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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro

Ooh, this one’s a family affair. It’s Samsung vs Samsung as we pit the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. the Galaxy Buds Pro. In one corner, we’ve got the newcomers, the just-announced Samsung Galaxy Buds 2. At $149, they’re currently the cheapest premium truly wireless earbuds on the market. They’re also the smallest earbuds in Samsung’s line of Galaxy Buds, making them super comfortable. But despite their diminutive size, the Galaxy Buds 2 have impressive active noise cancelling capabilities and strong audio performance.

And in the opposing corner are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. Currently priced at $169, the Buds Pro are the culmination of consumer feedback over the years. The Buds Pro, the first Galaxy Buds to offer ANC also bring serious durability and are comfortable in their own right. Not to mention, they sound great. 

Both sets of earbuds share a robust feature set, wireless charging capability and near-instant pairing. Plus, each has earned 4.5 stars, an Editor's Choice award and a place on our best wireless earbuds page. But you know how it goes in a face-off –– it’s Highlander rules and there can only be one. So which Galaxy Buds will come out on top? Read on to find out.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Battery life (estimated)5 hours5 hours
ANCYes, 3 levels of Ambient Mode2 levels ANC, 4 levels of Ambient Mode
Earbuds (weight, size)0.17 ounces, 0.7 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches0.2 ounces, 1.1 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches
Charging Case (weight, size)1.5 ounces, 1.9 x 1.9 x 1.1 inches1.6 ounces, 2 x 2 x 1.1 inches
Special featuresEarbud fit test, Equalizer, Find My Earbus, Gaming Mode, Spotify, Read notificationsEqualizer, Find My Earbus, Gaming Mode, Double-tap edge, Spotify, Read notifications, 360 audio, Voice Detect

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro pricing and availability

Samsung went for the jugular on pricing with the Galaxy Buds 2 costing only $149. The earbuds are currently on pre-order with an August 27 release date. When the Galaxy Buds Pro first debuted, they cost $199, but have since dropped to $169. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro design

Now this really is a subjective round. I mean, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. On one hand, you have the Buds Pro, which is a homage to the original Galaxy Buds. However, the Buds Pro are a bit more refined as they’re rounder than the OG buds. The earcaps on my review unit are made of a glossy plastic that Samsung dubbed Phantom Black. The rest of the housing is made from matte-black plastic. However, the Buds Pro are also available in Phantom Silver and Phantom Silver. 

Then there’s the Galaxy Buds 2, which are the smallest earbuds in the line (more on that in a few). The entire casing is made of glossy plastic that, with the lavender coloring of my review units, looks like it belongs in a festive Easter basket. They’re a less-polarizing take on the bean-shaped Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. If lavender isn’t your thing, the buds are also available in olive, graphite and white. 

At 0.17 ounces, 0.7 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches, the Galaxy Buds 2 are lighter and smaller than the competition. The Galaxy Buds 2 are 15% smaller and 20% lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro which weigh 0.2 ounces and measure 1.1 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches. 

But that’s not the only place where the Galaxy Buds 2 managed to shave off some weight; the charging case (1.5 ounces, 1.9 x 1.9 x 1.1 inches) is also smaller than the Buds Pro (1.6 ounces, 2 x 2 x 1.1 inches). In terms of actual design, however, it’s like night and day. 

Although both have the square box shape with rounded corners, the Galaxy Buds 2’s case is made of glossy white plastic with a lavender interior, matching the buds. A light-gray Samsung logo is stamped across the top of the lid with a USB-C port for charging in the back. If you take a closer look along the case’s lip, you’ll see a slight hint of color before opening the lid. Meanwhile, the Buds Pro’s case is made entirely of black matte plastic with Samsung and AKG stamped across the top of the lid in black semi-gloss lettering. The charging port is also found in the rear of the case. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro durability

Both sets of earbuds have some durability prowess but one has much more resistance. The Galaxy Buds 2 is rated for IPX2 which is slight water resistance ––  meaning it can only withstand liquid that hits them from an angle of 15 degrees. The Galaxy Buds Pro sport an IPX7 rating which is a much more powerful water resistance. These buds can be submerged in one meter of fresh water for 30 minutes and withstand splashes from any angle. 

