Google Pixel Buds Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Which should you buy?

The market for truly wireless earbuds has been a breeding ground for innovation and stiff competition ever since the original AirPods were released. 

Since then, we've seen Samsung, Sony, and others release new versions that push the envelope when it comes to features and ANC. And now, Google is getting in on the ANC train with its release of the Pixel Buds Pro.

Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: A bit of background

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Google Pixel Buds 2020

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Following the debacle that was the first-generation Pixel Buds (the ones with a wire), Google has since released two iterations that make many forget about the originals. 

When the Pixel Buds (2nd Gen) were announced in 2019, many were excited about the potential for an AirPods Pro competitor for Android phones. Unfortunately, the steep price tag and lack of Active Noise Cancelation, combined with connectivity issues, left us wanting more. 

Samsung, on the other hand, has continued to release various iterations of their earbuds, even dabbling with a radical redesign courtesy of the Galaxy Buds Live. But with the Galaxy Buds Plus, the company recognized that it didn't need to change the design, and instead stuck with a more-traditional earbud design. 

This continued with the Galaxy Buds Pro, which launched back in January 2021, complete with ANC and head-tracking technology.

This Pro vs. Pro earbud showdown between Google and Samsung is somewhat slanted now that the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are available, which are some of the best wireless earbuds that money can buy — a list Google's latest buds also find themselves.

Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: What's the same

Google Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro top-down comparison

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It's important to start with the similarities between these two sets of earbuds, because while they may just seem like wireless earbuds to many, there's much more going on under the hood. Both earbuds support both Active Noise Cancelation and a dedicated Transparency mode, making it possible to shut out the world around you, or let someone in for a quick conversation. 

Samsung and Google are both using custom-designed 11mm dynamic drivers in each earbud, along with supporting the SBC and AAC codecs. As for the design, they both are placed in your ear in such a way that your ear itself helps to keep the earbuds from falling out. With the Pixel Buds Pro, Google ditched the ear tip "wing" that helped to accomplish the same thing with the Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series

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CategoryPixel Buds ProGalaxy Buds Pro
Sweat & water resistanceIPX4 (earbuds), IPX2 (charging case)IPX7
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Audio switchingYesYes
Active Noise CancelationYesYes
Transparency modeYesYes
Speakers (per earbud)Custom-designed 11mm dynamic drivers11mm Woofer, 6.5mm Tweeter
Supported audio codecsSBC, AACSBC, AAC, Scalable (proprietary)
Voice (per earbud)Three microphones w/ voice accelerometer, wind-blocking mesh coversDual mic array per bud, mic mesh and chamber
SensorsCapacitive touch, IR proximity, Accelerometer, Gyro, Hall Effect (charging case)Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Hall, Touch, VPU
ChargingUSB-C, Qi wireless / five-minute charge = one hour of playbackUSB-C, Qi wireless / three-minute charging = 30 minutes of playback
Battery7 hours / 20 hours (ANC on), 11 hours / 31 hours (ANC off)5 hours / 18 hours (ANC on), 8 hours / 28 hours (ANC off)
Dimensions22.33 x 22.03 x 23.72mm (earbud) / 25 x 50 x 63.2mm (charging case)20.5 x 19.5 x 20.8mm (earbud), 50.0 x 50.2 x 27.8mm (charging case)
Weight6.2 grams (earbud), 62.4 grams (charging case)6.3 grams (earbud), 44.9 grams (charging case)
ColorsCharcoal, Fog, Lemongrass, CoralPhantom Violet, Phantom Black, Phantom Silver

Other shared features when comparing the Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro include a capacitive touch-sensitive pad on the outside of the earbud. This allows you to control music, activate your digital assistant of choice, and these gestures can be customized within each accompanying app. 

Google Pixel Buds Pro with Pixel Buds app on Pixel 6 Pro

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As for keeping your earbuds charged, we have Qi wireless charging to go along with USB-C across the board. Samsung and Google have even included "fast-charging" capabilities, so you won't have to go too long without your trusty headphones. 

