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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro (2021): Which Wireless Earbuds Win?

The rivalry between Samsung and Apple has long gone beyond smartphones. As the Korean tech giant expands its ecosystem, we see more head-to-head competition with Apple’s wearables and headphones. With the Galaxy Buds 2, Samsung’s latest foray into wireless earbuds offers active noise cancellation (ANC) sans the steep price of the AirPods Pro.

But it also misses out on some hallmark features from Apple, including spatial audio and adaptive EQ. Though competitively priced, is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 a convincing purchase to rival the AirPods Pro? Or does it all boil down to the ecosystem you’ve already invested in?

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Buds 2AirPods Pro
AudioDynamic 2-way woofer and tweeterCustom high-excursion Apple driver, custom high dynamic range amplifier, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
Microphone3 microphones + VPUDual beam-forming microphones, inward and outward-facing microphone
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5.0
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)YesYes
Touch and Tap ControlsYesYes
Quick ChargingYesYes
Multiple Ear TipsIncludedIncluded
Water ResistanceIPX2IPX4
Battery Life with ANC On5 hours (Buds 2), 20 hours (total with case)4.5 hours (AirPods Pro), 24 hours (total with case)
Battery Life with ANC Off7.5 hours (Buds 2), 29 hours (total with case)5 hours (AirPods Pro)
Earbud Dimensions17.0 x 20.9 x 21.1mm24.0 x 30.9 x 21.8 mm
Earbud Weight5.0g5.4g
Case Size50.2 x 50.0 x 27.8 mm60.6 x 21.7 x 45.2 mm
Case Weight41.2g45.6g


The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2’s design, though not as premium-looking as the AirPods Pro, are more comfortable to wear for longer periods.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro Design
Consumers can get the egg-shaped Galaxy Buds 2 (left) in multiple colors as opposed to the white-only AirPods Pro (right).

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 does away with the bean-like design of the divisive Galaxy Buds Live. Instead, it takes its cue from the Buds Pro but features less gloss while being smaller and lighter. As a result, you get earbuds that rest more securely in your ear. Controlling them remains the same, however. The Galaxy Buds 2 still features a touch and tap interface to carry out functions.

Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro retains the stem that has become emblematic of Apple’s wireless earbuds. On the Pro version, however, the component is shorter. It still comes with the force sensor that triggers a variety of functions, like switching between ANC and transparency modes. The earbuds are also equipped with black vents for pressure equalization.

Between the two devices, Samsung’s wireless earbuds are more comfortable to wear. The egg-shaped form of the Buds 2 simply has a better fit over the AirPods Pro. Where Apple has the edge, however, is its smart ear tip fit test. On the Galaxy Buds 2, the earbud fit analysis doesn’t seem to be as accurate or helpful.

In terms of color, you can get the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in four β€” olive, lavender, white, and graphite (black). The charging case, however, only comes in white, although its interior will reflect the color of the earbuds. This isn’t too big of an issue, though. With Apple, you don’t even have color options. Instead, the AirPods Pro banks on durability, thanks to a more sweat and rain-resistant IPX4 rating over the Buds 2’s IPX2.

Sound Quality

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 and Apple’s AirPods Pro deliver comparable sound quality.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro Sound Quality Comparison
The sound profile of the Galaxy Buds 2 (left) and AirPods Pro (right) make for an enjoyable listening experience.

Like most wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and AirPods Pro are not marketed for audiophiles. But this doesn’t stop Samsung and Apple from making their earbuds a pleasant listening experience for the rest of us.

Most consumers, for instance, will appreciate the AKG-tuned drivers on the Galaxy Buds 2. The result is a forward and vibrant sound suited for today’s music. You can customize the EQ to your liking or simply choose from the presets. Each earbud is now equipped with a separate woofer and tweeter β€” an upgrade from the original Galaxy Buds. This translates to a more balanced profile, though not as loud or impressive as on the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Apple’s AirPods Pro also performs much better than its predecessor. Here, you get a balanced soundstage that gives a full taste of the lows, mids, and highs. The overall profile is warm, with crisp vocals and thumping bass. Like the Galaxy Buds 2, however, some of the detail is lost in higher frequencies. With the AirPods Pro, however, you do get the three-dimensional Spatial Audio β€” an immersive Dolby Atmos-like experience for headphones.

