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Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 wishlist: All the features I want to see

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 look set to release alongside the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro later this year.
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Published onMarch 26, 2024

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earbuds with one 'bud out of the open, angled charging case.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys

Samsung continues to make some of the best noise canceling wireless earbuds that money can buy. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro can attenuate frequencies between 30Hz – 100Hz by nearly 50dB. The company’s mid-tier noise canceling alternative, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, also provide good ANC for the price. These earbuds can attenuate frequencies between 30Hz – 300Hz by up to 22dB. Packed with the Samsung Scalable Codec, the auto-pause function, direct Spotify access (Android only,) and Samsung 360 Audio, it is no wonder fans are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3.

Here is everything I want to see from the updated Samsung Galaxy Buds 3.

Improved noise canceling

A chart depicts the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 isolation and noise canceling performance, with low-frequency sounds rendered one-quarter as loud with ANC on than without the earbuds in at all.
The noise canceling of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 renders low-frequency noises up to one-quarter as loud as they’d sound without the earphones in.

As things stand, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 provide up to 22dB of noise canceling around 100Hz and blocking 40dB around 10kHz. However, its application is relatively uneven, dipping to roughly 10dB of attenuation around 750Hz. This allows passing voices to penetrate the earbuds’ active noise canceling (ANC) feature. By comparison, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro reduce frequencies between 30Hz-20kHz by roughly 25dB on average. While its application is also uneven, the noise canceling feature is much stronger overall. I want to see Samsung’s next-gen mid-tier buds adopt more formidable noise canceling. This would protect users’ audio feed from distracting environmental sounds. It would also allow users to listen to their audio at lower volumes. This helps to mitigate the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and ear fatigue.

Sensible tap control sensitivity

A person wears the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earbuds.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The microphone works decently but doesn’t handle wind noise well.

One of the most frustrating aspects of using earbuds without pressure stems is the apparent inaccuracy when registering touch commands. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 suffer from this. Rather than tapping to resume audio playback, the buds often fall into a frenzy of pausing and skipping songs. That is unfortunate, especially given the buds do not auto-resume playback when putting them back inside the ears. Thankfully, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro improved upon its mid-tier cousin by building less sensitive touch controls. That means users can play/ pause, activate ANC and transparency mode, and skip songs with a sense of reliability. I expect the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 to follow suit, incorporating more adequality-sensitized touch controls into their build.

Longer battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earphones in graphite.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys

The average battery life for wireless earbuds stands at roughly five hours. Considering the Galaxy Buds 2 provide five hours of charge, you could argue they offer good value. However, many competitors have made it their top priority to increase their earbuds’ battery life. For example, the Bose QuietComfort Buds 2 and Sennheiser Sport True Wireless last more than seven hours. Not to mention Samsung’s original Galaxy Buds, which offer up to nearly seven hours of juice. I want Samsung to peel away from the status quo with its flagship release. If the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 can provide users with longer battery life than their predecessor, I expect they will be received well at launch.

An IPX7 water-resistance rating

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earbuds next to the extra ear tips.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
You get three pairs of silicone ear tips which is serviceable but doesn’t cater to a wide variety of ear shapes.

If Samsung decides to reinstate the wing tips of the original Galaxy Buds to the updated Galaxy Buds 3, it would make sense for them to include a more robust IP rating. Not only that, but it is an increasing expectation that modern earbuds should withstand greater exposure to moisture and dirt. This protects them from sweaty workouts, drier environments, and trips to the beach. It also gives us peace of mind that our hard-earned purchases can endure rain and accidental spillages. Given the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wear an IPX7 water-resistance rating, I expect the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 will improve upon their predecessors’ IPX2 rating.

Support for the aptX Bluetooth Codec

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earbuds in the open charging case while connected to the Galaxy Wearable app on a Samsung Galaxy S10e.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
You can take control of the earbuds from the Wearable app.

