Competition makes the market an interesting place, and there’s plenty of it between Apple and Samsung. It seems like the two brands are always trying to outsmart each other with new products. Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are no exception to this battle.
Ever since the original versions were released in 2016, the fight has been going on pretty strong. There was a time when Samsung Galaxy Buds topped the charts, surpassing AirPods.
Even as the two brands came up with the latest and upgraded versions (Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, Pro, and Live), the original earbuds are still famous. After all, these made way for the entire range of true wireless earbuds on the market.
So which model is better and why? Should you go for Apple or Samsung? Let’s find out.
Key Differences Between Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Before we go into the details of Galaxy Buds vs. Apple AirPods, here’s a summary of the key differences between these two earbuds.
- Galaxy Buds are sweat- and weather-resistant, while AirPods are not. AirPods are not entirely suitable for workouts. Apple redeemed this by making AirPods Pro weather-resistant.
- Galaxy Buds have in-ear foam, while Apple AirPods have earbud foam. Both ear tips are comfortable and sit well in the ears. Buds also come with wingtips for a better fitting.
- Apple AirPods weighs almost 2.5 grams more than Samsung Galaxy Buds, though Buds appear bigger and bulkier than AirPods.
- Samsung Galaxy buds have passive noise reduction, a feature not found in AirPods.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds have a battery life indicator and a longer battery life.
- Apple AirPods do not have USB Type C connectivity, which can be found in Galaxy Buds. Instead, they have a lightning cable.
- AirPods come only in white color compared to Samsung Galaxy Buds in white, yellow, black, and silver colors.
- While Samsung scores points with audiophiles, AirPods are better suited to make calls. The noise isolation feature helps retain clarity when attending calls on Apple Airpods which have ambient sound mode.
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Comfort
The comfort and fitting depend on the shape of your ears. It’s pivotal to find the right fit for the earbuds to stay put. Otherwise, it won’t be long before they pop off the ears. While AirPods feel lighter in the ears and are great when commuting, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are suitable for exercising and other activities.
The extra tips of the Apple AirPods tend to make them slightly difficult to wear. It’s easy to dislodge the earbuds by accidentally touching the tips. Samsung fares better here. There’s very little that protrudes from your ears, and that reduces the risk of dislodging. However, if both are not fitting comfortably in your ears, you can You can also look at the best replacement earbud tips.
This secure fit means that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live block out ambient noise better than AirPods. If you want to listen to your surroundings, AirPods would be a safer option. The open ear fitting ensures that you won’t be isolated from the surroundings or not know what’s happening around you.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are sweat-resistant and come with an IPX2 rating. That makes them moderately weather-resistant as well. Though you cannot swim wearing these earbuds, you can use them if there’s a slight drizzle.
AirPods offer neither feature. You can use them for mild workouts but not if you are going to sweat a lot. If you want sweat-proof AirPods, buy Apple’s AirPods Pro. They offer better features in this department. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are one of the best workout earbuds on the market.
Winner in Terms of Comfort: Both Are Comfortable Earbuds to Suit Different Requirements
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Design and Style
The design and style of Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are starkly different from that of AirPods and AirPods Pro. Buds are more rounded and bulky in appearance with a playful design. They are also available in many colors to suit varying tastes. The kidney bean shape of Galaxy Buds Live might look a bit odd, but they sit perfectly in the ears. They’re also one of the most durable earbuds on the market.
AirPods have a simpler and minimalistic design and come in white color. The long stick end of AirPods protrudes downward from the ears. They might appear longer and bigger but have no trouble offering a secure fit.
Both models have a sturdy construction, considering that they are expensive and promise quality. The charging cases are designed to match the tone and style of the earbuds. Apple has a uniform theme, with a simple square case and rounded corners. It looks much like a tic-tac case. This design makes it easy to charge AirPods compared to Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. What’s more, you can get a wireless charging case for AirPods by paying a little extra.
The wireless charging case of Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is trendier and feels a lot like a tiny jewel box or a pillbox. It is horizontal in shape with a firm lid that keeps the earbuds secure inside the box. Galaxy buds also have wireless charging support, and Buds Live can be charged through the Qi wireless mat or using Wireless PowerShare on your Samsung phone.
Be it AirPods or Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, you don’t have to worry about the earbuds popping out of the box. They are magnetically held by the cases and stay there until you take the earbuds out.
