Aug 19, 2020
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About this Deal
With good sound quality, excellent active noise canceling and compact design, Apple's AirPods Pro set the tone for premium wireless earbuds. But Samsung may give its rival a run for its money. It's taking Apple head-on with the Galaxy Buds Live, which have similar features like noise canceling and a truly wireless design, at a significantly cheaper price. The Galaxy Buds cost $170, while the AirPodsPro cost $249. How do you decide which earbuds are best for you? As I found out, it's not as straightforward as choosing based on price alone.
Apple AirPods Pro
The best for noise canceling
These wireless earbuds are really the jack of all trades, especially for iPhone users. Audio is well balanced for music, podcasts and calls. But their one standout feature is that they have excellent active noise cancellation. And if you need to be more aware of your surroundings, you can pipe in external sound with transparency mode.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Great sound and a better fit for some
The Galaxy Buds Live, affectionately dubbed the Galaxy Beans after their unique shape, sit in your ears rather than your ear canal. Depending on the shape of your ear, they may end up being more comfortable for prolonged wear. The sound quality is great when left on default settings, but you can also tweak the audio profile with presets in the Galaxy Wearable app.
Samsung's Galaxy Wearable app (on iOS and Android) lets you change the sound profile for the Buds Live to one of six different presets, like bass-boost or soft. While the AirPods Pro lack a user-adjustable equalizer (unless you use an EQ in Apple Music or Spotify) there is an adaptive equalizer that changes the sound automatically based on variables like your ear shape. Apple's earbuds will also be getting a spatial audio update in iOS 14 to enable them to simulate surround sound.