Technology

AirPods Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Live: The best wireless earbuds for you





With good sound high quality, glorious lively noise canceling and compact design, Apple’s AirPods Professional set the tone for premium wi-fi earbuds. However Samsung could give its rival a run for its cash. It is taking Apple head-on with the Galaxy Buds Reside, which have related options like noise canceling and a really wi-fi design, at a considerably cheaper worth. The Galaxy Buds value $170, whereas the AirPodsPro value $249. How do you resolve which earbuds are greatest for you? As I came upon, it isn’t as easy as selecting based mostly on worth alone.

Learn extra: AirPods Pro vs. Jabra Elite 75t and AirPods Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Plus

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These wi-fi earbuds are actually the jack of all trades, particularly for iPhone customers. Audio is properly balanced for music, podcasts and calls. However their one standout function is that they’ve glorious lively noise cancellation. And if you should be extra conscious of your environment, you possibly can pipe in exterior sound with transparency mode.

Read our Apple AirPods Pro review.

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The Galaxy Buds Reside, affectionately dubbed the Galaxy Beans after their distinctive form, sit in your ears reasonably than your ear canal. Relying on the form of your ear, they could find yourself being extra comfy for extended put on. The sound high quality is nice when left on default settings, however it’s also possible to tweak the audio profile with presets within the Galaxy Wearable app.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review.

Noise canceling is approach higher on AirPods Professional, however Galaxy Buds Reside sound higher

Each of those earbuds sound good. However the Galaxy Buds Reside have a way more dynamic sound profile when left on default settings, with a punchy bass response that fits a spread of musical genres. The AirPods Professional sound extra impartial, with much less bass, which makes them balanced for leaping between podcasts and music. 

Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app (on iOS and Android) permits you to change the sound profile for the Buds Reside to one in all six completely different presets, like bass-boost or comfortable. Whereas the AirPods Professional lack a user-adjustable equalizer (except you utilize an EQ in Apple Music or Spotify) there may be an adaptive equalizer that modifications the sound routinely based mostly on variables like your ear form. Apple’s earbuds may also be getting a spatial audio replace in iOS 14.

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Lexy Savvides/CNET

Due to their in-ear design, the AirPods Professional have efficient lively noise cancellation, which actually does block out most undesirable noise such because the roar of a airplane engine, or a low hum of a practice. Since I have been working from house for the previous few months, I have never been capable of check how the Galaxy Buds Reside examine for airplane journey but. (I did recreate a white-noise hum utilizing my very loud toilet fan.) As a result of the Buds Reside do not create a seal in your ear just like the AirPods Professional, they let in much more exterior noise. In addition they have ANC which you could activate or off, but it surely’s not significantly efficient in comparison with the AirPods Professional.

Name high quality on each can be nice, though in a loud surroundings, callers remarked that the background hum was a lot much less noticeable once I used the Galaxy Buds Reside in comparison with the AirPods. Take a take heed to microphone samples within the video on this web page to listen to what every pair seems like. Each the Galaxy Buds Reside and AirPods Professional allow you to use both earbud independently for calls.

Consolation and design is a like it or hate it affair

It’s important to hand it to Samsung for developing with a design that appears radically completely different from each different wi-fi earbud on the market. Relying in your ear form, these bean-shaped buds match snugly in your ear with none protrusions. They arrive in bronze, white and black and to vary tracks or regulate quantity, you simply should faucet on the contact panel.

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The AirPods Professional, alternatively, include three completely different ear tip sizes you possibly can swap in or out relying on the dimensions of your ear canal. It is accessible solely in white and to navigate by way of songs, there is a stem that factors down out of your ear that you simply click on on. 

I’ve extremely small ears and the smallest tip on the AirPods Professional has by no means been sufficiently small for me to create a brilliant tight seal. Meaning sometimes, like once I’m transferring round so much or doing a exercise, I’ve to push them again in my ears, which is irritating.

The Buds Reside, nonetheless, stayed in my ears higher throughout a exercise and solely began to really feel like they had been slipping out of my ear in direction of the tip. However whereas they match a lot better than the AirPods, general they did not really feel extra comfy. After round three hours, my left ear began to ache so I needed to take a break. Understand that the match and luxury of both of those earbuds will range from individual to individual — my colleague David Carnoy remarked that the Buds Live sat well in his ears with the bigger tip hooked up.

For water and sweat resistance, the AirPods Professional have a better IP ranking of IPX4 in comparison with the IPX2 on the Buds Reside. Meaning they will resist splashes from any course, whereas the Buds Reside can resist sprays from 15 levels or much less. Whereas I have never executed water exams on both pair but, I’ve used them each throughout sweaty exercises and wiped them down afterwards. Each had been fantastic.

Siri or Bixby? Each buds have good options

Each these earbuds provide a hands-free expertise for interacting along with your cellphone, from altering tracks to studying incoming messages. As you’d count on, the AirPods Professional use Siri on the iPhone and the Buds Reside use Bixby on a Samsung Galaxy cellphone. Should you use AirPods Professional with Android, you possibly can’t summon Siri or Google Assistant out of your earbuds with out downloading a third-party app. Should you pair the Buds Reside to iOS you possibly can entry Siri from the contact panel, or with a non-Galaxy Android, you need to use Google Assistant. 

You may customise the faucet/press controls on every of those buds: AirPods from the iOS settings or management middle, Buds Reside from the Galaxy Wearable app. However solely the Buds Reside allow you to regulate the quantity with a long-press on the contact panel. To vary quantity on the AirPods Professional it’s a must to ask Siri, attain to your cellphone or flip the crown on the Apple Watch.

The Galaxy Buds Reside additionally provide the flexibility to change between a number of units signed into the identical Samsung account. There’s additionally a Labs part within the app that allows you to swap on a gaming mode to scale back latency. The AirPods Professional help Apple’s reside pay attention function for accessibility, so your iPhone acts as a microphone to ship sound to the earbuds.

Should you lose your earbuds, each allow you to play a sound to assist discover them once more, however solely the AirPods Professional will present their final location on a map.

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Galaxy Buds Live are better for battery life

If you want to listen to music or be on calls for much of the day, the Galaxy Buds Live last longer. Samsung rates the battery for six hours with ANC turned on and eight hours with it turned off. I found that the Buds Live didn’t quite live up to that claim, only lasting 5 hours, 10 minutes with ANC turned on.

Apple rates the AirPods Pro for 4.5 hours with ANC on and up to 5 hours with it turned off. When I first tested out the AirPods Pro back in October 2019 and they were brand-new, they met and sometimes exceeded Apple’s rating. Now though, after 10 months of use, I get closer to four hours of battery life when using ANC.

Each case holds extra charge time: the Buds Live totals up to 29 hours (if you’re not using ANC) and the AirPods 24 hours. To charge them via cable, note that they use different plugs (USB-C for the Buds Live and Lightning for the AirPods Pro), but they also both wireless charge.

Are AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Live better for me?

As always, this really depends on how you use your earbuds and what ecosystem (iOS or Android/Siri or Bixby) you’re already adept at using. If you need active noise canceling earbuds and want a good balance between music, podcasts and calls, choose the AirPods Pro. If you want better sound quality and noise suppression for calls, get the Galaxy Buds Live.





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Lexy Savvides