That the AirPods are a success in sales and user satisfaction, it is not new, but for the Consumer Reports they are not the best options in the wireless headphones category.
Recently, the magazine compared Apple’s darling headphones to Galaxy Buds, from Samsung, and crowned the wireless option of the South Korean giant for a few reasons. The first one: performance.
According to the company, while AirPods do “decent work” in playing music and videos, there are some “obvious flaws” in Apple’s wireless headset:
A weak point is the bass. AirPods offer the physical thud that you get from low percussive sounds like a kick drum, but the headphones have no depth. The bass is there, but you miss the round, satisfying tone of the low notes. THE mid-range also has problems. Passages with many instruments mix, making it difficult to identify individual sounds.
As for Galaxy Buds, the CR said that «the bass is prominent and has a depth that AirPods lack»; in addition, the company claims that Samsung’s option offers better mid and treble.
In terms of design and fit in the ear, the magazine respects the fact that each user has his preference. In that sense, while some may prefer the in-ear design of the Galaxy Buds, others will choose the more flexible style of the AirPods.
Most users will probably find that the Galaxy Buds stay in place without problems, and they come with silicone wings that hug the inside of the ear for an even safer fit. Still, the fact that there are ways to insert it correctly in the ear can be uncomfortable for some people. This is all relative, of course. For me, AirPods are easier to maintain for long periods of time, but other people I know find them less pleasant.
The test also praised the integration of AirPods with other Apple devices from the H1 chip, as well as the design of the charging case. THE CR, however, infers that the touch controls on AirPods are more limited than those present on Galaxy Buds – not to mention that, when connecting Apple headphones to Android devices, for example, you cannot change these controls as on iOS.
If you connect AirPods to an Android device, all you will get, unless you use a third party app to change the controls, is to pause playback and skip to the next track. On Apple devices, you can easily change the controls, but you’re still limited to a single control for each headset. It’s up to you whether you want to activate Siri, play, pause or skip tracks forward or backward. You can control the volume using Siri, but there is no option to adjust it by tapping.
All of this culminated for AirPods to receive, from the perspective of CR, a lower grade than Galaxy Buds. Samsung’s wireless headphones scored 86, while the Apple option was left with just 56 points; despite this, the CR recognizes that for many people AirPods can be sufficient.
In Brazil, Galaxy Buds are available for R $ 900, while the new AirPods (with recharge case) are sold from R $ 1,350.