Noise Cancellation

The AirPods Pro has a slight edge over the Samsung Galax Buds 2 when it comes to active noise cancellation and ambient mode.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro Noise Cancellation Comparison
Samsung and Apple’s wireless earbuds offer ANC to cancel out background noise for a better audio experience.

A key feature of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Apple AirPods Pro is active noise cancellation (ANC). If you want to relax to music or listen to a podcast without any distractions, ANC is the way to go, after all. On both earbuds, the feature is pretty reliable, blocking most indoor and outdoor environmental noise. Humming noise from your AC or sounds from your appliances are just some of the standard distractions muffled by the Galaxy Buds 2 and AirPods Pro.

Reliable, however, means it’s not perfect. Now and then, some noise will seep through the ANC of both the Galaxy Buds 2 and AirPods Pro. This is true with higher-frequency sounds like a loud siren or a baby crying. But if you had to choose between the two, then the AirPods Pro will have the slight edge canceling out background noise.

Apple’s earbuds also have the lead when it comes to ambient mode, which it calls Transparency Mode. Here, the AirPods Pro captures the sound of your surroundings more naturally and comfortably compared to the Galaxy Buds 2. Nonetheless, both devices allow users to easily switch between ANC and ambient modes through touch/press and hold gestures.

Battery Life and Other Features

The Galaxy Buds 2 leads in terms of battery life. The AirPods Pro, on the other hand, has more seamless connectivity to other Apple devices.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs AirPods Pro Battery and Other Features
Samsung’s earbuds offer more playtime (left) but Apple’s AirPods Pro (right) boasts better connectivity.

As great as ANC and ambient modes are, they do impact battery life. With the Galaxy Buds 2, you’re getting about 5 hours of use from the earbuds with the ANC turned on. Combined with the charging case, that’s about 20 hours of battery life in total. The AirPods Pro, on the other hand, claims 4.5 hours of listening time with ANC turned on. But it also offers a longer 24-hour battery life total with its wireless charging case even when ANC is enabled.

If you’re not using noise cancellation or ambient mode, Samsung says you can get 7.5 hours of playtime from the Galaxy Buds 2. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro bumps its battery life to 5 hours with ANC disabled. Neither are class-leading, but they’re good enough to last the day if you have your charging case with you.

Both earbuds also work well within their respective ecosystems. Thanks to the H1 chip, the AirPods Pro works more seamlessly across Apple devices. It’s almost the bread-and-butter for the company. Auto-switching across multiple Samsung devices is also possible on the Galaxy Buds 2. However, it’s not yet as streamlined as what Apple offers, especially when connecting the Buds 2 to the Galaxy Watch, for instance.


For Samsung loyalists, the Galaxy Buds 2 is an affordable alternative over the Galaxy Buds Pro. Apple fans, on the other hand, will find the AirPods Pro as the best wireless earbuds.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a welcome addition to the company’s strong lineup of wireless earbuds. For a device with decent active noise cancellation, it’s an affordable option, too. Like Apple’s strategy, however, the Galaxy Buds 2 works best if you’re also using Samsung and Samsung Galaxy devices. In this context, the Buds 2 is more of a budget alternative to the Galaxy Buds Pro.

If you’re deep into the Apple ecosystem, however, it’s unlikely you’ll get the Buds 2 or even Buds Pro over the AirPods Pro. After all, Apple’s wireless earbuds are seamlessly integrated with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac, among others. It also comes with premium features like spatial audio and adaptive EQ β€” making it a better option over the original AirPods. For those with deeper pockets, it’s simply the best wireless earbuds to get from Apple.


πŸ“Œ Do the AirPods Pro wireless earbuds support quick charging?

Apple shares that five minutes of charging in the case already gives the AirPods Pro 1 hour of listening time.

πŸ“Œ How long is the battery life on the Galaxy Buds 2 after a quick charge?

For a 3-minute charge, the Galaxy Buds 2 will give your 40 minutes of playtime. Five and ten minutes of quick charging, on the other hand, will give the Buds 2 60 minutes and 150 minutes of playtime, respectively.

πŸ“Œ Is the AirPods Pro worth getting?

If budget isn’t an issue, then the AirPods Pro is definitely worth it. It’s the best wireless earbuds from Apple so far. Moreover, it’s equipped with premium features, including adaptive EQ and spatial audio.

πŸ“Œ How many ear tips do you get with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 comes with three pairs of ear tips: small, medium, and large.

Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.