Winner:  Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro comfort

Ooh, this is a tough one. Because, as I mentioned in my Galaxy Buds Pro review, I’ve yet to run across a pair of uncomfortable Galaxy Buds. Both pairs of buds fit well in my ear and create a tight seal. But due to the Galaxy Buds 2’s smaller footprint, they are a bit more comfortable. And I definitely appreciate having a fit app to help determine whether I need to switch eartips or just adjust the earbuds’ position.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro app

The free Galaxy Wearables app is the secret sauce in both the Galaxy Buds 2 and the Galaxy Buds Pro. It’s here that you can access and adjust a lot of the features that make these earbuds so cool. In addition to toggling the ANC and Ambient Mode on and off, the app allows you to let the earbuds read out any incoming notifications, adjust the sound balance between your left and right ears, and access Bixby. There’s also Gaming mode, which cuts down on audio latency when playing a game. And of course, there’s the Find My Earbuds feature in case one or both or your buds go missing. 

There are a few features unique to each pair of buds. With the Galaxy Buds Pro, you can select the ANC level (High or Low), block the touch controls, change what the Press-and-hold gesture launches and activate 360 audio. Plus, thanks to Samsung Labs constant tinkering, you can enable Double-tap earbud edge, which lets you adjust the volume with a precise double tap to the edge of the left and right earbud. 

A feature unique to the Galaxy Buds 2 is the Ear Fit Test. Instead of giving us a separate way to control the volume, you have the option of changing the press-and-hold functionality. You have a choice using the gestures to switch between ANC and Ambient Mode, launch Spotify or adjust the volume. It would have been nice if Samsung could have found a way to add the volume functionality as a separate touch control.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro active noise cancellation

When it comes to active noise cancellation, it seems that smaller is better. As I watched Judge Mathis on my LG TV, the Galaxy Buds 2 blocked out the judge doling out his brand of Detroit justice with the television’s volume set to 13. The Galaxy Buds Pro achieved complete silence with the volume set to 10. 

And in the case of Ambient Mode, it seems that there are indeed levels to this with the Buds 2 rocking three and the Pros sporting four. I have to say that I appreciate the extra setting from the Buds Pro. When I’m on the subway, there are definitely levels to how deeply I want to eavesdrop on people’s conversations. 

On the Galaxy Buds 2, Low is just a small step up from having the ANC off, while Medium lets me hear bits and pieces of two friends dishing the details of a date gone bad. High was the closest I got to hearing the world like I didn’t have anything in my ears and hearing how said date kept referring to himself as an alpha male. 

Similar to the new earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Pro low setting only lets me hear unintelligible murmuring on the train. The Medium setting wasn’t much different, while High matched the Galaxy Buds 2’s High option. The Extra High setting allowed more ambient noise into the soundscape than the Buds 2, allowing me to be noisy under the cover of wearing earbuds. 

Winner: Draw

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro audio performance

For the audio test, I listened to both pairs of earbuds with the equalizer on Normal. And to ensure I was listening to the best quality tracks possible, I queued up Tidal and listened to a series of tracks labeled Master a.k.a. Master-Quality that’s streamed at 96 kHz/24 bit. I started with Normani’s “Wild Side” and my ears were immediately buffeted with dank lows punctuated by sparse deep synths and crisp highs. The singer’s coquettish vocal did what it was supposed to by seducing my ear. The bass was a little thick which hid a few of the finer details. 

Something I noticed immediately is that the Galaxy Buds Pro are nowhere near as bass-forward as the Buds 2. The thick bass on the Buds 2 muffled a few things I heard clearly on the Buds Pro, such as the constant tinkling of bells in the background. The backup singers also sounded clearer on the Buds Pro. 

Next, I listened to Cassandra Wilson’s cover of Strange Fruit, where I could hear the twangs of the bass with the mournful wail of a trumpet on the Galaxy Buds 2. Wilson’s melancholy deep alto was clear and warm. However, the same track on the Galaxy Buds Pro sounded more refined. I clearly heard the hand striking the bass and the semi-discordant notes and much more body. 

For my last song, I chose Baby Got Back Talk’s “Historically White College.” Unfortunately, Tidal doesn’t have the Master version of the track so I had to go with HiFi. The Galaxy Buds 2 did a great job with the riffs of the electric guitar and I heard every strike of the cymbals; the presentation was full and dynamic with a generous soundstage. But again, when I heard the same track on the Galaxy Buds Pro, the song delivered more detail, although the guitars got a wee bit screechy. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro battery life 

Samsung has the Galaxy Buds 2 rated for five hours with ANC enabled and 7.5 hours with the feature disabled. The Galaxy Buds Pro are also rated for an estimated 5 hours that turns into 8 hours with the ANC off. Both instances have an estimated 3.5 hours of talk time. Combined with the charging case and its additional charges, that total runtime turns into 20 and 29 hours, respectively, on the Galaxy Buds 2 and 18 hours and 28 hours on the Galaxy Buds Pro. 

