Samsung redesigned its flagship earbuds, finding a way to make the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro look and feel different and familiar all at once. Improved audio quality, connectivity, and a more comfortable fit combine for solid performers worthy of listening to.
- Lightweight, comfortable fit
- Solid sound quality
- Effective ANC
- IPX7 water and sweat resistance
- Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity
- Improved Active Noise Cancelation
- Battery life isn't long enough
- Needs custom EQ
- No multipoint support
- Audio switching limited to Samsung Galaxy devices
Jabra makes earbuds that routinely find themselves among the best in the business, and the Elite 7 Pro are right up there. Starting with fit and comfort and on to useful features, they set the soundstage for sonic excellence, clearer call quality, and solid battery life.
- Excellent audio quality
- Effective ANC
- Great fit and comfort
- Outstanding call quality
- Reliable button controls
- Solid battery life
- ANC must be customized
While these two pairs of earbuds didn't come out around the same time, Samsung and Jabra are competing to plug the same ears. The Elite 7 Pro have proven themselves as one of the best pairs you can get your hands on, while the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro aim to reach those same heights.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Jabra Elite 7 Pro: What stands out?
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To make that happen, Samsung had to address a couple of key points to close the gap. One of them was fit and comfort, as the previous Galaxy Buds Pro were made with a slightly thicker bump that could slip out, especially if you happened to break a sweat in them. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro aren't as glossy, and with a smaller stature, a snug fit is more consistent here.
That was never much of a problem for the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, one of the most comfortable earbuds in their class. It took Jabra some time to figure it out, but the current formula works. Subjective as fit may be, these earbuds are easy to like once you put them on.
Both are also durable and ready for runs and workouts. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have IPX8 protection, whereas the Elite 7 Pro have IP57 protection. That gives Samsung a slight edge on water resistance, though Jabra carries the day when it comes to dust resistance. You do need to clean either pair to ensure sweat doesn't cause a problem later on by rinsing or wiping them to remove it.
Jabra holds one advantage in that its onboard controls are physical buttons rather than touch-sensitive surfaces. It's just a matter of consistency and reliability, where actually pressing something tends to do what you want it to do more often. That's not to say Samsung did a bad job with the touch controls, as they are pretty good. Many of the best wireless earbuds have the same thing, so it's not all that unusual here. Jabra lets you customize the controls to your liking, while Samsung only lets you toggle controls on or off.
In case the aesthetics are a factor, the color options also vary between these two. You can get either pair in black, with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also coming in white and bora purple, while the Elite 7 Pro also come in gold beige.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Jabra Elite 7 Pro: Where the differences lie
You can expect excellent app support for either pair with several features and settings to expand on what these respective earbuds can do. It starts with relative fit tests that take different approaches. For the Buds 2 Pro, it's playing a tone to measure sound leakage to ensure you've got the right ear tips. The Elite 7 Pro offers the same thing through the MyFit setting, along with personalizing the active noise cancelation (ANC) to better suit your ears. It also has MySound to tune audio based on your hearing profile.
Jabra's custom features are fairly extensive that way, and that extends to how audio actually sounds. Samsung has seven equalizer presets, now with a visible band to show you how it looks, yet the company still refuses to offer something you can customize. In contrast, Jabra has both a handful of presets plus the ability to create your own.
This impacts how either pair is going to sound, subjective as it may be. Both brands chose default tuning that favors bass just enough, even though it appears as flat in the EQ. Where things start to diverge is in how much you can effect change in that dynamic. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound great in all of the existing presets, yet I could never shake how much further they could go if I could customize it. You may feel differently.
Instead, Samsung tries to do things not all others do. Its 360 Audio setting emulates a spatial surround sound effect that is pretty cool when watching a movie or show. Voice Detect automatically turns on ambient sound and lowers media playback volume when you start talking to someone while wearing the Buds 2 Pro.
The Galaxy Wearable app even has a warning if you hunch over your phone or desk too much called "neck stretch reminders." It also includes a short neck stretching routine to remedy that. Go into the Labs section in the app, where you'll find "double-tap earbud edge" to control volume, as well as gaming mode — both of which Jabra doesn't have yet.
The Buds 2 Pro support Bluetooth 5.3, which opens the door to Samsung's Seamless Codec HiFi, which it believes can deliver 24-bit audio for a more hi-res experience. That largely depends on where the audio is coming from and whether or not the playback device works with hi-res codecs like that. Jabra has never targeted audiophiles that way, which explains the more limited SBC and AAC codec support for the Elite 7 Pro.
If "talking" also means waking up a voice assistant, you have that option with both as well. Either pair will default to whichever one you've chosen for your phone, but you can also easily access them from the earbuds themselves. Jabra gives you the choice between Google Assistant or Alexa, whereas Samsung prioritizes Bixby first, but doesn't otherwise give you the choice between the other two assistants.
When it comes to actually canceling noise via ANC, it's a tough call. Samsung continues to improve in that area and took a nice stride forward from the previous Galaxy Buds Pro. On the same token, Jabra also continues to get better and snuffing out the background, so it's safe to say neither pair will disappoint in that regard.
Where things might get a little dicey is with battery life. Samsung can't muster more than five hours per charge with ANC on, and Jabra can by hitting up to eight hours with ANC on. Their respective cases provide an extra three charges and also support wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Jabra Elite 7 Pro: Picking one
There isn't a bad choice to make here, though there is one that may suit your tastes and needs better. Samsung made the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to compete with the best, and while they won't overtake them, they are worthy of serious consideration. This matchup is tough competition, given how effective and efficient Jabra's earbuds often are. The Elite 7 Pro are one of the best you can wear and for a variety of reasons.
What this comes down to is what you want to prioritize most. If you have a Samsung phone, you will get tighter integration within the Samsung ecosystem, like how you can automatically switch from one device to another. Jabra's advantage is its focus on customization and performance, which works no matter what device you're using.
Samsung shaved down its Galaxy Buds 2 Pro just enough in the right places to make them fit and feel better. Clearer audio and and cool features through the Galaxy Wearable app only extend the usefulness you will get every time you put them in your ears.
Doing it right
Jabra built its reputation on great earbuds, and the Elite 7 Pro are at the top of the heap. Comfortable, customizable, and connected, these earbuds are trend-setters in their own right, delivering great audio playback and battery life to complete the package.
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Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.