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What are the best Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternatives?

Not keen on Samsung's new buds? There are plenty of options to choose from.
By

Published onJune 12, 2023

Sony WF-1000XM4
MSRP: $278.00
Check price
Positives
360 Reality Audio support
Excellent Isolation, ANC
Foam ear tips
IPX4 rating Bluetooth 5.2; SBC, AAC, and LDAC
Negatives
Price
Out-of-the-box sound a little wonky
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
MSRP: $149.00
Check price
Positives
Compact design
In-app ear tip fit test
Sound quality
Bluetooth 5.2; SBC, AAC, and Samsung Scalable Codec
Great value
Fast and wireless charging
Negatives
Lacks aptX
Sensitive touch controls
Beats Studio Buds Plus
MSRP: $169.95
Check price
Positives
Battery life
USB-C fast charge
Portability
Platform compatibility
Negatives
Limited app function
Price
Physical buttons
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
MSRP: $249.00
Check price
Positives
Effective ANC
Great sound quality - Lossless Audio
Great auto-wear detection
Water-resistant buds and case
USB-C charging
Good fit with four ear tip options
Negatives
Many Apple-exclusive features
No way to customize the EQ without third-party app
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
MSRP: $249.95
Check price
Positives
Good sound with interchangeable ear tips and ear fins
Bluetooth 5.2; aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, SBC
Good noise cancelling
Sound Zones is useful
Wireless and USB-C charging with fast charge
IPX4 rating
Negatives
Price is high
EQ tool is only okay
Connection is not as stable as expected
Mic could be better
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
MSRP: $299.00
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Google Pixel Buds Pro
MSRP: $199.00
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Positives
ANC with transparency mode
Hands-free Google Assistant
Above average battery life
Water-resistant case and buds
Fast pair and multipoint connectivity
Custom EQ (after updates)
Negatives
No aptX
Fit is a bit loose for some people
Microphone underperforms in noisy environments
Beats Fit Pro
MSRP: $199.99
Check price
Positives
Android and iOS compatibility
In-app ear tip fit test
Noise cancelling/Transparency
IPX4 rating
USB-C case with fast charging
Negatives
Price
Fairly large case
Known ANC and update issues
Sony LinkBuds S
MSRP: $198.00
Check price
Positives
Noise canceling
Sound quality
Sealing the ears means isolation is possible
Comprehensive app
Negatives
Anonymous design
Under-emphasized highs
Design picks up dirt very easily

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are popular little earbuds packed full of features! While the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are cutting-edge earbuds, they come with a pretty hefty price tag. Fortunately, we’re here to shed some light on a handful of other active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds that compete with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Our picks give Samsung’s earbuds a run for their money and include top-of-the-range features we all want and love. These are the best Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternatives.

Sony WF-1000XM4: The best Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternative

Sony WF-1000XM4Sony WF-1000XM4
AA Editors Choice
Sony WF-1000XM4
Great ANC • IPX4 rating • 360 Reality Audio
MSRP: $278.00
Powerful active noise canceling earbuds.

If you’re looking for a bit of kit that can hold its own, look no further than the Sony WF-1000XM4. As the successor to the flagship Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds, the new earbuds are more compact, come with smaller, recycled packaging, and three sizes of comfortable polyurethane foam ear tips, making for an excellent fit. They further benefit from 360 Reality Audio support — a decent challenger to Samsung’s 360 Audio that forms a part of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s identity.

You’ll also find that the Sony WF-1000XM4 support the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs that work across all compatible Android devices. You get more a more versatile codec selection from the WF-1000XM4 than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro which, without a Samsung phone capable of running the Samsung Seamless Codec, are forced to use the AAC or SBC codecs only. Sony’s buds are better for high-quality audio if you’re not using a Galaxy smartphone.

Just like other earbuds in this list, the WF-1000XM4 come with an app — Sony Headphones Connect. This allows you to adjust the control scheme, choose your virtual assistant, create custom EQs, and more. This is more useful than the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app that currently has no iOS version and only pre-set EQ controls.

