Everybody loves to compare the new Samsung Galaxy Buds to Apple’s AirPods. It’s pretty obvious. Samsung and Apple make popular phones, and now both companies have truly wireless earbuds to pair with them. I’ve spent two weeks with the $130 Galaxy Buds. They’re frankly pretty awesome. But are they better than AirPods? That depends on who’s using them.
Here’s the long and short of it. The Galaxy Nuggets work well. They connect well to any device. They feel good in your ears. They feature six hours of battery life on a single charge, which is an hour longer than AirPods. (It should be noted that the extra charge Galaxy Buds case had brings their total battery life up to 13 hours, while Apple says AirPods will last 24 hours with their charging case.)
They sound terrific, although not as terrific as the more expensive $170 Jabra Elite 85t and certainly not as good as the $300 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. The Galaxy even do a decent job when you’re using them for phone calls, thanks to four microphones—two on the inside by your head and two on the outside.
At the end of the day, though, all of the good things about the Galaxy Buds are offset by a few caveats, which you should expect with a pair of $130 truly wireless earbuds. (They’re free if you pre-order the Galaxy S10 and 10+ as well as the Galaxy Fold.) None of these things are dealbreakers in my mind, but they’re important to consider when you can get better earbuds for just a bit more money.