Consumer Reports: AirPods Pro pack ‘significant’ sound quality upgrades, but Galaxy Buds still best

AirPods Pro have earned widespread praise since their release last month thanks to sound quality improvements, noise cancellation, and more. Consumer Reports is now out with its full review of AirPods Pro, and those improvements seemingly aren’t enough to take the top-rated crown from Samsung.

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In general, Consumer Reports has always said that if audio is an important factor for you, you “could do better than the Apple AirPods.” With the new AirPods Pro, the story shifts slightly. The review indicates that AirPods Pro “sound really good,” especially when you combine that sound quality with the other benefits of AirPods:

The AirPods Pro sound really good. Like a majority of Bluetooth headphones, the Pros still might not suit the most critical audiophiles. But the significant improvement in sound paired with the features consumers love from the older AirPods should make this model a serious contender if you’re in the market for a pair of true wireless earphones.

Consumer Reports also praises the new Transparency mode on AirPods Pro:

The insert tips may make your ears feel slightly plugged up, even with noise-canceling turned off. But the AirPods Pro also have a “transparency” mode, which uses built-in microphones to intentionally pipe in outside sound. Apple didn’t invent this feature, but on the Pros it works particularly well.

Overall, Consumer Reports rates AirPos Pro at a score of 75. That compares to Samsung’s Galaxy Buds at a score of 86, and Amazon’s Echo Buds at 65. So what benefit do the Samsung Galaxy Buds have over AirPods? According to the review, Galaxy Buds still offer notably better sound quality than AirPods Pro – even though they don’t include noise cancellation.

The Echo Buds, Amazon’s new noise-canceling true wireless headphones, didn’t score quite as well in our tests, but they’re solid performers and far cheaper at $130. And while the AirPods Pro sound far better than Apple’s earlier models, they still don’t meet the audio quality of our top pick for true wireless sound, the Samsung Galaxy Buds, which also sell for around $130.

For many people, however, the tighter integration with the Apple ecosystem and noise cancellation will make AirPods Pro the obvious choice, even if Samsung’s Galaxy Buds offer marginally better sound quality. Read the full review from Consumer Reports here.

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