Turning back to the Sony WF-1000XM4, they last for about seven hours and 43 minutes per charge with ANC on, which is superior to the average battery life of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The case can charge the buds at least two more times for 24 hours of total use. The sound quality is generally very good, but you may wish to take a bit of the low and mid-range frequencies down a touch in the app. The Sony earbuds also have better noise isolation, but the low-frequency cancelation isn’t quite as good as the Buds 2 Pro. It’s no wonder the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are some of best noise canceling earbuds in the business.

What makes them stand out

  • Stellar isolation and noise canceling: The WF-1000XM4 use comfortable memory foam ear tips to block out background noise, and ensure great noise cancelation. 
  • Personalized 360 Reality Audio: Sony’s earbuds support personalized 360 Reality Audio no matter your device.
  • In-app custom EQ: Similarly to Sony’s spatial audio, its custom EQ works on any device and lets you adjust five frequency bands for a tailored sound.
  • Many codecs to choose from: You can stream high-quality audio over LDAC and AAC to Android phones and iPhones. If either of those gives you trouble, there’s always SBC to fall back to.
  • Excellent battery life for ANC buds: Lasting almost eight hours with ANC on, the WF-1000XM4 will keep you entertained for most flights.

Best of the rest: 8 other Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternatives worthy of your consideration

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are an obvious alternative to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The Galaxy Buds 2 feature good active noise canceling, a pleasant frequency response, and 360 audio out of the box.
  • Beats Studio Buds Plus: The Studio Buds Plus are great earbuds for Android and iOS users. Beats greatly improved the noise canceling over the first-gen Studio Buds and the sound quality is good too.
  • Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation): If you’re an iOS user and have the available budget, look no further. With a string of bespoke features, including Spatial Audio and impressive sound quality, these earbuds stand proud as some of the best on the market.
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3: Hassle-free ear tips and stabilizers, customizable sound presets, and a suite of Bluetooth codecs make these buds a very good alternative at a competitive price.
  • Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2: Although slightly on the bulky side, these buds offer excellent ANC capability, as well as genuinely impressive and balanced audio quality. The Bose Music app is user-friendly and hosts excellent control over the EQ options.
  • Google Pixel Buds Pro: If you’re looking for a budget alternative, the Pixel Buds Pro are a great option. With Google Assistant integration, excellent battery life, and pretty sophisticated ANC, these are a huge improvement over their non-pro predecessors.
  • Beats Fit Pro: If you live an active lifestyle, you won’t find a more suitable fit than the Beats Fit Pro. With their ergonomic fit and a little added bass boost, you’ll achieve a snug fit that isolates your audio from most external environmental sounds.
  • Sony LinkBuds S: The most affordable option on our list, they also benefit from a very comfortable fit that is great for blocking out the outside world. You can also set up easy access to Spotify and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio functionality. These buds are also LDAC compatible and have very good audio quality in the low-mid ranges.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the best option for Samsung phone owners

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Compact design • In-app ear tip fit test • Sound quality
MSRP: $149.00
A fine pair of noise canceling earbuds that might get lost in the confusing line of other Buds.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 don't rattle the world of audio wearables, but they do their job well as a pair of everyday earphones. Sound quality is very good and bound to please most ears, and the noise canceling edges out that of the Galaxy Buds Pro. Still, you may have a hard time choosing the Buds 2 over the more premium Buds Pro and more affordable Buds Plus.

Despite their glossy finish, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 aren’t as flashy as the Buds 2 Pro. Nevertheless, you’ll find the Buds 2 share many of the same features as the Buds 2 Pro for half the cost.

Like the Buds 2 Pro, the Buds 2 have a rounded and playful design that’s highly compact. These won’t protrude from your ears and remain comfortable for hours upon hours of listening. You won’t find stabilizing wing tips on the Buds 2, but the ear tips create a good seal and prevent the buds from shaking out. You get an IPX2 rating with the Buds 2, which is less water-resistant than the IPX7 rating of the Buds 2 Pro. IPX2 is perfectly fine for light exercise, but we don’t recommend using these in a downpour, and definitely don’t submerge them.

