Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Which earbuds are right for you?

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The Sony WF-1000XM5 are the latest in Sony’s reputed lineup of premium earbuds. If you are looking for earbuds that let you immerse in your music for hours, then you’ll find that Sony occupies some top slots in our recommendation list for the best earbuds. Alongside Sony is Samsung, which sells some of the most popular earbuds outside of AirPods. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are likely the top choice for many people as they are the best earbuds that Samsung currently offers. But are Samsung’s earbuds better than Sony’s earbuds? Find out which earbuds will suit your needs in this Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro comparison!

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: At a glance

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Specs

Dimensions Earbud: 26 x 17 x 21 mm
Case: 65 x 27 x 40 mm
Earbud: 21.6 x 19.9 x 18.7 mm
Case: 50.2 x 50.1 x 27.7 mm
Weights Earbud: 6g
Case: 38g
Earbud: 5.6g
Case: 39.6g
Bluetooth connectivity Bluetooth 5.3
SBC, AAC, LDAC
Bluetooth 5.2
SBC, AAC, Samsung Scalable Codec
Water resistance IPX4 IPX7
Battery life (listening time) Earbuds, ANC on: 8 hours
Case and earbuds, ANC on: 24 hours
Earbuds, ANC on: 5 hours
Case and earbuds, ANC on: 20 hours
Charging USB-C
Qi Wireless
USB-C
Qi Wireless
Audio hardware 8.4mm dynamic driver 10mm driver
5.3mm tweeter
Mics and sensors Three mics per earbud
Bone conduction sensor
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Touch control
Three mics per earbud
Accelerometer
Gyro
Hall
Proximity sensor
Touch control
Voice Pickup Unit
Spatial Audio with head tracking Yes, with head tracking Yes, with head tracking
Noise canceling Yes Yes
Transparency Yes Yes
Ear tip selection XS, S, M, L S, M, L
Colors Black
Silver
Bora Purple
Graphite
White
Release date July 24, 2023 August 26, 2022
Price $300 $230 at launch, often discounted to $190

The most significant difference between the Sony WF-1000XM5 and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro isn’t a spec but their price. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have been around since August 2022, launching at $230 but now regularly discounted to $190. On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM5 are available for $300. This $110 price difference sways many purchase decisions in favor of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, making them a lot more value for your money than the Sony WF-1000XM5.

The samsung galaxy buds 2 pro earbuds and case on top of a Galaxy S23 Plus.

Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro also complement Samsung Galaxy smartphones very nicely, giving them a good ecosystem moat that Sony’s more universal earbuds cannot compete against.

If you own a Galaxy smartphone, you can enjoy features such as spatial audio with head tracking and 24-bit hi-fi audio through the Samsung Scalable Codec. You also get pseudo-multipoint connectivity, with the earbuds connecting to two Samsung devices with the same Samsung account signed in. You can also use these earbuds with Samsung phones to record binaural “360” audio.

These ecosystem-locked features are a double-edged sword, though, as they make the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro unappealing for users who don’t have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. This is where the Sony WF-1000XM5’s shine, as they play nice with every phone in the market without any discrimination.

Sony WF 1000XM5 WF 1000XM4 full earbuds case

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

With the Sony WF-100XM5, there are no ecosystem-locked features here, so you can use them just as well with an iPhone as you can with a Galaxy smartphone, a Sony smartphone, or any other Android phone. You’d have to compromise on LDAC on iPhones, but that is because your iPhone does not support them, so you can’t blame the XM5s for this.

Sony’s companion Headphones Connect app is available for both Android and iOS, too, so you can use them across devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro bank on an ecosystem moat, while the Sony WF-1000XM5 play nice universally.

Conversely, Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app is available for Android only. While you can pair and use Galaxy Buds with an iPhone or iPad, you won’t be able to customize any part of the experience as you can on Android.

The samsung galaxy buds 2 pro earbuds and case open next to a samsung galaxy buds 23 plus.

Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority

Where the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro manage to get a lead is with their water resistance capabilities. They come with IPX7 rating for the earbuds, meaning they can withstand submersion for up to 30 minutes. In comparison, the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds are only IPX4 rated, meaning they can only handle water splashes, like light rain or sweat.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s IPX7 rating provides it a big lead over the Sony WF-1000XM5’s IPX4 rating.

If you have an inclination towards the AirPods form factor, neither of the earbuds are a good choice. Both the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM5 have an in-ear stemless earbud design. Neither of them has wingtips either, so you need to ensure you get a good fit within your ear canal, or else they will be prone to falling off.

Sony WF 1000XM5 accessories earbuds case iphone

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

To help with the fit, Sony provides four sizes of ear tips with the Sony WF-1000XM5, with the extra-small ear tips being new additions over the predecessor. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro comes with the standard three sets of ear tips.

The earbuds do differ in the design of their cases. Samsung adopts a more squarish jewelry box-inspired design for the case, but that helps the case stand out. Sony takes a flatter, elongated design, which sits more flush inside pockets but takes a tad bit more space.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Noise canceling

Sony WF 1000XM5 man wears touch controls

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

When it comes to active noise cancelation (ANC), Sony is one of the best in the business, but Samsung isn’t too far behind.

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro perform excellently for their price, doing a great job at blocking predictable sounds and lowering the intensity of unpredictable ones. We recommend experimenting with the different size ear tips included in the package to get the right fit for your ears, as some good noise isolation helps the ANC do a better job.

A person wears the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds.

Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority

On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM5 benefits significantly from the memory foam ear tips that aid with noise isolation. Since the ear tips help keep a lot of external sound at bay, the ANC does not have to work as hard. But even if it has to, it does so like a champ. The net result is that very little noise gets perceived by your ears, and nothing comes between you and your music.

If ANC is your primary consideration, you should pick the Sony WF-1000XM5 and enjoy the sound of nothing. Stay tuned for our in-depth comparative testing and accompanying data.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Sound quality

A man wears the Sony WF 1000XM5 and looks away.

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

When it comes to sound, the companies take differing approaches. But both sound great at the end of the day.

Samsung opts for a large 10mm driver along with a dedicated 5.3mm tweeter. It also features AKG tuning, helping the Buds 2 Pro achieve a frequency curve that most average consumers enjoy. It features boosted sub-bass frequencies and a pinch-high treble, making them good choices for consumers who listen to many bass-driven tracks.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Buds 2 earbuds next to each other.

Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority

On the other hand, the Sony WF-1000XM5 comes with an 8.4mm dynamic driver. These, too, feature a bass bump and a noticeable treble response. But what these have is an equalizer within the Headphones Connect app, letting you play around and tune these to your liking.

Ultimately, we’re inclined to side with the Sony WF-1000XM5 for their ability to sound great to most people while balancing the enthusiasts who want to tweak the sound profile. We’ll conduct in-depth comparative testing and present our data to you soon.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Microphone quality

Sony WF 1000XM5 hand holds earbud open case

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

The Sony WF-1000XM5 feature three onboard microphones per earbud, as well as bone conduction technology. Sony claims this advanced system can deliver good-quality call audio to the people on the other end. However, our unit is a pre-production model and has had a few issues in this area. We’ll update when we have a better idea of mic performance.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro perform better on this end, even though they, too, leave something more to be desired out of a pair of flagship earbuds. The mics on these can reasonably reject background noises, but your voice will sound noticeably artificial with an undue emphasis on plosives (the “p” sound). They’re suitable for the occasional voice call, but if you have a lot of calls that you need to attend to, you should look for alternatives here too.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Battery and charging

A hand holds the Sony WF 1000XM5 USB-C case.

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

Sony claims to have longer battery life on the WF-1000XM5 earbud than Samsung claims to have on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. With ANC on, the WF-1000XM5 earbuds can play music for about eight hours. With ANC on, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro can go on for about five hours, which is perceivably less.

The race is equalized if you pop the earbuds back into their cases. With the case capacity included, both earbuds claim to deliver 20 hours of performance with ANC. What Sony is touting are the fast charging capabilities of the earbuds once they find their way into the case, as a mere three minutes of charge can get you one hour of playback.

Thus, if you enjoy extended music sessions, the Sony WF-1000XM5 are your friend.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro case in graphite next to the Buds 2 case in white on a wooden table seen from the front.

Credit: Zak Khan / Android Authority

For charging, both of these earbuds charge via USB-C. They can also be charged wirelessly through Qi-enabled wireless chargers or through phones with reverse wireless charging.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Price

  • Sony WF-1000XM5: Launched for $300, but often discounted down to $250
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Launched for $230, but often discounted down to $170

The Sony WF-1000XM5 have launched for $300, which is squarely in the premium earbuds territory and out of reach for many people. The earbuds launched and went on sale in July 2023. You can find them occasionally discounted down to $250, which is still premium price-tier for wireless earbuds.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro launched for $229 in August 2022 and went on sale the same month. Since then, the earbuds have seen a few discount sales. Even Samsung routinely sells them for $170 on its website, making them an even better deal.

The price difference between the two earbuds is significant, especially when you take 2023 pricing. Compared solely based on their price, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the obvious winner.

Sony WF-1000XM5 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Which earbuds should you buy?

The WF-1000XM5 and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are Sony’s and Samsung’s best earbuds to date, bringing a lot to the table. Your decision to purchase these earbuds will boil down to your budget first and then to whether you have a Samsung smartphone.

A hand holds the Sony WF 1000XM5 case with the lid up and earbuds inside.

Credit: Harley Maranan / Android Authority

The Sony WF-1000XM5 are excellent earbuds, but at $300, they are expensive. You get a lot for your money, but that is a lot of money indeed. If you have a healthy budget and you are looking for a pair of earbuds that have excellent sound quality, excellent ANC, excellent battery life, and can play nicely with a wide variety of phones, tablets, and even laptops, then the Sony WF-1000XM5 deserve your money.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Bora Purple In Hand

Credit: Ryan McLeod / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro become a no-brainer purchase if your primary smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. This combination of phone and earbuds will get you a close and comparable experience at a substantially lower price tag. Samsung’s ecosystem moat is strongly seen with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and it works in your favor if you are using a recent Samsung flagship phone or tablet.

However, if you do not own a Samsung phone, then the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro become a choppy recommendation. Other earbuds in the market will perform as well for that price tag (or even cheaper) without penalizing you for not being part of the Samsung ecosystem.

If you don’t have the budget for the Sony WF-1000XM5, you can look at cheaper yet admirable recommendations in the form of the Nothing Ear 2 and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2.

You should buy the Sony WF-1000XM5 if:

  • You need excellent sound quality with excellent noise cancelation.
  • You need a pair of earbuds that work well across a variety of Android and Apple phones and tablets.
  • You want great battery life.
  • You are okay with the higher price tag, poor microphone performance, and IPX4 rating.

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro if:

  • You own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
  • You want excellent sound quality with great noise cancelation.
  • You are looking for an IPX7 rating for peace of mind.
  • You are okay with mediocre microphone performance and a Samsung ecosystem lock-in.

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