In the past few years, earbuds have gotten better in just about every way: battery life and sound quality are up and cost is down. A number of makers have created smart earbuds, too, enabling a whole new range of functionality.
Which smart bud is right for you? Upsie’s here to help you narrow it down with our comparison guide below. (Quick note: We’re sticking to the basic Samsung Galaxy Buds vs Apple AirPods here. If you’re interested in the Pro and Plus versions, check out CNet’s comparison
of the pricier models.)
Whichever way you lean, as soon as you purchase your new smart earbuds, make sure to protect them with an industry-leading headphone extended warranty
Now, on to the comparison!
Galaxy Buds Quick Facts
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds arrived in March 2019 as a serious competitor to Apple AirPods. They have a chunkier appearance, with a sort of orb design that hovers just outside the ear. They look similar to your “average” true wireless earbuds than the AirPods do.
Samsung’s offering includes always-on Bixby
, mirroring Apple’s second generation AirPods’ Siri integration. You probably already have opinions on which smart assistant you prefer, and that alone might make your decision for you.
Connectivity is Bluetooth 5, which is more than adequate. That said, Apple wins out here with its M1/H1 proprietary advanced connectivity.
Sound here is good but not great. The sealed design means you should get stronger sound (including better bass), but many reviewers found the sound underpowered. The larger body allows for more battery, giving you slightly more listening time sans case (but slightly less with case).
AirPods Quick Facts
Apple was the first major player to bring a smart earbud to market back in 2016. The iconic and slightly odd design has often been compared to a Q-tip, but this quirky design is less of a fear now that AirPods are so commonplace.
AirPods are lightweight and intelligent. Both buds have their own microphone, so you can use either side “one-eared” for listening and hands-free calling.
As AirPods are an Apple product, you get impressive integration with iDevices thanks to the W1 and H1 chips inside. Pairing and connectivity are far better than Bluetooth. Of course, Bluetooth is on board as well, allowing you to use your AirPods with non-Apple devices.
Sound quality is good but not stellar. You’ll get 5 hours of listening time at once, plus 24 more when you use the charging case to juice back up. Note that there are 2 generations of AirPods, with minimal differences. Check out MacRumors
for more on those differences.
Fit: Galaxy Buds
The Galaxy Buds feature a sealed in-ear design. The tips are a little squishy and are designed to form a seal in the opening of your ear. This feature eliminates most ambient noise, which is generally a good thing. However, if you rely on ambient noise (say, on a run or while commuting), this can be a drawback.
There are multiple tips included to try and get a good fit for all consumers. However, more of the earbud is designed to fit in the ear than with the AirPods. Smaller-eared people may find these uncomfortable. They’re also heavier, which can irritate some wearers.
The in-ear design is pretty similar to the old EarPods that used to be included in every iPhone box (remember those days?). It’s not a sealed design, meaning you’ll hear more ambient noise with these than the Galaxy Buds. Depending on your preferences, this could be good or bad.
While AirPods fit relatively securely, the lack of seal and the protruding stem both make them more prone to getting knocked out of your ear than the Galaxy Buds.
Most reviewers find the AirPods very comfortable. That said, there’s no adjustability to these tips. So if you don’t find them comfortable out of the box, you’re out of luck.
Price: Galaxy Buds
Galaxy Buds are attractively priced at $130 for the buds and their wireless charging case. Thus they’re more affordable than Apple’s AirPods.
AirPods can be had for $159, but if you want the wireless charging case, the price jumps to $199. That’s a big premium over the Galaxy Buds for not a lot of additional quality or functionality.
In the end, your smartphone brand is likely to dictate which of these smart buds you purchase. Both work with either, but they work better if you keep everything in the same brand.
Protect Your Smart Buds with Upsie
Whichever smart buds you purchase, you don’t want to get stuck with a costly repair bill should something go wrong. Upsie offers industry-leading extended warranties
for all brands of headphones and earbuds, and their plans are shockingly affordable. Check out Upsie’s plans today!
Learn More About Audio Protection: