Apple AirPods Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Which is the best for you?

AirPods Pro and Beats Solo Pro
AirPods Pro and Beats Solo Pro (Image credit: iMore)

The Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are good products that become superior when paired with the same companies' smartphones. While technically each can work with a smartphone from the other company, it doesn't come recommended. For primary Apple device owners, then, the choice is a simple one.

AirPods Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: The specs

Technology always moves in a forward direction. Therefore, it should surprise no one that the newer Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro offers some key advancements over the AirPods Pro. However, these aren't enough for those heavily entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.

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Header Cell - Column 0 AirPods ProSamsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Regular price$250$200
Release dateOctober 2019January 2021
Battery life4.5 hours with ANC on
5 hours with ANC off
24 hours with charging case
5 hours with ANC on
8 hours with ANC off
up to 28 hours with charging case
ChipsetH1Broadcom BCM43015
ColorsWhite onlyBlack
Water-resistanceIPX4 (can withstand water and sweat)IPX7 (can withstand sweat and submersion up to 1 meter)
Bluetooth version5.05.0
Noise CancellationYesYes
Transparency modeYesYes
Adaptive EQYesNo
Voice connectionSiriBixby
Case size2.39x1.78x0.85 inches1.96x1.97x1.09 inches
Case weight1.61 ounces1.58 ounces

With the well-received AirPods Pro, you get integration with other Apple products and "Hey, Siri" support. The Apple earbuds also have a proprietory Apple H1 chip inside, which opens up lots of reserved features for use with other Apple devices. For example, because of the H1-based System in Package, you can connect magically to your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac without re-pairing. There's also audio sharing between two Apple headphones and automatic switching between devices.

The AirPods Pro also includes spatial audio, which gives you a theater-like experience that adjusts the sound automatically when you're watching movies and TV shows and your head turns. And with force sensors, you can easily control music and calls and make sound changes on the fly directly from the earbuds.

Finally, with adaptive EQ, the AirPods Pro automatically adjusts the EQ levels based on your music and ear shape. This one-two punch makes the sound more immersive and customized for the user.

For its part, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro offers better water resistance and more battery life between charges than the older AirPods Pro. The former comes in handy if you want to listen to music while in a pool; the latter, because who doesn't want more battery life? Samsung's product also comes in more colors than Apple's and is less expensive. Instead of force sensors, the Galaxy Bugs Pro comes with touch control.

On other important points, the two products are similar. Both feature Bluetooth 5.0, noise cancellation, and a transparency mode. They also both come with a rechargeable battery case that supports wireless charging.

Who should buy which earbuds?

If you're a regular reader of iMore, the odds are high you already own other Apple devices, including iPhone. Assuming this is the case, the AirPods Pro is the choice for you. Siri-integration, which only works with other Apple devices, allows you to control your music, HomeKit-enabled products, and more using your voice.

When the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro gets paired with a Samsung phone, it too gets unlocked features. These extras mostly resolve around Bixby voice integration, including the ability to send a message, search music, control your TV, and more, handsfree.

What about cross-platform?

If the only thing you want to use your earbuds for is music listening, both the AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro will work with non-native devices because of Bluetooth. Just remember, most of the extras won't work, which probably won't make sense for most buyers.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.