Okay, my little Apple and Android users. Let’s all try to get along for the next 15 minutes…Many reviews have already been written about both, the Galaxy Buds and the Apple AirPods 2. So, this review is for folks who are familiar with at least one of these models but can’t bring themselves to commit. Which true wireless buds suit your tastes and listening style? Let’s take a look in this Samsung Galaxy Buds vs Apple AirPods 2 Review.
Samsung Galaxy Buds vs Apple AirPods 2 Review
For me, the Galaxy Buds win hands down in this department. One of the reasons I like wearing in-ear headphones on the go is the sound isolation. And without any silicone tips, the AirPods don’t cut out any outside noise. In contrast, the tips on the Galaxy Buds provide a great seal, reducing a significant amount of ambient sound. The Buds are also much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, while the AirPods start to press on the ear contours after long listening sessions.
Features and Functionality
I should preface this section by mentioning that I’m an iPhone user. As such, I’m missing out on a lot of the cool functionality that the Galaxy Buds offer. Take the Smart Things app, for example. With this app installed, the user can simply open the Buds’ charging case, and the pairing prompt will appear. But after installing this app on my iPhone, I had no such luck. The Galaxy Wearable app is another example. I couldn’t even find this application in the app store on my iPhone. But if you do have this app, you can do cool stuff like locate your Buds, monitor the battery level, control EQ profiles and activate ambient mode. (The AirBuds don’t come with an equalizer).
Similarly, the AirPods offer features to iPhone users that are not available to Android folks. And even though both models offer a similar level of functionality, they go about it in different ways. For instance, the AirPods employ Siri to control a host of functions, such as volume adjustment, track selection and call-making. And functionality on the AirPods themselves are limited to skipping tracks and activating play. In contrast, the Galaxy Buds offer more control from the earbuds, like backwards skip and volume control (if you’re a Galaxy user). And although you can activate Google Assistant and Bixby by holding down the button on the right earpiece, it’s not voice activated like Siri, and it won’t allow you control the same track functions through voice commands.
But one nice feature that both earbud models share is the automatic pausing when you take the buds out of your ears.
The AirPods win bigly in this department. You’ll get a total of 24 hours of usage from the AirPods, while the Buds only offer a total of 13 hours with the charging case. That being said, you can use the Buds for 6 hours at a time, while the AirPods only offer 5 hours of playtime at once.
The Galaxy Buds use a USB-C connection to recharge, while the AirPods employ their annoying Lighting connection.
Both models offer Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility.
The Galaxy Buds are more ideal for sports as they offer IPX2 water resistance, which allows them to withstand sweat and minor splashes. And given that the fit is also more secure, it’s the obvious choice for runners.
As mentioned before, with the Galaxy Wearable app, you can control equalizer settings and activate ambient mode. This functionality is not available on the AirPods.
You’ll get fatter, more present lows from the AirPods. So, if you like a lot of bass punch when listening to pop and hip-hop, you’ll prefer the richer low-end of the AirPods. That being said, the Galaxy Buds present a cleaner and more detailed profile in this range, making them more suitable than the AirPods for classical, jazz, and anything involving acoustic instruments. At the same time, listening to strings, the AirPods displayed a lot more color, adding a grander, more majestic flavor to the instrument. And listening to rock, a the AirPods conveyed a warmer sound. In general, the AirPods are really pleasing to the ears. But if you’re a purist, you’ll certainly prefer the tidier and more transparent and presentation of the Galaxy Buds.
The Galaxy Buds and AirPods 2 share a similar balance in this range. Both earphones display clear and present low-mids with just a touch of emphasis in the upper mids, bringing vocals a bit forward at times. But both models offer nice fullness when listening to big rock and pop-rock choruses. The separation is also good on both models, with both earphones offering tidy layering of instruments even in heavy arrangements. But again, the Galaxy Buds offer more nuance in this range, giving strings more texture and a more realistic tonality overall. The Buds also remain cleaner in the mids than the AirPods. Acoustic guitar strums, for example, sound more delineated or crystalized on the Galaxy Buds than they do on the comparatively lazy AirPods 2. And in general, the Buds produce a more delicate sound.
The Galaxy Buds produce the brighter sound profile, with percussion presenting more sparkle and snappiness than the comparatively blunted highs of the AirPods. But surprisingly, listening to strings in this range, the Galaxy Buds didn’t offer more detail than the AirPods. And the slightly colored flavor of the AirPods actually helped to bring out the subtleties in sound. At the same time, the AirPods present a slightly more forgiving sound signature, making it a more suitable choice for folks with extra sensitivity to high frequencies.
You’ll notice a slightly grander feel from the AirPods. Perhaps it’s the looser fit that adds to the sense of “bigness.” At the same time, there’s a clean precision to the soundstage on the Galaxy Buds that the AirPods can’t match. And with respect to instruments placement, the Galaxy Buds convey a better sense of dimension overall.
In terms of sound, it’s hard to beat the AKG sound quality of the Galaxy Buds. And if you listen to all kinds of genres, it’s certainly the more versatile choice. That being said, if you’re an iPhone user, you won’t be able to take advantage of the host of features the Galaxy Buds offer. And the opposite is true for Android users. So, for best sound, go for the Galaxy Buds. For optimal functionality, stick with your own kind.
You can get both earphone models for the best price here: