Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is a significant upgrade of Galaxy Buds+. Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds Live are also major upgrades of Galaxy Buds+. So what are the significant differences between Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro?
This wireless earbuds guide explains the top 8 major differences of Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro. Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 has advantages in the 4 aspects (weight, price, battery life, ear-fit test ), and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro wins in the other 4 categories (water resistance rating, 360 audio, voice detect, and better ANC and ambient sound controls).
Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: Galaxy Buds 2 wins
Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro look similar and share many common features. However, Galaxy Buds 2 is NOT an upgrade to Galaxy Buds Pro. In fact, Samsung positions Galaxy Buds 2 as the successor to Galaxy Buds+.
Although Galaxy Buds 2 is a cheaper version of Galaxy Buds Pro, it has advantages in the following 4 aspects when comparing Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro.
At 6.3g, Galaxy Buds Pro is not heavy and is very comfortable to wear. But Galaxy Buds 2 is about 20% lighter.
The design of Galaxy Buds 2 and Pro is very similar, although the material and finishing are slightly different.
So, most users will find it is even more comfortable to wear the Galaxy Buds 2 for an extended period.
As mentioned, Samsung designed Galaxy Buds 2 as a “lite” version of Galaxy Buds Pro so that Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ users will feel it is natural to upgrade to Galaxy Buds 2.
The MSRP of Galaxy Buds 2 is $149.99. The street price is around $100 currently. So, it is very affordable.
As a comparison, the MSRP of Galaxy Buds Pro is $199.99. Of course, now you can get a new one for around $150.
The sound quality and active noise cancelling (ANC) on Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 are comparable. However, Galaxy Buds 2 uses a less powerful chip BES2500ZP, from a not-well-known vendor. FYI, Galaxy Buds Pro uses a popular chip Broadcom BCM43015.
Galaxy Buds 2 offers an ear-fit test to help you check whether you are using the proper size of ear tips.
This short test plays a few seconds of sound, then check the audio quality and noise cancellation levels in the Galaxy Wearable app.
You can also use the test to check whether you wear the earbuds properly.
Slightly longer battery life from the case
Galaxy Buds 2 has a slightly shorter playtime with one charge. But the charging case offers about 2 additional hours for using the buds.
Anyway, both earbuds (with the charging case) offer sufficient playtime for a long-haul trip or full-day office usage.
Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: Galaxy Buds Pro wins
As the current flagship model of Samsung's wireless earbuds, Galaxy Buds Pro still offers some unique and advanced features which you cannot find on Galaxy Buds 2.
Galaxy Buds Pro excels in the following 4 categories when comparing Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro.
IPX7 water resistance rating
Galaxy Buds Pro has a better water resistance rating at IPX7. It means the earbuds can survive in water for up to 30mins at a depth of up to 1m.
So, you can use Galaxy Buds Pro when exercising in the rain.
Of course, Galaxy Buds Pro is NOT designed to use in the swimming pool.
The IPX2 rating of Galaxy Buds 2 is sufficient for exercising in most conditions. It should be OK to use it if the rain is not heavy.
One of the exclusive (among all Galaxy Buds) features of Galaxy Buds Pro is the 360 Audio.
The 360 Audio delivers three-dimensional 360-degree surround sound when you play music or video. It can follow the head movements to create a realistic 3D sound.
The 360 Audio is similar to the Spatial Audio in AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
Please do not confuse Samsung's 360 Audio with Sony's 360 Reality Audio. The difference is obvious:
- Samsung's 360 audio works with most audio formats and is a software feature of the earbuds.
- Sony's 360 Reality Audio is special audio format. It requires special file format and special hardware (although Sony claimed “any headphones” ).
The difference between them is explained in a bit more detail here.
Of course, the 360 Audio works well for some owners. Some owners may not feel the difference.
Voice Detect is one of the most practical features exclusively in Galaxy Buds Pro.
Voice Detect automatically detect your voice when you speak and take corresponding actions automatically based on the situation.
For example, you start to talk while listening to music, the Voice Detect will automatically lower the volume of the music. If ANC is on, Voice Detect will also switch the buds to ambient mode at the same time. The external microphone will also try to focus on the listener (if detected).
If your voice is not detected for a certain period of time, Voice Detect will automatically return to the previous setting.
Better ANC and ambient sound control
Both Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro have the active noise cancelling (ANC) feature. Samsung claimed Galaxy Buds 2 can cancel up to 98% low-frequency noise and Galaxy Buds Pro up to 99%.
Although the number is close, apparently ANC on Galaxy Buds Pro works noticeably better in most situations.
Galaxy Buds Pro offers 4 volume levels for the ambient sound. While Galaxy Buds 2 have 3 levels.
If you enable customizing the ambient sound for Galaxy Buds Pro or Galaxy Buds 2, the ambient sound volume and ambient sound tone controls are identical for Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2.
Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: converging features
A few new features of Galaxy Buds 2, for example, controlling the buds from Galaxy Watch 4, were rolled out to other Galaxy Buds including Galaxy Galaxy Buds Pro.
Also, the double-tap earbud edge (to adjust the buds' volume) is no longer exclusive to Galaxy Buds Pro. It was rolled out to Galaxy Buds+, and Galaxy Buds 2.
Also, both Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro have widgets on Android devices. You can use it to check the battery level of the buds and the charging case, and quickly control the buds(enabling/disenabling ANC and touch control).
Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro: Which one is for me?
If both Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 are available locally, you may try them to test the fit. Some users feel Galaxy Buds 2 are more comfortable. While some may feel better with Galaxy Buds Pro.
If the fitting is not an issue, you may choose Galaxy Buds 2 if:
- You want to save $50. The sound quality (for most ears) are very close although Galaxy Buds Pro uses a better chip and better drivers.
- You are upgrading from Galaxy Buds, or Galaxy Buds+.
- This is your first wireless earbuds (with decent quality).
- You have an Android phone, prefereably, a Samsung Galaxy phone.
- You need a cheaper (and actually better) repalcement for the overpriced AirPods for your iPhone (read on).
Please note, Galaxy Buds app on iOS currently only support Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live. Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds Pro are not supported. This means you cannot manage (for example, change settings) Buds Pro and Buds 2 on iPhone. But you can still use Galaxy Buds 2and Galaxy Buds Pro as a Bluetooth headsets. And both of them give better experience than the current AirPods.
You may consider Galaxy Buds Pro if
- You are considering upgrading your Galaxy Buds or Galaxy Buds+.
- You use wireless earbuds everyday for calls and music. The Voice Detect will be very likely your favourite feature.
- You prefer more immersed sound. The 360 Audio in Galaxy Buds Pro works well most of the time.
- You ned a “tougher” wireless earbuds. The IPx7 rating means Galaxy Buds Pro should survive better in the swiming pool or raining days. Alternatively, you may consider Jabra Elite Sport if nosie cancelling is not essential.
- You need a cheaper (and probably better) replacement for the overpriced AirPods Pro for your iPhone. Please note, you need an Android device or PC to customize the settings for Galaxy Buds Pro, as mentioned earlier.
Anyway, if possible, you should try the earbuds first. The experience is usually very subjective.
What's your thought on Galaxy Buds 2 vs Galaxy Buds Pro? Do you agree with the Pros and Cons of Galaxy Buds 2?
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