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In brief: Samsung's Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro have received plenty of glowing reviews from critics and buyers alike, but it seems they may have issues not related to the quality of their sound. According to several reports, the earbuds are causing ear infections for some users.
Android Central's Chris Wedel writes that he experienced an ear infection after wearing the Galaxy Buds Pro. The infection caused a lot of unpleasantness, including swelling, discharge, pain, and a temperature over 102 degrees. It was around a week before Wedel's ear returned to normal, though he still has periodic flare-ups.
It appears that Wedel isn't alone. There are several reports of Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 users experiencing the same health issues, many of which start off as post-wear irritation before developing into an infection. There are also cases of Samsung not only refunding the users, but also paying for their medical bills, suggesting the company accepts that the earbuds are the cause—though it hasn't admitted so publicly.
As for why people are getting infections, it's speculated that the different materials in the newer buds are the culprits—there are no similar reports among those using older versions of Samsung's devices. The Galaxy Buds Pro use nickel in the charging contacts, which is known to cause skin irritation in some people. Samsung also switched to acrylate in the new models, whereas the older buds used acrylic.
A Samsung spokesperson said the company was "unsure of when there will be information released on the issues with the earbuds," but that information may be provided on the website at a later time "due to it being a common issue." It's noted that the Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 user guides warn to remove the earbuds and stop using them if you experience discomfort.
Not too surprisingly, a class-action lawsuit is being proposed against Samsung over the Galaxy Buds Pro. It alleges that a defect results in allergic reactions such as "itching, burning, redness, blistering, flaking, scabbing and/or fluid leaking from the ear."