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Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro (2021): Which Wireless Earbuds Are Worth Your Money?

For a while now, the Apple AirPods Pro have been dominating the noise cancelling wireless earbuds scene despite their premium price. But recently, Samsung released the new Galaxy Buds Pro in the hopes of stealing some of the spotlight from the AirPods Pro. Thanks to their impressive features and specs sheet, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are slowly making their way into the ears of more and more users.

But are they really able to outperform the favorite from Apple? To help you answer that question, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two models, covering their design, audio quality, and active noise cancellation.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs Apple AirPods Pro Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Buds ProApple AirPods Pro
 SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds Pro, Bluetooth Earbuds, True Wireless, Noise Cancelling, Charging Case, Quality...Apple AirPods Pro
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
DesignIn-earIn-ear
Water ResistantYes (IPX7 rating)Yes (IPX4 rating)
ColorsSilver, black, and violetWhite only
Drivers11mm woofer, 6.5mm tweeterProprietary high-excursion Apple driver
Customizable EQNoNo
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Transparency ModeYesYes
Battery LifeUp to 5 hours of playback (18 hours with charging case)Up to 4.5 hours of playback with ANC turned on (24 hours with charging case)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
AppGalaxy Wear for AndroidBuilt-in settings in iOS
ChipNoneApple’s H1 chip

Design

The Apple AirPods Pro have a flashy and comfortable design while the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are understated and feel more secure.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro design
The Galaxy Buds Pro (left) come in various colors while the AirPods Pro (right) are only offered in white.

By now, the stem design of the Apple AirPods Pro is so well-known that anyone would be able to recognize it. But there’s more to the AirPods Pro’s design than just being flashy. They’re actually very lightweight and comfortable to wear despite the fact that there are stems jutting out of them. Instead of plugging into the ear canal like a lot of wireless earbuds do, they sit nicely in the opening of the ear which feels less stressful for the ears. As for color options, you probably already know by now that the AirPods Pro only come in white which makes them even more iconic.

As for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, their design is definitely more understated so not a lot would be able to associate them with any particular brand. This comes as good news to those who like being discreet with their choice of tech. When it comes to fit, the Galaxy Buds Pro are comfortable too although they tend to go in a bit deeper which puts more pressure on the ears. While some might see this as a drawback, others might appreciate the snugger and more secure fit especially if they move around a lot. As for colors, the Galaxy Buds Pro come in silver, black, and purple.

If you’re wondering if you can take these wireless earbuds with you to the gym, the answer is yes. Both the AirPods Pro and the Galaxy Buds Pro are water resistant although the latter wins in terms of specs. The AirPods Pro have an IPX4 rating so they can survive sweaty workouts in the gym but no more than that. As for the Galaxy Buds Pro, they boast of an IPX7 rating which means they can withstand up to a meter of water but only for 30 minutes.

Audio

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro edge out the Apple AirPods Pro in terms of audio quality.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro audio
The Galaxy Buds Pro (left) have 360 Audio while the AirPods Pro (right) have Spatial Audio.

Upgraded with adaptive EQ and Spatial Audio, the Apple AirPods Pro are a huge level up from the AirPods. Not only do they deliver a much cleaner, warmer, and more immersive sound, but they also automatically adjust their EQ settings according to the shape of your ears and the kind of music you’re listening to. But if you don’t like the idea of not being able to customize EQ levels on your own, you can always dig into your iPhone settings and choose from the 20 presets that are available there.

While the AirPods Pro are impressive in their own right, they don’t stand a chance when compared to the power of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. That’s not shocking though because Samsung has always been really good with audio. It was a smart move on their part to equip the Galaxy Buds Pro with a new two-way speaker system that’s made up of a 6.5mm tweeter and a 11mm woofer. This gives the Galaxy Buds Pro the ability to deliver a powerful bass and a satisfying treble. In addition, the drivers are by Harman so you know the audio is truly high quality. Similar to the AirPods Pro, you can’t customize the Galaxy Buds Pro’s EQ but you can choose from a couple of presets on the Galaxy Wearable app.

Samsung also has their own version of Spatial Audio called 360 Audio. This feature makes use of Dolby Head Tracking to create an immersive sound but unfortunately, it’s not available for everyone. You can only it use on the Galaxy Buds Pro if you have one of those new Galaxy S21 phones that are running on OneUI 3.1. But even without 360 Audio, the Galaxy Buds Pro sound fantastic.

Active Noise Cancellation

The Apple AirPods Pro‘s ANC is more powerful than that of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs AirPods Pro anc
Both the AirPods Pro (right) and the Galaxy Buds Pro (left) have transparency mode.

The Apple AirPods Pro are unparalleled when it comes to active noise cancellation. Many have tried to outperform them but no one has come close to beating their ability to block off 85% of external sounds. Whether you’re chilling at home or running errands outside, ambient noises like the TV, doorbell, or people chatting won’t be able to distract you. However, high frequency sounds like whistles and sirens do manage to leak in.

As for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, they claim to be able to decrease external sounds by 99% but this is definitely an exaggeration. Even the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, which are known to have the best ANC, aren’t able to meet this guarantee. At best, the Galaxy Buds Pro are able to mute the same kind of noises as the AirPods Pro although they don’t do very well outside, no thanks to their lack of wind resistance.

If you need to be able to hear the sounds around you, both the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro have transparency mode. Just turn this feature on and you should be able to hear traffic and voices around you. The Galaxy Buds Pro, however, take things a step further by having a Detect Voice feature which works in tandem with transparency mode. Once it senses that you’re speaking, playback volume will automatically go down and the passthrough level will get bumped up. This allows you to carry a conversation with ease without having to remove your earbuds.

Verdict

The Apple AirPods Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are both powerful models but only if you use them within their respective ecosystems.

Both the Apple AirPods Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro show that they’re worth their $200 price tags. With the AirPods Pro, you get superior noise cancelling while the Galaxy Buds Pro impress with their top-notch sound. However, you’re only really getting the most of your money if you use these models within their respective ecosystems because a lot of their features would be useless otherwise. We wouldn’t recommend that you buy the AirPods Pro if you don’t have an iPhone nor would it be wise to spend on the Galaxy Buds Pro if you can’t pair them with a Galaxy phone.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Apple AirPods Pro worth it?

The Apple AirPods Pro will cost you a pretty penny but the $200 price tag is justified by their powerful active noise cancellation, good audio quality, and useful features for iOS users.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro worth it?

Just like the Apple AirPods Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are in the $200 range. However, they prove to be worth the splurge, thanks to their top-notch audio and decent active noise cancellation.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro noise cancelling?

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are equipped with active noise cancelling. They can block off a good number of external sounds although they don’t do too well outdoors.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one should you buy, the Apple AirPods Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?

To get the most of your money, only get the Apple AirPods Pro if you have an iPhone and only go for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro if you have a Galaxy phone.

Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.