Active noise canceling is very good with the Buds 2, especially given that they regularly drop below $100. Construction outside your house will sound much quieter with ANC on, and you’ll actually be able to focus. While the ANC is very good with the Buds 2, it doesn’t touch the ANC performance of the Buds 2 Pro.

The Galaxy Buds 2 boast many of the same features as the Buds 2 Pro but for half the price.

We actually prefer the default sound of the Buds 2 over the Buds 2 Pro. Both are consumer-friendly, but the Buds 2 Pro boosts bass a bit more than we like. You can choose from six EQ presets in the Galaxy Wearable app, but you can’t create your own EQ setting. With the app, you can also remap some of the controls, adjust the ambient aware mode, and find your earbuds. You can also take an ear tip fit test with the Wearable app when paired with any Android phone. Some Samsung-exclusive features include auto-device switching, Samsung 360 Audio, and streaming over the Samsung Seamless Codec.

Battery life is similar between the Buds 2 and Buds 2 Pro. In our testing, we recorded just under five hours of playtime with ANC on for the Buds 2 and just over five hours with the Buds 2 Pro. If you want the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, go for it, but sometimes the cheaper option is better. In this case, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are capable earphones that match many of the Buds 2 Pro features.

What makes them stand out

  • Comfortable fit: The Galaxy Buds 2 are so compact and lightweight, it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them.
  • Many Galaxy Buds 2 Pro features for half the price: Like the Buds 2 Pro, the Buds 2 have ANC, 360 Audio, and Spotify Tap, but these buds are much more affordable.
  • Sound quality: The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 sound great out of the box, and few listeners will feel compelled to play around with the excellent EQ presets.

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are great for Android and iOS

Beats Studio Buds PlusBeats Studio Buds Plus
AA Recommended
Beats Studio Buds Plus
Lightweight, compact, and translucent design • Android-friendly features through Beats app • Longer battery life than before
MSRP: $169.95
The Beats Studio Buds Plus are good earbuds for listeners who hop between Android and iOS. Beats' active noise canceling is a step up from the original Studio Buds. Small housings and a range of ear tip options make these a joy to wear for hours at a time.

The Beats Studio Buds Plus are the the best Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternative if you hop between iOS and Android. With these buds, you get some Apple-exclusive perks like “Hey Siri” and Apple Find My. What makes the Studio Buds Plus interesting is that you also get Android-friendly features like Google Fast Pair and access to Google’s Find My Device app. Further, the Studio Buds Plus work with Android audio switch, letting you seamlessly hop between Android source devices — you don’t even get automatic switching between iOS devices with the Studio Buds Plus.

Beats heartily improved the ANC on the Studio Buds Plus, making it much better than the original Studio Buds. When reviewing the Studio Buds Plus, I found the noise canceling nearly on par with the AirPods Pro 2. This is impressive given how the AirPods Pro 2 are $80 more than the Studio Buds Plus. If you commute by train or bus, and want a way to drone out engine noise, the Studio Buds are a fair-priced pick.

Sound quality is also quite good with the Studio Buds Plus. In typical Beats fashion, bass frequencies are boosted more than mids, but vocal detail remains clear. I enjoyed a wide range of musical genres through these buds, and think most listeners will too. That said, Beats doesn’t provide any custom EQ in its Beats app for Android. You don’t even get EQ presets. To change how the Studio Buds Plus sound, you’ll need to play with your music app’s EQ or download a third-party app.

Speaking of the Beats app, it presents a virtually identical feature set to the iOS Settings app. On Android or iOS, you can customize the press-and-hold command for the button controls. You can also use the Beats app to locate the Studio Buds Plus if you don’t want to integrate them into the Google Find My Device app. Google’s spatial audio works on the Studio Buds Plus, too, but you need a Pixel 6 or 7 series phone.

Battery life is well above average. In our testing, the Studio Buds Plus lasted eight hours, 22 minutes with ANC. Not to mention the additional 18 hours of battery life from the case. With this, you should clock over 24 hours of playtime before recharging the case via USB-C. Unfortunately, the case doesn’t support wireless charging. For that, you’ll need the Beats Fit Pro or AirPods series.