We even have the same array of sensors integrated into both sets of earbuds, with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and an IR proximity sensor. The last sensor is perhaps the most important, as it will automatically stop or pause your music whenever you take an earbud out of your ear.

Pixel Buds Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Plenty of differences

Spotify on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 with Galaxy Buds

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While both the Pixel Buds Pro and the Galaxy Buds Pro both have an official IP rating, Samsung gets the nod with its IPX7 water and sweat resistance. 

Meanwhile, the Pixel Buds Pro are equipped with an IPX2 rating. If you're planning on using these for workouts, you might be better off with Samsung's offering.

However, if you're someone who uses multiple devices at the same time, the Pixel Buds Pro might be the better selection. Google implemented both Multipoint and audio switching with its iteration. 

Multipoint allows you to have your earbuds paired to multiple devices at the same time. Meanwhile, audio switching will let you listen to music on your tablet or computer, then switch over to your phone when a call comes through, before going back to the previous audio source after the call is completed. 

Google Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro inner earbud comparison

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While the Galaxy Buds Pro don't have Multipoint functionality, Samsung has implemented something akin to Apple's ecosystem. 

When using multiple Samsung devices that are signed into the same Samsung account, you can switch between those devices based on your audio, including phone calls. The downside to this is that you might not be able to enjoy this feature on something like one of the best Chromebooks and your Galaxy S22 Ultra

We've already touched on the fact that both of these earbuds support the SBC and AAC audio codecs, but Samsung has a couple of other advantages over Google here. For one, Samsung is using its own proprietary "Scalable" codec, which is designed to offer a stable connection while preventing "audio chopping" when streaming. 

Now for the big one — battery life. 

Google Pixel Buds Pro charging on Pixel Stand v2 with case closed

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

One of the primary complaints about the Galaxy Buds Pro is that they only last for five hours with ANC enabled, and including the case, your total battery life is around 18 hours on a single charge. This gets upped to eight hours for the earbuds and a total of 28 hours with the case, provided that you are okay with not having ANC enabled. But Samsung implemented Quick Charge functionality that provides an hour of playback with just five minutes of charging.

Google, on the other hand, rates the Pixel Buds Pro with seven hours of ANC-enabled listening, with a total of 20 hours when including the charging case. If you turn off ANC, you'll get around 11 hours of listening time, with 31 hours if you include the case. Quick Charge functionality is also here, with the same 60 minutes of playback time with just a five-minute charge. 

Google Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro closed charging cases

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The Galaxy Buds Pro might come in a sleeker and lighter case, but Google stuck to its egg-like design, just making it a bit larger compared to the Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series. And this larger case ensures that you won't have to charge nearly as much. Plus, if you own Google's Pixel Stand v2, there's a nice little notch in the base that lets the Buds Pro's charging case sit perfectly against the built-in charging coils. 

Pixel Buds Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Which should you choose?

Google Pixel Buds Pro on ledge

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There are a few key reasons why you would want to pick up one set of earbuds over the other. Google's Pixel Buds Pro are much newer, have longer battery life, support Multipoint and audio switching, and offer fantastic integration with Android phones. But the Galaxy Buds Pro are lighter, arguably sleeker, and offer similar functionality for multiple devices, provided that you are using Samsung products. 

And while both sets of earbuds offer water and sweat resistance, the Galaxy Buds Pro gets the nod with its IPX7 rating. That's not to say you can't use the Pixel Buds Pro for workouts, you just might need to be a bit more careful about making sure you don't get too sweaty.

If we had to pick, right at this moment, we would go with the Pixel Buds Pro. Samsung is more focused now on the Galaxy Buds Pro 2, which makes for a whole different showdown with Google's earbuds. Google's offering is simply the better option compared to Samsung's older Pro buds. 

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.