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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2: What's the difference?

Sibling rivalry means better features for you at the end of the day.
By

Published onMarch 15, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
MSRP: $229.99
Check price
Positives
Good sound quality
Excellent noise canceling
Extreme IPX7 water resistance
Comfortable design
Most important software features available on Android
First of the Galaxy Buds to have properly sensitive touch panels
Negatives
Inconsistent head tracking
Short battery life for flagship buds
Poor microphone quality
Mobile app lacks a custom EQ
Many Samsung-exclusive features
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

Samsung’s catalog contains Pro and non-Pro versions of the Galaxy Buds 2, but these earbuds have a lot in common. It might seem like Samsung is competing against itself. As it turns out, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 have a few key differences despite the confusingly similar names. We’ll compare these Galaxy Buds to determine which earbuds make the most sense for you.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2: At a glance

While the Buds 2 are a simpler product, their value gives them an edge. Here are some of the key differences between these Samsung earbuds.

  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are currently $80 more expensive than the Galaxy Buds 2.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds have an IPX7 rating, while the Galaxy Buds 2 have an IPX2 water-resistance rating.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro support 360 Audio with head tracking, while the Galaxy Buds 2 lack head tracking.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will sound better to most listeners out of the box than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 specs

Galaxy Buds 2 ProGalaxy Buds 2
Dimensions
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 19.9 x 21.6 x 18.7mm
Case: 50.1 x 50.2 x 27.7mm
Galaxy Buds 2
Earbud: 17 x 20.9 x 21.1mm
Case: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm
Weight (earbud)
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
5.5g
Galaxy Buds 2
5g
Bluetooth connectivity and codecs
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Bluetooth 5.3
SBC
AAC
Samsung Seamless Codec (One UI 4.0+)
Galaxy Buds 2
Bluetooth 5.2
SBC
AAC
Samsung Scalable Codec (Samsung devices running Android 7.0+)
Water resistance
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
IPX7
Galaxy Buds 2
IPX2
Fit type
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Sealed
Galaxy Buds 2
Sealed
Battery life
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbuds, ANC on: 5 hours
Galaxy Buds 2
Earbuds, ANC on: 5 hours
Charging
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
USB-C
Qi wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Galaxy Buds 2
USB-C
Qi wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Audio hardware
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
10mm driver
5.3mm tweeter
Galaxy Buds 2
11mm driver
6.3mm tweeter
Sensors
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Accelerometer
Gyro
Hall
Proximity
Touch
Voice Pickup Unit
Galaxy Buds 2
Accelerometer
Gyro
Hall
Proximity
Touch
Voice Pickup Unit
Samsung 360 Audio
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes, with head tracking
360 Audio recording (One UI 5.0+ on Galaxy Flip 4 and Fold 4 phones)
Galaxy Buds 2
Yes
Active noise cancelation
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes
Galaxy Buds 2
Yes
Ambient aware
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes
Galaxy Buds 2
Yes
Colors
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Bora Purple
Graphite
White
Galaxy Buds 2
Graphite
Lavender
Olive
Phantom Black
White
Original price (USD)
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
$229
Galaxy Buds 2
$149

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro share the same overall shape and design. Both are small, roughly oval earbuds with silicone ear tips. The Buds 2 have a slightly more pronounced stem compared to the Pro model. Some may feel the glossy finish looks cheaper, but it’s less of a dust magnet than the matte finish of the Buds 2 Pro.

Samsung says the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are 15% smaller than the original Galaxy Buds Pro and have better airflow. Just like the Buds Pro, the Buds 2 Pro have an IPX7 rating. In addition to surviving your sweaty workouts, these Galaxy Buds may survive a plunge into water for up to 30 minutes. The Buds 2, in contrast, only have an IPX2 rating, meaning they can only deal with some light spraying water. Neither charging case is water resistant.

Both the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the Galaxy Buds 2 feature multifunctional touch controls. You can assign certain taps and tap-and-hold actions to modify the noise canceling settings or access your preferred smart assistant. When paired to a Samsung phone, say “Hey, Bixby” to check the weather or send a text. Historically, Samsung’s buds have highly sensitive touch panels, and the Buds 2 Pro are the first earbuds to remedy this issue.

The Galaxy Buds 2 touch panels are far too sensitive compared to the Buds 2 Pro.

These Samsung earbuds work best with Samsung Galaxy devices. Don’t let that scare you off, though: these are still great earbuds for Android phones. You’ll just miss out on a few features here and there, like auto device switching, head tracking, and Samsung’s proprietary Scalable and Seamless Codecs. The Buds 2 Pro support 24-bit audio playback, and the Buds 2 support 24-bit audio playback with UHQ upscaling. Any phone can stream over the SBC and AAC codecs.

The Samsung Galaxy Wearable app (Android) is where all of the magic happens. Here, you can customize the touch controls and choose your favorite EQ presets. From the app, you can also turn on ambient mode and enable Gaming Mode for lower latency. An ear tip test is also available for both models and does a pretty good job of determining how well the buds fit inside your ears. You’ll also want the app to enable 360 Audio from a Samsung device.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G with Galaxy Buds 2

On the Galaxy Buds 2 and Buds 2 Pro, SmartThings Find will let you know if you leave your buds behind, even if they’re offline. This app is pre-installed on your Samsung phone.

You can experience Samsung 360 Audio from the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Buds 2, but only the Pro earbuds have head tracking. Why does this matter? Well, if you don’t care about spatial audio it doesn’t. However, if you’re a big TV or movie watcher, 360 Audio can enhance your experience. Make sure you’re watching Dobly Atmos content from a compatible service like Disney Plus or HBO Max.

