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Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Which noise-cancelling wireless earbuds should you buy?

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

This Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro face-off matches up two of the market’s best noise-cancelling earbuds, helping you determine the better buy based on overall performance and value.

Recently launched, the Amazon Echo Buds 2 is a solid sequel to the brand’s popular wireless earbuds, the original Echo Buds. Smaller in size, bigger in sound and noise cancellation, and launched at a lower MSRP than the original, these buds are an ideal choice for those who favor the Alexa ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro stands out as one of the top choices for Android users and the perfect companion piece for Galaxy smartphone owners. Audiophile-like sound, intelligible ANC and several exclusive features serve as major selling points. We’re also fond of the bold color options: Phantom Violet, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver. 

What we got here are two models that offer their own special set of perks and skills. So, which is the superior model? Check out our comparison between the Echo Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro to see which pair of wireless ANC earbuds makes for the better buy.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Specs compared

Amazon Echo Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Price$119.99, $139.99 (with charging case)$199
Wireless Charging CaseYes, optionalYes, included
ChipRealtek RTL8763CBroadcom BCM43015
Battery Life (Rated)5 hours with ANC on (15 with charging case), 6.5 hours with ANC off, (19.5 hours with charging case)5 hours with ANC on (18 hours with charging case), 8 hours with ANC off (28 hours with charging case)
Water ResistanceIPX4IPX7
Case Size2.6 x 1.1 x 1.5 inches2 x 2 x 1.1 inches
Case Weight1.7 ounces1.6 ounces
Special featuresActive noise cancellation, ambient listening mode, Alexa integration, customizable fit, EQ controls, built-in fitness trackerAdjustable active noise cancellation, transparency mode, Game Mode, Voice Detect, SmartThings Find compatibility, Wireless PowerShare support

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Price

At under $200, both of these products are relatively affordable, though the Echo Buds 2 is more enticing at $119. A wireless charging version is sold for $139, which is still several dollars cheaper than its competitor. We believe these two versions will likely be discounted come Amazon Prime Day 2021, but don’t hold us to that prediction.

The Galaxy Buds Pro launched at $199 and comes with a wireless charging case at no additional cost. These buds are often on sale with some retailers dropping the price down to as low as $151, something Amazon is currently doing.

For all of the latest Amazon and Samsung headphone deals, we recommend bookmarking our best headphones deals and Amazon Prime Day deals 2021 pages.

Winner: Amazon Echo Buds 2

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Design

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Samsung completely ditched the unflattering jellybean design of the Galaxy Buds Live and went with something more conventional for this latest model. The Galaxy Buds Pro’s oval shape looks nicer and sits better on your ears. An IPX7 rating makes these buds dust and water resistant in up to 1 meter of water, for up to 30 minutes. We also think the different colors, along with details like the glossy touch panels and tiny air vents, give them a distinctive appearance.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Amazon deserves credit for scaling down the Echo Buds 2 design by about 20%. The glossy caps were swapped out for a plain flat surface that also doubles as the touch panels and has the company logo embossed right on the front. IPX4 certification gives these buds sweat and water-resistant protection.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The charging cases also take on different designs with the Galaxy Buds Pro featuring the more stylish and travel-friendly size. It looks like a miniature jewelery box that handsomely displays the buds when opened and can be easily transported, be it in tight denim jeans or a carry-on bag. Much of the same applies to the Echo Buds 2 charging case, though the longer rectangular shape isn’t as discrete.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Where the Echo Buds 2 gets the better of its rival is in comfort and fit. Multiple tips and wings come bundled with the purchase to accommodate different ear shapes, and the combination works well for keeping the buds stabilized and locked onto your ears. Amazon even went a step further by developing its own Ear Tip Fit Test to analyze ears and find the best tip-and-wing combo. Apple’s version is better, which benefits the AirPods Pro, but this shouldn’t undermine Amazon’s effort. You will feel fine wearing these buds for 2 hours before fatigue sets in.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As previously mentioned, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s oval shape does allow for a pleasant and more secure fit. The tips produce a tight seal around the ear canal to minimize slippage. Those with a low pain threshold may notice some discomfort after an hour of use with the inner part of the buds applying pressure around the concha.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Controls

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

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Responsive touch sensors and unbeatable voice activation, the Echo Buds 2 simply has the better controls. A full suite of media functions is available and can be activated through several inputs, including single, double, and triple taps and a long-hold gesture. Add on-ear detection to the list as well, which works well to automatically pause playback when removing the buds. We also like that Amazon included sound prompts to reassure users intended commands being met.   

