The Galaxy Buds are here and ready to take on the Apple AirPods. We put both earbuds to the test to find out which one is best for you.
Apple AirPods have been on the market for a couple of years and gained trust among users and tech experts. Apple now dominates the mobile earbuds market as there is not a specific competing product from the likes of Samsung and Google. Samsung recently joined the club with the release of Galaxy Buds.
I have to admit that AirPods and Galaxy Buds are great and they both feature a few tricks up their sleeves. However, I am wondering how exactly they stack up side by side.
One of the biggest differences between these two earbuds lies in the price. Indeed, the Galaxy Buds are priced at $130, while the AirPods 2 can cost up to $199. That’s around $70 more expensive than the Samsung product.
The reason behind this pricing difference may be with the wireless charging case, but to be honest, the Galaxy Buds also offer that feature and it is even better. Personally, if you now have the first-gen AirPods, then it’s a good idea to stick with your old earbuds. That’s because the wireless charging case is the only thing that sets the second-gen AirPods apart from its first-gen model.
The second generation AirPods sport the same design we have already seen on the old-gen model. The biggest change is a LED indicator on the outside of the charging case. Personally, the design is not something that matters to me as the AirPods are already visually appealing.
As an AirPods owner, I have to admit that the Galaxy Buds are pretty attractive. The Samsung offering is packed with a charging case, but it is smaller. Personally, the Galaxy Buds stay perfectly in my ears thanks to their secondary rubber component.
However, one major drawback is the Galaxy Buds are a tighter fit when compared to the AirPods. In reality, Apple AirPods are so comfortable that I don’t even notice that I am wearing them.
Both offer great attractive designs, but the reason why I reach for the AirPods lies in how comfortable I feel. However, if you are looking for a pair of earbuds that fit and stay in your earbuds, then go for the Galaxy Buds.
The Apple AirPods feature a newly-designed H1 chip under the hood, allowing for much-improved pairing times. Indeed, the AirPods are a beast when it comes to the pairing process. All you need to do is to flip open the lid, hit the Connect button and you are good to go.
The Galaxy Buds offer the same experience, but it is a little bit confusing. Indeed, you need to tap the “Allow” button four times to give your phone permission during the first setup. This is something classic when it comes to Android.
In reality, both are pretty fast, but the Galaxy Buds are a little bit less fluid for the first pairing. That may be a big deal for many users.
The Galaxy Buds are super configurable when compared to the AirPods. For starters, there is a dedicated Galaxy Buds app out there that offers more customization and flexibility. Indeed, you can control the amount of ambient noise around you, which is pretty great. This means that you can hear your surroundings while listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
There is also a Voice Focus feature that makes voices stand out from ambient sound around you, which is ideal for those who want to chat with people. Plus, the Galaxy Buds support gestures. For instance, you can double tap to play the next track or answer a phone call.
What makes the Galaxy Buds stand out lies in the ability to change the Equalizer within the Galaxy Buds app, something the AirPods cannot do. Indeed, there are multiple EQ options to pick from, including Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost. To be honest, the sound is different, but not in a way that you expect from expensive earbuds. However, I am glad to see a pair of earbuds with those fancy settings.
One thing I noticed about the Samsung Galaxy Buds is that you need to take out both earbuds to pause your songs or videos. With the AirPods, you simply take out an earbud to pause and then pop it back in to resume, which is a lot more convenient.
Both offer great sound quality, but there are some key differences. The Galaxy Buds are slightly better in terms of noise isolation, which is useful for those who travel a lot or listen to music in crowded places.
The AirPods, on the other hand, feature an open design, so you still can hear everything in the background. In reality, one problem that I have with the Apple AirPods is that people around me can hear what I am listening to when I have them on full volume. However, I still prefer the balanced sound of the AirPods.
Both Apple AirPods and Galaxy Buds charge wirelessly, but what’s cool about the Galaxy Buds case is that you have the option to charge it with USB-C. If you now have a Galaxy S10, you can wirelessly recharge your earbuds with your phone, something you cannot with your iPhone.
Another problem with the AirPods is that you need to pay an extra $40 for the wireless charging case. Your AirPods also work with all Qi-compatible chargers on the market. However, the case recharges slowly on a charging pad than plugged in.
Virtual assistant support and mic quality
Both support personal assistants, but Apple is doing a very good job. The second-generation AirPods now feature Hey Siri, meaning that you can control things like music playback, phone calls, text messages using your voice. In reality, the Galaxy Buds supports Google Assistant or Samsung Bixby, but using the voice is a whole new level.
Another advantage of the Apple AirPods is Apple’s ecosystem. If you now own a MacBook or iPhone, you can instantly switch between devices. That’s something you cannot do with the Galaxy Buds.
I have to admit that the AirPods offer better mic quality as the AirPods mic is closer and pointed directly at your mouth. So, you can speak louder and more clearly.
|Price||$159 for the standard earbuds ($40 extra for the wireless charging case)||$130|
|Pairing capability||Very fast and simple||Still confusing (takes more steps)|
|Configuration||Still limited||More customization and flexibility (Equalizer options, Voice Focus, and Ambient Sound)|
|Sound quality||Balanced||Better noise isolation and powerful bass|
|Wireless charging||Compatible with Qi-certified chargers||Recharge using the Galaxy S10 and other chargers|
|Virtual assistant support||Voice-activated hands-free Hey Siri||Double tap to access Google Assistant or Samsung Bixby|
Whichever earbuds you choose, you’ll still be satisfied. Let’s not forget these are the best of the best products on the market, neither are inferior but one will suit your own personal needs more than the other. If you are an Android fan who is looking for a pair of earbuds that include noise isolation and more flexibility, grab the Galaxy Buds. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the simplicity and ease of use of Apple devices, then grab the AirPods.