The Apple AirPods vs. Samsung Gear IconX

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard about the little wireless earphones Apple introduced last year to its collection. The Apple AirPods became a topic that was talked about in tech forums worldwide and if you aren’t a tech person, then you must have come across the memes circulating throughout Twitter and Facebook ridiculing the price tag on the AirPods.

Either way, whenever Apple announces to release a new product, it breaks the internet. The brand name is enough to stir a global hurricane. But it’s not the only company that has a reputable name and impact in this industry.

Samsung, keeping up with the pace of its competitor, released its own version of the wireless ear buds even before Apple did – the Samsung Gear IconX. The question is – which one is better: The AirPods or the Gear IconX?

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Before reviewing each of the ear buds individually, we need to know what important specifications of the two products can help us make a wise choice.

Being a music-lover, I know what I want – a good quality, comfortable pair of ear buds that have a long battery life to get me through the boring parts of my day. On top of that, I need an accessible pair of ear buds that actually work with the device or smartphone I already own. It would be extremely silly to buy a new phone that fits the requirements of my ear buds! And wouldn’t it be great if I didn’t have to sell a kidney to buy them? The design and miscellaneous added specifications are a bonus for me.

So, to break it down, here’s what you should be looking for before giving the verdict which ear bud is better:

  1. Price
  2. Compatibility
  3. Comfort
  4. Sound Quality
  5. Battery Life
  6. Color and Design
  7. Miscellaneous such as inbuilt storage, versatile applications etcetera

Now we’re ready to explore each of these specifications individually so let’s start!

PRICE

We all want to buy overpriced, branded gadgets but really, not many of us can afford that. Unless you’re pretty well-off and have the leverage to spend a handful of cash on a pair of earphones, I suggest you read this part thoroughly.

We all know Apple and Samsung remain on the high end when it comes to the tech industry, and normally Apple wins this category but this time Samsung is the one selling the more expensive wireless ear buds. We’ve all read of the memes that made fun of how buying the Apple AirPods was actually more expensive than buying an iPhone 7, but people didn’t realize the extra 30 dollars on the Gear IconX.

The price of the Apple AirPods in the US is $160, while the price of the Samsung Gear IconX is US $200.

Winner: Apple AirPods

COMPATIBILITY

As an Android user for years, anything from Apple is incompatible for me but to everyone who does own an Apple device, there’s good news. The AirPods work on every Apple device making it pretty versatile for Apple users. In addition, the setup is easy and simple.

The Android users aren’t in much luck though. The Gear IconX works only on Android devices that are the version KitKat and now, Nougat. The older versions are incompatible so if you have a slightly more primitive phone, it’s time to either buy a new phone or switch to Apple.

Winner: Apple AirPods

COMFORT

If you’re planning to wear the ear phones for a long time, you need something that can comfortably sit in your ear almost unnoticeable. Some users of the Samsung Gear IconX have reported that the ear buds are “uncomfortable and tend to heat up”. The long stems of these ear buds penetrate deep into the ear canal that can not only be painful but also not great for the hearing.

On the other hand, the Apple AirPods are a lot more comfortable with stems hanging out instead of in. They have a coating of ear gel that further improves the comfort of the ear buds and are perfect for workout when the body tends to get sweaty.

Winner: Apple AirPods

SOUND QUALITY

The Apple AirPods have an inbuilt noise reduction and cancelling capability that improves the sound quality and the frequency of the music. The impedance of the AirPods is quite high so it requires more power to produce louder sounds. The Samsung Gear IconX, on the other hand, does not have these specifications and even though the impedance is lower, the sound quality is poor and there is no system of noise cancellation.

Winner: Apple AirPods

BATTERY LIFE

One of the great things about listening to music through wired earphones from your smartphone is that it doesn’t use up too much battery life, be it Samsung or Apple. Naturally, we would want a wireless ear bud that promises the same long battery life advantage.

The Apple AirPod has a reputable battery life that runs for over 5 hours and needs only up to fifteen minutes to charge for 3 hours. The small charging case that comes with these earpieces holds another 24 hour worth battery life.

The Samsung Gear IconX? Not so much. Users have complained of a very short battery life of only 3 hours and poor charge from the charging case. In addition, the Gear IconX tends to get overheated quickly.

Winner: Apple AirPods

COLOR AND DESIGN

Even though the earpieces are small and barely have an important role aesthetically, the design of the product is always an important factor to consider before making a choice. The Apple AirPods are sleek and come in only one color, shape and size. Also, the hanging stem might look a tad bit awkward.

The Samsung Gear IconX has more options when it comes to design. The ear buds are available in three different colors – blue, black and white. There are also different sizes available to fit better in your ear.

Winner: Samsung Gear IconX

MISCELLANEOUS

Inbuilt Storage: The Samsung Gear IconX has an inbuilt memory of around 3.5 GB while the AirPods lack any form of storage.

Biosensors: The Gear IconX can sense the heart rate, speed, calories that can be beneficial in a workout session.

Versatility: Because of the specs mentioned above, the Gear IconX is more than just a listening device. It can be used as a fitness tracker as well.

Motion Sensors: The Apple AirPods use infrared rays to activate Siri in the ear buds with just a few taps.

Water-Resistance: The Apple AirPods are water resistant while the Samsung Gear IconX is not. Rainy days are not so friendly on the Samsung device.

THE VERDICT: APPLE AIRPODS OR SAMSUNG GEAR ICONX

The Apple AirPods are the clear winner in the majority of the specifications: Sound Quality, Battery Life, Compatibility, Price and Comfort. The major drawbacks of the Samsung product make it unworthy of the price on it. So if you’re looking to buy a pair of wireless earpieces for yourself, it might be wiser to consider the Apple AirPods instead of its Samsung counterpart.

Or if you want to stay on an even safer side, regular earphones aren’t half bad either!