Tried and true
Not surprisingly, this is the choice for Apple device owners. With an H1 chip and Siri-integration, it's all here for you to enjoy with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. It's the best true wireless earbuds of the year.
- Most iOS-friendly
- Force sensors
- "Hey Siri"
- Adaptive EQ
- More expensive
- Slightly worse battery
- Less water resistance
Newest on the market
The newer product has a lot going for it, starting with the price. Still, its appeal to Apple device owners is limited. Some of its hottest features only work with Samsung phones.
- More hours between charges
- Better water resistance
- Three color choices
- Better price
- Inferior voice experience
- Best features left to Samsung users only
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||AirPods Pro||Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro|
|Release date||October 2019||January 2021|
|Battery life||4.5 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
|Water-resistance||IPX4 (can withstand water and sweat)||IPX7 (can withstand sweat and submersion up to 1 meter)|
|Case size||2.39x1.78x0.85 inches||1.96x1.97x1.09 inches|
|Case weight||1.61 ounces||1.58 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.
A perfect Apple accessory that offers a great listening experience — especially when you pair it with another Apple device.
For Samsung users
Apple users have the AirPods Pro, and now Samsung owners have these earbuds. Cross-platforming, while possible, doesn't come recommended.
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.
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