But let’s discuss Amazon’s killer feature: Alexa voice activation. It’s as excellent as the AirPods Pro’s “Hey Siri” function and lets you fire up the AI bot by saying “Alexa” and following up with your voice command. This opens the door to a myriad of Alexa skills. Amazon doesn’t discriminate either, as you can select Google Assistant or Siri as your default voice assistant.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Samsung stretched out the touch panels on the Galaxy Buds Pro, a decision that wisely paid off for better input accuracy. The multi-touch and hold gestures are responsive and the variety of different functions available mean you have full control at the tip of your fingers. It’s cool that there's an option to enable Spotify directly from the buds.   

Samsung continues to push its Bixby voice assistant on users, but it is hit or miss with the buds failing to register the “Hi Bixby” voice command at times. Speech recognition is slightly better on the Galaxy Buds Pro, meaning the mics pick up vocals more precisely. Siri and Google Assistant are compatible with the buds as well.  

Winner: Amazon Echo Buds 2

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Sound quality

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The Galaxy Buds Pro is one of the best-sounding pairs of wireless earbuds that money can buy, and sounds even better with the Galaxy S21 lineup. Large two-way speakers are housed underneath the hood to deliver deep bass and rich mids.  The company’s proprietary Scalable Codec gives these buds a hi-res boost when paired with one of the newer Galaxy smartphones, and the results are remarkable. Using another Android device or iPhone does bring down the quality, though you’ll still enjoy energetic sound despite the minimal loss in audio. 

Samsung also developed a special sound mode, called 360 Audio, that employs Dolby Head Tracking to create “multi-dimensional sound” and achieve greater audio depth when watching videos. It’s not as convincing or immersive as Apple’s spatial audio mode, but there is opportunity for Samsung to build on the feature and make it essential for future releases in the Galaxy Buds series.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The Echo Buds 2 sounds better than the original. Amazon took the liberty of increasing both the low end and treble, giving their neutral sound profile more oomph. Tracks with prominent basslines are well represented and have a warm, impactful presence, while instrumental-heavy recordings are reproduced well; musicians and band members receive individual shine.

Amazon’s buds don’t come with any extra audio features, nor do they have the sonic prowess to compete with other elite-sounding models. They will suffice for casual listening on commutes or around the house. Just don’t expect sound quality to blow you away. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Active noise cancellation

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

We prefer the Echo Buds 2’s ANC based on the level of ambient noise it can handle and wind resistance. Amazon’s three-mic array puts a kibosh on indoor distractions like household appliances and guests. It also performs well in retail establishments like coffee shops and pharmacies; silencing the humming noises produced by the CVS refrigerators was gratifying. When outside, the technology minimized loud noises like car horns and construction tools. Wind didn’t bother us much either when listening to music in drafty conditions. 

PassThrough is Amazon’s version of ambient sound mode and it’s useful for gaining better awareness of your surroundings. You can communicate clearly with baristas and eavesdrop on conversations, plus the feature can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of noise you want the mics to pick up. Max level will make external sounds more distinguishable without being too harsh on your ears.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The Galaxy Buds Pro claims to have with the “most intelligent ANC capabilities of any true wireless earbuds” and can supposedly reduce 99% of background noise. That is so far from the truth. At best, these buds will mute rowdy family members or a loud television playing the background, but don’t expect it to do the same with crying babies or a whistling tea kettle. Samsung’s proprietary Wind Shield technology performs badly in gusty climates as well.

Samsung’s Transparency Mode, conversely, is more powerful than Amazon's PassThrough and superb for honing in on certain sounds in your vicinity. You can adjust the amount of noise you want to let in by selecting from four different levels, though you’ll want to go no further than the third level to protect your hearing. 

A Voice Detect feature was also developed that works conjointly with ambient listening by decreasing playback volume and increasing audio passthrough volume, so you can clearly speak with others without removing the buds. Still, on ANC effectiveness, this one goes to Amazon.

Winner: Amazon Echo Buds 2

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Special features and apps

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Despite the Echo Buds 2 having a broader feature set, the Galaxy Buds Pro counters with its own innovative features to even the functionality odds.

The Alexa app doesn’t just provide different ways to personalize the Echo Buds 2, but also grants access to anything Amazon related. Entering the Settings page will show you toggle controls for the listening modes, battery life, and Alexa, along with a customization field that expands on features. These include control customization, an EQ to adjust different sound elements (e.g., bass, mid-range, treble), and the Ear Fit Tip Test. 