During my testing, I squeezed 4 hours and 52 minutes out of the Galaxy Buds 2 with the ANC enabled while the Galaxy Buds Pro lasted 4:48. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Pricing and availability98
Active noise cancellation98
Audio performance89
Battery life98

Bottom line

In the battle of Samsung Galaxy Buds, the Galaxy Buds 2 were the winners with a decisive 5-to-3 victory. Not only are the earbuds less expensive, but they’re more stylish and comfortable, and they have better battery life in both estimated and real case usage. They’re the culmination of the lesson learned from the previous four generations of earbuds. 

However, don’t write the Galaxy Buds Pro off just yet. They’re currently only $20 more expensive than the Galaxy Buds 2 and offer better durability, more app features and better audio quality. And although the Buds 2 offer better active noise cancellation, the Buds Pro are the clear winners when it comes to Ambient Mode. 

Both earbuds are great choices for Samsung aficionados as each delivers near-instantaneous pairing, a host of cool features and great audio performance. If you’re looking for a hardier earbud, go with the Galaxy Buds Pro, but if you want a jack-of-all-trades, opt for the Galaxy Buds 2. You can’t lose with either choice. 

Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: which should you buy?

Samsung recently unveiled its latest wireless earbuds – the Galaxy Buds 2. They feature the tech giant's latest noise-cancelling technology and are said to be Samsung's 'lightest' wireless in-ears yet. But how do they compare to Samsung's noise-cancelling Galaxy Buds Pro?

Samsung has launched a clutch of wireless in-ears over the last couple of years but, going forward, its headphone lineup will consist of the new Galaxy Buds 2, the 2020-launched Galaxy Buds Live and the 2021-launched Galaxy Buds Pro. The Galaxy Buds+ are effectively being discontinued.

Right, back to the task in hand. Let's compare the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 with the Galaxy Buds Pro and see which – if either – is worth your hard-earned.

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

  • Buds 2 are smaller and lighter, making them better for smaller ears
  • Buds Pro are priced higher, but can be had cheaper than the Buds 2 on a deal
  • Buds Pro have more advanced noise cancellation features
  • Buds 2 have two hours more battery life
  • Buds Pro lack sparkle, but sound less harsh than the Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: price

The Galaxy Buds Pro cost £219 ($199, AU$299), but shop around and you should be able to get a discount.

The newer Galaxy Buds 2 are noticeably cheaper than the Buds Pro. They're priced from £139 ($150, AU$219), which is the same launch price as the original 2019 Samsung Galaxy Buds.

However, at time of writing, the Buds Pro are actually available for less money than the Buds 2. We've listed today's cheapest Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds 2 deals below.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: design

At just 5g per bud, the Galaxy Buds 2 are Samsung's smallest and lightest wireless earbuds to date. Although the outside of the square charging case is white, the buds themselves and the inside of the case come in a choice of four colours: graphite, white, olive or lavender.

They're less bulbous on the underside than the Buds Pro, making them a better fit for smaller ears. And you can use the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone to conduct an earbud fit test – this recognises that we have placed the buds in our ears, sends a few tones into our shell-likes, and then decides whether the eartips we have selected from a choice of three has provided a good fit. For us, the pre-fitted medium pair offers a good seal and, although they aren’t the most secure set of earbuds we’ve ever worn (we wouldn’t wear them for our tougher workouts), they are comfortable and light over the course of our listening.

The (slightly) older Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro weigh in at 6.3g each and are a tad chunkier. They also come in some natty colours: Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver and Phantom Black.

Samsung supplies three pairs of silicone eartips with the Galaxy Buds Pro. As we noted in our review, "It's quite easy to get the earbuds positioned comfortably – although, perhaps because of their physical size, there’s a little more movement in the buds than is ideal."

Both models feature Samsung's Auto Switch feature, which lets the earbuds simultaneously connect to multiple Galaxy devices and automatically switch to the one you’re using. Handy if you want to go from streaming music on your Galaxy Tab to picking up a call on your Samsung Galaxy S21.

The Buds Pro are rated IPX7, which means they can be submerged in up to 1m of water for at least half an hour. The Buds 2 can't match that performance – they're rated IPX2, meaning they're only splashproof.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: noise-cancelling

The Buds Pro feature two Active Noise Cancelling levels, low and high, and four Ambient Sound settings. 'High' is designed for noise-polluted areas such as busy city streets, while 'Low' is better for nixing rumbling sounds, such as the hum of an aeroplane engine. 

Samsung claims that the Buds Pro remove "99 percent of noise" at 118Hz. That might sound impressive on paper, but under review, we felt that the noise-cancelling was underwhelming. 

That's partly because competition among the best noise-cancelling headphones is fierce, with the Apple AirPods Pro and the five-star Sony WF-1000XM4 leading the way on cancellation.