What makes them stand out

  • Good noise canceling for the price: The Studio Buds Plus cost significantly less than other flagship noise canceling earbuds, and Beats’ ANC keeps upw ith the best of them.
  • iOS and Android-friendly features: You get a handful of useful Android and Apple feature with the Studio Buds Plus, making them versatile for listeners who don’t subscribe to one operating system.
  • Good fit for small ears: Beats provides extra-small ear tips in its stable, meaning these buds will accommodate kids and adults with smaller ears.

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are the best Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternative for iPhone users

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
AA Recommended
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)
Impressive ANC • Comfortable fit • Wireless charging
MSRP: $249.00
One of the best true wireless earbuds for iOS users.
The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) modestly improve upon the first-generation AirPods Pro and feature the same iconic look. Apple's upgraded H2 chip begets better noise canceling and battery life, while the case's U1 chip and integrated speaker let you precisely locate the case. If you own an iPhone, the AirPods Pro 2 are an obvious choice.

Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd generation) may look very different from the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, but Apple and Samsung share some similar features when it comes to spatial audio, ear tip testing, and ANC. iPhone owners, you’ve heard it over and over, the AirPods Pro 2 are the best ANC earbuds for you. You get Apple exclusives like Spatial Audio with head tracking, automatic device switching, and battery life optimization.

The AirPods’ sound quality is very good, with loud low-end (albeit not as pronounced as on some budget earbuds) and clear mid and treble notes. Apple’s Adaptive EQ also equalizes your music to correct for the shape of your ears. This yields a more consistent from person to person than other headphones on the market. It also means the sound will be consistent every time you wear the earbuds because they account for a different fit with each wear. Adaptive EQ works regardless of OS, so this is something Android phone owners can enjoy, too. They also host a pretty clear-sounding microphone for all of your audio-capture needs.

The battery life sits just above that of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro — you can expect to see about five hours of constant playback while ANC is on. The charging case will also provide you with 24 hours of listening time and is fully compatible with any Qi wireless charger, MagSafe charger, or wired Lightning cable (which might be pretty annoying if your other gadgets are USB-C).

Speaking of drawbacks, the AirPods Pro underperform in comparison to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in terms of ANC functionality, but they are improved over the regular AirPods (3rd generation). Their IPX4 rating is also somewhat thwarted by the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s IPX7 rating. Unlike the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, however, the AirPods Pro 2 case has an IPX4 rating. You also get much more advanced Find My capabilities with Apple’s network. Something to keep in mind.

What makes them stand out

  • Great sound quality with Adaptive EQ: The AirPods Pro 2 frequency response is great for all music genres, and Adaptive EQ keeps the sound consistent by continuously adjusting the low and midrange frequencies.
  • Personalized spatial audio and head tracking: When paired to an iOS device, these features enable immersive playback that puts you in the middle of the action.
  • Very good noise canceling: Apple’s ANC may not be as good as the Buds 2 Pro, but it will still handily reduce the loudness of all background noise.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 put sound quality first

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
AA Recommended
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Great sound quality • Feature-rich app with custom EQ • Broad codec support
MSRP: $249.95
These feature-rich earbuds exceed all expectations.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 show you can have great sound, great active noise-canceling, and a sturdy build all at once in a pair of true wireless earbuds.

In an already strong wireless earbuds market, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 manage to bring additional functions to the table, albeit for a little more money. With aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs onboard and impressive noise cancelation, these earbuds are a great high-end alternative to the Buds 2 Pro.

If the sound isn’t quite right, Sennheiser’s Smart Control app lets you modify the bass, mids, and treble, although it’s difficult to know which frequencies these bands alter. Best to play it by ear (literally)! Unlike the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, however, you can customize your presets. The Smart Control app also has Bass Boost and Podcast presets that you can toggle on and off.

