Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs Galaxy Buds 2: Which Samsung buds are the best?

If you’re considering a pair of mid-range true wireless earbuds, Samsung has two models that might catch your eye. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro look similar at first glance, but their prices point to the differences inside.

Both offer active noise cancellation, a case with wireless charging, water resistance and dual drivers in each earbud. If you have a Samsung phone, you can access some additional features, such as a proprietary audio codec, 360 sound, and Dolby Atmos.

Are the newer Buds 2 Pro the better option, or did Samsung strike gold with the standard Buds 2? Here’s how they compare.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buttons 2

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Price

Person wearing Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in the ear.

Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

A 35% price difference can be a factor for some buyers.

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are close in price, but the Pro are the step up in terms of price and features. At the time of writing, the standard Buds 2 are $149.99 while the Pro is $229.99.

This pricing puts them roughly in the middle of the pack for true wireless noise-cancelling earbuds. There are of course cheaper options. But there are also more expensive options, including the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II. Those earbuds work with Samsung devices, but are not specifically designed for maximum Android functionality.

Still, numbers are numbers, and the 2 not-Pro is 35% cheaper than the Pro.

Our pick: Galaxy Buds 2

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Galaxy Buds Pro sit in their open cases on a white rock.

Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

The Buds 2 (left) and the Buds Pro 2 (center) are quite similar in appearance and design, apart from their finish.

The design of the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are, as you would expect, quite similar. They both have a sort of egg-like shape, without the telltale tail of the Apple AirPod. The non-Pro 2 are slightly smaller, which can be a good thing if you have smaller ears.

The Buds 2 come in four colors: graphite, white, olive and lavender. The Buds 2 Pro comes in just 3: Graphite, White and Bora Purple. In both cases, the cases contain corresponding colors. However, with the Pro it’s the whole case, while with the non-Pros it’s just the interior. The outside is white instead.

The most noticeable difference is in the finish. After years of glossy earbuds, Samsung has changed it with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, which is only available with a matte finish in the three colors.

No real standout winner here. The extra olive green color of the 2s is nice, but it’s also great to have the whole case the same color as the buttons. It really comes down to which colors you like and whether you prefer a glossy or matte finish. I call that a draw.

Our choice: Tie

Functions

Samsung Buds Pro 2 in hand.

Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

The Samsung Buds 2 Pro supports 24-bit audio with compatible devices and is more water resistant than the Buds 2.

This is, as you probably guessed, one of the first areas where the Pro set themselves apart from their non-Pro brethren.

While both models have noise cancellation, the Pro’s ANC is more effective. The regular Buds 2 will reduce low thumps quite well, but the Buds 2 Pro go even further. They significantly reduce the low booming noises and some lower mids, making their performance comparable to the AirPods Pro.

If you’re a fan of high-resolution audio, the Pro can handle 24-bit audio over Bluetooth, if you’re using a streaming service plan that supports it, such as Qobuz, Apple Music, and Tidal, with a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Another difference is the water resistance. The Pro are IPX7, while the regular Buds 2 are just IPX2. Basically you can’t get the non-Pro wet in any way, but thinking about a glass of water is fine. The Pro can survive a fall into shallow water.

The extra features are one of the main reasons to upgrade to the Buds 2 Pro, so that’s easily the winner in this category.

Our pick: Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Battery life

Battery life, with both the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, isn’t great. Probably a result of their small size. The Buds 2 last about 5 hours with noise cancellation on and about 7.5 with off. The case fully charges them 3 times.

Playtime for the 2 Pro is about the same, about half an hour longer with noise cancellation off. However, the case has a larger battery and charges them about 3.5 times completely from empty.

Since both models can be charged quickly, giving you an hour after just 5 minutes of charging, I’m going to count this category as a draw.

Our choice: Tie

Sound

A man with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds in his ear.

Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sound great, have solid ANC and are comfortable for long listening sessions.

In addition to features, one of the biggest differences between the two models is sound quality. The Pro just sounds better.

Out of the box, the regular Buds 2 have decent midrange and bass, but their higher end can have a bit too much of a harsh edge. They also lack the clarity of more expensive earbuds.

The Pro, on the other hand, has excellent mids and bass. Drums, for example, have strong punch and immediacy. The vocals are clear without overpowering the rest of the sound. The bass is full, without dominating the rest of the frequencies. Overall excellent audio performance.

So the regular Buds 2 don’t sound bad, but this is one of the clear categories where spending more on the Pro will get you a definite improvement.

Our pick: Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

And the winner is …

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sit in their open case on a wooden table with two sets of silicone ear tips and a USB-C cable next to them.

Credit: Reviewed / John Higgins

If you’re willing to spend more for quality, go for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 are a solid entry-level entry into the mid-range true wireless earbuds category. They’re small, offer decent sound and noise cancellation, and aside from their mediocre battery life, they offer an attractive option.

However, for a little more money, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pros offer everything the regular Buds 2 do, but better. They sound better, have better noise cancellation, and offer several features that the non-Pro don’t, such as IPX7 water resistance.

So if you can afford the extra $80, or better yet, buy them on sale, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the way to go.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buttons 2

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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