The Buds 2's active noise cancellation promises to nix external noise by up to 98 per cent. This is joined by an ‘enhanced’ Ambient Sound mode, plus three microphones per earbud – one inner with voice pickup unit for clear calls, two external beamforming mics – to boast a 'significantly reduced latency'.

You can access these noise profiles using the on-device controls, but it's a little hit and miss, so you may well find yourself reaching for your phone instead. The noise cancellation and Ambient Sound are as good as we would expect for the price, though there are no degrees of ANC, just on or off. 

If you're wondering why the Buds Pro are so much more expensive, it's because they have Intelligent ANC and Dolby Head Tracking.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: battery life

The Galaxy Buds 2 might be cheaper than the Galaxy Buds Pro, but they come out top when you compare battery life.

The Buds 2 claim five hours per charge with noise cancelling switched on, plus an additional 15 hours provided by the USB-C charging case (pictured above). Not bad, although the Apple AirPods Pro top that with 23.5 hours total battery life. 

The Galaxy Buds Pro also last five hours per charge, but their charging case supplies an extra 13 hours' worth of juice. Total battery life? 18 hours – a solid two hours less than the new Galaxy Buds 2. 

Both of these in-ears support Qi wireless charging. Five minutes on a standard 5A pad should return around one hour of playback.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: sound quality

The Galaxy Buds Pro are tonally-balanced and provide plenty of detail through the midrange. You can expect nice harmonic separation and a civilised level of bass, too. Overall the Buds sound inoffensive but lack sparkle. It's a performance that falls short of class-leaders.

The Buds 2 aren't any better, we're afraid. While they pack a good dollop of detail and healthy bass kick, the timing needs work. Theirs is an energetic performance, but in all the excitement there's a harshness through the treble that makes the midrange sound decidedly flat. Disappointing.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: verdict

This is a tricky one. The Buds Pro are (for the most part) better-specced than the Buds 2: they have better water-resistance and more advanced audio features, but the Buds 2 are lighter, smaller and offer better battery life. Both pairs pair just as seamlessly with a Galaxy smartphone, so there's nothing between them there.

It could all come down to price. The Buds Pro are supposedly pricier than the Buds 2, but with deals aplenty, you can actually find them cheaper than their newer stablemates. Which could swing it in their favour.


More wireless wonders: best wireless earbuds

These are the best headphones of all styles and prices

Looking for a bargain? Check out the best cheap headphone deals

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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: Which wireless earbuds are better?

This Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro face-off compares the brand’s best noise-cancelling earbuds, helping you decide which pair best suits your needs and budget.

New to the scene, the Galaxy Buds 2 retains most of the series’ hallmarks, including an ergonomic design, strong sound, and a compact charging case. Samsung also added active noise cancellation and adjustable ambient listening, two features you won’t find on many $150 wireless earbuds.

The Galaxy Buds Pro boasts many of the same traits as its lower-priced sibling, along with some notable upgrades. Sound is elevated with spatial audio, extra features in the Galaxy Wearable extend functionality, and sleeker aesthetics make these Samsung’s most stylish and functional buds to date.   

These are two legitimate audio options for Galaxy smartphone owners, but only one can claim the title of Samsung’s best wireless ANC earbuds. Which one is it? Our Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Galaxy Buds Pro analysis breaks down the winner.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Specs compared

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Original Price$149$199
Wireless Charging CaseYesYes
ChipNot statedBroadcom BCM43015
Battery Life (Rated)5 hours with ANC on (20 hours with charging case), 7.5 hours with ANC off (29 hours with charging case)5 hours with ANC on (18 hours with charging case), 8 hours with ANC off (28 hours with charging case)
Water ResistanceIPX2IPX7
Case Size1.9 x 2.0 x 1.09 inches2 x 2 x 1.1 inches
Case WeightNot stated1.6 ounces
Special featuresActive noise cancellation, adjustable transparency mode, Gaming Mode, Galaxy Watch 4 support, Wireless PowerShare supportAdjustable active noise cancellation, transparency mode, spatial audio, Gaming Mode, Voice Detect, SmartThings Find compatibility, Wireless Power Share

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Price

The Galaxy Buds 2 are listed at $149, the most accessible in the Buds line-up. While the Galaxy Buds Pro launched at $199, we’ve seen some retailers drop the price down to as low as $150. Samsung has them for $169 at the time of publishing, while Best Buy is selling the buds refurbished for $99.

For all of the latest wireless earbuds sales, be sure to bookmark our best headphones deals page.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Design

In terms of build quality, the Galaxy Buds Pro is superior. Samsung gave its flagship noise-cancellers a fancy oval-shaped exterior composed of what feels like composite plastic and aluminum. The combination is highly durable and chic. We love that the buds come with IPX7 water resistance, one of the highest IPX ratings. Color options are limited to Black, Violet, and Silver, but each one looks striking, thanks to shine factor produced by the aluminum.