Within the app, you can set Sound Zones and tie a preferred listening mode to your location. You can adjust the noise control mode and EQ when entering or leaving a designated location. The app even lets you adjust the radius for when a Sound Zone activates or deactivates. It’s a unique experience that few other earbuds offer.

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 boast five hours, 33 minutes of battery life with ANC on. This readout is close to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The charging case provides an additional three charges, totaling 22 hours of battery altogether.

You can tailor the sound and listening mode to a specific location with the Sennheiser Momentum TWS 3.

Satisfyingly, the ear tips are possibly the most hassle-free on the market — they fit perfectly over the 7mm earbud nozzles without having to exert any extra force trying to get them on (the same goes for the stabilizers). This doesn’t necessarily translate into a snug fit, however, so you probably wouldn’t want to go for a run or spend more than a couple of hours with these buds in your ears.

Sennheiser added multipoint connectivity to the earbuds after their release. Unlike the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, you can connect the Momentum True Wireless 3 to two devices at once. This is useful for keeping tabs on videos and incoming calls from various devices. We highly recommend Sennheiser’s earbuds to listeners who don’t care for spatial audio bells and whistles.

What makes them stand out

  • Secure fit with stabilizers: The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 stabilizing wing tips keep the earbuds stuck to your ears no matter the activity. This, paired with the IPX4 rating, makes them great workout earbuds.
  • Good mobile app with custom EQ and preset options: Sennheiser’s Smart Control app gives you the liberty to adjust the sound and tailor the sound to your location.
  • Good low-frequency noise cancelation: ANC is great with these earbuds and passive isolation is nearly as good as the Sony WF-1000XM4, even without memory foam ear tips.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2: The choice for daily commuters

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds IIBose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Self-adjusting sound • Bluetooth 5.3 • Bose's best ANC to date
MSRP: $299.00
Bose put its best ANC technology in these earbuds
The QuietComfort Earbuds 2 feature Bose's best audio know-how. They personalize the sound quality and isolation to fit your ears each time you wear them. They also come with Bluetooth 5.3, USB-C charging, and can last 6 hours on a charge (24 with the case).

If you’re a regular commuter like me, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 active noise canceling is a must-have. It effectively reduces low droning sounds and offers a sliding scale to control the transparency mode intensity and the ANC. To this day, they have possibly the most natural-sounding transparency-mode execution on the market.

The sound you’ll get from these earbuds is also pretty remarkable, too. Aside from having quite a noticeably louder treble frequency response, these earbuds sound very balanced and deliver excellent sound quality.

It’s true that while Bose scaled down its QuietComfort Earbuds (having caught plenty of flak for their size), these still protrude from the ear more than most alternatives on the market. Similarly to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds 2 come with a pretty chunky matte black charging case that seems prone to collecting scratches and oils quite quickly. Like all the other buds here, Bose has its own handy little app (the Bose Music app), which you’ll want to download in order to quickly switch between devices, reconfigure the controls, create a custom EQ, and adjust the ANC levels.

Also similar to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds boast SBC and AAC Bluetooth connectivity. If you want a premium pair of earbuds with excellent ANC and a custom EQ, get these Bose earbuds.

What makes them stand out

  • Great noise canceling: Bose’s ANC outdoes Sony and Apple’s flagship earbuds, coming very close to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ANC performance. You’ll have a hard time hearing a digger in your yard with these buds in.
  • Organic-sounding transparency setting: Bose’s Transparency mode is much like the AirPods Pro 2 in that it reduces the loudness of unexpected sounds in real time. This means a car horn won’t be as startling through the buds, but it will still be audible.
  • Consistent sound due to active EQ: Like Apple’s Adaptive EQ, Bose’s Auto EQ feature adjusts the sound to your ear canal for consistent output every time you listen.

Google Pixel Buds Pro: The best alternative for long battery life

Google Pixel Buds ProGoogle Pixel Buds Pro
AA Recommended
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Active noise-cancelling • Android integration • Google Assistant features
MSRP: $199.00
The Pixel Buds Pro introduce ANC to the series
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are the first in the line to offer active noise canceling. Obviously, they also have tight integration with Android and tons of support for Google Assistant commands, including the popular translation features.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro succeed the original Pixel buds and boast much better battery life. Google’s Pro earphones have ANC this time around, which we prefer over the old Adaptive sound feature. Google’s earbuds support hands-free Google Assistant access, instead of “Hey, Bixby” like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with Samsung phones.

