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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Apple AirPods Pro: Which should you buy?

A Pro vs Pro match inside two walled gardens.
By
August 10, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro laying next to charging case
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

What happens when two walled gardens meet? The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Apple AirPods Pro sit at the top of their respective product families with the best features and at the highest prices. Yet both of these buds have been tailor-made with a specific ecosystem in mind, and both rest on the legacy of some notable predecessors in the true wireless buds category. Let’s see which pair is right for you in this Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Apple AirPods Pro comparison.


Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro


Design

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro earbuds size comparison
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Looking at the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the AirPods Pro beside each other shows some immediate differences. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro live up to the “bud” in their name and are small, roughly-oval pieces designed to nest within your ear, which build on the look of the Galaxy Buds 2. The AirPods Pro, on the other hand, feature stems extending beyond the ear.

The AirPods Pro follow the rest of Apple’s design language and come only in white with smooth lines and minimalist markings. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are also pretty minimalist, but you can buy them in White, Graphite, and Bora Purple. When it comes to wearing the buds, both models also give you a selection of three ear tips to choose from.

It's a battle of stems vs buds.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro claim to be 15% smaller than their previous iteration and to have better airflow, to boot. The previous set of Galaxy Buds Pro had an IPX7 rating, and the new model sticks with this. In contrast, the AirPods Pro are a bit less durable, with an IPX4 rating. Both models can stand up to sweat and droplets, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro may survive immersion in water for up to 30 minutes.

The Buds 2 Pro house 61mAh batteries in each bud, while the charging case has a 500mAh cell. Samsung is promising five hours of playback time with ANC enabled or up to eight hours without ANC. Popping the buds back in the case will provide a further 20-30 hours of playback time. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro similarly offered just over five hours with noise-cancelling turned on in our testing for review, with the Lightning case adding around 24 hours of playtime. Both can be charged wirelessly, too.


Features

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro in charging case
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Both Samsung and Apple have an ecosystem built around inter-compatible products, and both of these earbuds models are no exception. The Apple AirPods use the Apple H1 chip, which is only compatible with Apple’s devices.

In return, you get tight integration and features, including automatic device switching. On Android devices, the AirPods Pro are less than ideal. They only support the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, and a whole suite of features becomes inaccessible.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are designed to work best with Android devices, though you’ll get even more out of them if you have a Galaxy phone. When used on these devices, you get support for the Samsung Scalable Codec, AAC, and SBC and automatic device switching.

This iteration also expands easy automatic device switching to Samsung TVs. If you don’t use the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro on a Galaxy phone, you won’t have access to some of these features, but overall it’s better than using AirPods with Android. Likewise, the Samsung Wearables app is exclusive to Android phones.

Controls

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro case size comparison
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Modern earbuds have plenty of multifunction touch controls, which is true for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the Apple AirPods Pro. For either model, a series of presses or taps gives you access to various functions.

However, the AirPods only let you control content volume via the Siri voice assistant, which only iPhones have. Galaxy Buds 2 Pro users can harness the Samsung Wearables app to adjust volume and remap controls. You can also use it to change the noise-cancelling settings, turn on ambient mode, switch EQ presets, and more. However, automatic device switching is only for Galaxy phones.

Both companies are targeting their walled gardens first, but Apple generally falls short on Android.

For this new model, SmartThings Find can also alert you if you leave your earbuds behind, even when offline, which is similar to Apple’s exclusive-to-iPhone Find My feature. Likewise, plenty of AirPods Pro controls are iPhone exclusives. These include the aforementioned Siri access and Find My functionality, plus in-ear detection, Spatial Audio, and many others.

Overall, both companies are targeting their walled gardens first, but Apple generally falls short on Android. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro on non-Galaxy Android devices will also be less than ideal, though not as limited as the AirPods Pro for that use case.

