Apple’s AirPods are a standout success among consumers and critics, but there’s at least one critical publication that was apparently left unimpressed.
In its latest Stereo Headphones test (via Business Korea), Consumer Reports ranked AirPods in 49th place with just 56 points. That’s interesting since AirPods are currently the market leader — holding at least 60 percent of the wireless earphone market share.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, on the other hand, actually ranked first with a total of 86 points. Consumer Reports, in particular, praised the sound quality and battery life of the Samsung wireless earphones.
The publication called Galaxy Buds “one of the best-scoring portable Bluetooth headphones Consumer Reports has ever tested.” It noted that Galaxy Buds sport “exemplary audio quality packed into a pair of unobtrusive earpieces.”
Galaxy Buds received the only “Excellent” rating in sound quality, and CR also touted the battery life. Galaxy Buds support up to six hours of audio playback, and the included carrying case can bump that up with an additional seven hours.
Samsung first launched Galaxy Buds back in February as a fairly obvious competitor to AirPods. They’re compatible with any Android devices running Android 5.0, sport a number of built-in sensors, and are priced lower than Apple’s wireless headphones.
As mentioned earlier, AirPods are still the top dog among wireless headphones. A recent report indicated that sales of AirPods may have made up nearly 75 percent of all wireless headphone sales last year.
Due to that, the Consumer Reports ranking may be an outlier among critical publications. Not because Galaxy Buds beat out AirPods, but because AirPods ranked so low. Many critics have praised AirPods for their ease of use and sound quality.
On the other hand, the current iteration of AirPods isn’t perfect. When it comes to sound quality, the standard Apple Earbud design can’t hope to compete with the noise-isolating rubber earpieces of Galaxy Buds (or Apple’s own Powerbeats Pro for that matter).
Still, AirPods or Powerbeats Pro are likely the best bet for users tied to the Apple ecosystem, due to the extremely tight integration and seamlessness that they offer with iOS and Apple’s other operating systems.
More than that, a new generation of AirPods will be arriving sometime in the future. And with that generation, Apple has plenty of room to improve.
Don’t forget to enter our AirPods giveaway, here. The winner will be announced this October.