Think of the Galaxy Buds 2 as a stripped-down version of the Galaxy Buds Pro. According to Samsung, its latest creation is made from Post-Consumer Materials (PCM). We’re still unsure of what exactly that means, but it’s evident that the frame is constructed of sturdy plastic. These buds will survive drops to the concrete, though the weaker IPX2 rating means it can only sustain small amounts of water at a 15-degree angle. At least Samsung gave these buds more enticing colors: Graphite, Lavender, Olive, and White.

The charging cases are practically identical, with the Galaxy Buds 2 version being bigger by a hair. Nonetheless, each one is lightweight, super-compact, and easily transportable by hand or in any carry-on bag. We like how the strong magnets securely shut the lid and keep the buds locked into their charging ports.

Comfort and fit are two areas where the Galaxy Buds 2 excel. Inserting the buds into your ears is a seamless task, plus the tips create a tight seal for proper stability. Wearing the buds for several hours throughout the day wasn’t fatiguing. Samsung even developed an Earbud Fit Test for this model to analyze and determine the best possible fit, though the feature doesn’t work as well as the AirPods Pro’s Ear Tip Fit Test.

The Galaxy Buds Pro is not a pleasant wear and causes soreness around the concha the longer you keep the buds in your ears. Fit is also a little loose.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Controls

Both models come with a full suite of media functions, including playback, call management, volume, listening mode activation, digital assistance, and instant access to Spotify. During testing, the Galaxy Buds 2 demonstrated better input accuracy, which, alone, earns it a win in this round. Double- and triple-tap commands don’t always register on the Galaxy Buds Pro, requiring two or three extra attempts to enable functions.

The Galaxy Buds 2 also allows you to assign all multi-tap and touch-and-hold gestures. You can only customize the latter on the Galaxy Buds Pro. Something else the Galaxy Buds 2 does is connect with the Galaxy Watch 4 to let you control ANC from your wrist.

Bixby voice activation gives you voice commands on demand by speaking out the activation phrase (“Hi Bixby”) and verbalizing a task. Siri and Google Assistant can be manually enabled on the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro, but not their respective voice activation. The mic array on each model demonstrates great speech recognition, while all three AI bots register and respond to inquiries quickly.

On-ear detection comes as part of both packages as well. It just doesn’t work well. You must remove both earbuds to auto-pause, and there is no auto-play when placing the buds back on your ears. Furthermore, the Galaxy Buds 2 experiences a 2-second delay when initiating the action, while the feature barely works on the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Sound quality

Superb sound is what you get from these two offerings. An equalizer with six well-engineered presets, powerful drivers, and Samsung’s Scalable Codec support (only available on Galaxy phones) that gives music a hi-res boost culminates in some of the best audio in the category. However, the Galaxy Buds Pro seems to carry stronger horsepower underneath its hood and has one special feature the Galaxy Buds 2 doesn’t:360 Audio.

The wider soundstage can be found on the Galaxy Buds Pro, which has two-way speakers that consist of an 11mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter. Deep bass, crisp mids, and detailed highs are to be expected. These buds complement every music genre and do a fantastic job of upscaling lo-fi recordings and poor conversions of ripped YouTube files. 360 Audio is the cherry on top, employing Dolby Head Tracking to establish “multi-dimensional sound” and achieve greater audio depth when watching video content.

Details are scarce on the Galaxy Buds 2’s two-way drivers. Our ears tell us Samsung likely downgraded the woofer and tweeter to meet the lower price point. In any case, these buds are still sonically pleasing, pumping out clean and vibrant sound. Listening on a Galaxy smartphone warrants you the same upscale performance as the Galaxy Buds Pro. We just wish Samsung added spatial audio to the mix.

Tap deeper into the app to discover the Gaming Mode in the Labs section. Enabling it supposedly decreases latency for synchronized gaming sound. Unless you have a very detailed ear, you might not hear the differences when the feature is turned on or off. We noticed some improvement in synchronization on certain games, but not all.

Samsung has another hearing enhancement feature in the Galaxy Wearable app to adjust channel output. It’s basically a sound balance slider that increases sound on the left or right bud, whichever the listener prefers. You can also leave it in the middle for equal distribution. Oddly, the feature is placed in a different section for each model: Accessibility on the Galaxy Buds 2 and Advanced -> Hearing Enhancements on the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Active noise cancellation

Samsung makes similar noise-cancelling claims for both models. Apparently, the Galaxy Buds Pro comes with the “most intelligent ANC capabilities of any true wireless earbuds” and can supposedly reduce 99% of background noise, while the Galaxy Buds 2 “cuts external background noise by up to 98%.” Based on our testing, those percentages are wrong. At best, these two products can block out close to 85% of ambient sound, and the Galaxy Buds Pro’s ANC is preferable.

