support low latency codecs so they're not as bad as some other Bluetooth headsets for watching videos. The Samsung also have a better-balanced sound that you can EQ with the Level app.

Samsung Level On Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung Level On Wireless are a better choice if you want on-ears, but if you prefer a slightly more portable design, go for the Samsung Level U Pro instead. The Level On have a longer battery life and are noise cancelling, so they isolate better than the Level U Pro in noisy conditions, especially if your commute involves of low frequency rumbling noise like the sound of a bus engine. On the other hand, the Level U Pro have a much more compact format that you can carry around much easier, since you can just let them dangle from your neck. They also have a lot of customization options, like the Level On, but unlike the on-ears, they also support aptX Low Latency, which makes them a bit more suitable for watching movies as long as you have the right transmitter.

+ Show more
6.8 Mixed Usage

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

6.8 Neutral Listening

Average for neutral 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 neutral listening headphones. Also, the small closed ear buds can't produce a good soundstage.

7.0 Commute/Travel

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.

7.4 Sports/Fitness

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.

6.8 Office

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.

5.6 Wireless Gaming

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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