Like the Galaxy Wearable app, the Pixel Buds app runs an ear tip fit test. Its actual usefulness is questionable, considering it seems to think every size is a great fit. Nevertheless, these make for some comfortable buds. Athletes may want to think twice about using these buds. Even though they have an IPX4 rating, they don’t have any wing tips for external grip.

Curiously, Google doesn’t include high-end audio codecs like aptX, relying instead on SBC and AAC. At least with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro paired to a Samsung device, you can enjoy the Seamless Codec for lag-free, high-quality music. Battery life is better than the Buds 2 Pro. In our testing, the Buds Pro lasted seven hours, six minutes with ANC on. The wireless charging case provides an extra 13 hours of portable battery life before it needs a recharge.

Google has added useful updates to the Pixel Buds Pro like spatial audio and a custom EQ.

Although the Pixel Buds Pro have rather good ANC, the application is uneven. This can produce an audible hiss that you might hear with your music. The performance pales in comparison to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro which have excellent ANC, albeit a bit inconsistent as well. The Pixel Buds Pro are quite bass-heavy (like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro) and have quite a boosted high-end. This kind of sound can distract from the midrange, where most vocals and synth lines live.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the Pixel Buds Pro support Google’s Spatial Audio. You need a Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 series phone and compatible Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content to use this. Once you get all of your ducks in a row, it sounds great. Google even added head tracking with an update.

What makes them stand out

  • Reasonably priced compared to the competition: The Pixel Buds Pro retail for $199 and drop below $150, making them a great choice for listeners who want reasonably priced flagship buds.
  • Water-resistant earbuds and case: The IPX4-rated earbuds and case make the Pixel Buds Pro excellent earbuds for any lifestyle. You don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain, as long as you don’t lose them to a deep puddle.
  • Bluetooth multipoint: Unlike the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, you can connect the Pixel Buds Pro to multiple devices at once. You can also auto-switch between compatible devices under your Google account.

The Beats Fit Pro are great workout earbuds for Android phones and iPhones

Beats Fit ProBeats Fit Pro
Beats Fit Pro
Good fit and stabilizing ear wings • Android and iOS compatible • In-app ear tip fit test • ANC and transparency
MSRP: $199.99
Beats Fit Pro are true wireless noise-cancelling earbuds that work just as well with Android devices
The Apple-owned Beats Fit Pro are just as easy to use with an Android device as they are with an iPhone, fitting well with multiple ear tips, and boosted bass sound quality. The only downsides are the price tag and ANC issues.

Compared to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the Beats Fit Pro try to appeal to a wider market that includes both Android and Apple platforms. The Beats app opens access to listening modes, ear tip fit test, streamlined pairing, and other features previously reserved for Apple users. If you’re using an iPhone, you get the added bonus of being able to use the Spatial Audio feature with head tracking, rivaling that available on the Buds 2 Pro.

The main benefit of using these earbuds is their ergonomic fit, which is key for athletes. Their great fit, paired with ANC, blocks out a lot of unwanted low-mids to help close the gap on Samsung’s excellent noise-cancelation. The battery life of the Beats Fit Pro slightly bests that of the Buds 2 Pro too, at six hours with 18 hours of additional charge from the case.

Regarding sound, the Beats Fit Pro favor bass notes, which is typical of workout earbuds. Because of the added emphasis on the low end, you’ll notice that the mids become a bit harder to hear. Best suited in an environment other than your living room, perhaps.

What makes them stand out

  • Great fit for exercise and daily use: Beats’ winged earbuds won’t ever fall out of place, so you can enjoy these without feeling anxious over a precarious fit.
  • Android and iOS compatibility: The cross-compatibility makes the Fit Pro stand out from other Apple accessories, and you can use the Beats app on Android to toggle listening modes and access firmware updates.
  • Personalized spatial audio: When paired to an iOS device, you get personalized spatial audio with head tracking to enhance your favorite shows and tunes.