You’ll be able to silence common household noises (e.g., AC units, loud TVs), along with many outdoor distractions like certain landscaping tools (e.g., lawnmowers, electric hedge trimmers) and whisking vehicles when using either set of buds. However, the Galaxy Buds Pro comes with two ANC levels – Low and High – each developed for different environments and frequency ranges. High should be your default all the time since it minimizes noise at a greater level. Just don’t expect it to cancel out everything; baby cries and sirens will be heard.

It’s impressive to see how well the Galaxy Buds 2 deals with low-frequency noises like engine rumble and washing-machine tumbling. You can also assign ANC to one earbud for less discomfort via Accessibility. Like its competitor, high-frequency noises are unavoidable and creep onto the soundscape.

Adjustable ambient listening is another feature bestowed onto the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro. As for which has the elite version, that would be the Galaxy Buds Pro, which comes with four levels (Low, Medium, High, and Extra High) versus the Galaxy Buds 2’s three levels (Low, Medium, and High). This makes all the difference because Extra High provides the best awareness and makes ambient noises sound more distinctive.

The Galaxy Buds Pro also has its own control option called Voice Detect that decreases the sound of what you’re listening to and increases audio passthrough volume to hear conversations more clearly without taking off the buds.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Special features and apps

Most features are the same on these two models and can be found in the Galaxy Wearable app. The Equalizer remains the most popular and has six selectable presets: Normal (the default), Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost. Noise Controls is accessible right on the home screen to toggle between ANC and Ambient Sound, along with battery level indicators, control customization, Bixby wake-up, Gaming Mode, Read Notifications Aloud, and the Find My Earbuds function.

You’ll find that some features are reserved for one model. Regarding the Galaxy Buds Pro, we already touched on spatial audio and Voice Detect, but there is one more we haven’t mentioned: SmartThings Find. This is a service available through the SmartThings app to show the GPS location of any lost or stolen earbuds. With the Galaxy Buds 2, you’re looking at features we previously discussed, including the extensive Touch Controls setting, Earbud Fit Test, and ANC activation on one bud.

Let’s go outside of the app and talk connectivity. It is equally excellent, meaning you’ll instantly pair to devices without a hitch, especially Galaxy smartphones. Wireless range is the same at 40 feet, and the auto-connect capabilities are some of the strongest in the category. 

Power Share returns, too. This is Samsung’s unique wireless charging technology that will power up either set of buds when placing their respective charging case on the back of a compatible Galaxy smartphone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Call quality

Neither of these make our list of the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls. But if you’re in a pinch and need to call someone, the Galaxy Buds Pro is the better option. Samsung’s mic array and new Voice Pickup Unit (VPU) don’t work as well as advertised, often struggling to pick up vocals in loud and windy environments. Indoors is where you’ll get feasible results with the buds producing better clarity in quiet settings, especially on video calls.

Samsung attempted to improve on this with the Galaxy Buds 2 and did more harm in the process. The “new, machine learning-based solution” they created that filters out background noises for clearer calls is flawed. Lots of ambient noise and wind creep onto calls, plus there are issues with muffling whether inside or outside.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Battery life

Battery life is disappointing on these models. The Galaxy Buds Pro has slightly better playtimes at 5 hours with ANC on and 8 hours with ANC off, while the Galaxy Buds 2 holds 30 minutes less in either scenario. We did find battery optimization more effective on the Galaxy Buds 2, squeezing every bit of juice out for optimal use.

The charging cases come with similar playtimes, though you’ll be surprised to hear which model holds more juice. That would be the Galaxy Buds 2, which has a case that possesses anywhere between 20 to 29 hours, depending how you use the buds. The Galaxy Buds Pro case can do between 18 to 28 hours.

There is no difference in quick charging; a 5-minute charge equates to 60 minutes of use. In addition, users can wirelessly charge either model via any qi-based wireless charger or Power Share.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Verdict

The Galaxy Buds Pro remains Samsung’s best pair of wireless earbuds. Spending extra on stronger audio, ANC and special features is worth every penny. The luxury design is more appealing and durable as well. You’re going to deal with middling battery life no matter which buds you choose, so why not go for the ones that offer the more complete package? Full price or discounted, brand new or refurbished, consumers are getting a fantastic deal either way.

