Welcome to my review of the Samsung Level One Pro Headphones.
The Level One Pro headphones are available in 2 colours, black and white and cost £230.
The Key Specifications
– Bluetooth 4.1
– A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
– Bluetooth Smart Touch Control (Play/Pause, Song Movement, Volume Up/Down, Talk-In Mode(Listening ambient sound with music), Call Receiving, Call Rejection)
– 40mm Speakers with Dual-Layered Diaphragm(UHQ Audio Support)
– In the Box – Carrying Pouch, Audio Cable, micro USB Cable
– Up to 10 Hrs (Bluetooth Mode with ANC), Up to 20 Hrs (Bluetooth Mode without ANC), Up to 18 Hrs (Wired Mode with ANC), Unlimited Listening Time (Wired Mode without ANC)
– 161.9 x 184.6 x 74.1 mm
– 236 g
– UHQ-BT is compatible with selected devices starting from Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5
– Sharing – The Level On Wireless Pro lets you stream your tunes to a friend via the unique Sound With Me function.
The Level On Wireless Pro provide studio-quality sound, Active Noise Cancellation using 4 built-in microphones, two on each earpiece and offer Hi-Res Bluetooth and Wired Hi-Res sound using Samsung’s UHQ codec. For this you need these headphones and a compatible Samsung phone. At the moment this includes the S6 Edge+, Note 5 and S7 and S7 Edge.
UHQ works at 96 khz/24 bit. CD quality is 44.1 kHz / 24 bit. If you have MP3’s at a lower bitrate the UHQ will upsample the tracks.
Operation is using the touchpad on the right headphone. Slide up and down for volume, left or right to skip tracks, tap to play/pause, press and hold middle for talk through. It really is a breeze to use.
Comfort. The Level One Pro are very comfortable to wear and for extended periods too. They fit on the ears.
The Sound Quality
The first thing that will strike you about these headphones is that they are not bass boom boxes. Samsung state these are studio headphones and they really are! These are the first bluetooth headphones I have used that provide Hi-Res Bluetooth sound. Does it make a difference. Yes it does. Does it beat a high quality wired setup. No. Does it get close. 85% close.
So as these are studio based headphones, they are rather flat in sound reproduction. They only reproduce what is available and accurately. So crap in, crap out.
Then Samsung add their Ultra High Quality audio codec that works at 96 kHz /24 bit. The Samsung Music app also upscales non hi-res tracks. You can switch this option on or off. With UHQ on you also gain the benefit of all the other sound alive features. This includes the equaliser, surround sound, tube amp pro (this simulates the soft timbre of a tube amplifier which I quite like) and concert hall. Samsung also feature adapt sound that performs a hearing test on each ear, which then in turn provides a custom music profile. This is really effective.
So what’s my verdict on the sound quality. These are good quality music headphones. I didn’t suffer fatigue. However, they are not always exciting to listen too. The other consideration is the extra bandwidth UHQ requires. If you start doing other activities on your phone, drop outs and glitches will occur occasionally using the UHQ. With UHQ turned off this doesn’t happen. This may mean a software update is required on the S7 to fix this but at the moment it is a consideration.
Another consideration is that as soon as you want to watch a YouTube video or something similar , you need to turn off UHQ, due to the fact peoples voices are out of sync.
My long term set of bluetooth headphones is the Plantronics BackBeat Pro. They have tons more bass and subwoofer type bass but with great mid and treble. At times you might think there is an earthquake happening whilst listening to these. They Plantronics are a lot heavier and larger. They don’t fold like the Level One Pro. However, if I gave both headphones to you to compare, most would choose the Plantronics. Far more fun and engaging. However, over an extended listening period, the Level One Pro would win as ear fatigue is minimal. Plus the sound is more accurately reproduced.
At the end of the day, as good as the Level One Pro headphones are, I just cannot enjoy listening to them, so sadly I cannot recommend them wholeheartedly. In addition the music drop outs and glitches are frustrating. For some people, the studio type sound will be perfect!