The Buds 2 Pro abandon all shiny surfaces and, in turn, are a bit easier to grip.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Buds 2 have another trick up their sleeves: 360 Audio recording. When paired with a Samsung phone that supports LE Audio and runs One UI 5.0+, both can record 360 Audio sound. This makes it easier than ever for creators to play around with immersive audio.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have far better noise canceling

Although both pairs of Samsung Galaxy Buds have active noise canceling (ANC), the Buds 2 Pro’s ANC is much better. With the Buds 2 Pro, you’ll have to strain your ears to hear train engines or a washer/dryer unit. Meanwhile, all these sounds will still come through with the Galaxy Buds 2, albeit much quieter than without the Buds 2 at all.

For context, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro outperform the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) ($239 at Amazon) regarding low-frequency cancelation. Both earbuds should offer solid isolation as long as you can get a good seal with the included silicone ear tips. The Buds 2 have better isolation than the original Buds Pro. Ambient noise will sound much quieter with either pair of earbuds in.

Both earbuds support ambient sound that lets users hear background noise while wearing the earbuds. However, Samsung added two more adjustment levels for the Buds 2 Pro in the mobile app. The Buds 2 Pro also have a “Listen Louder” function for those in need of hearing assistance.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro overemphasize bass

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound very good, but are a bit bassy. The chart to the left depicts the Buds 2 Pro’s frequency response in cyan with the SoundGuys headphone preference curve in pink. (SoundGuys is our audio-focused sister site.) Most people won’t mind the extra sub-bass, but it could make it hard to hear vocals during some hip-hop and rap songs.

Both earbuds sound great, but the Buds 2 Pro are a bit bassier than the Buds 2.

The chart on the right depicts the Galaxy Buds 2 frequency response in cyan, and it hews a bit closer to the preference curve than the Buds 2 Pro. Most general consumers won’t hear a difference unless you prompt them to listen hard. If you don’t like the default sound and want to mix it up a bit, you can experiment with Samsung’s numerous EQ presets in the Galaxy Wearable app.

The Galaxy Buds 2 have slightly better battery life

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 cases USB C 1

As for battery life, Samsung claims five hours of playback time with active noise canceling enabled for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The Buds 2 are also rated to get up to five hours of listening time with ANC on.

We subjected the earbuds to our standardized testing with constant music playback peaking at 75dB(SPL) to test the battery life. Here are the results:

  • Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, ANC on: Four hours, 50 minutes.
  • Galaxy Buds 2, ANC on: Five hours, three minutes.

The earbuds on both models are rated at around 61mAh, but the Buds 2 charging case is 472mAh, while the Buds 2 Pro charging case is 512mAh, so there will be a slight difference in longevity. Both earbud models let you use wireless Qi charging, Samsung PowerShare, or USB-C to top up the case and buds.

Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro:

  • Lightning: $129

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2:

  • Lightning charging case: $169
  • MagSafe charging case: $179

The Galaxy Buds 2 originally launched at $149.99; these days, you can get them for around $75-$110. They come in White, Graphite, Olive, Lavender, and Phantom Black.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro launched with a $229.99 MSRP, but we’ve seen them go as low as about $180. You can snag them in White, Graphite, or Bora Purple.

Which Samsung Galaxy Buds should you buy?

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer some welcome refinements to Samsung’s earbuds line, and overall they make for a good pick for most people. Any old Android phone owner can enjoy the great ANC and EQ presets from the Buds 2 Pro. Of course, if you want 360 Audio with head tracking or recording capabilities, you’ll need to pair them with a new Samsung phone. Ultimately, these are premier audio wearables, and the price reflects that.

Budget buyers may want to sidestep the Buds 2 Pro and get the Galaxy Buds 2 instead. These can be found for less than $100, making them a far better deal than the Pro option. You still get excellent noise canceling and great sound quality, no matter what kind of Android phone you use.

Which earbuds do you prefer?

600 votes
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
33%off
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Compact design
In-app ear tip fit test
Sound quality
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
22%off
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Comfortable fit
Enhanced noise-cancelling technology
Satisfying battery life

Top Samsung Galaxy Buds questions and answers

These earbuds share a lot of similarities. However, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have much better noise canceling, a bassy sound profile, and 360 audio with head tracking. Nevertheless, the Buds 2 cost significantly less and have many of the same premium features as their updated sibling.

If you desire superior ANC and extra bass response, then the Buds 2 Pro will better serve you than the budget Buds 2. However, if you are looking for something friendlier on the wallet, high-end features, and a more generally pleasing sound quality, then the Buds 2 will likely serve you well.

Yes, they are some of the best noise canceling earbuds on the market. For example, they have more powerful sub-bass noise reduction capabilities than the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation). The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also boast many high-end features like 360 audio with head tracking and 360 audio recording that pit them against the best.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds were released on March 8, 2018, and wore a compact build, IPX2 rating, and a cheap price tag. The Galaxy Buds Pro came to market on January 14, 2021 and wore an IPX7 water-resistant build, had good active noise canceling, and boasted superior sound quality. Both are now discontinued.

The Buds 2 boast a glossy finish, while the Buds 2 Pro wear a smoother matte finish. The Buds 2 have a slightly more pronounced stem compared to the Buds 2 Pro, but overall they share a very similar build. That said, according to Samsung, the company’s latest flagship buds are 15% smaller than the original Galaxy Buds Pro.

Yes! Both Galaxy Buds 2 models will work just fine as regular Bluetooth headphones. They’ll work with any device over Bluetooth. That said, some features are exclusive to Samsung handsets.