Google Pixel Buds 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Buds: Which true wireless buds are best?

The second-generation Google Pixel Buds are here, and they bring an intriguing set of features designed with Android users in mind. Of particular interest is how the Pixel Buds 2 measure up to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, one of the first true wireless choices built to take full advantage of Android.

So, how do they compare? We can help answer that.

Price

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

When the Samsung Galaxy buds debuted earlier in 2019, they were notable for several reasons, and chief among them was the price. At $129, they’re less expensive than many other true wireless earbuds, including Apple’s AirPods ($159) and the original Google Pixel Buds (also $159). The new Pixel Buds retail for $179, so the Galaxy Buds have a clear advantage here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds

Design and comfort

Nick Woodard/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Buds are very small and are among the best-fitting true wireless earbuds we’ve ever tried. They fit snugly into the ear canal and stay there, thanks to the tiny earfins that are integrated into the main housing. The included charging case is also very compact — not quite as tidy as the one that comes with Apple’s AirPods, but still very portable.

The Google Pixel Buds 2 have a bigger footprint, with the outer section of earbud occupying more room. Interestingly, they’re slightly lighter than the Galaxy Buds, though the charging case weighs significantly more.

Samsung set the bar high with the comfort of the original Galaxy Buds, and while the new Google Pixel Buds are a far better fit than the original, they fall just under the Galaxy Buds as far as fit.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Buds

Battery life

Google Pixel Buds
Nick Woodard/Digital Trends

This category may simply come down to how you plan to use your earbuds. The Samsung Galaxy Buds clock in at a very respectable 6 hours of continuous use, besting the AirPods and the original Pixel Buds. However, its charging case only gives you an additional 7 hours, for a total of 13. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S10, you can recharge the case wirelessly from your phone, which will certainly help — it might even get you through a full day.

The Pixel Buds 2, on the other hand, only offer 5 hours between charges, but their charging case serves up an additional 24 hours of playtime. That’s a pretty big discrepancy, and we think it has to be accounted for.

Winner: Google Pixel Buds 2

Features

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds have some impressive features, like an adjustable awareness mode that lets you bring outside sounds into your ears via the microphones, and a fully adjustable set of EQ controls from within the companion app. The app also lets you choose between Samsung’s own Bixby A.I. or Google Assistant when you long-press one of the earbuds. If you misplace one or both earbuds, there’s a handy “find my earbuds” feature too.

With an IPX2 rating, the Galaxy Buds are certainly sweatproof, but you probably want to keep them away from any real sources of water.

The Pixel Buds 2 are no slouch in the features side of things either. They maintain the real-time translation feature from the original Pixel Buds, and they throw in the convenience of hands-free access to Google Assistant. While they don’t possess any kind of noise-cancellation or an adjustable ambient mode, they do have a “spatial port” that lets some ambient sounds in to help maintain situational awareness.

Google has an IPX4 water protection rating, which gives the Pixel Buds a leg up on Samsung in terms of splash and sweat protection. The Pixel Buds also have an Adaptive Sound feature that automatically adjusts the volume of the earbuds depending on what kind of environment you’re in. Throw in Google’s Fast Pair on Android feature, which immediately begins the process of pairing your buds with your mobile Android device for you, and the Pixel Buds pack a pretty impressive set of features at launch.

For now, we believe the Galaxy Buds offer a more useful set of features, but we may change our tune when we get a chance to try the Pixel Buds 2.

Winner: Google Pixel Buds 2

Sound quality

Google Pixel Buds
Nick Woodard/Digital Trends

When the Samsung Galaxy Buds came out, we applauded them for their exceptional sound quality at a solid price. When listening to a wide range of genres of music, we found the Galaxy Buds to handle everything well. Just don’t expect them to sound like top-tier options such as the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.

The Google Pixel Buds brought a similar kind of affordable sound quality, with a few added perks. They have what Google calls a “hybrid acoustic design,” where the eartips are designed to help seal your ears off from the sounds of the outside world. It creates passive noise cancellation, and allows the sound coming from the buds themselves to stay within the ears. The result is better performance across the board, with noteworthy clarity and low-end response.

We truly enjoyed the sound quality of the Galaxy Buds. But if you can handle an increase in price, the Google Pixel Buds upped the audio ante.

Winner: Google Pixel Buds 2

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Buds are incredibly well-designed earbuds for a solid price. That said, Google’s new Pixel Buds sound better, have more total battery life, and more substantial features. If you can muster the extra $50, Google is the way to go here.

Editors' Recommendations