Noise-cancelling

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro laying next to charging case
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

While the AirPods Pro might have been the first set of earbuds to really make a name for themselves via active noise-cancelling (ANC), they’re no longer the only player on the field. The first-generation Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro already managed to edge them out when they arrived.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro claim to offer an extra 3dB of attenuation when compared to their predecessor and “intelligent noise-cancelling.” It’s unclear whether that is across every frequency as an average value or for a particular range.

Both sets of buds also have isolation, thanks to their ear tips. Like any model of buds, getting a good seal is crucial. The new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro claim to be smaller, lighter, and better fitting while reducing rotation and ear pressure.

Sound

We have not yet had the chance to test the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, but if their predecessors are anything to go off of, both they and the AirPods Pro will produce a solid frequency response that most people will like. The AirPods Pro have the aforementioned Spatial Audio support, while the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are compatible with Dolby Atmos.

However, you can EQ the Samsung buds using presets, while the Apple AirPods Pro can’t really be equalized outside of using Apple Music on an iPhone, except for some adjustments that happen via its Adaptive EQ software. Furthermore, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro support 24-bit audio playback with Galaxy devices, while Apple indicates you’ll need a separate DAC for this.

If you want to tinker with the sound of your buds, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is likely a better bet. But, if you just want to plug and play, then the AirPods Pro can do it slightly better out of the box.


Price and Colors

Apple AirPods Pro
27%off
Apple AirPods Pro
Immersive audio features
Great sound quality
Good ANC
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Excellent ANC
Good quality audio
1m depth waterproof

The Apple AirPods Pro launched at $249 and have remained at that price since, with some occasional sales. They only come in Apple’s signature white color.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are now available for pre-order at $229.99. You can snag them in White, Graphite, or Bora Purple. The official launch date is August 26, 2022.


Specs

Galaxy Buds 2 ProAirPods Pro
Dimensions
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 19.9 x 21.6 x 18.7mm
Case: 50.1 x 50.2 x 27.7mm
AirPods Pro
Earbud: 30.9 x 21.8 x 24.0mm
Case: 45.2 x 60.6 x 21.7mm
Weights
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 5.6g
Case: 39.6g
AirPods Pro
Earbud: 5.4g
Case: 45.6g
Bluetooth connectivity
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Bluetooth 5.3
SBC, AAC, Samsung Scalable Codec
AirPods Pro
Bluetooth 5.0
SBC, AAC
Water resistance
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
IPX7
AirPods Pro
IPX4
Battery size
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 61mAh
Charging case: 515mAh
AirPods Pro
Earbud: 45.4 mAh
Charging case: 519 mAh
Listening time
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
5 hours with ANC, 8 hours without ANC
With case: 18 hours with ANC, 29 hours without ANC
AirPods Pro
4.5 hours with ANC, 5 hours without ANC
With case: up to 24 hours
Talk time
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
3.5 Hours with ANC, 4 Hours without ANC
With case: 14 Hours with ANC, 15 Hours without ANC
AirPods Pro
3.5 hours with ANC
With case: up to 18 hours
Charging
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
USB-C
Wireless
AirPods Pro
Lightning
MagSafe
Wireless
Speakers and microphones
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
2-Way Woofer and Tweeter
Three Microphones
AirPods Pro
High-excursion Apple driver
Four Microphones
Device compatibility
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Android 7.0 or later
1.5GB of RAM or more
iOS: Bluetooth only
Windows 10: Galaxy Buds app
TV: Samsung 2022 TVs and later
AirPods Pro
Latest versions of iOS, macOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV
Android: Limited Bluetooth features only
Windows: Limited Bluetooth features only
Colors
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
White, Graphite, Bora Purple
AirPods Pro
White

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs the AirPods Pro: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro laying next to charging case closeup
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

While there a few things we’ll have to wait to further test on Samsung’s Pro buds, it’s clear the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the AirPods Pro are aiming for different users.

When it comes down to it, the AirPods Pro really make the most sense for iPhone users. Sure, you can use them on Android, but it won’t be a great experience. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro will work best with Galaxy phones, but they also will do better on other Android devices than Apple’s buds.