Samsung Gear IconX vs Apple AirPods: Stark Design Differences

Just two days after Apple’s unveiling of AirPods, the company’s first true wireless headphones, Samsung has reminded us that it makes wireless earbuds too, by posting an interview with the designers of the Samsung Gear IconX cordless earbuds (via CNET). The South Korean company highlights that unlike the AirPods, the IconX earbuds have rubber tips to help them fit snugly in different ears. “A harder material would be durable, but might hurt when worn,” said engineer Sunghan Park.

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(Left: Apple AirPods  Right: Samsung IconX Earbuds)

On the contrary though, an in-depth review of IconX earbuds by Android news site AndroidPIT, reveals that Samsung’s offering is not only more expensive ($260 CAD vs $219 CAD for AirPods), but also hurts your ears by getting really hot and has poor audio quality. “The Gear IconX are earphones that look good and have useful features for sports but crucial details like battery life, water-resistance and overheating have ruined the experience”, writes the reviewer.

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Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds have 3 hours of battery life versus 5 hours for Apple’s AirPods for music listening (2 hours talk time). They even have a charge case that offers a 315mAh battery inside, to extend use. Apple’s AirPods have a charge case which can extend use by 25 hours.

AndroidPIT says battery life at times lasted only a hour for the IconX earbuds, while weak Bluetooth meant walking to the bedroom from the living room resulted in lost connections. The conclusion of the IconX?

After more than two weeks of use, I’ve realized that the Gear IconX is a good idea that’s not worth $200 price [USD] tag – even with little direct competition in this market.

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Meanwhile, early hands on impressions of Apple AirPods paint a completely different picture, revealing that not only are they extremely comfortable yet completely secure in your ears while you run or dance, they have an impressive sound quality as well. But these were quick hands-on in press areas, so let’s wait for more in-depth reviews.

Well, which one would you guys pick? Samsung’s IconX or Apple’s AirPods?

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  • rizzior

    AirPods Baby…

  • Biggy604

    Neither, there are cheaper bluetooth headphones that sound just as good.

  • jay

    think no question GEAR X way more advanced and it doesnt look so ugly

  • Guest

    Jay birds for me. I don’t mind the small cable between the 2 buds.

  • Bubs

    In Costco the GearX sign said only compatible with Android. Is this true? Apple says theirs work with more then Apple devices.

  • Salinger

    The AirPods look horrific and ridiculous. It’s like you’re walking around with a cigarette hanging off each ear. I haven’t seen an Apple product that ugly since they came out with the battery case for iPhone 6. Given they appear to be just a wireless version of EarPods, I suspect the sound quality is anything but “impressive” to all but an audio neophyte.

    I honestly wouldn’t choose either of these options.

  • faceless128

    they work with anything that supports BT headphones. you can’t use their app for the advanced features on non-Android though.

    on Android you can manage music settings on the earbuds, monitor your heart rate (they have a built-in HRM) and transfer music from the Android device directly to the onboard storage on the earbuds. playing music directly from the earbuds doubles battery life.

  • fallacies

    didn’t know Apple made tampons… i’ll have to tell my gf

  • Chad

    Transfer of music from device only works with a samsung phone

  • Rokko D (dreamboy)

    Icon x by far…. if u want to spend less money go for apple…. I have no complaints and specially with the Ambien feature I can hear my surroundings and listen to my fave tunes at thr same time…. #TEAM SAMMY