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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 (2021): Which True Wireless Earphones Are Better?

If you’re in the market for a new pair of true wireless earphones, two models that are worth considering are the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and the Sony WF-1000XM3. Both of them come from popular lines so you can expect killer looks and top-notch performance. However, that still leaves us with the question of which one is better. To help you figure that one out, here’s an in-depth comparison that covers their designs, audio quality, noise cancellation, and battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy Buds 2Sony WF-1000XM3
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
ColorsLavender, olive, white, and graphiteBlack and silver
Water-ResistanceIPX2 ratingRating undisclosed
Ear TipsSmall, medium, and large siliconeSmall, medium, and largefoam and non-slip rubber
Noise CancellationYesYes
Battery Life5 hours with ANC turned on6 hours with ANC turned on


The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 look young and cool while the SonyWF-1000XM3 are sleek and minimalist.

Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF1000XM3 design
Neither the Galaxy Buds 2 (left) nor the Sony WF-1000XM3 (right) are waterproof.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 look a lot like pebbles, thanks to their small and round silhouette and shiny finish. This, plus the fact they come in four stylish colors, gives them a fun look that would appeal a lot to younger listeners. They come in a compact wireless charging case that can be easily slipped into a pocket. What’s neat is that while the case is all white on the outside, it opens up to reveal the same color that you’ve chosen for your earbuds. Also included with the Galaxy Buds 2 are two additional pairs of silicone ear tips just in case you lose the ones you’re currently using.

If the Galaxy Buds 2 have a youthful vibe, the SonyWF-1000XM3 are the complete opposite. They have a more mature look to them, given their sleek and minimalist design, matte finish, and muted color options. The smart wireless charging case is just as stunning, boasting of an eye-catching copper lid. As for fit, theWF-1000XM3 have an ingenious twisting design that allows them to stay put inside the ears even when you’re moving around. What’s even better is that they come with an impressive selection of both foam and non-slip rubber ear tips, allowing you to find the most comfortable fit for your ears.

While both the Galaxy Buds 2 and theWF-1000XM3 both look amazing in their own way, their downfall lies in their durability. The Galaxy Buds 2 only have an IPX2 water-resistance rating which means they won’t be able to survive anything more than light sweating. As for theWF-1000XM3, Sony hasn’t even disclosed a rating so it’s probably best to keep them away from the gym and the pool.

Audio Quality

Both the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and the SonyWF-1000XM3 deliver an impressive audio performance.

Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF1000XM3 audio
Both the Galaxy Buds 2 (left) and the Sony WF-1000XM3 (right) sound good across all genres.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 aren’t just visually stunning. They’re able to deliver an impressive audio performance as well, one that’s so much better than that of the older Galaxy Buds. The bass comes through with a satisfying punch without taking away from the richness of the mids and highs. The stereo separation and sound stage are commendable too, allowing you to enjoy sound effects and individual instruments as they come. Overall, they sound clear and powerful across different genres, whether it be pop, EDM, or rap. While they don’t do too well when it comes to sub-bass and the upper-most registers, only audiophiles will have a problem with this.

As for theSonyWF-1000XM3, don’t let their size fool you because these small earbuds deliver an impressively wide soundstage and clear spatial detail. This makes listening to your favorite tracks even more fun because you’ll get to hear sounds you’ve never noticed before. Thanks to theWF-1000XM3’s amazing sound curve, they’re a good match for all genres too. If you love listening to rock, you’ll appreciate the edginess of the guitars and the powerful hit of the drums. If you’re more of a pop or EDM listener, your playlists will sound dynamic and exciting. Similarly to the Galaxy Buds 2, they struggle when it comes to sub-bass but this shouldn’t be an issue for casual listeners.

Noise Cancellation

TheSonyWF-1000XM3’s ANC is a lot more powerful than the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2’s.

Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF1000XM3 noise cancellation
The Sony WF-1000XM3 are equipped with the QN1e HD noise cancelling processor.

When it comes to noise cancellation, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 leave a lot of room of improvement. While it’s great that ANC is finally available to Samsung’s entry-level line, it doesn’t quite measure up to the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro or the Bose QuietComfort Buds. With the ANC turned on and music playing, the sound of someone talking in the room probably won’t bother you but any loud noises will definitely come through. This makes the Galaxy Buds 2’s ANC good enough for the office but insufficient for commutes and outdoor activities.

As for theSonyWF-1000XM3, this is the part where they truly shine. Equipped with the QN1e HD noise cancelling processor, Sony puts them at the same level as the WH-1000XM2 over-ear headphones. This means that their ANC performs exceptionally well even when you’re in a noisy setting like a train or a bus. You’ll find it nearly impossible to hold a conversation with someone when the ANC is turned on which is a good thing if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet. While they still don’t compare to the ANC power of the award-winning WH-1000XM3, they most definitely win against the Galaxy Buds 2.


TheSonyWF-1000XM3 have a longer battery life than theSamsung Galaxy Buds 2.

Galaxy Buds 2 vs Sony WF1000XM3 battery
The Sony WF-1000XM3 can last up to six hours on a single charge.

The SonyWF-1000XM3 are yet again the winner when it comes to battery life, able to last up to six hours on a single charge. You can even squeeze out a couple more hours from them if you turn the noise cancellation off but this feature is just too good to pass up. If you need an extra boost of juice, you can simply charge the case for ten minutes or so and that should give you 90 more minutes of usage. As for theSamsung Galaxy Buds 2, they fall short of theWF-1000XM3 by an hour, only able to manage 5 hours of playtime (with ANC turned on) before running out of battery.


TheSonyWF-1000XM3 win against theSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 for having more powerful noise cancellation and a longer battery life.

Amazon product

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are a solid upgrade from the original Galaxy Buds, oozing with style and boasting of a more impressive audio performance. However, we’re going to have to name theSonyWF-1000XM3 as the winner of this comparison for a couple of reasons. Not only do they look and sound great, but their noise cancellation feature is so effective that it can rival that of over-ear headphones. This makes them the more reliable option versus the Galaxy Buds 2 if you want a truly immersive listening experience. It’s a nice bonus as well that you can enjoy a longer battery life with the WF-1000XM3.


๐Ÿ“Œ Do the SonyWF-1000XM3 have noise cancellation?

Yes, theSonyWF-1000XM3 have noise cancellation and they perform very well in this department.Equipped with the QN1e HD noise cancelling processor, Sony puts theWF-1000XM3 at par with the WH-1000XM2 over-ear headphones.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the SonyWF-1000XM3 waterproof?

The SonyWF-1000XM3 do not come with a waterproof rating so it’s best to keep them away from places like the gym, pool, and shower.

๐Ÿ“ŒDo the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 have noise cancellation?

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 come with ANC but there’s a lot of room for improvement. While their ANC will suffice for quieter environments like the office, it’s not powerful enough for noisy places like the bus, train, or plane.

๐Ÿ“Œ Are the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 waterproof?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 only have an IPX2 water-resistance rating which means they won’t be able to survive anything more than light sweating.

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Denise Jose

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