AirPods Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Plus: How big of a difference does $100 make?

Apple’s AirPods Pro are wonderful wi-fi earbuds which have lively noise canceling and higher sound than the original AirPods. However with an everyday value at $250 (£249 or AU$399) they do not come low-cost, and alternate options like Samsung’s $150 (£159 or AU$299) Galaxy Buds Plus (and even the newer $170 Galaxy Buds Live) might have you ever questioning in the event 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 search out out if the AirPods Professional are certainly price the additional $100, or in the event you’re higher off saving cash with the Galaxy Buds Plus. Verify again quickly for the same comparability between the Galaxy Buds Stay and AirPods Professional.

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The AirPods Professional are Apple’s premium in-ear buds and have extremely efficient lively noise cancellation. Calls, podcasts and music sound nice too. Although you possibly can management many options within the pulldown Management Middle or Bluetooth settings menu, the shortage of a devoted app to regulate the sound profile or settings from one interface is disappointing. You should use the AirPods Professional on Android, however you will get one of the best expertise when paired to iOS.

Read the AirPods Pro review.

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Samsung improved the Galaxy Buds Plus’ sound in comparison with the first generation Galaxy Buds and they’re a wonderful selection for Android or iPhone house owners. They do not have lively noise cancellation, however the noise-isolating design blocks out a good quantity of sound, and music sounds extra dynamic than on the AirPods Professional. The battery additionally lasts an extremely very long time, so you possibly can feasibly put on the Galaxy Buds Plus all day.

Read the Galaxy Buds Plus review.

Galaxy Buds Plus’ in-ear design is extra versatile

The Galaxy Buds Plus include three tip sizes, plus three completely different wingtips to actually fine-tune the match. The AirPods Professional have three tip sizes which you could swap out and in relying in your ear canal. 

How every earbud suits varies wildly relying on the scale and form of your ear, so what feels good to my ears could also be utterly completely different from what you want. I desire the match and really feel of the Galaxy Buds Plus as a result of they really feel safer than the AirPods Professional. I’ve small ear canals, and the smallest tip on the Buds feels extra comfy than the equal on the AirPods Professional. Consequently, the Galaxy Buds Plus stayed in my ear higher throughout an lively exercise equivalent to an out of doors run.


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Notice that each of those wi-fi earbuds have an in-ear design that present a layer of noise isolation, however solely the AirPods Professional have lively noise cancellation (ANC).

Each wi-fi earbuds can be high quality throughout your sweaty exercises or in the event you get caught within the rain. However the AirPods Professional are rated IPX4, which implies they’re extra water resistant than the Galaxy Buds Plus, which satisfies an IPX2 score. Every case has wi-fi charging, however you should utilize USB-C or Lightning cables to cost the Galaxy Buds Plus or AirPods Professional, respectively.

Winner: Although not as water-resistant because the AirPods Professional, I just like the Galaxy Buds Plus for its extra comfy match. 

AirPods Professional have noise cancellation, however the Galaxy Buds Plus sound higher

Here is the factor: in order for you ANC, look no additional and get the AirPods Professional. It is extremely efficient and makes the listening expertise unbelievable for commuting or touring. But when ANC isn’t a prime precedence, the Galaxy Buds Plus really sound higher to my ears.

Aside from tracks with heavy bass, which sound higher on the AirPods Professional as they do not get so distorted, I desire the default sound profile of the Buds Plus general. 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. Once I’m on an Android telephone, the common sound profile is my go-to.

To my ears, the general sound on the AirPods Professional is extra impartial. That is nice for calls and podcasts, however for music I’d select the Galaxy Buds Plus.

Each earbuds can let in additional exterior sound in conditions the place it’s essential hear extra, such because the workplace or in the event you’re operating open air. The AirPods Professional name it transparency mode whereas the Galaxy Buds Plus name it ambient sound. I desire transparency mode although, as a result of the amplified sound from the surface world sounds extra pure and fewer “tinny” than the Galaxy Buds Plus.


I desire transparency mode on the AirPods Professional because it sounds extra pure than the equal on the Galaxy Buds Plus.

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The AirPods Professional even have a live listen mode that helps amplify sound for the arduous of listening to. It really works by utilizing your iPhone‘s microphone to amplify sound and sending that to your AirPods so you possibly can hear a dialog in a loud room higher, for instance.

Calls sound nice on each earbuds. The AirPods Professional have been higher at isolating the caller’s audio (because of 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 mentioned my voice was louder and barely clearer, however they might hear extra of the road noise.

Winner: It is a toss-up; I like the AirPods Professional’s noise cancellation and dwell hear mode, and the Galaxy Buds Plus for sound high quality.

AirPods Professional have higher vary

Utilizing an iPhone 11 Professional for the AirPods Professional and a Notice 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 hook up with the iPhone when taking them out of the case. I then needed to set up the connection manually by way of the Bluetooth settings. The AirPods Professional, in the meantime, related with the Notice 10 Plus with none issues.

The AirPods Professional do have barely higher vary. I did an off-the-cuff vary check by leaving every telephone on a desk and strolling down a hallway with the AirPods Professional in a single ear and Galaxy Buds Plus in one other. Samsung’s wi-fi earbuds dropped out first, whereas the AirPods Professional lasted round six ft additional.

Winner: AirPods Professional


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Galaxy Buds Plus are extra customizable, however AirPods Professional are finest for hands-free

You may as well use a voice assistant on each these earbuds, however solely the AirPods Professional allow you to summon it along with your voice by saying “Hey, Siri” (on the Galaxy Buds Plus you will must faucet or press the contact panel). Each may learn messages to you.

One other distinction between these buds is that the AirPods Professional have a stem which you could pinch to vary tracks or change between modes, whereas the Galaxy Buds Plus has a contact panel. You may as well customise these controls to some extent. With the AirPods Professional, settings are tucked within the iOS Bluetooth settings menu and the Galaxy Buds Plus have their very own app.


Angela Lang/CNET

Whereas neither of those earbuds have bodily quantity controls (just like the PowerBeats Professional, 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. That is situated within the Labs part of the app.

In case you lose your earbuds round the home or in a bag, you possibly can play a sound to search out them utilizing Discover My on iOS or the Galaxy Wearable app. However the AirPods Professional have the extra function of with the ability to see their final location on a map.

Winner: Galaxy Buds Plus for extra customization general, however AirPods Professional has a transparent benefit in case you are a heavy Siri person.

Need the longest battery life? Get the Galaxy Buds Plus

Samsung charges the Galaxy Buds Plus for 11 hours of listening time and the case itself holds sufficient cost for 22 hours of whole listening time. The AirPods Professional will get you round 4.5 hours of listening time with ANC turned on (you possibly can push it nearer to five hours with no ANC) and the case holds 24 hours of whole cost. Each instances additionally help a fast cost function, 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 a similar listening time on the AirPods Professional.

Winner: Galaxy Buds Plus is the clear winner right here.

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Lexy Savvides