Samsung refunding and providing treatment costs to some Galaxy Buzz Pro users

Samsung Galaxy Buzz Pro Ear problems

Several users of the new Samsung earbuds, Galaxy Buzz pro, have been complaining about ear irritation and itching following these new earbuds.

Today, the company announced that it would provide refunds and support treatment costs for customers who have had these complaints.

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The ‘Galaxy Buzz Pro’ earbuds were released in Jan 2021 in Korea and featured an immersive audio experience, clear call quality, intelligent ANC (Active Noise Canceling), and enhanced connectivity between various devices in a modern and stylish design. 

According to a popular Korean site, Samsung Electronics said, “Due to the general characteristics of kernel-type earphones, depending on the user, when used for a long period of time, discomfort or symptoms such as external otitis may occur due to increased moisture in the ear.”

The company was cautious in its remarks and also clearly stated that “There is no quality problem with the Galaxy Buzz Pro,” but added, “To provide differentiated services to customers who love Galaxy, we are providing refunds and treatment fees.”

Many reviews on online communities suggested that users were being diagnosed with otitis externa after using the Galaxy Buzz Pro. 

Otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear, is inflammation of the ear canal and presents itself with ear pain, swelling, and occasionally decreased hearing.

There is rationale to believe that since Galaxy Buds Pro is an in-ear type (kernel type) wireless earphone that inserts a silicone ear tip into the ear hole, it can increase ear fatigue compared to the ‘open type’ worn on the auricle and lead to ear irritations in some users.

In general, there’s a connection between earbuds and ear wax. 

Your ears produce wax as protection and help in cleaning and lubrication, but ear wax can build up if earbuds block that process. And putting the earbuds in that part of your ear canal can actually stimulate more wax production.

According to medical experts, moisture can get trapped behind that built-up wax – especially in more humid areas – and lead to infections.

This issue can happen with any earbuds and is not limited to Samsung devices.

Experts, therefore, suggest that the best way to avoid Otitis externa and related symptoms when using earbuds is to keep these devices clean.

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have the same galaxy buds pro. And have had the same issue. Irritation, along with running puss out of my ears and scabs dry skin.

    When I first purchased the product I wore them for hours at a time, then this started happening.

    I took a 2.5-week break from wearing the buds to let my ears fully heal as well as cleaned the buds as suggested through Samsung.

    Yesterday I put them back in and only wore 1 side for about a 1/2 hour. Took them off and within an hour they were irritated. This morning this ear is full of puss and scabs again.

  2. I thought I was the only one with this issue,  but after calling Samsung customer service and opening the case with them,  I started searching the web for this issue,  and sure enough,  there are hundreds of posts,  articles and discussions about this issue.  

    I was having the ear infection issue after I started to use those buds pro. I bought them together with my new S21 phone when it was released at the end of January,  2021. After wearing them for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, I started experiencing burning sensation in my ears.  I thought it was just because the tip wasn’t selected correctly,  but trying different tips just escalated the issue.  By the next day both of my ears were watery,  itchy and inflamed. I stopped using my Buds Pro until my eats completely healed (for almost a month). 

    After I started using them again,  I got even stronger reaction.  The inflammation was so bad. I could not hear on one ear completely for 3 days.  A doctor had to prescribe me antibiotics, steroids and drops to take for over a week.  

    I haven’t use those EarBuds Pro since then,  but today I decided to test my luck again during a phone call (about 20 minutes). My wife had a left earpiece and I had the right one.  She couldn’t even finish the call and had to take it out, because her ear started to burn.  I started experiencing the same issues,  as before after about 20 minutes.  2 hours later my ear is already watery again. That’s when I decided to call the Sumsung Customer Service and open the escalated case. 

    In my opinion,  Samsung should issue a voluntary recall on this model, before some law firm jumps on it. 

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