Apple’s AirPods Pro are wonderful wi-fi earbuds which have energetic noise canceling and higher sound than the unique AirPods. But at $250 (£249 or AU$399) they do not come low-cost, and options like Samsung’s $150 (£159 or AU$299) Galaxy Buds Plus might have you ever questioning should you’re paying a unnecessary premium for Apple’s model. I wore each of those wi-fi earbuds for 2 weeks to check them on match, sound high quality, battery life and sensible options to seek out out if the AirPods Pro are certainly value the additional $100, or should you’re higher off saving cash with the Galaxy Buds Plus.
The AirPods Pro are Apple’s premium in-ear buds and have extremely efficient energetic noise cancellation. Calls, podcasts and music sound nice too. Though you’ll be able to management many options within the pulldown Control Center or Bluetooth settings menu, the shortage of a devoted app to regulate the sound profile or settings from one interface is disappointing. You can use the AirPods Pro on Android, however you may get one of the best expertise when paired to iOS.
Read the AirPods Pro assessment.
Samsung improved the Galaxy Buds Plus’ sound in comparison with the primary technology and they’re a superb selection for Android or iPhone homeowners. They haven’t got energetic noise cancellation, however the noise-isolating design blocks out a good quantity of sound, and music sounds extra dynamic than on the AirPods Pro. The battery additionally lasts an insanely very long time, so you’ll be able to feasibly put on the Galaxy Buds Plus all day.
Read the Galaxy Buds Plus assessment.
Galaxy Buds Plus’ in-ear design is extra versatileThe Galaxy Buds Plus include three tip sizes, plus three totally different wingtips to essentially fine-tune the match. The AirPods Pro have three tip sizes that you would be able to swap out and in relying in your ear canal.
For extra TV & Audio
Subscribe to the TV & Audio publication, obtain notifications and see associated tales on CNET.
How every earbud suits varies wildly relying on the dimensions and form of your ear, so what feels good to my ears could also be utterly totally different from what you want. I choose the match and really feel of the Galaxy Buds Plus as a result of they really feel safer than the AirPods Pro. I’ve small ear canals, and the smallest tip on the Buds feels extra comfy than the equal on the AirPods Pro. As a outcome, the Galaxy Buds Plus stayed in my ear higher throughout an energetic exercise akin to an out of doors run.
Note that each of those wi-fi earbuds have an in-ear design that present a layer of noise isolation, however solely the AirPods Pro have energetic noise cancellation (ANC).Both wi-fi earbuds might be fantastic throughout your sweaty exercises or should you get caught within the rain. But the AirPods Pro are rated IPX4, which suggests they’re extra water resistant than the Galaxy Buds Plus, which satisfies an IPX2 score. Each case has wi-fi charging, however you should use USB-C or Lightning cables to cost the Galaxy Buds Plus or AirPods Pro, respectively.Winner: Though not as water-resistant because the AirPods Pro, I just like the Galaxy Buds Plus for its extra comfy match. AirPods Pro have noise cancellation, however the Galaxy Buds Plus sound betterHere’s the factor: if you’d like ANC, look no additional and get the AirPods Pro. It’s extremely efficient and makes the listening expertise unbelievable for commuting or touring. But if ANC will not be a prime precedence, the Galaxy Buds Plus really sound higher to my ears.Apart from tracks with heavy bass, which sound higher on the AirPods Pro as they do not get so distorted, I choose the default sound profile of the Buds Plus total. When utilizing the Buds Plus on iOS, I just like the dynamic sound profile that provides the bass a little bit of a lift with out being too heavy. When I’m on an Android cellphone, the common sound profile is my go-to.To my ears, the general sound on the AirPods Pro is extra impartial. This is nice for calls and podcasts, however for music I’d select the Galaxy Buds Plus.Both earbuds can let in additional exterior sound in conditions the place it’s essential hear extra, such because the workplace or should you’re operating open air. The AirPods Pro name it transparency mode whereas the Galaxy Buds Plus name it ambient sound. I choose transparency mode although, as a result of the amplified sound from the skin world sounds extra pure and fewer “tinny” than the Galaxy Buds Plus.I choose transparency mode on the AirPods Pro because it sounds extra pure than the equal on the Galaxy Buds Plus.
The AirPods Pro even have a reside pay attention mode that helps amplify sound for the laborious of listening to. It works by utilizing your iPhone’s microphone to amplify sound and sending that to your AirPods so you’ll be able to hear a dialog in a loud room higher, for instance.Calls sound nice on each earbuds. The AirPods Pro have been higher at isolating the caller’s audio (due to ANC), and the caller remarked that it sounded much less noisy after I was standing on the road. From the identical place, I referred to as again on the Galaxy Buds Plus and the identical individual stated my voice was louder and barely clearer, however they may hear extra of the road noise.Winner: It’s a toss-up; I really like the AirPods Pro’s noise cancellation and reside pay attention mode, and the Galaxy Buds Plus for sound high quality.AirPods Pro have higher rangeUsing an iPhone 11 Pro for the AirPods Pro and a Note 10 Plus for the Galaxy Buds Plus, I used to be extremely impressed by how stable the connections have been with each earbuds. I can solely recall one time when the Galaxy Buds Plus failed to connect with the iPhone when taking them out of the case. I then needed to set up the connection manually by the Bluetooth settings. The AirPods Pro, in the meantime, related with the Note 10 Plus with none issues.The AirPods Pro do have barely higher vary. I did an off-the-cuff vary check by leaving every cellphone on a desk and strolling down a hallway with the AirPods Pro in a single ear and Galaxy Buds Plus in one other. Samsung’s wi-fi earbuds dropped out first, whereas the AirPods Pro lasted round six toes additional.Winner: AirPods Pro
Galaxy Buds Plus are extra customizable, however AirPods Pro are greatest for hands-freeYou may also use a voice assistant on each these earbuds, however solely the AirPods Pro allow you to summon it along with your voice by saying “Hey, Siri” (on the Galaxy Buds Plus you may must faucet or press the contact panel). Both may also learn messages to you.Another distinction between these buds is that the AirPods Pro have a stem that you would be able to pinch to vary tracks or swap between modes, whereas the Galaxy Buds Plus has a contact panel. You may also customise these controls to some extent. With the AirPods Pro, settings are tucked within the iOS Bluetooth settings menu and the Galaxy Buds Plus have their very own app.
While neither of those earbuds have bodily quantity controls (just like the PowerBeats Pro, for instance) there’s a setting on the Galaxy Buds Plus that permits you to faucet the facet fringe of the buds to show the amount up or down. This is positioned within the Labs part of the app.If you lose your earbuds round the home or in a bag, you’ll be able to play a sound to seek out them utilizing Find My on iOS or the Galaxy Wearable app. But the AirPods Pro have the extra characteristic of with the ability to see their final location on a map.Winner: Galaxy Buds Plus for extra customization total, however AirPods Pro has a transparent benefit in case you are a heavy Siri consumer.Want the longest battery life? Get the Galaxy Buds PlusSamsung charges the Galaxy Buds Plus for 11 hours of listening time and the case itself holds sufficient cost for 22 hours of complete listening time. The AirPods Pro will get you round 4.5 hours of listening time with ANC turned on (you’ll be able to push it nearer to 5 hours with no ANC) and the case holds 24 hours of complete cost. Both instances additionally help a fast cost characteristic, so three minutes within the case will get you one hour of listening time on the Galaxy Buds Plus, whereas 5 minutes charging nets you an identical listening time on the AirPods Pro.Winner: Galaxy Buds Plus is the clear winner right here.