The Pixel Buds Pro is Google’s newest entry in the premium earbuds segment, and they will be going up against a lot of big names, including Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. The Pixel Buds Pro marks Google’s third attempt at making genuinely wireless earbuds. The earbuds come after the Pixel Buds (2020) and the more affordable Pixel Buds-A series released in 2021.
Samsung, on the other hand, has more experience with earbuds. Its journey into the wireless earbuds market started in 2016 with the Gear IconX. It then followed up with a successor in 2017 that carried the same name. In 2019, Samsung dropped the ‘Gear’ name and switched to ‘Galaxy’ for its earbuds. It launched the Galaxy Buds that year and followed it up with more models, including the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live and the Galaxy Buds Pro, released in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
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The Pixel Buds Pro has a round design and ships in a white oval case, regardless of the color of the buds. In contrast, the Galaxy Buds Pro has a more oval-like look and comes in a square case with rounded corners whose color matches that of the earbuds. Both earbuds have an in-ear canal design with replaceable silicone tips. They lack dust resistance, but there is water resistance. However, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s IPX7 rating, which allows for immersion in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes, bests the Pixel Buds Pro’s IPX4 rating. Samsung sells the Galaxy Buds Pro in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Violet, while the Pixel Buds Pro is available in Charcoal, Coral, Fog and Lemongrass.
Galaxy Buds Pro Work Better With Samsung Devices
Each earbud of the Galaxy Buds Pro weighs 6.3 grams and has a speaker system made up of a 2-way 11mm woofer and a 6.5mm tweeter. On the other hand, the Pixel Buds, which weigh 6.2 grams per bud, have custom-designed 11mm dynamic drivers. Despite the difference in design and internals, a handful of the features on both earbuds are similar, such as active noise cancellation (ANC) with a transparency mode, in-ear detection, USB-C wired charging, wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0, multi-device support, and touch controls. There is also 360 Audio (spatial audio) on the Galaxy Buds Pro, while the feature will be released via an OTA update for the Pixel Buds Pro. There are some other nifty features too that give each pair of earbuds its own uniqueness. For example, the Galaxy Buds Pro has a feature called Voice Detect which automatically switches the earbuds from noise-canceling mode to ambient mode when it senses the user is talking.
Also, in addition to Bluetooth multipoint, the Galaxy Buds Pro has a feature called Auto Switch that works only on Samsung devices. The feature automatically switches connections between Samsung devices depending on which device is the audio source. On the other hand, the Pixel Buds Pro has a Volume EQ feature which auto-adjusts the equalizer whenever the user raises or lowers the volume. Owners can also ask for walking directions and get live translations from the earbuds without bringing out their phones. Furthermore, while Google clearly states that its earbuds are compatible with both Android and iOS devices, Samsung’s compatibility page only mentions Android. Finally, Google claims the Pixel Buds Pro will last up to 11 hours (31 hours total with the case) on a charge, but it drops to seven hours (20 hours total with the case) when ANC is turned on. Nevertheless, this is superior to the Galaxy Buds Pro’s eight hours of usage (28 hours with the case) which drops to five hours (18 hours with the case) when ANC is turned on.
The two pairs of earbuds seem evenly matched. However, the type of device a buyer owns will determine which is best for them. Samsung users are better off grabbing the Galaxy Buds Pro because they get to enjoy features such as Auto Switch and Voice Detect, which are exclusive to Samsung devices. In contrast, the Pixel Buds Pro is not only great for owners of a Pixel phone but also for Android phones from other brands and iOS devices. Finally, while both are priced at $199, buyers will likely find the Galaxy Buds Pro cheaper, considering they have been available for much longer.