Apple kicked off the true wireless revolution with its excellent AirPods (not to mention the controversial removal of 3.5mm audio jacks from its iPhones), but it didn’t take long for other brands to join the fray. Samsung gave its answer to Apple with its excellent Galaxy Buds, which are a great choice for non-iOS users and anyone else looking for a good alternative to AirPods. Both Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds are on sale for this year’s Prime Day deals, but if you’re left wondering which of the two is the better bargain, read on.
Outside of sales, you can generally expect the Samsung Galaxy Buds, which retail for $130, to provide a better value than Apple’s AirPods, which carry a $160 price tag for the version with the non-wireless charging case. That shouldn’t come as a huge shock to techies who already know that Apple gadgets tend to come at a premium. Our review team found the Galaxy Buds to sound a bit better than the AirPods, and they also come standard with a wireless charging case that you can use with Qi charging pads.
That’s not to say that the Galaxy Buds are the better Prime Day deal — we need to look at the actual discounts and prices for that. Both the Apple AirPods and the Samsung Galaxy Buds are on sale right now and we’ve seen similar discounts for them throughout the year, but for Prime Day, the AirPods with wired charging case are priced at $115 while the Galaxy Buds are marked down to $90. Given the fact that the Galaxy Buds offer (in our opinion) slightly superior sound and come standard with a wireless charging case, it’s safe to say that, to nobody’s surprise, Samsung is offering the better Prime Day deal here.
Ultimately, your choice between the AirPods or the Galaxy Buds might simply boil down to what mobile software ecosystem you’re tied to. Even though we prefer the Galaxy Buds ourselves, we still think that the AirPods are, on balance, still the best choice for iPhone and iPad users thanks to their seamless integration with Apple software and excellent overall design (something for which the AirPods are arguably still the gold standard). If you’re an Android user, however, then you’ll be better served with the Galaxy Buds.
— $115, was $160
Although the Galaxy Buds might be the better Prime Day deal, the AirPods are still fantastic true wireless earbuds and are also on sale. Although the sound quality, while good enough, is not audiophile-tier, Apple’s true wireless earbuds still set the standard in terms of design and build quality, and work beautifully with iOS and iPadOS (the iPad’s new dedicated firmware). This makes them the go-to choice for Apple fans who own and use iPhones and iPads every day.
You can grab the AirPods with standard wired charging case for $115 right now ($115 off).
— $90, was $130
The AirPods have had some competition for a while now, but the Android titan Samsung was arguably the first big brand name to give Apple some serious heat in the true wireless earbud market. The Galaxy Buds are to Android what the AirPods are to iOS in setting the standard for what wireless earbuds should be. They sound better than AirPods, come standard with a wireless charging case (and upgrade you have to pay for with the AirPods), and are generally cheaper. They’re clearly the better Prime Day deal as well as the best choice for Android users, although they work with iOS, too.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are already a solid value at their normal price, but for Prime Day, these true wireless earbuds are on sale for $90 after a nice $40 discount.
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