As their name and price range suggest, the new Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are in close competition with Apple’s popular AirPods Pro.So, how exactly do these two true wireless earbuds hold up against each other and what can they offer you – the consumer – in order to win you over? If you’re buying soon, should you choose Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Pro or go with Apple’s highly popular AirPods Pro? Let’s find out!You may also find interesting:
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro design
Samsung’s Buds Pro come in a sleek and smooth squarish plastic charging case, which charges via USB Type-C. The case is made out of glossy plastic on the outside and matte plastic on the inside. It opens up like a wedding ring case to reveal the fairly traditional-looking earbuds inside. The earbuds themselves are also made out of glossy plastic on the outside and matte plastic everywhere else. They’re small and rounded, with tiny stems, and look pretty good in the ear. Thanks to their rubber tips, the Buds Pro should fit to your ear canal perfectly, regardless of its shape and size.
The AirPods Pro also come in a sleek and smooth charging case, but it’s wider and opens up at the top. It doesn’t charge via USB Type-C, instead going with Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. The earbuds themselves are arguably less appealing than the Buds Pro, as they have stems which stick out of your ears. Those stems however also provide an easy place to hold them when adjusting their placement in your ears, without accidental touch gestures being triggered. Plus, the stems can help you put on or remove the earbuds easily, so depending on how you look at it, they can either be an eye sore or convenient. In any case, the AirPods Pro earbuds are made out of glossy plastic all around, with some black elements disrupting the otherwise white plastic, and they also sport rubber tips for a good in-ear seal.
Both the Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro come with a charging cable and three sizes of rubber tips out the box.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro price
The Galaxy Buds Pro will be available starting January 15 for the price of $200. Apple’s AirPods Pro were released all the way back in October of 2019 for the higher price of $250.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro sound quality
The Galaxy Buds Pro
Apple’s AirPods Pro similarly sound fairly balanced, though in our review we found them lacking in bass and slightly emphasising the highs.
Stay tuned for our detailed impressions of how both sound as compared to each other right here.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro active noise cancelling
The AirPods Pro
According to Samsung, the Buds Pro feature the most intelligent active noise cancellation (ANC) on true wireless earbuds. Their ANC can be set to low or high, with the latter able to cancel out up to 99% of external background noise. The Buds Pro can switch between ANC and Ambient Sound automatically, if they detect that you’re conversing with someone. Their Ambient Sound can additionally be set to amplify nearby voices by up to +70dB.
The AirPods Pro are well-known for their superb ANC, which is able to filter out the noise from your environment to an impressive degree, almost making you feel as if you’ve hit a mute button on the world itself. With strong ANC like that, you can fully enjoy your music or podcasts without any disturbances, such as the rumblings of a bus engine or an airplane taking off.
Both the Buds Pro and AirPods Pro have an alternative to ANC, which they call Ambient Sound and Transparency Mode respectively. It’s meant to let sounds in while wearing the earbuds, so you can hear your environment better. And while both allow for manual switching between ANC and this feature, the Buds Pro can also do it automatically, if they detect that you’ve started conversing with someone.
The Buds Pro also come with a larger number of notable features, such as 360 Audio, Auto Switch, Multi Mic Recording and Game Mode, which we covered in our Galaxy Buds Pro first impressions.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro device support
The Galaxy Buds Pro next to a Samsung Galaxy S21, showing their matching color finish
Both the Galaxy Buds Pro and AirPods Pro work optimally with phones and tablets from the same brand – Samsung or Apple respectively. However, both can also pair with phones and tablets from other manufacturers, but not all of their software features will be available.
For example, you can’t voice-wake Bixby on your Galaxy Buds Pro, unless the earbuds are paired to a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet. Similarly, you can’t reach Siri on the AirPods Pro, unless you’re using an iPhone or iPad.
In any case, both the Buds Pro and AirPods Pro’s core functionality will be available to you, regardless of your phone of choice. They’ll pair via Bluetooth, touch gestures will work as normal, as well as ANC.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro water resistance
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Pro are the company’s “most water resistant earbuds yet”, and indeed, they do come with an IPX7 rating. That means the earbuds should survive submersion in fresh water up to a meter for up to 30 minutes. However, Samsung doesn’t advise using them in pools or at the beach, but the rating provides a peace of mind if you’re using them outside and it starts raining, for example.
As for the AirPods Pro, they’re IPX4 rated and according to Apple, resistant to water and sweat. Despite the lower rating, the AirPods Pro should also be fine under light rain or if splashed with water.
Note that Samsung doesn’t mention anything about sweat proofing for the Buds Pro and Apple outright says that the AirPods Pro are not sweatproof, just sweat resistant. If you’re sweating at the gym with your wireless earphones, Apple and Samsung both recommend wiping them down with a dry cloth, before putting them back into their case.
Note that both the Buds Pro and AirPods Pro cases have no water resistance whatsoever, only the earbuds themselves are IP-rated.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro battery life
The AirPods Pro (shown here) case charges via Lightning, while the Buds Pro charge via USB Type-C
Both of these truly wireless earbuds can last you a couple of days if used with their case, or about 5 hours standalone. Here’s exactly how long they’re expected to last on a single battery charge:
With ANC on, the Buds Pro will last up to 18 hours with the case, or up to 5 hours without it. If you wish to preserve your battery life and turn ANC off, they can last up to 28 hours with the case and 8 hours without it. It’s also noteworthy that 5 minutes of quick-charging the Buds Pro can provide up to an hour of playback.
The AirPods Pro, with ANC on and their case, can last more than 24 hours of listening time. Without the case and ANC on, the AirPods Pro should be good for about 4.5 hours of music playback.
Both the AirPods Pro with Wireless Charging Case and Buds Pro cases Qi-certified for wireless charging.