Apple AirPods 3 are finally here, but the big question is, how do they stack up to our favorite real wireless headphones? We compared them to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro to see which one you should buy.
Apple AirPods 3 is the highly anticipated follow-up to 2019's Apple AirPods -- not to be confused with the Apple AirPods Pro, which was also released in 2019. The Pro headphones have higher specs and support for active noise cancellation, something the AirPods 3 lacks.
Apple's AirPods 3, however, are more affordable and take inspiration from the mass-appeal design of the original AirPods.During testing, we were impressed with its immersive spatial audio, comfortable comfort, and ease of use, giving them 4 stars out of 5. The headphones have no noise cancellation, no customizable earbuds, and mediocre battery life, so they're not the best true wireless earbuds you can buy -- especially if you're using an Android device.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is one of our highest-rated true wireless headphones, earning four out of five stars in our test. We like the basic noise cancellation, audio performance, and water resistance, but they're not perfect and are more likely to appeal to Samsung phone owners.
So which is better, AirPods 3 or Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro? Does one pair of wireless headphones work better than another, or do you have to choose your next pair based on your smartphone? Read on.
AirPods 3 and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Price
Apple AirPods 3 costs $179 / £169 / A $279.That's cheaper than the AirPods Pro, which costs $249 / £249 / A $399, though that's to be expected given that the Pro is a high-end option.
AirPods 3 2019 AirPods are more similar in price, costing $159 /£159/249 AUD with the standard charging case, and $199 /£199/319 AUD with wireless charging when they have introduced a few years ago (although they have been permanently marked down).
While that price isn't cheap, it matches the many mid-to-high-end true wireless headphones you can buy these days. It's nice to see Apple keep the price of regular AirPods more affordable than the Pro.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro costs $199 / £219 / A $349.While not as expensive as high-end headphones from SONY, Bose, and Sennheiser, this is still an expensive pair of headphones. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, you don't have to look far: The SONY WF-SP800N and The Jabra Elite 75T both offer active noise cancellation, and if you don't mind ignoring Samsung-specific features, they both cost $50 less.
While Apple's AirPods 3 are cheaper, the question of which is a better deal will depend on what you're looking for, as the two pairs have different features in terms of design, performance, and add-ons.
Both models will also be discounted on Black Friday. Make sure you bookmark our guide to Black Friday Wireless Earphone Deals and AirPods Black Friday Deals to keep in the loop. AirPods 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro: Design
Whether you prefer the AirPods 3 and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro designs depends on your personal preferences. Do you want obvious Apple-designed AirPods with stems or shiny chrome Galaxy Buds Pro close to your ears?
Apple AirPods 3 looks like the 2019 AirPods, but with a few subtle differences. First, the AirPods 3 has a shorter handle, a rounded, more streamlined case, and a force sensor that you can squeeze to control your music and phone. They also now have an IPX4 waterproof rating, which makes them suitable for wearing at the gym or while you're exercising.
They don't have replaceable earplugs, which means they don't fit very comfortably. While we feel comfortable wearing them, we don't recommend wearing them during strenuous exercise.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro looks completely different from the AirPods 3, with a rounded design in three colors: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Purple, all with a high-gloss finish.
They're pretty big for earplugs, measuring less than an inch (20.8 mm). While they don't stick out their ears as prominently as the AirPods 3, they look a bit clunky and bulky.
Galaxy Buds also stick out of your ear, and it's hard to keep them safe when testing them -- luckily, they come with extra earbuds, so it's worth trying out all the options to see which works best for you
However, thanks to an external vent, they are comfortable to wear for long periods and don't suffer from pressure buildup.
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