Samsung Galaxy BudsSamsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Price and value (5)44
Design (15)1212
Controls (10)76
Audio quality (20)1718
Active noise cancellation(20)1516
Special features and apps (15)1113
Call quality (5)23
Battery life (10)66
Total score (100)7478

We salute Samsung for stuffing most of its top-performing features into the Galaxy Buds 2 and selling it at such an attainable price. Music sounds great, external sounds are blocked out at an efficient level, and features like Accessibility and Gaming Mode are fun to explore when you want to personalize the listening experience. But as much of a bargain as these buds are, the downgraded call quality, less premium design and lack of spatial audio will have you leaning towards the Galaxy Buds Pro, especially if you can score them on sale.

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.

Galaxy Buds Pro vs Live vs Plus - Ultimate Comparison!

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

We highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus true wireless earbuds to all varieties of music lovers. Does the release of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro mean it’s time for the Galaxy Buds Plus to hang up its boots? The Galaxy Buds Pro have active noise cancelling (ANC), which was the main feature missing from the Galaxy Buds Plus. Let’s cover all the major differences and similarities between these two Samsung buds to see which is best for you.

Editor’s note: this versus was updated on September 24, 2021, to mention the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Fit and hardware

You can charge the case via Wireless PowerShare or with a Qi-certified power mat.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Galaxy Buds Pro feature similar designs. Both sets of earbuds are rounded and stem-free with replaceable silicone ear tips. The Galaxy Buds Plus earbuds have removable silicone wings that secure them in your ears. The buds are very lightweight and have an IPX2 rating, making them fine for exercise. While you can’t dunk these in a pool, they should withstand your sweat.

Related: What makes a good set of in-ears?

The Galaxy Buds Pro are more durable and have an IPX7 rating. These earbuds also have wings that secure them to your ears, but they’re built into the earbud housing’s shape, rather than as additional silicone pieces. The Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds are similarly lightweight, and the carrying case is just a tad heavier than the Galaxy Buds Plus case.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Bluetooth and software

The Galaxy Wearable app is pretty neatly laid out, and it’s responsive.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro use Bluetooth 5.0 and support SBC, AAC, and the Samsung Scalable Codec. The Samsung Scalable Codec constantly adjusts the data transfer rate between the ‘buds and your device, which helps keep audio quality and connection stability at its best. If you have a lot of Samsung Galaxy devices connected to either pair of earbuds, you can seamlessly switch between source devices based on what’s playing audio, as long they’re all associated with the same Samsung account.

Learn more: Understanding Bluetooth codecs

Both pairs of earbuds feature touch controls, and you can remap the controls in the Galaxy Wearable app. Samsung offers you a host of shortcuts like the ability to access Spotify (Android only), adjust the volume, access your smart assistant, and more. For the Galaxy Buds Pro you can also toggle ANC levels and enable Samsung 360 Audio, which mimics the effects of surround sound, though it is only available when your earbuds are paired to a Samsung Galaxy device and watching content compatible with Dolby Atmos. The Samsung Galaxy Buds iOS app supports the Galaxy Buds Plus, but not the Galaxy Buds Pro, so iPhone users just won’t have access to any of the Galaxy Buds Pro’s additional features. These apps also allow you to toggle ambient sound mode, select from EQ presets, download firmware updates, and locate your earbuds if they’re lost in your house.

The iOS Galaxy Buds app doesn't support the Galaxy Buds Pro, though this may change with an app update.

You can integrate the Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Pro into your smart home through the Samsung SmartThings app on Android. Through this integration, you can use your earbuds to control things in your home through your smart assistant of choice. If you use Bixby as your smart assistant, you can even access it hands-free. You can also use SmartThings Find to locate either set of earbuds.

Which pair of earbuds has better battery life?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus have a crazy long battery life.

If we’re talking about battery life, one of the most exemplary pairs of true wireless earbuds is the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. These buds last about 11 hours, 30 minutes on a single charge and three minutes in the case affords 60 minutes of listening time. The charging case only holds one extra charge cycle but when the battery life is this long, that’s not such a bad deal.

You might like: Prevent pain and infection when wearing earbuds

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are nowhere near as exceptional when it comes to battery life. They last about 5 hours on a single charge with ANC on, and the charging case holds roughly 13 additional hours of charge. If you use these buds with ANC disabled, their battery life will be longer. The case fast charges the buds, and when you place them inside for five minutes, you get 60 minutes of playtime.

Both cases charge via USB-C, wireless charging, and support Wireless PowerShare, which lets you charge the case by placing it on a compatible Samsung Galaxy device.

How good is the Galaxy Buds Pro’s noise cancelling?

Each Galaxy Buds Pro earbud houses a slew of sensors for 360 audio, automatic ear detection, and more.

The Galaxy Buds Pro have active noise cancelling, and it works better than most active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds. In the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app (Android only), you can toggle the ANC between a low and a high setting. The high setting effectively cancels out low-frequency noises such as engine rumbles or the sound of a dishwasher. The passive isolation on these earbuds is also quite good, making them excellent commute partners.

