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Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Apple AirPods Pro: Which wireless buds are right for you

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to truly wireless earbuds, Samsung’s ready for a fight. The company just announced the Galaxy Buds Plus, the second iteration of its rather impressive Galaxy Buds. Priced at $149.99, the Buds Plus are boasting more color, longer battery life with even shorter quick charge times. Plus, they’re splash-resistant. The one thing they lack however, is active noise cancelling. But it still poses a serious threat to the Apple AirPods Pro, the current king of truly wireless earbuds. 

For its part, Apple is doing what it does best, delivering effortless functionality with a minimalist design. Offering near-instant pairing, improved microphones for talking and a comfy, durable redesign would have been enough. But Apple took things further and added ANC, a much-lauded feature that isn’t as powerful as full-fledged headphones, but powerful enough to put the AirPods above the competition. 

While we have yet to get our hands on the Galaxy Buds Plus, the following is a preview of how we think the newcomers to the arena will hold up against the reigning champ.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Apple AirPods Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Specs
Apple AirPods ProSamsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Price$249.00$149.99
ColorsWhiteBlack, White, Blue
Battery Life4.5 hours, 24 hours (charging case)11 hours, (22 hours charging case)
ANCYesNo
Size 1.2 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight 0.19 ounces0.2 ounces

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Design

Whether they’re EarPods or AirPods Gen. 1 or 2, you’re have a general idea of how the AirPods Pro look –– white, plastic and weirdly shaped. The buds are still awkwardly-shaped, resembling a pair of tiny vintage hair dryers with their longer heads. However, this is the first time Apple has outfitted the buds with a pair of ear tips, making for a more snug, secure fit. At 0.19 ounces, 1.2 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches, they’re slightly bigger than previous AirPods (0.14 ounces,  0.7 x 0.7 x 1.6 inches), but with slightly shorter stems and larger vents for the improved microphones.  

The AirPods Pro charging case is a bit wider and heavier (1.6 ounces, 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.9 inches) than its predecessor (1.3 ounces, 2.1 x 1.7 x 0.8 inches).

At 0.2 ounces, 0.9 x 0.8 x 0.7 inches, the Galaxy Buds Plus have identical dimensions to the original Galaxy Buds. That stated, I’m expecting the same level of comfort from these new buds. Samsung’s new buds are still made from a mix of matte and glossy plastics with a rubbery wraparound eartip that ensures that secure grip that’s so important with truly wireless buds. But what sets the Galaxy Buds apart from the pack is Samsung fearlessness when it comes to color. The buds will be available in black, white and blue. Just judging on the pictures, I’m really partial to the powder blue finish. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Durability

Samsung continues the tradition of gym-ready earbuds, launching the Buds Plus with IPX2 which offers some resistance from sweat or water. Just don’t submerge them or you’ll have to buy another pair of buds. 

The AirPods Pro are slightly more durable with a IPX4 rating which signifies its water resistance at any angle. 

Winner: Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Features

The AirPods’ claim to fame has always been its effortless functionality. So goes it with the AirPods Pro. You get hands-free Siri that’s incredibly responsive even in noisy environments. But Apple continues to raise the bar, adding Announce Messages with Siri which allows the digital assistant to read out messages and notifications in real time. 

And of course, there’s ANC, which because of their smaller dimensions, will never deliver complete silence, but does a great job on dampening the most egregious noises. In the event you actually want to hear the outside world, the AirPods have a Transparency Mode, which allows you to continue to listen to music while filtering in ambient noise so you can engage in conversation or be aware of your surroundings. 

As for the Galaxy Buds Plus, the biggest claim to fame is the partnership with Spotify, which has gotten the earbuds the ability to play music or podcasts with a single long tap while in the app. I was disappointed to learn Samsung passed on ANC, banking on the earbuds secure fit to keep ambient noise out.

Winner Apple AirPods Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Battery Life

If Samsung’s claims are true, the Galaxy Buds Plus might have the longest battery life in a pair of truly wireless buds. The company is rating the 85mAH batteries at an estimated 11 hours of play time (7.5 hours of talk time), which is unheard of in a pair of wireless buds until now. The charging case provides an additional charge. True, it’s only one charge compared to competitors which pack at least two additional charges, but none of those buds have a 11-hour battery life.

That’s enough juice to cover most international flights. And when those batteries finally do run out, you can get an estimated hour of play time with only 3 minutes of charge. Plus, just like the original Galaxy Buds, the Plus can also be wireless charged on an available Qi charger or on the back of compatible Galaxy phones.

During my time using the AirPods Pro, the most battery life I’ve ever squeezed out of them is 4.5 hours. It’s great by truly wireless buds standards, but when compared to the Galaxy Buds Plus, it comes up short. With the charging case, the AirPods Pro can last up to 24 hours, but there will be a lot of charging in between. Speaking of charging, you can expect approximately an hour of battery life after 5 minutes of charging the AirPods Pro.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds

Value

All those cool features don’t come for cheap, at least not at Apple they don’t. The AirPods Pro cost a substantial $249.00. It’s a lot to ask for a pair of truly wireless buds, but with Apple’s impressive host of features, it’s a reasonable splurge. However, those not fully committed to the Apple ecosystem will definitely appreciate the Galaxy Buds Plus’ budget-friendly $149. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Apple AirPods ProSamsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Design (20)1318
Durability (20)1712
Features (20)2015
Battery Life (20)1320
Value (20)920
Score (20)7285

Bottom Line

There’s a new sheriff in town and its name is the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Priced at $149, the truly wireless buds are incredibly affordable. And instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Samsung kept much of the earbuds’ previous stunning design. The only real changes are the color scheme and the massive battery life, which if it lives up to the hype means that the buds will last a whopping 11 hours. True, it lacks active noise cancelling technology, but if the buds can create a secure enough seal, it’ll do a solid job of keeping ambient noise out of the soundscape. However, we’ve yet to actually hear the buds, which can greatly affect the actual face-off. 

Exorbitant price aside, the Apple AirPods Pro are some of the best truly wireless earbuds in the land. For $249, you get everything Apple fans have been requesting for years. The redesigned buds offer a secure, comfortable fit, better audio quality and active noise cancellation. Plus, you still get that near-instant pairing and a beefed-up hands-free Siri. But it’s clear that if Apple expects to remain at the top of the heap, it’s going to have to put some serious thought into improving battery life.