Winner in Terms of Design and Style: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
View on Amazon: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Sound Quality
Sound quality is one of the important features to consider when buying earbuds. Thankfully, both Apple and Samsung have taken great care to create models with good sound signatures. The latest AirPods (2019) have better sound quality. The bass is more pronounced, which is necessary considering the lack of proper seal due to the design.
Still, it is not possible to experience punchy bass notes using AirPods. The lack of noise isolation is the culprit here. But low-mids are super clear and hence, vocals have accurate sound output through these earbuds. The high frequencies are also decent, even if there is a noticeable lack of detail. Well, if you want audiophile models, you’ll find that headphones are a better choice compared to earbuds.
So How do the Samsung Galaxy Buds Fare Here?
The sound signature of Galaxy Buds Live is tempered a little bit and can be equalized using the app. You have a whole lot of options to customize the EQ and listen to music the way you want (almost). While the previous variants had no noise isolation, the active noise cancelation feature in Buds Live makes up for the minus points. Also, the wingtips ensure that the ear tips fit right in the ear canal and seal the space. There’s no leak (as long as you find the right tip size for your ears), leading to better sound quality. There’s no need to alter the frequency response much because of this design.
Overall, we can safely say that Galaxy Buds Live score more points in this department and have a far better sound quality than AirPods. Sorry, Apple.
Winner in Terms of Sound Quality: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Noise Canceling
Both AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live do not have active noise cancelation. That said, Galaxy Buds Live have ANC. Though it’s not the same as with high-end true wireless earbuds, it works decently enough.
But when it comes to noise isolation, both models leave us wanting better stuff. Though Galaxy Buds works better compared to AirPods, thanks to the silicone or foam ear tips, they are not perfect by any means. They manage to cut off the low-frequency ambient noise but not the other background noise.
You might still have to listen to the music at a higher volume. This only gets worse with AirPods that is all for ambient sound. Using either of these models for a long duration, especially to listen to music, is not a good idea.
Similarly, both models do not have ANC microphones. AirPods do better in this aspect by offering more voice clarity when on calls. That’s because it has the advantage of using a broader frequency range. The voice and the pitch are captured with precision while rejecting the background noise to the maximum. This might also lead to over-processing of the voice, where it ends up sounding more like a robot speaking than a human.
Coming to Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, these earbuds appear to have one of the best-embedded microphone systems. The three-mic array combines beamforming and bone conduction technology to provide you with clear-sounding audio by rejecting the background noise. However, high-pitched voices are not as clear as they should be.
That said, there’s an opinion that AirPods are most suited to answering calls and attending online conferences, while Samsung Galaxy Buds are better for listening to music.
Winner in Terms of Noise Canceling: Apple AirPods
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds – Battery Life
Now, the verdict is that Samsung offers a better battery life than Apple. AirPods have a battery life of five hours, while Samsung Galaxy buds work an extra hour and stay alive for six hours.
The charging case of AirPods provides an additional charging of 20 hours. Moreover, Apple says that the second-gen earbuds have a continuous talk-time of three hours from a single charge. Sounds good, right?
Galaxy Buds, however, have only seven hours of charging in the case. But hey, they come with a wireless charging feature and reverse charging through the high-end Samsung Galaxy device, and a USB type C slot to connect to a cable. Versatile indeed.
That’s the reason Samsung Galaxy Buds are preferred for the battery life, even though AirPods offer more hours through the case (24 hours for the latest model). The Buds hold out on their own very well and can even last up to seven hours, depending on the usage.
Moreover, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live can run up to eight hours if the active noise cancelation feature is turned off. The charging case has also been improved to store a charge of 21 hours for longer battery life.
Winner in Terms of Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Controls and Ease of Use
How easy is it to use AirPods and Galaxy Buds Live? Pretty easy, we’d say. Both brands have focused on user-friendliness. Both sets automatically pair with their companions once you open the case.
The initial pairing process is equally simple. Bring the earbuds close to the phone and connect via Bluetooth. They have a one-step pairing process that hardly takes any time.
AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live might exhibit a bit of problem when they are out of their ecosystem, but the manual Bluetooth connectivity works great and shouldn’t cause any trouble.
The earbuds have touch controls on the body that allows you to play and pause music, answer calls, talk to the voice assistant (Siri in case of Apple), and skip a track.
