AirPods dominate the wireless Bluetooth earphones category. They might not be the best around but the convenience factor they offer easily trumps all other issues. Consumer Reports, however, has found out in its comparison that Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are better than Apple’s AirPods.
The Galaxy Buds was launched earlier this year by Samsung. While they have done relatively well, that has to do more with their low price compared to other offerings in the market. As per Consumer Reports, the Galaxy Buds “sound better than AirPods” and they are also the best-rated Bluetooth headphones tested by them. When it first launched, the Galaxy Buds was not praised for its sound quality so it is surprising to see Consumer Reports praise the earbuds in this department.
One weak spot is bass. The AirPods deliver the physical thump you get from percussive low sounds like a kick drum, but the earphones lack depth. Think of the acoustic bass on Miles Davis’ “So What.” The bass is there, but you miss the round, satisfying rumble of the low notes. The midrange has problems as well. Passages with a lot of instruments blur together for a congested feel, making it more difficult to pick out individual sounds.
In comparison, the Galaxy Buds have a more prominent bass, with notably better mids and highs as well.
The Galaxy Buds highlight nuance across the audio spectrum for playback that’s significantly clearer and more dynamic than what the AirPods can produce.
One thing to note is that Consumer Reports only tested the Bluetooth earbuds for music quality. They did not test them for call quality where the AirPods have an advantage. They did acknowledge the convenience factor with the AirPods which is what pulls consumers towards it.
Apple deserves a lot of credit for how easy it is to pair the AirPods with the company’s other devices. Open the AirPods case near an Apple device for the first time and the device will automatically open a pairing dialog. Pair the headphones once and they will automatically be paired with every other device using the same Apple account.
Yet, the AirPods failed to earn a recommendation from Consumer Reports, though it does say that many people will find its sound quality “perfectly acceptable.” It spoke highly of the Galaxy Buds saying they sound fantastic and praised it for coming with USB-C, wireless charging, and how they work in almost a similar manner on iPhones as well.
In my opinion, the Galaxy Buds have only one advantage over AirPods: a slightly lower price tag ($127 vs $159). For iPhone users, AirPods are hands down the best options due to the convenience factor. If you really want the best sound quality from your wireless earbuds, you should look at some of our alternative AirPods recommendations like the Sony WF-1000XM3 which offer active noise cancellation and more.Consumer Reports]