These earbuds are both great, you can’t go wrong with either. If you listen to podcasts or more acoustic stuff, have a lot of (video) calls or simply have an iPhone, I would definitely go with the Apple AirPods Pro. Do you prefer more modern types of music or have an Android phone? Then get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro!
Design & fit
Apple’s AirPods Pro have the iconic design you’d expect from Apple: they’re only available in white and have the typical stem. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro however, come in various colors (black, silver, and a fancy purple color) and are less present overall since they don’t have the stem. They are a bit bulkier as a whole though.
The ‘bulkier’ design does result in a snugger fit, making the Galaxy Buds Pro great for using while doing sports. To top it all off, they even have an IPX7 rating, sweat all you want! This doesn’t mean the AirPods Pro aren’t suitable for sports though, just be aware that these tend to fall out of your ear a bit quicker (depending per person of course) plus they ‘only’ have an IPX4 rating. It should be fine for sweating, but just be aware they can withstand water a tad worse than the Galaxy Buds Pro.
Since the AirPods Pro aren’t as snug in your ear, this does mean they’re a breeze to use. You hardly feel them, making them great for just listening to some podcasts or using them in those hourly long video calls. You’ll have no trouble using these for a couple of hours.
The cases are both pretty nice and small enough to fit in your pocket easily. The case of the AirPods Pro is a bit thicker, while the Galaxy Buds Pro case has a bit of a larger footprint overall.
They both offer wireless charging, but can also be charged using a cable. The AirPods Pro unfortunately make use of Apple’s lightning connection, while the Galaxy Buds Pro have a USB-C port.
Controls on the earbud differ quite a bit. Apple stuck with their ‘stem squeeze’ controls, which do work nicely to be honest. You have your basic options in place with controls for things like play, pause, skipping a track or going back to the previous one. The downside of the stem squeeze is that you’re limited to the amount of options you have, which is why Apple also relies on voice commands through Siri (sorry Android users). It works great, but would you rather ask Siri to put your volume up in public, or just grab your phone instead?
The Galaxy Buds Pro can be handled using touch controls on the side of the bud. You’re even able to reassign some of the features to make the controls fit your needs using the Galaxy Wearables app. This is not available on iOS though, so something as simple as adjusting your volume on the Galaxy Buds Pro will require you to take out your phone.
Both earbuds have detection for when you take a single bud out of your ear, pausing your music. The AirPods Pro seem to have the upper hand here though, since the Galaxy Buds Pro seem to not resume playback once you put the bud back in your ear.
Looking at the battery life you’ll be getting from the earbuds themselves, the Galaxy buds pro have a slight edge on the AirPods Pro. Samsung’s earbuds last up to 5 hours with the active noice cancellation turned on, or even 8 hours without ANC. Apple’s AirPods on the other hand will give you a total time of 4,5 hours with ANC turned on, or 5 hours with noice cancellation turned off.
If we take the extra battery life we get from the case however, the AirPods pro are a clear winner. They’ll give you a total time of 24 hours, whereas the Galaxy Buds Pro give you a mere 18 hours of listening time.
Active Noise Cancellation
These earbuds both offer great active noise cancellation. The AirPods Pro have a simple on/off setting, while the Galaxy Buds Pro offers some configuration where you can set the level of ANC as well. All in all, the AirPods Pro seem to win it here, offering better noise cancellation even when the Galaxy Buds Pro are set to the highest level.
Looking at the ambient sound option (or ‘transparency mode’ as Apple calls it), the AirPods Pro also take the crown here. Transparency mode is fantastic and sounds natural, while the ambient mode of the Galaxy Buds Pro are okay but are not up to par with the AirPods Pro.
These wireless earbuds both sound great, but their profile is quite different. The AirPods Pro seem to have a more neutral sound with a bit more clarity, making them the better pick when listening to stuff like podcasts or acoustic songs. The Galaxy Buds Pro however, seem to offer a bit more bass. It’s not overdone, but comparing them to Apple’s earbuds they definitely offer some more punch, making them a better fit for Rock, Hip-Hop, EDM, or any other modern type of music.
They also both offer a form of surround sound. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro make use of 360 audio, whereas the Airpods Pro have Apple’s Spatial Audio feature. The 360 audio feature is doing its job, but I have to say Apple’s Spatial Audio is still something magical and has that extra touch to it.