With ANC on the highest setting, the Galaxy Buds Pro can render low, droning sounds three times quieter than they’d sound otherwise.
Passive isolation performance is unchanged from the Samsung Galaxy Buds.

Unlike the Pro, the Galaxy Buds Plus don’t have active noise cancelling, but the passive isolation effectively attenuates high-frequency, incidental noises (higher than 1kHz) like the sounds of a busy public space. While the Galaxy Buds Plus lack ANC, they have an ambient sound mode which lets you remain aware of your surroundings. This can help you stay safe if you’re using the Buds Plus to exercise in public; it’s also available for the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Sound quality

Standalone battery life lasts just shy of 12 hours.

AKG tuned the drivers in both the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, and sound quality is very good with either headset for the price. Neither pair of earbuds boasts a reference-like frequency response, but that’s okay: these are both billed as everyday earbuds.

That being said, the Galaxy Buds Pro frequency response (cyan) barely deviates from our house curve (pink). The earphones somewhat amplify low-midrange notes, making it easier to you to hear vocals. You can use the Galaxy Wearable app to cycle through a handful of EQ presets (Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost).

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (cyan) closely follows our house curve (pink), with slightly more bass and low-midrange emphasis.
The cyan line indicates how much the Galaxy Buds Pro’s frequency response deviates what we posit as the platonic ideal (red dotted line).
AKG tuned the Galaxy Buds Plus drivers, resulting in clear audio with just a touch of amplification in the low-end.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus frequency response slightly differs from the Galaxy Buds Pro, and the 1kHz bump makes it easier for you to perceive harmonic detail. You can also pick from a variety of EQ presets for the Galaxy Buds Plus in the mobile app (Android and iOS).

Note: Sound quality depends heavily on how well the earbuds seal to your ears and isolate outside noise, both of which are only possible if you’re wearing the right size ear tips. Make sure you try out all the included ear tip options before settling on the right one for you.

Are the Galaxy Buds Plus or Galaxy Buds Pro better for phone calls?

These fit pretty securely, provided you don’t jostle things too much.

All in all, the microphones in the Galaxy Buds Plus sound very similar to the microphones in the Galaxy Buds Pro. Both earbuds’ mics do a pretty good job at cancelling out environmental noise, but you probably still wouldn’t want to take any business calls with them in a crowded area.

Individuals with deeper voices may find that the Galaxy Buds Plus quiets their voices a bit, but not nearly as much as some other true wireless earbud microphones we’ve seen. The Buds Pro don’t have this issue, and there’s actually a small boost in the bass frequency response. Listen to and rate our samples below!

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus microphone demo:

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro microphone demo:

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Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus or Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?

The Galaxy Buds Pro and Buds Plus are quite similar headsets, which makes sense, since they’re both from Samsung. The major differences you should keep in mind are that the Buds Pro offer ANC and the Buds Plus rely completely on passive isolation. As a consequence of ANC’s power-hungry nature, the Buds Pro have a much shorter battery life than the Buds Plus. If you’re someone who wants the option to listen for an entire work day without pause, the Galaxy Buds Plus are the marathon buds for you.

All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Both of these true wireless earbuds from Samsung have very good sound quality, and you can adjust it in the Galaxy Wearable app. They also both have decent microphone systems and sport the same Bluetooth firmware, though the Buds Pro support 360 Audio. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have an IPX7 rating whereas the Buds Plus just have an IPX2 rating. The Buds Plus have wing tips to help them stay put in your ears, but if you’re an athlete who trains rigorously and wants a pair of versatile earbuds that you know can endure everything you throw at them, the Galaxy Buds Pro is the better investment.

All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Should I get the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 instead?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is Samsung’s latest release of true wireless earbuds, and it is priced right in the middle of the Buds Plus and Buds Pro. Like the Buds Pro, it has active noise cancelling and roughly a 5 hour battery life. We haven’t yet had a chance to test the ANC performance of the Buds 2, but it would be reasonable to assume that it is a bit less powerful than that of the Buds Pro, hence the price difference.

Unlike any of the Galaxy Buds before it, the Buds 2 includes an ear tip fit test and uses Bluetooth 5.2. It doesn’t have wing tips like the Buds Pro does, and has an IPX2 rating rather than the Buds Pro’s IPX7 rating. It’s also missing the Samsung 360 Audio that the Galaxy Buds Pro offers. The new Buds 2 features automatic ear detection and ambient sound mode. If you download the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app you’ll get a selection of EQ presets too.

Next: Apple AirPods Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro


Buds buds galaxy pro vs

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Practical Comparison - Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Galaxy Buds Pro

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