Samsung Level U Review

Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Introduction


Around the neck styled Bluetooth headphones aren’t new, but for Samsung, it’s still an area where they’ve yet to make any significant headway. With the introduction of its premium audio line, the Level series, the company has slowly diversified its headphones portfolio to a greater degree. In that regard, the Samsung Level U became the latest entrant to the series – a flexible, around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones that blends style and comfort. We’ve seen similar things recently, such as the SOL Republic Shadow, Phiaton BT 100 NC, and LG Tone+ Infinim to name a few, so we’re curious to know how this one stacks up to the competition.

Packaging contains:

  • Samsung Level U
  • microUSB cable
  • 3 sets of ear gels
  • Quick start guide

Design

The thin and lightweight design makes it practical to use for an assortment of scenarios.

After captivating and surprising us with the Galaxy S6, Samsung has a track record to keep when it comes to its designs. Fortunately for the Level U, it’s something that’s evident given the modest price tag associated with it. Going with the around-the-neck style, one that’s in a U-shape and rests gently around our neck with the earbuds attached via cable, the plastic constructed body manages to maintain a very thin profile and lightweight feel. However, its weight is counterbalanced by the thicker back end of the headphones.

The plastic body ensures it’s something that feels comfortable around our neck for long periods of time, but even better, it’s not something that rattles when we’re executing vigorous movement – a nagging quality we found with the LG Tone+ Infinim. Accenting the aesthetics, there are some rubbery coated areas that provide even stronger grip to ensure it won’t come off if we’re sweating away during a workout.

There are very few buttons on this thing. In fact, the majority of them are found along the right compartment of the Level U, which include the pause/play, volume up, and volume down buttons. Generally speaking, we have no issues accessing them because they’re raised and offer great response when pressed. Along the backside, there’s a simple on/off switch with a tiny LED light located close by to show us its status.

As for the earbuds, it’s neat that they’re attached magnetically when they’re not being used. Initially, we didn’t like how the silicon earbuds themselves kept on falling out with abrupt movement, but there’s a pair with stabilizing wing ear gels to ensure they’re securely in place – including when we’re moving around a lot. At first glance, the ear buds seem menacing due to the spout on the end of them, but it simply allows audio to flow directly into the ear without obstruction.

Thus far, the Level series has this reputation for being constructed with premium qualities, but with the Level U, it’s clearly favoring a totally different result that’s more on the opposite end. Regardless, it’s a straightforward design that caters to a wide range of scenarios that we find pleasant.

 

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Samsung Level U Review

Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
Introduction


Around the neck styled Bluetooth headphones aren’t new, but for Samsung, it’s still an area where they’ve yet to make any significant headway. With the introduction of its premium audio line, the Level series, the company has slowly diversified its headphones portfolio to a greater degree. In that regard, the Samsung Level U became the latest entrant to the series – a flexible, around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones that blends style and comfort. We’ve seen similar things recently, such as the SOL Republic Shadow, Phiaton BT 100 NC, and LG Tone+ Infinim to name a few, so we’re curious to know how this one stacks up to the competition.

Packaging contains:

  • Samsung Level U
  • microUSB cable
  • 3 sets of ear gels
  • Quick start guide

Design

The thin and lightweight design makes it practical to use for an assortment of scenarios.

After captivating and surprising us with the Galaxy S6, Samsung has a track record to keep when it comes to its designs. Fortunately for the Level U, it’s something that’s evident given the modest price tag associated with it. Going with the around-the-neck style, one that’s in a U-shape and rests gently around our neck with the earbuds attached via cable, the plastic constructed body manages to maintain a very thin profile and lightweight feel. However, its weight is counterbalanced by the thicker back end of the headphones.

The plastic body ensures it’s something that feels comfortable around our neck for long periods of time, but even better, it’s not something that rattles when we’re executing vigorous movement – a nagging quality we found with the LG Tone+ Infinim. Accenting the aesthetics, there are some rubbery coated areas that provide even stronger grip to ensure it won’t come off if we’re sweating away during a workout.

There are very few buttons on this thing. In fact, the majority of them are found along the right compartment of the Level U, which include the pause/play, volume up, and volume down buttons. Generally speaking, we have no issues accessing them because they’re raised and offer great response when pressed. Along the backside, there’s a simple on/off switch with a tiny LED light located close by to show us its status.

As for the earbuds, it’s neat that they’re attached magnetically when they’re not being used. Initially, we didn’t like how the silicon earbuds themselves kept on falling out with abrupt movement, but there’s a pair with stabilizing wing ear gels to ensure they’re securely in place – including when we’re moving around a lot. At first glance, the ear buds seem menacing due to the spout on the end of them, but it simply allows audio to flow directly into the ear without obstruction.

Thus far, the Level series has this reputation for being constructed with premium qualities, but with the Level U, it’s clearly favoring a totally different result that’s more on the opposite end. Regardless, it’s a straightforward design that caters to a wide range of scenarios that we find pleasant.



Connectivity


The setup process is a cinch! While there’s no NFC option here, simply pressing and holding the pause/play button while switching the unit on places it into pairing mode – where we’re able to connect it to a Samsung Galaxy S6 Active.

Its reach is pretty long too, seeing that we’re able to maintain a connection for up to 20 feet before noticing it cutting in-and-out. What’s really nice, too, is that it offers notifications too – both audible and vibrations. For example, when an email is received, it’s said out loud through the earbuds. In addition, there’s an option to use the ‘Connection manager’ section of the Samsung Level app to sniff out the Level U in the event it’s misplaced (think radar detection). Of course, that’s as long as it’s connected via Bluetooth.

Performance

It’s decent to use for music listening, but there are some challenges with _phone_ calls.

The premium stuff from the Level line enthralled us with their quality, but for the modestly priced Samsung Level U, we don’t have nearly the same level of exuberance with its performance. Using it for music listening, the 12mm drivers manage to muster up a mostly clean quality – though, it’s a bit on the lighter and thinner side. Sure, there’s a subtle amount of attention placed on the lows, but the overall quality isn’t something we’d classify as commanding. Hey, at least it doesn’t exhibit any irritating strain at the loudest volume setting.

Samsung Level U Review
Samsung Level U Review
How about _phone_ calls? It’s decent, usable enough as long as there’s not a ton of background noise to overpower our own voice. Samsung claims that the dual-microphone system provides noise reduction and echo cancellation, but we only experience it doing the latter. While its volume output is ample, background noise in the environment makes it tough for us to sometimes comprehend voices – there’s barely any sort of suppression to isolate tones through the earbuds.

Battery

It goes beyond Sammy’s claim of 10 hours.

Factoring its size, we were surprised to find the Samsung Level U delivering over 12 hours of battery life using it primarily for music listening. That’s a little over the 10 hours that Samsung claims, which is more than ample for us using it for a couple of hours each day at the gym throughout the week. Along the rear compartment, there’s a flap that hides away the headphone’s microUSB port for charging.

Conclusion


Thinking about it more, it’s tough for us to wrap our head around Samsung’s decision to include this in its Level series – just because it consists mostly of high-end audio gear. That realization is made more obvious when we look at the Samsung Level U’s sticker tag of $69.99, which we gladly like for being super affordable, unlike the comparable offerings, but it still boggles us as to why it’s a part of the Level series.

Indeed, the pricing makes it an attractive option if you’re looking for something simple that works for an assortment of occasions, but don’t expect the same impeccable audio quality we’ve seen in the other Level series headphones. At the end of the day, it’s good enough if you can tolerate its middle-of-the-road audio quality.



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