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Which earbuds are better?

Getting a new pair of earbuds might be more complicated than you think. There are several factors to consider before purchasing earbuds, but if you want to boil it down to two brands, Bose and Samsung are worth your attention. Bose is a leading brand for audio products, including earbuds. Samsung has only recently dipped its toes into those waters and now also offers high-quality earbuds.

How do they stack up against each other, though? Each brand offers several models, but there are differences in design, specs and build.

Bose earbuds

If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of new earbuds, Bose will not disappoint. Bose prides itself on making audio electronics that deliver high-fidelity sound and top-tier features. Bose earbuds range from $130-$200, with the only real difference among models being the build and design.

Bose earbuds pros

Bose uses high-quality tweeters and drivers to reproduce rich sound. If you listen to music such as hip-hop, reggae, jazz or funk, you’ll find that Bose earbuds deliver good bass for their size. They also have a broad soundstage, so music with prominent highs and lows sounds terrific as well.

Most Bose earbuds have an Ingress Protection rating indicating how water-resistant they are, which is an important consideration if you’re looking for a pair to work out with. They also offer good battery life, lasting five to seven hours on a single charge, and the ear tips are typically more comfortable than the ones that come packaged with most Samsung earbuds.

Bose earbuds cons

If you find Bose earbuds on sale, jump at the opportunity — they’re infamous for being expensive. You can find high-quality over-ear headphones by other brands for the same price as, or lower price than, Bose’s top earbuds.

Bose earbuds aren’t as sleek as Samsung earbuds and generally have a more robust build. This makes them more durable but can feel uncomfortable if you plan on using them for exercising.

Best Bose earbuds

Best Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Bose QuietComfort Noise-Canceling Earbuds

These earbuds offer crisp high-fidelity audio and have an advanced acoustic system to deliver an immersive listening experience. They come with three sizes of comfortable StayHear Max ear tips, last up to six hours on a full charge and have simple touch controls.

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Best Bose Sport Earbuds

Bose Sport Earbuds

These earbuds last up to five hours on a single charge and are designed for those with an active lifestyle. They’re suitable for even the most rigorous workout sessions, offer fantastic sound quality and have a beam-forming microphone for crystal-clear audio during calls.

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Best Bose SoundSport Earbuds

Bose SoundSport Earbuds

These earbuds are connected with a cord and designed to stay in your ears during tough workouts. They offer wireless connectivity via Bluetooth or near field communication, last up to six hours on a full charge and come with several Stay Hear+ Sport ear tips.

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Samsung earbuds

Samsung earbuds offer excellent audio quality and are designed to integrate with Android smartphones seamlessly. You can find a basic pair of Samsung wireless earbuds for $100, but if you want something with more premium features and a durable build, expect to spend up to $160.

Samsung earbuds pros

Samsung earbuds have a more sleek, stylish design than most Bose earbuds, and many users find them more comfortable and practical for exercising. As with the best Bose earbuds, the best Samsung earbuds have active noise-canceling for tuning out ambient noise and transparency modes for being more aware of your surroundings.

Samsung earbuds are more affordable than Bose earbuds and are an excellent choice for anyone working with a budget. They’re not cheap by any means, but they’re perfect if you’re looking to save a few bucks on quality earbuds.

Also, although Samsung earbuds are compatible with iOS devices and support various Bluetooth codecs, they work much better when paired with a device running Android 5.0. Specifically, they work best with Samsung smartphones since these offer more software support and diverse touch control functions.

Samsung earbuds cons

Samsung earbuds sound great but generally don’t offer the same bass as most Bose earbuds. Samsung earbuds’ battery life is typically poorer than Bose’s, but since they come with a wireless charging case, it’s not a huge concern for most users. Also, because of the integrated microphones in Bose earbuds, Samsung’s noise-canceling isn’t nearly as effective.

Best Samsung earbuds

Best Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

These stylish earbuds have a 12-millimeter tweeter, long-lasting battery life and active noise-cancellation to block out ambient noise. They deliver spatial sound and impressive bass for their size, have an always-on voice assistant function and come in five colors.

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Best Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Intelligent active noise-cancellation lets users drown out noisy environments with a single touch of a button. The 11-millimeter woofer and 6.5-millimeter tweeter deliver rich sound, the call quality is crystal-clear and they have an IPX7 water-resistance rating, making them suitable for exercising.

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Best Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

These earbuds have an Ambient Aware feature that lets you be more aware of your surroundings while listening to your favorite tunes. They have a three-microphone setup for high-quality sound during phone calls, touch controls for managing music playback and last 22 hours.

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Should you get Bose earbuds or Samsung earbuds?

Bose and Samsung earbuds share many characteristics and features that make them similar in terms of quality. You’ll get many of the same features across most models, including an IP rating, noise-canceling, simple touch controls, access to voice assistants and different-sized ear tip cushions.

Bose earbuds are generally better if you’re a bass-lover or looking for earbuds with a broader overall soundstage and high-end acoustics. However, if you want high-quality sound at a more affordable price, Samsung earbuds are worth a look and have a more stylish design.


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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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