The Samsung Scalable Codec boasted by the Galaxy Buds 2 is an excellent addition for Samsung smartphone users. It prioritizes connection stability by making constant adjustments to streaming rates. This means users are less likely to suffer from audio dropouts and stutters. It also provides up to 512kbps, 48kHz/ 24-bit audio sampling. However, if you own an iPhone or an Android device other than a Samsung, you miss out on this feature entirely. That means falling back on either AAC or SBC Bluetooth connectivity. While AAC works well for iPhone users, it performs unpredictably with some Android devices. Ambitious though it is, I would love to see the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 support the aptX Bluetooth Codec. This would provide a larger pool of smartphone owners with a high-quality Bluetooth connection. However, I doubt it will happen.

What would you like to see Samsung bring to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3?

430 votes

Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Buds 3?

A hand reaches to remove one Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless 2 earbud from the case.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
Samsung added 360 Audio to the Galaxy Buds 2, which is compatible with video content.

As yet, there has been no official announcement from Samsung about the release of the Galaxy Buds 3. However, Michel Groenheijde of GalaxyClub reports that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro are in development. These are said to take on the model numbers SM-R530 and SM-R630 respectively. Michel Groenheijde also states that the required firmware for both buds has recently been developed. This comes alongside reports that the battery for the charging case recently appeared at a South Korean inspection agency.

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE on October 10, 2023, indicates the company is still interested in updating its Galaxy Buds catalog. These buds benefit from up to 43dB of noise canceling, a low price tag, and a comfortable and small form factor. However, the more affordable price point has forced Samsung to omit flagship features like wireless charging and a robust IP rating. Android users can easily connect and enjoy these earbuds, but iOS fans will miss the best features. With the unveiling of a Galaxy Buds case with an OLED screen at CES 2024, I fully expect the company will bring its flagship mid-tier buds to market in 2024.

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds — March 8, 2019
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 — August 28, 2021

Samsung has released many different Galaxy earbud variants over the years. From the Galaxy Buds Live to the Galaxy Buds Plus and everything in between, users have many earbuds to choose from. However, its Galaxy Buds line has only seen two iterations during its short lifetime. This makes it somewhat hard to determine when we should expect the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 to come to market. However, there are some details we can surmise from Samsung’s previous Galaxy Buds releases. For example, the original Galaxy Buds came to market on March 8, 2019. The company followed up two years and five months later with the Galaxy Buds 2 on August 28, 2021. If we roughly follow this release pattern, it is reasonable to expect the company’s next-gen upgrade will come to shelves in early 2024.

Unfortunately, Samsung does not seem to prefer a particular time of year for releasing its Galaxy Buds line. While the company has previously released the Galaxy Buds 2, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and Galaxy Buds Live in August, the original Galaxy Buds launched in March. Furthermore, the now-discontinued Galaxy Buds Plus launched in February 2020, and its most recent Galaxy Buds FE hit shelves in October 2023. This makes it difficult to ascertain which season the company’s flagship earbuds will launch.

Should you wait for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 noise canceling true wireless earphones in the open charging case on top of a Samsung Galaxy S10e smartphone in pink.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Galaxy Buds 2 supports Wireless PowerShare like all the Galaxy Buds that came before it.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 work seamlessly within the company’s ecosystem. If you own a Samsung smartphone, these earbuds will likely provide most of the features on your wishlist. With that in mind, it raises questions if it is worth waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3. This is especially true, given you can still grab a pair of the second-generation buds for roughly ($99 at Amazon.) This is less than we envisage the Galaxy Buds 3 launching for and less than some of the immediate competition. However, many other earbud brands offer high-end features and good value for money.

Take, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. These buds are often on sale, and for ($179 at Amazon,) users gain access to a more comprehensive feature set. These include Bluetooth 5.3, an IPX7 water-resistance rating, Intelligent Conversation Mode, reliable touch controls, auto device switching, and up to 50dB of noise canceling. The matte finish also feels premium, and the charging case feels more secure. The buds also benefit from a vent to relieve pressure inside the ear canal. This helps the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro remain comfortable to wear for long periods without suffering ear fatigue. Unfortunately, there are no wing tips in sight. Like the Galaxy Buds 2, running and vigorous exercise with the Pro version is a risky business.

