Pixel Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds Pro: How do they differ?
Google announced its most premium wireless earbuds yet at its I/O this year, but how do the Pixel Buds Pro compare to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro?
Both headphones carry the “Pro” name and both pairs are designed to work best with Android phones, but they still differ in a number of ways.
Read on to learn how the Pixel Buds Pro stand up to the Galaxy Buds Pro when it comes to price, design, features and how they sound…
Pricing and availability
The Pixel Buds Pro will be available to pre-order from July 21 2022, with the earbuds officially hitting shelves on July 28. They’re priced at $199 / £179.
The Galaxy Buds Pro were released in January 2021. They were originally available at an RRP of $239 / £219, but have since been discounted to $199 / £179.
This price drop means that both pairs cost the same price at this point in time.
The Pixel Buds Pro sport an in-ear design with a round touch surface decorated with the Google “G” logo. The microphones are visible and the earbuds come in charcoal (black) and fog (white), as well as more vibrant colours like coral and lemongrass, that match the colours of the Pixel 6.
The earbuds are water resistant up to IPX4 and come with three ear tip sizes. There are also sensors within the earbuds that will measure the build-up of pressure to keep them comfortable over long periods of use.
The Galaxy Buds Pro feature the same in-ear design but with a more egg-shaped touch surface and no visible branding. The finish is glossier than the matte ones on the Pixel Buds Pro, and the Galaxy Buds come in four colours: phantom violet, phantom black, phantom silver and phantom white.
The Galaxy Buds Pro are water resistant up to IPX7 and come with three ear tip sizes. Like the Pixel Buds, the Galaxy Buds come with a wireless charging case, though this case is more square in shape and comes in a matching colour to the earbuds.
As you may expect, the Pixel Buds Pro are designed to work well with other Google devices, while the Galaxy Buds Pro take advantage of a range of Samsung features, such as Wireless PowerShare. That said, both headphones will work with Android and iOS smartphones.
The Pixel Buds Pro support Bluetooth multipoint pairing, meaning you can move between compatible devices. The Pixel Buds can be controlled hands-free with Google Assistant and are capable of translating over 40 languages in real-time.
There’s active noise cancellation on board, along with Silent Seal which allows the earbuds to adapt to the shape of your ear and block out more noise. There’s also a transparency mode for listening for traffic and announcements outside of the earbuds without having to take them out of the ears. Google also plans to add Spatial Audio support by the end of the year.
The battery life on the Pixel Buds Pro is 7 hours, or 20 hours total including the charging case, with ANC switched on. The earbuds also support fast charging and wireless charging with a Qi charger or the Pixel Stand. However, we’ll want to test these battery claims for ourselves in our full review.
The Samsung earbuds also feature noise cancelling, including a range of “intelligent” ANC features, such as an ambient mode (an equivalent to the transparency mode on the Pixel Buds) and more control over the level of ANC with voice detection to let voices in when detected.
There are also manual ANC controls in Samsung’s Wearable app, meaning you can lock the ANC to the highest setting if you prefer. Like the Pixel Buds, the Galaxy Buds Pro have a 360 audio setting for a more immersive sound, though our reviewer wasn’t particularly impressed with the feature as it was quite heavy handed.
The Galaxy Buds Pro have a total battery life of 18 hours with ANC on and 28 with ANC off, with the case offering 1.5 to 2 charges before it needs charging again. There’s also support for Qi wireless charging and you can even charge them with your Samsung phone using the PowerShare feature.
We haven’t gotten chance to test the Pixel Buds Pro yet, meaning it’s tough to say how good they will sound.
Past Pixel Buds, like the Pixel Buds 2, featured solid, reliable sound and the Pros take advantage of additional features like Volume EQ to tweak the frequency curve as you turn the volume up and down.
The Galaxy Buds Pro, meanwhile, launched as the best sounding Galaxy Buds so far, beating out the Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Live when it comes to audio quality.
The sound is more balanced than previous Galaxy Buds and it’s detailed enough for casual listeners, though there’s no support for hi-res audio codecs, such as Qualcomm’s aptX-HD.
Both the Pixel Buds Pro and the Galaxy Buds Pro feature in-ear designs, ANC and transparency modes, wireless charging and have (or will have) some form of 360-degree audio support.
The earbuds come in different colours and finishes, and the Pixel Buds Pro have a longer battery life on paper at 20 hours. The Galaxy Buds Pro, meanwhile, pack a higher water resistance rating at IPX7.
You’ll have to wait for our full review of the Pixel Buds Pro to hear our final verdict on how these “Pro” earbuds shape up.