Apple’s AirPods Pro are among the many greatest wi-fi earbuds you should purchase, however Samsung is taking over the standard-bearer with its barely extra reasonably priced Galaxy Buds Pro. The Buds Professional have nearly the identical function set because the AirPods Professional, with energetic noise canceling and spatial audio assist. I’ve spent two weeks testing each these pairs of earbuds to weigh the professionals and cons of every.

The AirPods Professional are a wonderful pair of wi-fi earbuds with ANC that work seamlessly with iOS and Apple units. They assist spatial audio (aka digital {surround} sound) and have a longer-lasting battery with ANC than the Galaxy Buds Professional. Sound high quality is balanced, however they do not have a common equalizer to alter the sound throughout all apps. You should use the AirPods Professional with Android telephones, though you lose some options like spatial audio and fast switching.

Read our AirPods Pro review.

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In terms of specs, the Galaxy Buds Professional are probably the most comparable of Samsung’s earbud fashions to the AirPods Professional. They sound nice, with a powerful bass response, however the battery life does not final so long as the AirPods Professional’s when ANC is energetic. Additionally they do not work as nicely with iPhones as, in contrast to earlier Galaxy Buds, these aren’t supported within the Galaxy Wearable iOS app on the time of writing.

Read our Galaxy Buds Pro review.

AirPods Professional are smaller, really feel lighter in your ear

Each are in-ear earbuds, however they’ve utterly totally different designs. The AirPods Professional have a clickable stem that stands out of the ear they usually solely are available white. The Galaxy Buds Professional are available three colours (silver, black or purple) and have a spherical design with faucet panels on the facet, and really feel a bit heavier in your ear than the AirPods Professional.

Each pairs of earbuds include interchangeable ideas in small, medium or giant. Match will fluctuate relying in your ear form and dimension, however I’ve had bother with each these fashions not staying in correctly once I’m understanding or shifting round quite a bit. I’ve really discovered probably the most safe match with third-party foam ideas for the AirPods Professional — I exploit ones from Comply, however there are numerous different manufacturers obtainable. The Galaxy Bud Professional ideas do not include the wingtip locks present in earlier fashions just like the Galaxy Buds Plus that helped lock them securely in your ear. I have not been capable of finding third-party ideas for the Galaxy Buds Professional but, however I am wanting ahead to seeing if that may enhance the match.

Learn extra11 awesome AirPods Pro tips to try right now

The Galaxy Buds Professional have the higher hand in terms of sturdiness in opposition to water and sweat, with a better ranking of IPX7 in contrast with the IPX4 of the AirPods Professional. This implies they are often submerged in as much as 3 toes (1 meter) of contemporary water for as much as half-hour. I have not taken the Buds Professional for a swim but or run them by means of the washer, however I’ve had no issues after splashing some water on them. The AirPods Professional can stand up to sweat and a few mild splashes, however I would not recommend taking them swimming.

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The AirPods Professional with third-party eartips.


Lexy Savvides/CNET

Galaxy Buds Professional, higher sound high quality; AirPods Professional, higher noise canceling

Each these earbuds sound good, so long as you may get a safe match. It is positively a matter of choice, however I choose the hotter sound profile and extra pronounced bass response of the Galaxy Bud Professional in terms of sound high quality. You may as well regulate the equalizer manually within the Galaxy Wearable app to quite a lot of totally different presets, from bass enhance to mushy. The AirPods Professional have a extra impartial sound profile that truly works of their favor if you wish to leap between calls, listening to music and listening to podcasts. They’ve an adaptive equalizer that dynamically adjusts the sound for you.

Whereas each do a very good job at canceling out ambient noise, the AirPods Professional are a contact more practical at drowning out white noise just like the sound of an overhead fan or airplane engines. Whilst you can regulate the ANC stage on the Galaxy Buds Professional to excessive or low, I did not actually hear any distinction between the 2 settings. I may also hear a really faint hiss when I’ve ANC on the Buds Professional once I’m not listening to music.

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Lexy Savvides/CNET

They each have spatial audio (Samsung calls it 360 audio) for a simulated surround-sound expertise when listening to motion pictures and TV reveals. Once more, each sound good, but when I had to decide on, I might go along with the AirPods Professional because the impact sounds extra pure. Notice that on the time of writing, 360 audio assist is barely on Samsung units working One UI 3.1 just like the Samsung Galaxy S21 phones, whereas spatial audio on the AirPods Professional is obtainable on any Apple machine working iOS 14 or later.

However the Galaxy Buds Professional have a function the AirPods Professional lack: voice detection. The Galaxy Buds Professional robotically lowers the quantity of your media after they detect that you just’re speaking after which reverts again to your authentic settings 10 seconds after you have stopped. It is nice in order for you to have the ability to have a fast dialog with out actively switching the buds into ambient sound mode (or pulling one out of your ear). 

You’ll be able to hearken to mic samples in our video on this web page to listen to the distinction for calls.


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Comparing Galaxy Buds Pro to AirPods Pro



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AirPods Pro: Most reliable battery life

Samsung quotes the battery life on the Galaxy Buds Pro at 5 hours with ANC on, but I never got close to that figure. With ANC turned on, the longest I was able to wear them for was roughly 4.5 hours, which was disappointing considering the claim. Apple quotes up to 4.5 hours with ANC for the AirPods Pro, but I regularly exceeded that and could manage almost 5 hours of total listening time. According to Samsung, the Buds Pro can also last up to 8 hours of listening time without ANC, but again, I wasn’t able to reach that number myself.

Each case also holds a little extra charge, with the AirPods Pro offering 24 hours’ total juice and the Galaxy Buds Pro an added 18 hours. Both cases can wirelessly charge, or you can plug in Lightning on the AirPods Pro or USB-C on the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Read moreBest Apple AirPods deals right now

Smart features are similar on both

This is the first generation of Samsung earbuds I’ve tested that aren’t compatible with the Galaxy Wearable iOS app. This means they’ll connect to an iPhone ($900 at Boost Mobile) via Bluetooth and you can activate ANC and use the default tap controls, but you won’t be able to change the settings. The AirPods Pro also work as regular Bluetooth earbuds on Android, but offer the most seamless experience customizing settings on iOS.

You can summon Siri on the AirPods Pro, or Bixby on the Galaxy Buds Pro by using your voice, or with touch controls. Each will read off text messages or notifications, and let you change the volume or place a call with your voice. There is no way to call on Google Assistant using your voice on the Galaxy Buds Pro yet, although you can activate Google Assistant on the Galaxy Buds Pro by assigning it as a long press of the touch panel, but you can’t make calls with it yet. 

Each earbud can be used independently for calls or listening to music and you can find both on a map if you lose them using the Find My app on iPhone or the Smart Things app on Galaxy devices. They both also offer fast switching between devices signed in to the same Apple ID or Samsung account.

Read moreGalaxy Buds Pro: 10 tips to help you master Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds

Galaxy Buds Pro for Android, AirPods Pro for iPhone

Both sets of earbuds have their strengths, but the best earbuds for you will ultimately depend on what software ecosystem you’re in. Previous Samsung-versus-Apple earbud comparisons were more platform-agnostic, given earlier models were compatible with the Galaxy Wearable app on iOS, but this time your phone will be a big factor in your decision. I prefer the warm sound profile of the Galaxy Buds Pro, so I’d pick these for listening to music. But for multitasking between calls and music (and for more reliable battery performance), I choose the AirPods Pro.



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