A hot potato: Samsung or Apple?
It’s a question that consumers have argued over for years—and it’s not just about their phones. The companies make other competing products, including wireless earphones. And according to Consumer Reports, the Korean company’s offering is better.
Apple unveiled its $249 AirPods Pro, which comes with noise-canceling technology, back in October. They’ve gained many excellent reviews, with critics praising the audio quality and the transparency mode, which allows users to listen to music while being able to simultaneously hear the outside environment.
Consumer Reports also had plenty of good things to say about Apple’s earphones, calling the sound “really good,” and a significant improvement over the first- and second-generation AirPods. It also mentioned the “superb audio blocking performance.”
While the battery lasts about the same as the previous generation AirPods, it’s noted that users are getting more features without sacrificing battery life.
The AirPods Pro got a score of 75, which is above the much cheaper ($130) Amazon Echo Buds. But when it comes to sound quality, Consumer Reports believes Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are better.
“The Echo Buds, Amazon’s new noise-canceling true wireless headphones, didn’t score quite as well in our tests, but they’re solid performers and far cheaper at $130,” writes CR. “And while the AirPods Pro sound far better than Apple’s earlier models, they still don’t meet the audio quality of our top pick for true wireless sound, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, which also sell for around $130.”
There are still plenty of things to like about the AirPods Pro, especially for those tied into Apple’s ecosystem of products, but audiophiles looking for the best truly wireless earbuds might want to opt for Samsung’s Galaxy Buds instead.
The publication adds that the high demand “is pushing Apple’s assembly partners against capacity and technical constraints,” adding that multiple suppliers are competing for the business of manufacturing the AirPods Pro, though some are still building up the technical proficiency.
It’s not just the $249 Pros that have boosted shipments this year. Apple revealed its second-generation $199 AirPods back in March, which improves on the predecessors with the H1 chip, 50 percent more talk time, and “Hey Siri” support.
With Microsoft and Google not releasing their wireless earbuds until next year, it’s clear sailing for Apple to dominate the sector this holiday season, as long as production can meet demand—there’s already a two to three week wait time for the AirPods Pro on Apple’s website, and it’s the same story for many US retailers. Better move fast if you intend to buy some as a Christmas gift.
While the AirPods Pro features the likes of noise-canceling tech, Transparency mode, and better sound quality than their predecessors, Consumer Reports argues that Samsung’s cheaper ($130) Galaxy Buds have them beat when it comes to audio.