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Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Should you upgrade?

What do Samsung's second-gen Pro buds bring to the table?
By

Published onMay 26, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
MSRP: $199.99
Check price
Positives
Good sound
Microphone
Decent noise canceling
Wireless charging
Negatives
360 audio limited to Samsung Galaxy devices
Touch controls are too sensitive
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

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro used to sit at the top of the company’s Galaxy Buds line of high-end earbuds. Although these active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds are still good, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro succeed them with better ANC and a few more software features. In this Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro showdown, we’ll find out if the newer buds are good enough to warrant an upgrade.

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

Here's our summary of the differences between the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro:

  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have significantly better ANC than the Galaxy Buds Pro.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have better microphone quality than the Galaxy Buds Pro.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro support 24-bit wireless audio, while the Galaxy Buds Pro support 16-bit audio.
  • The Buds 2 Pro touch panels don't register accidental touches as commands, which happens with the Buds Pro.
  • The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are readily available on the Samsung website, while the discontinued Galaxy Buds Pro are a bit harder to find.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Specs

Galaxy Buds ProGalaxy Buds 2 Pro
Dimensions
Galaxy Buds Pro
Earbud: 20.5 x 19.5 x 20.8 mm
Case: 50.0 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 19.9 x 21.6 x 18.7 mm
Case: 50.1 x 50.2 x 27.7 mm
Weight (earbud)
Galaxy Buds Pro
Earbud: 6.3g
Case: 44.9g
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbud: 5.6g
Case: 39.6g
Bluetooth connectivity and codecs
Galaxy Buds Pro
Bluetooth 5.0
SBC
AAC
Samsung Scalable Codec (Samsung devices running Android 7.0+)
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Bluetooth 5.3
SBC
AAC
Samsung Seamless Codec (One UI 4.0+)
Water resistance
Galaxy Buds Pro
IPX7
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
IPX7
Battery life
Galaxy Buds Pro
Earbuds, ANC on: 5 hours
Case and earbuds (ANC on): 18 hours
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Earbuds, ANC on: 5 hours
Case and earbuds (ANC on): 20 hours
Charging
Galaxy Buds Pro
USB-C
Qi wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
USB-C
Qi wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Audio hardware
Galaxy Buds Pro
11mm driver
6.5mm tweeter
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
10mm driver
5.3mm tweeter
Sensors
Galaxy Buds Pro
Accelerometer
Gyro
Hall
Proximity
Touch
Voice Pickup Unit
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Accelerometer
Gyro
Hall
Proximity
Touch
Voice Pickup Unit
Samsung 360 Audio
Galaxy Buds Pro
Yes, with head tracking
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes, with head tracking
360 Audio recording (One UI 5.0+ on Galaxy Flip 4 and Fold 4 phones)
Active noise cancelation
Galaxy Buds Pro
Yes
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes
Ambient aware
Galaxy Buds Pro
Yes
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Yes
Colors
Galaxy Buds Pro
Phantom Violet
Phantom Black
Phantom White
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Bora Purple
Graphite
White
Original price
Galaxy Buds Pro
$199
Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
$229

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro inspired the design of the Buds 2 Pro. Both sets of buds have a playful, rounded shape and three pairs of silicone ear tips (small, medium, and large). The Buds 2 Pro are a tad lighter than the Buds Pro, which creates a more comfortable fit for long listening sessions. You’ll also find a matte finish wrapping around the Buds 2 Pro, in contrast to the Buds Pro’s glossy touch panels. I prefer the Buds 2 Pro texture, as it’s easier to grip.

You’ll find the same IPX7 water resistance rating on these Galaxy Buds, meaning both can withstand submersion. You can also exercise with either set of earbuds without worrying about sweat damaging them. Just make sure you don’t throw the buds into the water willy-nilly. Water resistance degrades over time, and a product won’t necessarily retain its IP rating throughout its lifecycle.

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

I found controlling the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro much more pleasant than any of Samsung’s previous earbuds. These are the first Galaxy Buds to have suitably sensitive touch controls. The Buds 2 Pro don’t register fit readjustments as touch commands, which is often the case with the Buds Pro.

While the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro use the Galaxy Wearable app for Android, only the Buds 2 Pro have an ear tip fit test to ensure you’ve selected the right ear tips. Further, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro receive 24-bit audio via the Samsung Scalable Codec. This Bluetooth codec offers better audio quality than the 16-bit Samsung Scalable Codec that the Buds Pro support.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are easier to operate than the Galaxy Buds Pro.