There’s also a Workout mode that transforms the buds into a fitness tracker to record your fitness performance; the AirPods Pro 2 is rumored to get something similar, so the Echo Buds 2 could be a trendsetter here. Don’t think of it as a replacement for your  Fitbit or Apple Watch, though, but more as a “damn-my-tracker-just-died-and-I-need-a-backup” solution. 

What gives the Echo Buds 2 such mass appeal is its phenomenal Alexa integration. You want to assign a default music service, handle productivity tasks, shop online, control all Echo Products or manage other compatible devices? The Echo Buds 2 makes all of this a reality and does it flawlessly.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Buds Pro has its own set of personalization perks in the Galaxy Wearable app. Users can customize the controls, tweak sound, cycle through the different levels of each listening mode, and find other goodies that are unavailable on other wireless earbuds. The built-in EQ has six presets that complement different music genres, plus there is the aforementioned 360 Audio and Scalable Codec features to enhance audio output. A recent firmware update also added a sound adjustment setting to aid listeners with hearing impairments by tweaking the balance of sound on the left and right earbuds.

Then come the features that are exclusive to compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphones. First is SmartThings Find, a service available through the SmartThings app showing the GPS location of any lost or stolen earbuds. Gaming Mode can be selected in the Labs setting and decreases audio lag when gaming on Galaxy devices. And of course, there is PowerShare to wirelessly charge the buds by placing the charging case on the back of a Galaxy smartphone.

Connectivity is stable on these two products, giving you up to 35 feet of wireless listening. The Echo Buds makes pairing more seamless with a button on the case that expedites the process when Bluetooth acts up. Multipoint technology is missing on both devices, but the Galaxy Buds Pro has an Auto Switch mode that will instantly pair the buds to a secondary device after unpairing from your primary device.

Winner: Tie

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Call quality

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

In terms of call quality, the Echo Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro are improvements over their predecessors, though we wouldn’t place either among the best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls alongside the AirPods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

They’re equally good for video chats. However, the Echo Buds 2 gives you acceptable calling performance and has a Sidetone to make your voice sound louder and clearer. Amazon’s noise-cancelling technology will also keep background noises to a minimum.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

The Galaxy Buds Pro comes in handy when you want to join in on Zoom or Skype calls, but it disappoints when used as a calling headset. Samsung’s mic array and new Voice Pickup Unit (VPU) struggle to pick up vocals in loud environments. 

Winner: Amazon Echo Buds 2

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Battery life

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom's Guide)

Amazon and Samsung both rate battery life at 5 hours with ANC on. That's only 30 minutes longer than the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours) and is still considered some of the weakest in the category. Bear in mind too that volume, streaming, and special features will decrease playtime by about an hour or so. That leaves us to discuss extended listening times when ANC is turned off. The Galaxy Buds Pro has more in the tank with 8 hours when ANC and Bixby are turned off; the Echo Buds does 6.5 hours with ANC and Alexa disabled.

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung has the more generous charging case as well, providing between 18 hours (ANC on) and 28 hours (ANC off) when fully charged. Amazon’s charging case underwhelms with a full charge holding between 15 hours (ANC on) and 19.5 hours (ANC off).

Quick charging is identical with a 15-minute charge netting you 2 hours of use on either pair of buds.

Again, wireless charging cases are available for both models. The only difference is that Samsung includes it with the Galaxy Buds Pro as standard, whereas Amazon wants an extra $20 for it.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Amazon Echo Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Verdict

Despite losing more categories, the Galaxy Buds Pro performs better in most of the major ones, while falling not too far behind in the ones it lost. Audio is some of the finest you’ll hear in the category and Samsung’s exclusive features are intriguing enough to make you consider owning a new Galaxy smartphone, though you’ll still get some great performance on an iPhone or any other Android device. 

Call quality isn’t great, and Samsung’s ecosystem won’t be for everyone (you’ll probably opt out of using Bixby). Still, for most users it will be a lot easier to live with these drawbacks than, say, inferior sound quality or poor battery life.

Amazon Echo Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Price and value (5)54
Design (15)1113
Controls (10)87
Audio quality (20)1518
Active noise cancellation(20)1514
Special features and apps (15)1313
Call quality (5)32
Battery life (10)67
Total score (100)7678

The Echo Buds 2 is a noteworthy update that improves on noise cancellation and sound quality. Giving owners the full-on Alexa experience directly through the buds is also quite the feat, especially when taking into account the lower launch price. The smaller design is another positive that shouldn’t be overlooked. There is much value to be gained from this second-gen version, but we feel the Galaxy Buds Pro has more going for it, even if it costs a few more dollars to enjoy.