Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs.  Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro |  Digital trends

Apple AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro | Digital trends

The recently released second generation Apple AirPods Pro is a huge step forward from the first generation AirPods Pro, offering improved noise cancellation, better sound quality, battery and personalized listening, among other improvements. But are these new features good enough to give other headphones a run for their money?

To find out, we’ll take a look at the biggest differences between the AirPods Pro 2 and its popular rival, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Both are similarly priced and share several features, making them look like tough competitors. But they are? We’ll find out.

While you’re here, also check out our Apple AirPods Pro vs. Sony WF-1000XM4.

Design, comfort and fit

Senior contributor Simon Cohen tests how the AirPods Pro 2 fit. Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

If you like to show off your headphones, you’ll enjoy the color options you get with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. You can choose from three shades: Graphite (black), white and Bora Purple. The purple ones definitely stand out and look unique considering most headphones are just black and white. You don’t really have any color options with the AirPods Pro 2 or any AirPods — just the iconic white. On the other hand, you can customize the AirPods Pro 2 case. You can decorate it with emoticons, initials or numbers, making it completely unique to you. This point, in our opinion, is a certain way of washing.

In terms of comfort and fit, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are excellent, and in our review of them, Phil Nickinson gave a nod to Apple’s first-generation AirPods Pro, calling them “smaller and less obtrusive” and offering a more snug fit. The buds won’t slip or fall off during a sweaty workout, making them ideal for active users. AirPods Pro 2 are unchanged from the original model, except for the addition of an extra small ear tip. That said, some people aren’t into the design of the stem, and while it’s still incredibly comfortable, we’ll give it to the Galaxy Guds 2 Pro by the nose (or ear, as it were).

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Management

Touch controls on AirPods Pro 2.
Apple

The biggest complaint about the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro comes from the touch controls. They can be a little too sensitive and oddly placed on a much smaller surface, so every time you try to adjust the headphones, you risk hitting pause by mistake. This can get frustrating very quickly.

That’s not a problem with the AirPods Pro 2, which introduced a new touch control to adjust the volume by simply sliding your thumb up or down the stem. This allows you to conveniently move the headphones as many times as you like without having to worry about accidental pauses. The easy-to-use play/pause, call/answer and skip/back controls that were so popular on the first generation AirPods Pro are here in the second generation, as is customization, adding credibility to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality .

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Sound quality

At $200 and up, you’re getting reasonably great-sounding headphones no matter which one you choose. According to our reviews, the AirPods Pro 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro both offer the required level of amazing bass and clean mids and highs that will make your music and podcasts sound great.

With the AirPods Pro 2, Apple has upgraded the previous generation with new low-distortion drivers and high-dynamic-range amplifiers for richer, clearer sound, which our reviewer confirms. But Apple has competition when it comes to a great, immersive surround sound feature known as head-tracking surround sound. Add to that Personalized Spatial Audio, a new iOS 16 feature that adapts 3D spatial audio to the shape of your ear, and we’re talking about another level here.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also offer their version of surround sound and head tracking to give you what the company calls Intelligent 360 Audio, but we weren’t that impressed in our review, as Phil Nickinson said: “Everything sounds too processed compared to the AirPods Pro (first generation).

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Noise reduction and transparency

AirPods Pro 2 specs infographic.

AirPods Pro 2 come with a more powerful H2 chip, which Apple says offers “2x more active noise cancellation” to better block out the outside sounds of everyday life. Like the first-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Pro 2 do this very, very well — almost as good as the famous Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. But perhaps it shines most with its transparency mode (the ability to adjust how much outside sound you want to hear) and a new feature for the second-generation model that Apple calls Adaptive Transparency, in which the headphones constantly monitor the outside environment. a world for really loud, disruptive sounds that try to filter down to safer, more acceptable levels. This feature fully impressed us in our review and gave the AirPods Pro 2 an edge over the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s noise cancellation works pretty well for most people and is an improvement over its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. In our Buds 2 Pro review, the ANC mode and transparency were good, but nothing to write home about. This is nonsense.

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Battery life

Apple AirPods Pro 2 charging case hung on a loop on a cord.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

If you spend a lot of time with your headphones, you’ll probably want to buy headphones with good battery life for long flights, commutes, or periods of binge-watching Netflix. Neither the first-generation AirPods Pro nor the Samsung Galaxy Buds were the best in the long-run offering, but the AirPods Pro 2 do better than the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. AirPods Pro 2 offers six hours of listening time on a single charge and up to 30 hours with the charging case. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro lag behind, offering five hours of listening time on a single charge and another 18 hours in the charging case, for a total of 23 hours. It’s not bad, but the AirPods Pro 2 still win.

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Cases

Apple AirPods Pro 2 inside charging case, near iPhone 14.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Headphone cases may seem unimportant, but they play a huge role in improving the overall user experience. Take the AirPods Pro 2 case for example. One of the best additions to the new AirPods Pro is the Find My feature. Now you can track your headphones if they get lost. The case has a speaker that emits a loud beep when searching, making it easy to find. The speaker also signals when the battery is low and the case needs charging. You also get a lanyard loop (though without the actual lanyard), but you can buy a bundle for less than $10.

Samsung’s buds don’t offer any of these fancy features, so when you compare them, Apple has a clear advantage.

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Water resistance

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Both AirPods Pro 2 and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are waterproof. The only difference? The Galaxy headphones are IPX7 rated, while the AirPods are IPX4 rated. This means that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are submersible, but the AirPods are not. Another difference is that the AirPods Pro 2 case is also waterproof with an IPX4 rating, so there is even more safety against accidental spills. But then again, it won’t withstand a fall in the pool.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Price

Both earphones are similarly priced, but the AirPods Pro 2 are slightly more expensive at $249, while the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are available for $230. The $19 difference is negligible because you get much better quality and improved features with AirPods. That said, if price is your biggest factor and you’re willing to wait, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro can easily be found on sale.

Winner: AirPods Pro 2

Bottom Line

The AirPods Pro 2 wins in almost every category, making them the clear choice over the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer some excellent features, but the new AirPods Pro are better, especially with Apple’s new upgrades. They’re only $20 more and offer much better sound quality and customization, so you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

The only downside is that they are best for people who are already deep in the Apple ecosystem. You need an iPhone to use them effectively and charge them with Apple chargers. If you’ve always used Android and don’t plan to switch in the near future, it’s better to go with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Overall, though, we highly recommend the AirPods Pro 2 for its excellent sound quality, improved transparency mode, and excellent noise cancellation.

Editor’s recommendation






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