Samsung's New Galaxy Buds+ Compared to AirPods and AirPods Pro

Samsung at its Unpacked Event in San Francisco this week unveiled the new Galaxy Z Flip and the S20 smartphone lineup, and accompanying its new flagship devices, Samsung also launched its next-generation wire-free earbuds, the Galaxy Buds+.

In our latest YouTube video, we took a look at the new Galaxy Buds+ to test them out, and we did a quick comparison with the AirPods and the AirPods Pro.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Design wise, the Galaxy Buds+ look pretty much identical to the original Galaxy Buds, but there's an extra microphone that's been added and the charging case now has a glossy finish instead of a matte finish. The size, fit, and comfort are unchanged.

The Galaxy Buds+ are closer in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ than the ‌AirPods‌ because of the soft silicone tips that fit into the ear canal to provide a tighter seal, but there is no noise canceling technology included in the Galaxy Buds+.


With the second-generation version of the Galaxy Buds, Samsung aimed to improve audio quality for music and phone calls along with battery life, both of which do seem to be better. The Galaxy Buds+ now last for 11 hours before needing to be recharged with the case, and the sound seems to be improved.

Though closer in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, the price point and the functionality of the Galaxy Buds+ better matches the standard ‌AirPods‌. The Galaxy Buds+ are $149, so $10 cheaper than the standard ‌AirPods‌ without charging case and $100 cheaper than the ‌AirPods Pro‌.


There are touch controls on each Galaxy Bud+ earbud, which can be used to play/pause, skip tracks, and activate voice assistants. Those are the only three functions available when connecting the Galaxy Buds+ to the iPhone, but with an Android device, the long press function can be customized to auto-launch Spotify.

Samsung also offers tools for controlling ambient sound levels (though we didn't notice much of a difference with this enabled), and adjusting the sound profile. There are a few preset options for increasing bass or treble and there's an option for making audio more dynamic or soft. There's no true equalizer function, but it's better than what's available for ‌AirPods‌, which is nothing.

Galaxy Buds+ on Android can read notifications to you, a function not available when using them with the ‌iPhone‌. ‌AirPods‌ offer a similar function in iOS 13, allowing Siri to announce incoming messages.


Galaxy Buds+ can also be connected to multiple devices at the same time such as a TV and an Android phone so you can hear incoming notifications, but this is not a feature that works when using them with an ‌iPhone‌.

Overall, the Galaxy Buds+ audio seems to be improved and they sound better than the ‌AirPods‌, but there's not a huge difference. There is a major difference in sound quality compared to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in favor of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but that's probably not a fair comparison given the Galaxy Buds+ are $100 cheaper and not meant to compete with Apple's noise canceling headphones.

Android users who have considered getting ‌AirPods‌ for their smartphones might want to consider the Galaxy Buds+ instead, but those who use both iOS and Android may still want to go for the regular ‌AirPods‌ because of the H1 chip functionality. The H1 chip in the ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌ powers hands-free "Hey ‌Siri‌" requests, improves connectivity and improves range, and also enables fast switching between Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account.

What do you think of Samsung's improved Galaxy Buds+? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


"those who use both iOS and Android may still want to go for the regular AirPods because of the H1 chip functionality."

Not sure it's fair to drop a line like that at the end of a review, without at least a mention of what the H1 chip does for those not familiar... Not everyone follows the progression of chips from W1 to H1 and so on. :)

For those wondering, a really over-simplified description is that the H1 chips help improve bluetooth connections, support "Hey Siri" and improve power use.


And Bose has been able to switch between 2 devices seamlessly without requiring H1, whereas Apple still can't figure out automatically which device I'm using and requires me to manually switch. Other than the initial pairing, I see no benefits in these chips.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
“sound better than the ‌AirPods‌, but there's not a huge difference. There is a major difference in sound quality compared to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in favor of the ‌AirPods Pro”

How is this true as I have both AirPods (Gen 2) and AirPods Pro and they sound exactly the same.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
remember when the forum was LIT UP with people saying AirPods were a failure. “The design is garbage” “people will lose them” “too expensive”

and now AirPods seem to be a benchmark for other competition
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
"those who use both iOS and Android may still want to go for the regular AirPods because of the H1 chip functionality."

Not sure it's fair to drop a line like that at the end of a review, without at least a mention of what the H1 chip does for those not familiar... Not everyone follows the progression of chips from W1 to H1 and so on. :-)

For those wondering, a really over-simplified description is that the H1 chips help improve bluetooth connections, support "Hey Siri" and improve power use.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


How does that work? How do Bose (you don’t specify which headset) know the difference between my MacBook Pro and Apple Watch and just start working with it?


it has two simultaneous connections to the last two devices you paired with, and picks up the sound from whatever device is broadcasting sound when you the headphones on. It's the QuietComfort 35. I don't know how they do it, but I can switch between iPad and iPhone instantly.

I would have expected Apple's approach to be smarter than that and somehow magically figure out that if start the music app on my phone and have my AirPods in that that's where I want the sound to go.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
I ordered a pair to try out.....(kind of a headset junkie) in the video he is wrong about not getting the multipoint connection... this is straight form Samsung website

Multi-point connection is available with devices using Bluetooth 5.0.

it doesn't say Android only
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Wednesday March 25, 2020 12:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei. Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources...

Apple Helps Source Over 10 Million N95 Masks for Healthcare Providers in the U.S.

Wednesday March 25, 2020 10:25 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple over the weekend announced plans to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in the United States and Europe, and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has been able to source more than 10 million N95 masks in the U.S. and millions more in Europe. Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Saturday that Apple was aiming to donate supplies to healthcare providers fighting COVID-19, and clarified...

Hands-On With the New 2020 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Wednesday March 25, 2020 2:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week announced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of today, the new iPads are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, the new iPad Pro models are identical to the 2018 iPad Pro models, but ...

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4 With New Mail Toolbar, iCloud Folder Sharing, Trackpad Support for iPad and More

Tuesday March 24, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4, the latest major updates to the iOS 13 operating system that was released in September. iOS and iPadOS 13.4 come two months after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1 with Screen Time Communication Limits. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4 With Screen Time Communication Limits and Real-Time Apple Music Lyrics

Tuesday March 24, 2020 10:21 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the fourth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 comes a couple of months after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.3. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free using the Update feature in the System Preferences app. The macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update...

Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs [Updated]

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors. "Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," the memo states. Apple's internal service documentation ...

Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro Models

Tuesday March 24, 2020 12:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week introduced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, which are set to arrive in the hands of customers starting this week. Apple introduced a nifty new Magic Keyboard with trackpad alongside the new iPad Pro models that's coming in May, but it also debuted a new Smart Keyboard Folio, which is available now. We picked up the Smart Keyboard Folio for the designed for the 2020 iPad...

Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air

Thursday March 26, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, there are no real external changes to the MacBook Air's body,...

Mobile Networks in Multiple Countries Display 'Stay Home' Message When Users Connect to Cellular Instead of WiFi

Tuesday March 24, 2020 3:46 pm PDT by Juli Clover
iPhone users in several countries who disconnect from WiFi on their devices will see a "Stay Home" message at the top of the Control Center where cellular network information is displayed. Image via Matt Navarra According to reports on Twitter, the status bar messages are showing up in countries that include Germany, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Turkey, India, Luxembourg, Romania,...