With the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, you get Bluetooth 5.3, which is more efficient than Bluetooth 5.2. Both earbuds support audio switching across Samsung devices under the same account. You also get 360 Audio with head tracking on either set of buds when paired to a Samsung phone.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro cost $229, and the Buds Pro retailed for $199. The Galaxy Buds Pro are discontinued, but you can still find them through third-party vendors. You can purchase the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro directly from Samsung or other vendors like Target and Best Buy.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Noise canceling

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have much better noise canceling than the Galaxy Buds Pro. During my Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review period, I tested the ANC and could hardly hear sounds like train car din and street traffic beyond my window. The Galaxy Buds Pro have decent ANC, but it lags behind current flagship earbuds. Even with ANC, you’ll still hear your surroundings, they’ll just be half as loud.

Both sets of Galaxy Buds have an ambient aware mode that boosts background noise through the earbuds. Unsurprisngly, it sounds much more natural through the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro than the Galaxy Buds Pro. The Buds Pro ambient aware mode sounds a little robotic. I recommend listening in mono mode if you don’t like how it sounds on either set of buds. This works with the left or right earbud.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Sound quality

If you’re buying these earbuds based solely on sound quality, you’ll split hairs to hear which buds sound better. Both sets of buds make standard music genres like pop, hip-hop, rap, and EDM sound good. AKG, a Samsung subsidiary, tunes the frequency responses of all Galaxy Buds. You’ll get similarly boosted bass and treble from these Galaxy Buds. Unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t provide a way to customize how its buds sound. You’re left with the default profile and several presets to affect the sound.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Microphone quality

In ideal conditions, the Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds 2 Pro have similar microphone performance. To my ear, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound clearer, but both are serviceable for professional and personal calls.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have much better noise suppression than the Buds Pro. There is a distinct difference in background noise levels between the demos below.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro microphone demo (Street conditions):

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro microphone demo (Street conditions):

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Battery and charging

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

Officially, the Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds 2 Pro have a five-hour battery life with ANC. The Buds Pro case provides an extra 13 hours of battery life, while the Buds 2 Pro case provides an extra 15 hours of playtime. We subjected the earbuds to our standard battery tests, playing music at a constant output that peaked at 75dB (SPL), and the results are below:

  • Galaxy Buds Pro, ANC on: Four hours, 48 minutes
  • Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, ANC on: Four hours, 50 minutes

Both Galaxy Buds charge via USB-C and have wireless charging. You even get WirelessPower Share on top of compatible Samsung devices. Using a Samsung phone to charge your Galaxy Buds case will drain the battery though.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Price

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
  • Galaxy Buds Pro: $199 / €229 / £219
  • Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: $229 / €229 / £219

The original Galaxy Buds Pro launched in January 2021, for $199. These buds came in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, and Phantom Violet colors. They are now discontinued, but you can find them heavily discounted from sites like Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are available for $229. That’s the highest asking price of a Galaxy Buds product, but still cheaper than Apple, Bose, and Sony’s flagships. They come in White, Graphite, and Bora Purple colorways. You can often find these buds on sale throughout the year. We’ve seen the price dip to $179.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Should you upgrade to Samsung’s newer buds?

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro laying on table with charging cases
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

If you don’t own the Galaxy Buds Pro, it’s worth splurging for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro instead of hunting around for the Galaxy Buds Pro. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the best earphones you can buy if you own a Samsung Galaxy phone. Even if you own a non-Samsung Android phone, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are plenty powerful with numerous features in the Wearable app.

That said, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are still good earphones, but they’re showing their age. If you already own the Galaxy Buds Pro, there’s no rush to upgrade. The sound quality and feature sets are very similar between these two sets of Galaxy Buds. If you upgrade, you’ll hear a marked difference in ANC and microphone quality, but everything is close enough.

Which earbuds would you rather own?

130 votes

There are Galaxy Buds 2 Pro competitors worth considering — keen among them are the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. These earphones cost $99 at Amazon and have better noise canceling than the Buds Pro. You get an ear tip fit test in the app along with 360 Audio when you pair them to a Samsung device. The Galaxy Buds 2 are the best value earbuds from Samsung.

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
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
30%off
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Good sound
Impressive microphone performance
Wireless charging

FAQs

Although these earbuds have an IPX7 rating, they are not waterproof. Leaving them under water for more than 30 minutes, or submerging them deeper than one meter will break the earbuds. They can survive a dip in the pool if you fish them out in time. We don’t recommend doing this, though.

You can connect the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to an iPhone, but there is no iOS app for the Buds 2 Pro. Instead, you’re left with the default settings and no way to select EQ presets or locate your buds.

Regarding technical capability, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are superior to the Galaxy Buds 2. However, the Buds 2 can often be found for $100, making them less than half the cost of the Buds 2 Pro. At this price, the Buds 2 are the far better deal.

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