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Samsung's Latest Update for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Adds 360 Degree Spatial Audio Recording

There's also an update for the Galaxy Watch that adds zoom-in controls for the smartphone camera.

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A photo of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in matte graphite.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Samsung has announced a slew of software updates coming to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Galaxy Watch. The audio update brings a new type of recording feature to Samsung’s earbuds, while the Galaxy Watch update lets you do more with the wearable when using it as a smartphone camera remote.

360 Audio Recording

The 360 Audio Recording in the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro can capture “realistic” audio through each bud while shooting video without needing a complicated microphone setup. Samsung claims it can distinguish between varying situations, like whether you’re in a crowded arena or the forest. When you go to play back the audio, you’ll be able to hear it in surround sound, similar to how it might have sounded to your actual ears when you recorded it.

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Samsung says the 360 Audio Recording is made possible through “leveraging” LE audio. If you look a little closer (link opens PDF) at the specification, there are individual microphone control capabilities baked into Bluetooth LE that let software makers finetune which ones pick up on sounds. But that’s also why this ability is currently proprietary to Samsung-made devices and only the latest batch.

The 360 Audio Recording works exclusively with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Z Fold 4, and upcoming Galaxy smartphones. It also requires One UI 5.0 or above, so update your phone if you’re on the list to take advantage of it. The feature is officially available for download today.

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Enhanced watch controls

I’m already a big fan of the ability to remotely take a selfie with my Wear OS-based Galaxy Watch 4. I use it a ton with the Google Pixel 7, my current Android daily driver, but I wish there were more controls available besides switching between front- and rear-facing cameras.

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The next update from Samsung adds zoom capabilities to the camera controller for Galaxy Watch 4/Watch 5 users. Now you can pinch out to zoom in on your smartphone via the watch screen or use the rotating bezel if your watch has it available. This camera controller feature will be available for Galaxy Watch 5, Watch 5 Pro, Watch 4, and Watch 4 Classic users starting next month.