Update, November 27, 2020: This versus article was updated to address Black Friday price reductions.
True wireless earbuds are maintaining their stride, and there are plenty of choices to pick from. Rather than break down every option, we’re looking directly at the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Jabra Elite 75t. Both true wireless headsets offer advanced hardware and software, with good microphone systems, and vastly different sound signatures. It’s less a matter of which is objectively the best headset, and more of which brand best suits your needs.
Fit and hardware: Do you value durability or compactness?
The all-plastic Galaxy Buds Plus appear identical to the original Samsung Galaxy Buds, save for a few minor changes to the case’s interior. Samsung’s sophomore Galaxy Buds are extremely compact and lightweight, making them comfortable for extended periods of listening. To test that, I did in fact listen to the entire Hamilton soundtrack without fatigue.
Samsung provides listeners with an assortment of wing and ear tips, so most users are bound to find a comfortable and secure fit. The earphones rest in the lightweight charging case, which now features a glossy finish. Not only does said case support Qi wireless charging, but it may also be charged atop compatible Samsung devices with Wireless PowerShare.
The Jabra Elite 75t isn’t yet available with a wireless charger. That feature aside, its case feels much sturdier than Samsung’s. Perhaps it’s the soft-touch matte finish or the more substantial audible feedback as the case is closed; either way, we prefer it to the Galaxy Buds Plus. However, it is a little larger than the Buds Plus case, so if you’re really stretched for space, Samsung may be the smarter option.
The Jabra Elite 75t and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are among the most comfortable earbuds available.
Jabra’s earbuds take on a more rugged appearance. The company disregarded the whimsy of Samsung for a more durable design: instead of using touch-capacitive panels, the Elite 75t relies on multifunction buttons. With a recent update, Jabra Elite 75t and Jabra Elite Active 75t users may remap the controls via the Jabra MySound app. Just like Samsung, Jabra provides small, medium, and large ear tips but doesn’t use wing tips to secure the earbuds.
Both headsets are water-resistant, but the Jabra Elite 75t are the earbuds for athletes: they’re IP55-rated, meaning they can resist both dust and water, while the Galaxy Buds Plus are just IPX2-rated. Samsung and Jabra’s products also share the ability to enable ambient listening, also referred to as HearThrough. This is useful for anyone who spends time walking down busy streets or exercising outside.
Automatic ear detection
Both headsets also support automatic ear detection and pause music when an earbud is removed. Well, the Elite 75t only requires that one earbud is removed for playback to be paused. With the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, you must remove both at the same time. To resume playback with Jabra’s earbuds, re-insert the ‘bud within one minute of its removal. For the Buds Plus, reinsert both earbuds, and tap either touch panel to resume playback.
Jabra’s earphones support a comprehensive control layout whereby each earbud dictates different commands. The Galaxy Buds Plus are the same, but more simultaneous options are afforded by the Elite 75t. You may control playback, answer or reject calls, adjust volume, access your virtual assistant, toggle listening modes, and mute the mic during a call all from the Jabra Elite 75t.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus allow all the same control options along with direct Spotify access. Unlike Jabra’s hearty button-operated controls, the Buds Plus touch controls aren’t the most reliable. During testing, I often accidentally paused a track when I meant to skip it. Both headsets allow you to field two calls simultaneously by placing one on hold while receiving the other.
Which headset has better software features?
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Jabra Elite 75t both have accompanying applications. Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app is great, and the company is fastidious about updating products’ software. In fact, the first-generation Galaxy Buds were recently granted direct Spotify access — something I originally thought was exclusive to the Galaxy Buds Plus. Aside from that, you may adjust ambient sound intensity, choose from six EQ presets, remap the touch controls (or lock the touchpads, so they can’t accidentally be triggered), and use the Find My Earbuds feature.
Jabra also offers an excellent app to its users: as of September 22, 2020, the Jabra Sound+ app lets enable active noise-cancelling (ANC), so long as they update their pre-existing Jabra Elite 75t series firmware. This is a free upgrade to all Elite 75t series owners, and was announced alongside the new Jabra Elite 85t noise-cancelling earbuds. Our noise cancelling test is ongoing, and we’ll update this versus article once we have objective performance measurements.