The Sony LinkBuds S are well-rounded earphones that don’t break the bank

Sony LinkBuds SSony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Noise canceling • Effective isolation • Good sound quality
MSRP: $198.00
These earbuds pack high-quality sound with great ANC.
The Sony LinkBuds S earbuds bring solid noise canceling, a secure fit, and solid but not fantastic battery life.

The Sony Linkbuds S leave the original LinkBuds open ear form factor behind. The ergonomic shape of the Linkbuds S ensures they nestle into the ear and create a uniform seal for good isolation and noise canceling.

Similar to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, there’s support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio tech. One of the main differences between these two sets of buds comes from their Bluetooth connectivity. The Sony Linkbuds S connect to your device with Bluetooth 5.2. Sony’s buds also work with the default SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs for high-quality playback with supported devices.

In terms of battery life, the Sony Linkbuds S last approximately five hours, 41 minutes on a single charge. This metric slightly outperforms the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The charging case provides an additional 14 hours of charge, bringing the total to almost 20 hours.

When it comes to noise cancelation, these earbuds are remarkably good at rending environmental noise in the low-frequency range to roughly one-eighth as loud. The overall sound quality of these earbuds performs best in the low-mid range, with a bit of drop-off in the high frequencies. However, with some EQ tinkering, it would be pretty easy to make those cymbals on the drum kit shine through the mix!

What makes them stand out

  • LDAC and 360 Reality Audio for less: These earbuds often go on sale for less than $150 and boast premium features like Sony’s LDAC and personalized spatial audio, making them a unique find among other similarly priced earbuds.
  • Ergonomic shape for good isolation: The LinkBuds S have very good noise canceling and block out plenty of ambient noise when you’ve chosen the right ear tips.
  • Good mobile app: The Android and iOS-friendly Sony Headphones Connect app lets you play with a custom EQ and prioritize connection strength or audio quality.

What to look for in the best Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro alternatives

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have an impressive resume. These buds can block out nearly 50dB of noise, bringing peace into your life. They can also withstand complete submersion thanks to their IPX7 rating — just fish them out within 30 minutes and don’t let them sink lower than one meter. With the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, you also get an ear tip fit test and spatial audio with head tracking. The list goes on but these are the star features of the Buds 2 Pro. Let’s go over each feature in more detail to see if these actually matter to you.

Do you need noise canceling?

nothing ear 2 open case 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

If you’re a daily commuter, air traveler, or someone with noisy roommates, you may very well feel that you need noise canceling. A good pair of noise canceling headphones or earbuds can help you focus and give you a sense of privacy when it feels impossible to enjoy silence. Not all ANC performs equally well though. Some cheap earbuds actually have better ANC than mid-tier earphones. Flagship buds typically have good to stellar ANC, but you’ll pay at least $180 for it.

How do you know if your earbuds fit well?

Your earbuds fit well when they completely seal off your ear canals from the outside world. You can test this by shaking your head with the buds in. If they fall out, the fit is either too big or too small. To hasten the Goldilocks process, Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app has an ear tip fit test for the Buds 2 Pro. Any Android phone owner can take this test to see if they’ve selected the best ear tips for their Buds 2 Pro.

You can always use the guess-and-check method to see if your buds fit properly.

Samsung isn’t the only company to offer such a test. You’ll also find this with the Google Pixel Buds Pro, AirPods Pro 2, OnePlus Buds Pro 2, and more. Again, you don’t need earbuds with an app to tell you if your earbuds fit well. The guess and check method works with any buds.

What does spatial audio do, and do all earbuds have it?

Google Pixel Buds next to Pixel 7 Pro showing Spatial Audio settings with head tracking enabled
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Spatial audio is a catch-all term for virtualized 360-degree sound. With spatial audio enabled, your movies and music will sound more immersive. Some may say it emulates a broader soundscape. Put simply, virtualization puts you at the center of the audio playback and assigns each sound as an object that can move anywhere around you. When watching a movie, birds may fly above the main character and chirp along the way. You’ll hear this height and panning effect as the birds move across the screen.