If you own an iPhone and desire the same level of integration, then look no further than the Apple AirPods Pro 2. For ($239 at Amazon,) Apple fans gain access to the company’s updated H2 chip. In addition, users receive up to 35dB of noise canceling, Adaptive Transparency Mode, auto-wear detection, pressure-sensitive stems, slide controls, MagSafe wireless charging, and an IP54 water and dust-resistance rating. The AirPods Pro 2 also produce very pleasing sound quality and boast an extremely comfortable ergonomic fit. These earbuds come to life when paired with an iPhone. That’s because users gain bespoke features such as Spatial Audio personalization, battery life optimization, Find My compatibility, and more. However, if you own a Samsung device, there are probably better options.

Depending on the depth of your wallet, one of these may well be the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 ($249 at Amazon.) For the inflated price, users gain a lightweight design, Bose’s Auto EQ feature, up to 40dB of noise canceling, Bose’s Aware Mode, automatic ActiveSense technology, and an IPX4 rating. However, the frequency response out of the box is precarious, requiring a fair amount of equalization to get right. The Bose Music app hosts a “bass boost” EQ preset that seems unnecessary considering the earbuds’ accentuated bass response. Furthermore, the earbuds boast stabilizers on the earbud housing to ensure a consistent fit. However, the concha fins sometimes rotate on the smooth plastic of the earbuds, preventing the contacts from meeting the case when closed. This can make pairing devices, receiving firmware updates, and charging prone to failing at random intervals.

Finally, those dreaming of the days when the Galaxy Buds came equipped with wing tips may find the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless ($99 at Amazon) fit their needs. These earbuds do not play host to noise canceling. Instead, they offer users an IP54 water and dust-resistance rating to protect them from sweaty workouts. A plethora of wing and ear tips also provide a snug fit for ears of different sizes and shapes. The Sennheiser Smart Control companion app is supported by iOS and Android, allowing users to customize their audio experience. This provides access to firmware updates, a custom three-band EQ, a listening test, adjustable touch controls, and the ability to enable sidetone. The buds also support the aptX Bluetooth codec, SBC, and AAC wireless connectivity. The earbuds last more than seven hours while charging the buds for 10 minutes provides 60 minutes of music playback.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Compact design • In-app ear tip fit test • Sound quality
MSRP: $149.00
A fine pair of noise canceling earbuds that might get lost in the confusing line of other Buds.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 don't rattle the world of audio wearables, but they do their job well as a pair of everyday earphones. Sound quality is very good and bound to please most ears, and the noise canceling edges out that of the Galaxy Buds Pro. Still, you may have a hard time choosing the Buds 2 over the more premium Buds Pro and more affordable Buds Plus.

FAQs

Samsung has made no official announcement about the Galaxy Buds 3 to date. However, Michel Groenheijde of GalaxyClub reports that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 are in development and will adorn the model number SM-R530. Furthermore, the Galaxy Buds 2 were released two years and five months ago, meaning an imminent update is likely. Unfortunately, Samsung did not mention the Galaxy Buds 3 at CES 2024. We will have to wait for an announcement from Samsung for concrete details.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are some of the most popular wireless earbuds on the market. While there has been no official announcement yet, I fully expect Samsung to release new earbuds in 2024. This would fit the company’s previous release schedule for its Galaxy Buds line.

With the release of the Samsung Galaxy Buds FE on October 10, 2023, the company remains invested in renewing its Galaxy Buds line. This is supported by the revelation of a new OLED Galaxy Buds charging case at CES 2024. With Michel Groenheijde of GalaxyClub reporting that an update to the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is imminent, new Samsung earbuds look likely in 2024.

Yes, the original Samsung Galaxy Buds were discontinued on February 14, 2020, alongside the release of the Galaxy Buds Plus.

This is subjective. However, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($179 at Amazon) have some of the best noise canceling capabilities on the market. If you are looking for something more affordable, then the Galaxy Buds 2 ($99 at Amazon) make for an excellent all-around alternative. That said, the Galaxy Buds Live ($89 at Amazon) are open-fit earbuds that allow environmental sound into your audio feed. This creates a safer listening experience when exercising outdoors or cycling to work.