Don’t miss: Jabra Elite 85t review
The Sound+ app also lets users adjust HearThrough intensity, create a custom hearing profile, and make granular EQ adjustments — something the Galaxy Wearable app doesn’t permit. You can do a lot more with the Jabra Sound+ app, but both companies deserve a nod for providing significant updates to their older headsets, Samsung updated its original Galaxy Buds to support spotify integration and Jabra updated its Elite 75t with ANC.
Are the Jabra Elite 75t or Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus better for phone calls?
More and more of us spend our time fielding calls directly from our headphones or earbuds, so it makes sense to want the best microphone quality possible. Whether you go with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus or the Jabra Elite 75t, you’re buying into a great microphone system.
Jabra Elite 75t microphone demo:
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus microphone demo:
As you may hear from the demos above, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus do a better job of relaying accurate vocal transmission, though they do so without amplifying the speaker at all. On the other hand, the Jabra Elite Active 75t four-microphone array filters out ambient noise, and does a much better job of reducing wind noise than the Galaxy Buds Plus.
Ultimately, the Jabra earphones have the better mic setup for most of us. Even if you’re working from home in a relatively quiet environment, background noise like roommates or washing machines is nullified more effectively.
Connection stability and Bluetooth codecs
Samsung and Jabra’s earphones both use Bluetooth 5.0 firmware, which facilitates efficient power consumption, and neither headset supports aptX for reliable high-quality audio on Android devices. That said, listeners with Samsung devices do benefit from the Samsung scalable codec, which is supported by the Galaxy Buds Plus. This essentially acts like aptX adaptive by constantly scaling for optimal audio quality and connection stability.
Both the Buds Plus and Elite 75t support AAC for consistent high-quality performance on iOS devices, and of course, there’s SBC as a fallback Bluetooth codec. Only the Jabra Elite 75t may be connected to two devices at a time with Bluetooth multipoint support. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus switches very quickly between devices, but the earbuds don’t afford the same functionality.
Since Samsung’s codec is limited to Samsung devices and can’t be streamed with the Galaxy Buds Plus if used on a Google Pixel, for example, and Jabra’s has the useful feature of connecting to two devices simultaneously, we’re giving this section to Jabra.
Which earbuds have better battery life?
This category is the easiest to measure. The Jabra Elite 75t last 7 hours, 14 minutes on a single charge while the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus get away with an extraordinary 11 hours, 44 minutes.
The Jabra charging case provides an additional 2.73 charge cycles totalling almost 28 hours of playback, while the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus case only provides one extra charge cycle. Both support quick charging: 15 minutes of charging the Elite 75t yields one hour of listening, while just three minutes in the Buds Plus case supplies an hour of playtime. Both cases use USB-C charging, and take nearly 2.5 hours to fully recharge. Only Samsung’s includes wireless charging by default.
This comes down to what you prioritize: would you rather have more on-the-go listening time, or more single-use listening time? For most people, either headset provides more than enough battery life but we’re giving this to the Galaxy Buds Plus for having exceptional battery life and supporting wireless charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus favor accuracy, while the Jabra Elite 75t are for bassheads
Both Jabra and Samsung’s true wireless headsets use cutting edge technology, and while these are multifunction devices, they’re ultimately earphones. To compare the two true wireless headsets in the sound quality section, we used the default sound settings without any equalizer adjustments.Let’s look at how each headset sounds, and why one sound may be preferable to the other.
We have charts to illustrate data for the earbuds’ frequency responses. The closer the solid, colored line falls against the dotted red line, the more accurate a headset’s sound signature is. In a perfect world, if you’re looking strictly for accurate audio reproduction, there will be a complete overlap between the two lines, but that’s not really possible. Technical limitations aside, not everyone wants a neutral sound signature: some people love booming bass, while others like amplified mids.
The Jabra Elite 75t heavily exaggerate low notes, which is great if you want to stay pumped during your workout, but can be detrimental to overall sound reproduction. Since sub-bass and bass notes are relayed two to three times louder than they’re engineered to sound. SoundGuys Editor Adam Molina felt this heavy-handed approach to the bass notes was fatiguing for daily listening. However, the benefit to Jabra’s app is that you can easily equalize this to reduce the low-end impact. Midrange notes sound good in a vacuum, but because of the strong bass emphasis, it’s very difficult to hear vocal and instrumental detail.