Every brand seems to have its own proprietary version of this nowadays. Apple and Google call it spatial audio, Samsung calls it 360 Audio, and Sony calls it 360 Reality Audio. While many earbuds support spatial audio, not all do. Another catch: many earbuds only support spatial audio for movies when paired with a matching handset. That is, Apple earbuds with an Apple phone or Samsung earbuds with a Samsung phone. The same rule applies if you want head tracking too.

You don't necessarily need 'spatial audio earbuds' to experience the technology.

That said, Google Pixel 6 series and Pixel 7 series phones support spatial audio with any headphones. This requires you to stream videos from a supported service like Netflix, HBO Max, or Disney Plus and ensure the audio is 5.1 or higher.

Spatial audio for music is a little more accessible. With a subscription, some streaming services support spatial audio through any headphones, even wired ones. You can experience this from Apple Music, Tidal, or Amazon Music.

How should your earbuds sound?

A person wears the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) in profile view.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

Your earbuds should sound good to match your personal preferences, not how someone on the internet says your earbuds should sound. To give you a good starting point, most people like a light bass boost and a more significant treble boost to their music. This helps give kick drums and basslines that sense of oomph, while retaining high-end detail.

Most earbuds sound like this anyway. If anything, you may run into earbuds that have too much bass for your liking, which can make it difficult to hear vocals and other midrange instruments. To fix this, we recommend playing around with your earbuds’ in-app EQ presets or, if you’re so lucky, its custom EQ settings.

How important is water resistance?

The Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless workout earbuds sit outside of the closed charging case, all objects are covered in sprinkles of water.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

You don’t need to be an athlete to want water-resistant earbuds. You never know when it could rain as you go for a midday walk or bike back from work. Having an IP rating (aka “ingress protection) could save your earbuds, and save you from spending another $100 or more on replacements.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have an IPX7 rating, which may be overkill for you. This certification means the earbuds can be underwater for 30 minutes if they don’t go farther than one meter beneath the surface. Unless you’re particularly clumsy and have a pool in your yard, this may not be the most practical. Instead, all you need is an IPX4 rating, which ensures your buds can resist sprays from any direction. IPX2-rated earbuds like the Galaxy Buds 2 are durable enough for most applications, but IPX4 is the standard.


Top Samsung Galaxy Buds alternatives questions and answers

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are worth buying if you have an Android phone or, more specifically, a Samsung phone. Advanced features like 360 Audio playback and recording when paired to a compatible Samsung device make the Buds 2 Pro stand out from other earbuds. Samsung-exclusive features aside, anyone can enjoy the buds’ noise cancelation, even iPhone owners. You won’t hear any more commuter noise when you turn out with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

In our testing, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro never fell out. The ear tips keep the buds stable during exercise too.

Upgrading from the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is worth it for those who need the very best noise cancelation. Further, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have more advanced spatial audio tech that works with head tracking. You can even use your Buds 2 Pro to record 360 Audio when paired to a Samsung phone running One UI 5.0 or later. If any of this sounds important to you, the upgrade will be worth it. Otherwise, stick with the Buds 2.

The Jabra Elite 4 are great earbuds under $100 that share some of the same features as the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. With the Elite 4, you get active noise canceling and a HearThrough mode that works like Samsung’s Ambient Aware mode. Jabra even gives you a five-band custom EQ in its mobile app that works for all devices, including iPhones. Like the Galaxy Buds series, the Elite 4 supports Spotify Tap (Android only).

You get durable IP55-rated earbuds that resist dust and water. These buds aren’t just tough; they also support aptX streaming for high-quality audio from any Android device. Unlike the Galaxy Buds series, the Elite 4 have multipoint connectivity, so you can stay tuned into two devices at once. Don’t sleep on the Elite 4. These are great Android-friendly earbuds that currently cost $79 at Amazon.

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