Galaxy Buds Live also allow you to adjust the volume control through the earbuds. Apart from the tap controls, you can pair the earbuds with the Samsung galaxy wearable app and adjust the setting through the smartphone using this app.
The best part about Samsung Buds Live is the level of customization they offer. It’s no surprise that music lovers and audiophiles prefer these over AirPods. You can also customize the taps in Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, though you do need to remember what you’ve set as default.
Another common feature in both earbuds is the ability to find the missing bud. We all understand how easy it is to lose earbuds when we leave them lying around.
AirPods show the last location where the earbuds have been paired with the iPhone. You may or may not hear the ring until you are close enough to spot them on your own.
Samsung doesn’t have any map or location feature, but the earbuds do make noise when you activate the search feature. However, this will work only if the earbuds are connected to the device.
Be it an iPhone device or an Android, “Find My Buds” works only within the vicinity and when the connection is live. You have no choice but to be careful with these tiny earbuds and not leave them around at random places. Always put them in the case and carry them in the pocket or bag.
Winner in Terms of Control and Ease of Use: Both Are Easy to Use and Come With Intuitive Touch Controls
Apple AirPods vs Galaxy Buds Live – Voice Assistants
Both models allow you to talk to the voice assistants directly through the earbuds. While Apple has Siri, Samsung has Bixby. Bixby is an exclusive voice assistant that’s available on Samsung smart devices.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live also provides direct Spotify access and notification readouts. These features work only when Android OS, but are super useful. You can also switch the voice assistant and use Google’s assistant instead of Bixby.
Many people prefer switching over to Google Assistant, as it is linked to Google Home and allows you to command and control more devices. Bixby doesn’t work with any other except Samsung devices and apps, even though it has the same features as Google Assistant.
Using Siri through AirPods is easy. Simply double-tap the AirPods to activate Siri and give instructions. If you wish to use Google Assistant with AirPods (on Android devices), you’ll need to download another app to connect these two.
Are Apple AirPods Compatible With Samsung Smartphones?
Yes, Apple AirPods are compatible with Samsung smartphones. Rather, they work with other devices as well. Though Apple is known to keep its devices within the Apple ecosystem, AirPods work with android and iOS devices. The custom chip pairing doesn’t affect Bluetooth pairing with other smartphones. Also, it’s easy to connect and pair the AirPods with a Samsung smartphone.
Turn on the Bluetooth on the device and then open the AirPods case. Hold on to the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes in white. The AirPods will show up on the phone’s list of the Bluetooth menu. Tap and complete the pairing process. And it’s done.
However, you need to remember that all features of AirPods will not work with Android or Samsung devices. Siri cannot be used (obviously). When you double-tap the earbuds, you’ll play or pause the audio.
The battery indicator will not show up. Also, the automatic pausing of music when you remove the earbuds from your ears may not work. If you wish to use all the features of AirPods, you have to use them with Apple devices.
Do Galaxy Buds Work With the iPhone?
Absolutely, yes. Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and Live can be paired with iPhone 7 or higher. Of course, they pair faster with a Samsung/ Android phone and allow you to use all the features. But it is still not hard to pair the Galaxy Buds with an iOS device.
Enable Bluetooth on the iPhone and open the charging case. Then select Galaxy Buds from the list of available Bluetooth devices and tap to pair them. Once the pairing is done, you can start using the earbuds with the iPhone.
If you want to pair using the touch controls on the earbuds, you have to tap and hold both touch panels simultaneously. Do it until you hear a beep. Then follow the pairing instructions on the screen.
As with AirPods and android, Samsung Galaxy Buds also has a few issues with iOS. All features will not work on iPhones, including voice assistants. They work the best with the Galaxy wearable app and allow you to customize the settings.
Who Came Out With Wireless Earbuds First, Apple or Samsung?
Samsung released Gear IconX in August 2016, the first true wireless earbuds by the company. Apple’s first-gen AirPods were released in December 2016, followed by the second-gen model in 2019. Samsung Galaxy Buds came out in 2019, with Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in 2020 and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in 2021 (Aug 11th).
After a detailed comparison, we can conclude that Samsung Galaxy Buds are the best wireless earbuds compared to AirPods, be it the battery life or the sound quality. However, if you belong to the Apple users’ family, we suggest Apple AirPods Pro with more advanced features.
Samsung and Android users, you can’t go wrong with Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 unless you have a bigger budget and want a truly high-end pair of earbuds.