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.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. 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 and fitness-tech evolution and keeping 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 Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


  1. Ok, so I’m nervous about contacting Samsung now… I noticed this issue last year when I got the worst ear infection I could have ever imagined!

    I had the earbuds for a couple of months without noticing much (maybe an itch here and there) until one day my ears were getting stuffed up and a little red.

    After a couple more days my ears were starting to feel pain (and I mean pain, so much so I couldn’t sleep). I finally went to urgent care when the pain kept me from sleeping.

    They gave me antibiotics and some ear drops and said I should be fine in a few days.

    I spent the next day in agonizing pain and was trying to wait the 3 days they had advised me to return. I couldn’t make it past the second day.

    On that second day I reached out to a virtual care doctor and he immediately saw and heard my distress and advised me to go to the emergency room. At the ER they had noticed half my face was swollen and my ear was swollen shut (no medication was getting through).

    They gave me morphine for the pain and forced a wick into my ear to absorb the medication. I was out of commission for at least 2 weeks.

    I couldn’t hear anything from that ear for about a month. I hesitated in blaming the earbuds but did a Google search and found I was not the only one so I put them away (I was very much afraid of going through that again).

    After almost exactly a year goes by I decide “hey, I spent a lot on those earbuds I think I’ll try again”… big mistake.

    It’s happening again but this time the pain doesn’t seem so severe (I went to urgent care earlier where the drops have helped). I have contacted customer support but have been told the exact same thing everyone is saying they heard, send them back and you’ll hear from us.

    • Oh, Jesse, what a terrible ordeal you’ve been through! It certainly points to the earbuds being the problem! It would help if a doctor wrote in your notes that they suspected the earbuds were the source of the problem or, if a doc is unwilling, even that the patient observed the ear infection started after using the earbuds.

      Unfortunately, we as the consumer have little say in Samsungs decision-making. All you can do is send them in and include your experience and any medical notes.

  2. Same as others, I had multiple ear infections and stop using the buds.

    I wish I could say the ear infections were the worst part but treatment from Samsung support has been horrible, rude, and a waste of time. They lied to me and had me send in my headphones only to force me into having to call and waste more time than the earbuds were worth.

    I gave up also, go figure. I will never buy another Samsung product as long as I live!

  3. I had the exact same issue with my earbuds pro.

    Prior to getting Samsung’s earbuds, I had worn Blitzwolf earbuds for two and a half years until they died.

    I did not change the way I wore the earbuds length of time conditions etc.

    And wound up with ear irritation.

    When I contacted Samsung they had me send back the earbuds very quickly. Their customer service is not handling the case. They’ve had my earbuds for 2 months!

    Every time I call in it’s a 40 minute to an hour call to explain the situation again and again and again.

    Finally, I’m told that corporate is handling this issue and will call me back in 24 to 48 hours. I’ve never received a call

    I’m absolutely disgusted with Samsung.

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.


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