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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Which wireless earbuds win?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Google Pixel Buds Pro sitting side by side on a wooden window sill
(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

A Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro comparison is essential if you’re searching for the best noise-cancelling earbuds to pair with your Android device.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro replaces the Tom’s Guide award-winning Galaxy Buds Pro and welcomes several upgrades in term of design, sound, and wireless performance. On the other end, you have the Google Pixel Buds Pro, an excellent representation of Google’s true wireless lineup and an easy match for Pixel smartphone owners. 

Both models share many of the same features, including active noise cancellation (ANC), customizable sound settings, voice activation, and wireless charging, just to name a few. They also come with their own set of exclusive perks. As for the better investment – let’s find out.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Specs compared

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProGoogle Pixel Buds Pro
Wireless charging caseYesYes
ChipUnknownGoogle six-core processor
Battery life (rated)5 hours (ANC on); 8 hours (ANC off); 20 hours (charging case with ANC on); 30 hours (charging case with ANC off)7 hours (ANC on), 11 hours (ANC off), 20 hours (charging case with ANC on), 31 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Water resistanceIPX7IPX4
Size0.19 (per bud); 1.53 ounces (charging case)0.88 x 0.87 x 0.93 inches (per bud); 0.98 x 1.97 x 2.49 inches (charging case)
Weight0.7 x 0.85 x 0.7 inches (per bud); 1.97 x 1.97 x 1.1 inches (charging case)0.22 ounces (per bud); 2.2 ounces (charging case)
Special featuresActive noise cancellation, ambient sound, 24-bit Hi-Fi sound, 360 audio, auto switching, Auto Voice Detect, Bixby voice activation, Gaming Mode, SmartThings Find compatibility, Samsung TV connectivity, Wireless PowerShare supportActive noise cancellation, transparency mode, Volume EQ, spatial audio, audio switching, Google Assistant voice activation, Google Translate, Notifications, Eartip Seal, Check, Find My Device, Bluetooth multipoint

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Price

The Galaxy Buds Pro 2 are set to go on sale on August 26 at $229 and can be pre-ordered via the Samsung store (opens in new tab). Samsung is offering an exclusive $75 credit when you trade-in any Galaxy Buds (opens in new tab) in any condition, along with $30 Samsung credit and a free Wireless Charger with your purchase. You’ll want to take advantage of this deal since a price drop isn’t likely to be available until the holidays at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Google launched the Pixel Buds Pro at $199. There are no special deals right now. These buds do not come with a USB-C charging cable either.

Based on features and supplied charging solutions, the advantage in value goes to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Make sure to bookmark our best headphones deals page to know about the latest wireless earbuds sales.

WinnerSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Design

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro being displayed atop a polka-dot-designed fabric cloth

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Pixel Buds Pro are equally attractive and comfortable, though the former provide a more secure fit. 

Build quality is sturdy between the two models, composed entirely of durable plastic and furnished with a nice soft-rubberized finish on the front. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have a higher than most waterproofing certification rated at IPX7 (which means they can submerged to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes). The Pixel Buds Pro offer sweat and water resistance for the buds to IPX4 to protect against water splashes, while the charging case is rated at IPX2. Speaking of which, Samsung and Google’s cases are two of the most attractive in the category: compact, chic, and carry friendly.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro being displayed atop a polka-dot-designed fabric cloth

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Each set of buds boasts a traditional oval-shape design that rests pleasantly on the concha to enjoy music for lengthy sessions. Samsung’s design creates effective airflow and enhances on-ear stability. Quite why Google removed the Pixel Buds 2’s built-in wings when it launched the Pixel Buds Pro was a big mistake, plus their Ear Tip Fit test isn’t as accurate as Samsung’s.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Controls

Our reviewer testing the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2's touch controls

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The Pixel Buds Pro have terrific touch controls. Taps and long-hold gestures execute assigned functions as intended. Motion detection is reliable for auto-pausing music when removing the buds and resuming playback when placing back on your ears. However, it’s all about Google Assistant integration. Google programmed these buds to do more than just pull up calendar invites or jump into your favorite playlists. You can fire off hundreds of other Google Assistant commands, while also utilizing Google Translate and Notifications in real time.

Demonstrating the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro's Double Tap Earbud Edge feature

(Image credit: Alex Bracett/Future)

Samsung gave the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro their own extensive control scheme consisting of motion, touch, and voice functionality. Unfortunately, two out of three don’t work as well as they should. You won’t have any issues with tap input. Wear detection is finicky and enables auto-pause after a 2-second delay. Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby are all compatible, though Samsung’s AI bot is the least reliable of the trio, misinterpreting simple commands and not always complying with the “Hi Bixby” voice activation.

Winner: Google Pixel Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Sound quality

Toto's "Africa" playing on the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

There’s too much sonic firepower underneath the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s hood for their Android rival to match. We’re talking 360 Audio, 24-bit Hi-Fi Sound (with compatible streaming services such as Tidal and Qobuz), Bluetooth 5.3 (LE Audio-Ready), along with an EQ, low-latency Game Mode, and coaxial 2-way (tweeter + woofer) speaker driver tuned by Samsung-owned audio specialist AKG. Samsung’s soundstage is wide and detailed with noticeably enhanced audio quality when playing music on Galaxy smartphones that support Samsung's Scalable Codec. 3D sound is also immersive on these buds.

The Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 playing Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That" during our testing

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Despite lacking 3D and hi-fi audio capabilities, the Pixel Buds Pro remain great-sounding wireless earbuds. Google introduced a new 6-core audio processor with 11mm driver that pumps out dynamic, well-balanced sound. Bass is emphasized and impactful, and you get a nice feel for mids and highs. Other additions like Volume EQ are clutch for boosting bass and treble frequencies when listening at low volumes. There are plans for the Pixel Buds Pro to receive a five-band EQ and spatial audio sometime later this year.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Active noise cancellation

Our reviewer testing the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro's ANC mode

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

It took a few tries, but Samsung finally got ANC right with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The three high-quality mics help block out up to 90% of ambient noise. Low- and mid-frequency sounds go unheard, while high-frequency sounds are minimized well enough not to break one’s concentration. Ambient Sound amplifies external sounds to get a better feel for what’s happening around you. We also love the Accessibility feature that adjusts sound or noise cancellation on either bud based on your hearing preference.

Our reviewer testing the Google Pixel Buds Pro's active noise cancellation in his child's playroom

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Google’s first attempt at true wireless noise cancellation is a success. The Pixel Buds Pro’s mic array silences low- and mid-frequencies exceptionally well, and wind resistance is effective, thanks to the wind-blocking mesh covers. Transparency mode is just as reliable for hearing your surroundings clearly. High-pitched sounds are more audible on these buds, but they aren’t as distracting as what you would hear from other sub-$200 noise-cancelling earbuds. 

WinnerSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Special features and apps

The Galaxy Wearables app connected to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s feature set is much bigger than the Pixel Buds Pro. We already discussed the heavy hitters, including 360 Audio, Accessibility, Bixby voice wake-up, control customization, earbuds fit test, Equalizer, Gaming Mode, Noise Controls (ANC/Ambient), 24-bit Hi-Fi Sound, and Voice Detect.

However, there are other features outside of the Galaxy Wearable app. You have one-tap Easy Pair (Galaxy devices only) and Auto Switch to automatically jump from one device to another. Bluetooth 5.3 provides lengthy wireless range and comes with LE Audio support, which Samsung claims will arrive “later this year.” Samsung TV connectivity (2022 models) comes part of the package as well.

Accessing the Google Pixel Buds Pro's settings and extra features

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Google didn’t go crazy with features, but the gave the Pixel Buds Pro enough to justify the price. ANC, Eartip Seal Check, Google Assistant, Google Translate, Notifications, spatial audio (coming this fall), and Volume EQ are already accounted for. Other notables are one-tap Google Fast Pair for all Android devices, audio switching to seamlessly transition between audio sources, and Bluetooth multipoint (pair to two devices simultaneously).

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro might not have launched with multipoint technology, but Samsung could always look to add it in a future update.

WinnerSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Call quality

Our reviewer using the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to take a video call

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

One of these is worthy of inclusion on our best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls list. That would be the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Samsung’s three-mic array and effective wind resistance help create loud, clear-sounding calls in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The Pixel Buds Pro are a serviceable calling headset, but they have a more muffled sound than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Not to mention the volume level during calls is very low.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Battery life

Wirelessly charging the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Google Pixel Buds charging cases

(Image credit: Alex Bracettii/Future)

Longer playtimes go to the Pixel Buds Pro and charging benefits go to the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

A full charge from Google’s buds equates to 7 to 11 hours, with the charging case holding between 20 to 31 hours. That’s better than average. As for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, they disappoint with 5 to 8 hours per charge. Samsung’s charging case holds between 18 to 29 hours, depending how you use the buds.

Both models support quick and wireless charging, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro has reverse wireless charging and comes with a USB-C charging cable.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs. Google Pixel Buds Pro: Verdict

We’ve got the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro winning by a fair margin. Those who own a Galaxy smartphone will receive the full Samsung treatment (e.g., 360 Audio, PowerShare, Scalable Codec), while other Android users can still enjoy premium sound and noise cancellation. Not everything is a hit (Bixby voice activation and battery life in particular could do with improving), but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the winning option and offer the greater value overall.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProGoogle Pixel Buds Pro
Price and value (5)43
Design (15)1312
Controls (10)810
Audio quality (20)1917
Active noise cancellation(20)1817
Special features and apps (15)1311
Call quality (5)43
Battery life (10)66
Total score (100)8579

That doesn’t mean to completely dismiss the Pixel Buds Pro as a potential Android companion. Google has designed their best wireless earbuds to date, combining robust ANC with striking sound and Google smarts. Improvements in battery life and touch controls are also greatly appreciated. If only the Pixel Buds Pro came with more features and a secure fit.

Next: Check out the best noise-cancelling earbuds to find out where each ranks compared to the rest of the models we've reviewed.

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.

  • JLangstone
    Hey Alex, I generally like your reviews and style, but on this one the Verge found completely the opposite regarding call quality, and they have audio samples. Scratching my head as to why and how to reconcile. Maybe you should include your recordings?