The Galaxy Buds Plus, on the other hand, are tuned by AKG and have a much more tempered bass response. Listeners with a more eclectic music collection beyond the most popular genres will appreciate how well the Buds Plus reproduce sound. Again, the mild bass amplification is nice as it adds a bit more of a rumble to bass-heavy musical sections without making it hard to perceive other instruments.
Neither headset does a particularly stellar job of blocking out background noise, so if you’re on a subway platform listening to music, you’re bound to experience auditory masking. This is when a loud sound makes it very difficult to hear a relatively quiet one. Coincidentally, this is also why it’s hard to hear musical detail from the Elite 75t.
Listeners who don’t want to fiddle with EQ presets or create their own personalized sounds should get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, but others may be fine experimenting with the software tools Jabra offers.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Jabra Elite 75t: Final thoughts
If we were to officially tally up each category, we’d come to a draw. While this isn’t the clean-cut conclusion everyone likes to see, it speaks volumes about where the consumer audio industry is: most products are very good, and true wireless technology has radically improved since its debut. Going off price alone, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are the more economical earbuds and cost $149 new — making them significantly cheaper than the $179 Jabra Elite 75t. That said, if you have a particular use case in mind, one headset is objectively better than the other, especially if you want to give noise-cancelling a shot.
Athletes should pick up the Jabra Elite 75t, for these earbuds are significantly more durable than the Galaxy Buds Plus. Although I personally love the Buds Plus for their comfortable fit and extremely compact case, I’m not comfortable using them with chalked up hands when rock climbing — that’s where Jabra’s IP55-rated earphones come in handy. Anyone who takes hands-free calls when outside or in a space with substantial background noise will benefit more from the Jabra Elite 75t microphone array, because of how well it rejects background noise.
The biggest advantage of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus is its Wireless PowerShare feature, which is exclusive to Samsung devices, and its superb standalone battery life. What’s more, microphone quality is good, but degrades when speaking from a noisy setting. When picking for yourself, between the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Jabra Elite 75t headsets, you’ll have to determine what you prioritize. What’s best for me between these true wireless headphones may not be best for you.
Both of these true wireless headsets can be found heavily discounted during Black Friday, so no matter which you pick, you’re bound to get a good deal.
If the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Jabra Elite 75t aren’t for you
Alternatively, you may have come to the conclusion from this Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Jabra Elite 75t breakdown that neither pick is for you. If that’s the case, you’re in luck: true wireless earbuds have struck a chord with consumers and are here to stay, meaning your options are boundless.
iPhone users should consider the Beats PowerBeats Pro or Apple AirPods Pro
Anyone leaning toward the Jabra Elite 75t yet feel something’s missing should look into the Beats Powerbeats Pro. These true wireless earbuds use an earhook design that keeps the earbuds in place during all sorts of movement. Whether you’re out gardening in the yard or training for your first half marathon, the PowerBeats Pro are going to stay in your ear. They use the same H1 chip as the AirPods (2019) and AirPods Pro, so you’re afforded hands-free access to Siri and excellent battery life. A cheaper model of this: the Beats Powerbeats.
Related: Beats Powerbeats review (SoundGuys)
The Apple AirPods Pro is an expensive alternative to the main headsets we looked at today, but they’re worth it for iPhone owners in need of portable active noise-cancelling earphones. Battery life is about average, which is great considering how much power needs to be drawn for the earbuds to operate. Users benefit from a streamlined experience that was unmatched until the new Pixel Buds came along.
The Google Pixel Buds are feature packed
Android users who need an Apple-like experience on their smartphones should dig into the Google Pixel Buds (2020): these boast nearly the same immediate pairing process as the AirPods do on Apple’s devices, and afford direct voice access to Google Assistant. The earbuds are IPX4-rated, and can withstand your workouts; plus, they’re structured to stay in place due to the concha wing tips. Just like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, the new Pixel Buds package includes a USB-C case that supports wireless charging.
Perhaps none of these alternatives fit your needs; in that case, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of sub-$100 true wireless earbuds available. One of our favorites is the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. The microphone array is great for phone and conference calls while the SoundCore app is useful for anyone looking to equalize the premade sound. The earphones support aptX and AAC for high-quality streaming, and the case can be charged wirelessly.
You can also go to the extreme end of the spectrum by getting the JLab Go Air, which cost just $30. They afford the bare necessities but stay connected and boast an IP44 rating. No matter what, you have plenty of options, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.