Best wireless earbuds for Galaxy S21 series: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, & more!

Best wireless earbuds for Galaxy S21 series: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4, & more!

Our top picks for the best wireless earbuds to go with your new Galaxy S21

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 phones are some of the best Android devices to date, available in three models (regular, Plus, and Ultra), and starting at only $800. The recent Galaxy S21 deals have even brought the phones down by $200, and you can expect more discounts in the coming months. No matter how much you pay for any of the phones, there aren’t many downsides, except that the headphone jack is long gone.

Samsung’s flagship series lost the beloved 3.5mm jack with last year’s S20 series, and it hasn’t made a return on the S21 lineup. That means if you don’t want to deal with an adapter, and if you don’t have a pair of wired USB Type-C headphones, you’ll need a pair of wireless earbuds to enjoy music. Even if you have wired headphones, true wireless earbuds might be a worthwhile upgrade.

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best wireless earbuds for the Galaxy S21 series. If you haven’t already purchased a case for your new phone, have a look at our roundup of the best Galaxy S21 cases as well.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

By most accounts, the best pair of earbuds for the Galaxy S21 series is Samsung’s own Galaxy Buds Pro. Not only do the earbuds sound great, but they also support Active Noise Cancelling (ANC), and their internal batteries last around five hours. When it’s time to charge them up, you can use a USB Type-C cable or a Qi wireless charging pad.

Wireless earbuds for Galaxy S21 - Galaxy Buds Pro

The Galaxy Buds Pro in its charging/carrying case.

SpecificationGalaxy Buds Pro
Battery life
Around 5 hours, 18 hours with the case
ChargingUSB Type-C, Qi wireless
CodecsScalable (Samsung proprietary), AAC, SBC
Water resistanceIPX7
ColorsPhantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Black

The Galaxy Buds Pro have a few extra features when paired with Samsung devices. The buds support Samsung’s proprietary Scalable audio codec, which “prevents audio chopping by changing the bit-rate according to the strength of the Bluetooth connection” according to Samsung. You can also charge the earbuds’ case wirelessly on the back of any recent Galaxy S or Note phone, though that also works for any Qi-compatible earbuds.

The most noticeable downside to the Galaxy Buds Pro is that the touch controls are a bit finicky — it’s easy to accidentally pause music or skip to the next track by adjusting the buds in your ear. You can turn the touch controls off completely (as well as change other options) if you want. The buds also use Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant when paired to a Galaxy phone, but it’s easy to switch the buds to Google Assistant.

If you’re curious about our full thoughts, check out our Galaxy Buds Pro review for all the nitty-gritty details.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
    These are the ultimate earbuds for the Galaxy S21, complete with ANC and support for Samsung's Scalable audio codec. However, at an MSRP of $200, they are on the expensive side.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

If you’re usually not a fan of in-ear earbuds (like me), or the Galaxy Buds Pro are just too expensive, the Galaxy Buds Live might be for you. The buds’ unique shape has earned them the nickname ‘Galaxy Beans,’ but they fit well in most people’s ears and have most of the features found on the Buds Pro.

Wireless earbuds for Galaxy S21 - Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

SpecificationGalaxy Buds Live
Battery life
Around 6 hours, 20 hours with the case
ChargingUSB Type-C, Qi wireless
CodecsScalable (Samsung proprietary), AAC, SBC
Water resistanceIPX2
Colors Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, Mystic Black

Just like the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Buds Live can be charged over USB Type-C or Qi wireless, and there’s support for Samsung’s special Scalable audio codec when paired to a Galaxy device. The earbuds also have limited water resistance but don’t go swimming with them. The controls and audio are customizable with the Samsung Wearable app.

The main drawback here is the Active Noise Cancellation. While the earbuds technically have ANC, you need an in-ear design for proper noise isolation, so ANC has little effect when turned on. If blocking the outside world is an essential feature, go for the Buds Pro or below-mentioned Sony earbuds instead. Check out our review of the Galaxy Buds Live for our full thoughts.

    Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
    The Galaxy Buds Live is a great cheaper alternative to the Buds Pro, with most of the same software features and a unique design. However, the ANC doesn't work well.

Sony WF-1000XM4

The Sony WF-1000XM4 replace their predecessor – the WF-1000XM3 – in this list, which are a great paid of earbuds. Sony’s new earbuds are smaller than their predecessor and come with IPX4 water-resistance. Moreover, you’ll get amazing active noise cancellation (ANC), like the WF-1000XM3 on the buds, and superb audio quality.

Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds in black

Specification Sony WF-1000XM4
Battery life
Around 8 hours, 24 hours with the case
ChargingUSB Type-C, Qi wireless
CodecsAAC, SBC, LDAC
Water resistanceIPX4
ColorsBlack, Silver

The Sony earbuds can last up to 8 hours, and come with Fast Pair support. So these earbuds will pair seamlessly with your Galaxy S21 series phone. You can charge the Sony WF-1000XM4 using a Type-C cable or wirelessly.

    Sony WF-1000XM4
    Sony's WF-1000XM4 are arguably the best wireless earbuds for ANC on the market.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

If you don’t want to spend too much on your new wireless earbuds, the Google Pixel Buds A-Series are a great option. The earbuds can last up to five hours on a single charge, and can be charged using the Type-C port. There is no wireless charging support or active noise cancellation on the Pixel Buds A-Series.Pixel Buds A-Series

SpecificationGoogle Pixel Buds A-Series
Battery life
Around 5 hours, 24 hours with the case
ChargingUSB Type-C
CodecsAAC, SBC
Water resistanceIPX4
ColorsClearly White, Dark Olive

But the Google earbuds provide good sound quality, and seamless pairing experience with Android devices, including the Galaxy S21 series. Also, given these are Google buds, you get Google Assistant integration. Lastly, there is IPX4 water-resistance as well.

    Google Pixel Buds A-Series
    Google Pixel Buds A-Series are a toned-down version of the Pixel Buds. These are a great budget option for wireless earbuds.

Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro+

If you want AirPods-style earbuds that work better with Android devices, including the Galaxy S21 series, the Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro+ are one of the best options. They have a design similar to AirPods, but the case charges with USB Type-C, and all features are available on both Android and iOS.

Galaxy S21 wireless earbuds - Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro+

SpecificationMobvoi TicPods 2 Pro+
Battery life
Around 4 hours, 204 hours with the case
ChargingUSB Type-C
CodecsQualcomm aptX, AAC, SBC
Water resistanceNone
ColorsIce, Navy

The TicPods are the only earbuds on this list that support Qualcomm’s aptX audio codec, which means you’ll get excellent wireless performance on any Android device using a Qualcomm chipset (including the Galaxy S21). They might be the best choice if you’re swapping between several different phones and tablets if most of them have Qualcomm hardware. However, the earbuds don’t have ANC or wireless charging.

    TicPods 2 Pro+
    These earbuds closely match the design of Apple's AirPods, but can charge over USB Type-C and support Qualcomm's aptX audio codec.

These are the best wireless earbuds for Samsung Galaxy S21 series phones on the market. If you’re looking for more options that go beyond targeting the Galaxy S21 series, you can check out our curated list of best true wireless earbuds for all phones.

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. From blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants, he has done it all. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web.