Galaxy Buds Plus vs AirPods: Can Samsung take down Apple?

Galaxy Buds Plus vs AirPods
(Image credit: Samsung; Apple)

Alongside the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung unveiled its follow up to the Galaxy Buds, called the Galaxy Buds Plus. Early rumors suggested the Buds Plus would support active noise cancellation to take on AirProds Pro. But now that Samsung’s newest earbuds are here and we have the specs, it’s clear the second-generation Apple AirPods are their nearest rivals.

The two pairs of true wireless earbuds offer seamless connectivity to their maker’s smartphones. iPhone owners love AirPods for how a snap open of the case begins the Bluetooth pairing process, while those with Samsung phones benefit from the same ease with Galaxy Buds. 

With the new Galaxy Buds Plus iOS app, though, even iPhone users will be able to adjust audio settings, find their wireless buds and check in on the 11-hour battery life. And you won't have to pay a premium for a wireless charging case. But how else do Samsung’s newest buds compare to AirPods?

Galaxy Buds Plus vs AirPods: Specs compared

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Apple AirPods 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
ColorsWhiteWhite, Black, Blue, Red
Battery Life (Estimated)5 hours, 24 hours (charging case)11 hours, 22 hours (charging case)
Size0.7 x 0.7 x 1.6 inches0.7 x 0.9 x 0.8 inches
Weight (earbuds, Charging Case)0.14 ounces, 1.4 ounces0.2 ounces, 1.4 ounces

Galaxy Buds Plus vs AirPods: Design and fit

Not that it bothers anyone anymore, but AirPods are a little weird-looking. They're made of the iconic white plastic and sport a strange stem that drips out of your ears. 

Like the previous Galaxy Buds, the Galaxy Buds Plus go to the sans-stem route and ooze a futuristic feel instead. The reflective, triangular touchpads (which include a dedicated Spotify control) on the front of the buds beg to be tapped. Plus the variety of colors lets you pick a pair that speaks to your personality.

As for fit, we have concerns about non-Pro AirPods models staying in place. Whereas Galaxy Buds Plus, which appear to fit like the Galaxy Buds, will never feel like they're one hard footstep from falling out.

Galaxy Buds Plus vs. AirPods: Audio quality

Apple's Airpods provide adequate audio, but can have a distant, airy quality about them. Galaxy Buds, rather, delivered fullness on almost every song during our review. The Galaxy Buds Plus aim to improve on the Galaxy Buds' sound with dual speakers, and based on our hands-on time so far, offer up crisp vocals and clear, strong bass.

However, call quality was one of our complaints with the Galaxy Buds, and the Plus model adds a second outer microphone along with one inner microphone. The original model had just one outer and one inner mic. The speaker now includes a woofer and tweeter for 2-way dynamic audio — this should make the Galaxy Buds Plus even better than its predecessor. 

Galaxy Buds Plus vs. AirPods: Battery life 

The Galaxy Buds Plus predominant advantage over Apple’s AirPods is an impressive 11-hour listening battery life. The included charging case provides an additional 11 hours after that.

AirPods hold a mere 5 hours of battery life in the buds, although the charging case supports another 24 hours of use. The $249 AirPods Pro also fall short of the Galaxy Buds Plus with only 4.5 hours of juice.


We’ll have to conduct a full review of the Galaxy Buds Plus to see if they sound as great and last as long as Samsung says. But there’s a good chance they’ll make one of the best wireless earbuds even better.

In our Apple AirPods vs Samsung Galaxy Buds face-off, the Buds Plus predecessor had the clear edge. With a superior battery life, added microphone and competitive price, the Galaxy Buds Plus are poised to reinforce Samsung’s reign in the battle of premium wireless earbuds. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.