Pro Google Buds
The Pixel Buds Pro appear to be worthy of its "Pro" moniker with ANC, long-lasting battery life, and a familiar, yet different, case design.
- First Pixel Buds with Active Noise Cancelation
- Longer battery life with ANC enabled
- Compatible with Multipoint and audio switching
- Much newer
- Compatible with Qi wireless chargers
- IPX4 water resistance rating isn't as great
- Supported audio codecs are limited
They've been great
The Galaxy Buds Pro have been fantastic ever since they were released. Even with subpar battery life, Samsung's vast array of customization options via the Galaxy Wearable app allow you to fine-tune the Galaxy Buds Pro to your liking. But we're expecting a new iteration any day now.
- Superior IPX7 water and sweat resistance
- Customizable EQ via the Galaxy Wearable app
- Audio switching is possible between Samsung devices
- The included charging case is much lighter
- Proprietary "Scalable" codec improves connectivity
- Doesn't support Multipoint
- Battery life doesn't stack up
- Likely to be replaced soon
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
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.
We finally have a Pro vs. Pro earbud showdown between Google and Samsung, as Google aims to right the wrongs of previous iterations. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Buds Pro remains some of the best wireless earbuds that money can buy.
Pixel Buds Pro vs. Galaxy Buds Pro: What's the same
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.
|Category||Pixel Buds Pro||Galaxy Buds Pro|
|Sweat & water resistance||IPX4 (earbuds), IPX2 (charging case)||IPX7|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Active Noise Cancelation||Yes||Yes|
|Speakers (per earbud)||Custom-designed 11mm dynamic drivers||11mm Woofer, 6.5mm Tweeter|
|Supported audio codecs||SBC, AAC||SBC, AAC, Scalable (proprietary)|
|Voice (per earbud)||Three microphones w/ voice accelerometer, wind-blocking mesh covers||Dual mic array per bud, mic mesh and chamber|
|Sensors||Capacitive touch, IR proximity, Accelerometer, Gyro, Hall Effect (charging case)||Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Hall, Touch, VPU|
|Charging||USB-C, Qi wireless / five-minute charge = one hour of playback||USB-C, Qi wireless / three-minute charging = 30 minutes of playback|
|Battery||7 hours / 20 hours (ANC on), 11 hours / 31 hours (ANC off)||5 hours / 18 hours (ANC on), 8 hours / 28 hours (ANC off)|
|Dimensions||22.33 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)|
|Weight||6.2 grams (earbud), 62.4 grams (charging case)||6.3 grams (earbud), 44.9 grams (charging case)|
|Colors||Charcoal, Fog, Lemongrass, Coral||Phantom 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
There are a few key reasons why you would want to pick up one set of earbuds over the other. Google's Pixel Buds are much newer, have longer battery life, support Multipoint and audio switching, and offer fantastic integration with your 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 expected to release the Galaxy Buds Pro 2 in the near future, perhaps alongside the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 (opens in new tab) and Z Flip 4. Even with the $20 discount we're seeing for the Galaxy Buds Pro, Google's offering seems to simply be the better option for the time being.
Bigger and better Buds
Google's latest earbuds aim to rectify the wrongs of past iterations. There's finally a set of Pixel Buds with ANC, while battery life should get you through most of the work day.
Likely to be replaced soon
There's nothing really wrong with the Galaxy Buds Pro. However, they were released in January 2021, and are expected to be succeeded by a second iteration in the near future. Unless you can get them as part of some crazy deal, we'd steer clear for now.
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.
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