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

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro may bring real-time language interpretation using on-device AI.
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Published onApril 25, 2024

A hand holds the open case with the buds showing of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro in front of green succulents.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys

The best earbud features are becoming increasingly hidden behind walled gardens. For example, the Samsung Seamless Codec is reserved for those already invested in the company’s ecosystem. Frustratingly, non-Samsung phone owners miss out on some of the most exciting features that make the company’s flagship wireless earbuds attractive in the first place. Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are the company’s most accomplished headphones. The buds benefit from some of the best noise canceling on the market and come packed with handy features. Android users from all corners of the market should have enough gadgetry to keep them from twiddling their thumbs. With the increasingly excitable chatter of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro reaching its peak, fans are getting itchy palms for a feature-rich upgrade.

Unfortunately, Samsung has made no official announcement about its next-gen earbuds. Aside from scant titbits like the company’s OLED charging case revealed at CES 2024, users are left clutching at straws for information. Thankfully, trusted industry analysts have laid to rest any doubt about the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro coming to fruition. Here are all the details and everything I want to see included in Samsung’s next-gen earbuds.

Longer battery life

On a tropical themed outdoor blanket the open case of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro rests with the lid open.
The buds are prominent and bulb-shaped, making it easier to grasp them and perform touch commands.

Unlike wired earbuds, true wireless headphones rely on batteries to power on. While over-ear headphones beget roughly 20 hours of playtime, wireless earbuds fare worse. With continuous streaming at roughly 75dB(SPL,) users receive an average battery life of four to five hours. However, some earbuds, like the Sony WF-1000XM4, last far longer than this on a single charge. For example, these earbuds provide roughly eight hours of ANC-enabled playback time. Similarly, the JLab Epic Air Sport ANC offer over 15 hours of noise canceling playtime.

Samsung has a history of implementing mediocre battery life into its Pro-series headphones. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro last approximately 4 hours and 48 minutes on a single charge. Likewise, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro profit just 4 hours and 50 minutes of music listening. While this is within the industry average, it is underwhelming from what are otherwise flagship earbuds. It also falls significantly short of the competition. When spending upwards of $200, users rightfully expect their headphones to last long commutes and walks at the weekend without frequent top-ups. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro will need much longer battery life to remain competitive.

A flatter frequency response

The normal EQ frequency response of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro as compared to the target curve, which it follows closely.
The normal EQ setting has amplified bass and somewhat exaggerated treble, except for under-emphasis at 7kHz to 10kHz.

Most average listeners enjoy a loud bass response and accentuated high-end when listening to music. This is often referred to as a “V-shaped” frequency curve and it is something that is proving more prevalent among consumer headphones as time goes on. However, the level of boosting in the bass, sub-bass, upper-midrange, and treble frequencies greatly affects how we perceive music. Different headphones will also serve you better depending on the style of music that you enjoy listening to the most. Typically, audiophiles look for headphones with a flat frequency response. This reproduces music as close to how the artist intended without any auditory enhancements.

Some of Samsung’s headphones, like the Galaxy Buds 2, have a substantially quieter bass and sub-bass response than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. This allows the headphones to reproduce a broader list of music genres well and is something we expect to continue with the arrival of the Galaxy Buds 3. Unlike their more pedestrian siblings, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have a noticeably louder sub-bass profile that can make some vocals sound comparatively quiet. When listening to bass-heavy tracks, some users may find the headphones too bassy and that the fundamentals sound subdued. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro would benefit from a flatter frequency response when they come to fruition.

A custom EQ

A man wears the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro while facing left, and he's about to tap the touch pad with trees and concrete in the background.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
Samsung’s mics are okay, but not perfect.

As mentioned, some users may find the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro too bassy out of the box. Thankfully, equalizers (EQs) can help to rein in unwanted frequencies or boost sounds that feel subdued. These typically come packaged as either EQ presets or a native custom EQ in your headphones’ companion app. Those who do not receive the option from their source device’s app can download a third-party EQ from either the Android or iOS app stores.

Samsung’s Galaxy Wearables app for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro provides six EQ presets. These come in the form of Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost. While these are welcome and certainly better than no EQ, they do little to address the shortfall in user control. By comparison, Sony’s Headphones Connect app includes nine EQ presets and a five-band custom EQ with a “Clear Bass” slider for adjusting the overall bass output. For $229, users should have greater audio customization at their fingertips. I hope Samsung will integrate a custom EQ into the Galaxy Wearables app when the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro come to market.

Less Samsung exclusivity

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sits next to the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the buds next to each other to show the differences.
Grab the set that matches your operating system.

Once upon a time, Apple was the outlier sealing itself behind the impenetrable wall of proprietary technology. From the Apple operating system to lightning cables and the abolition of the headphone port, few expected others to follow suit. However, Samsung has taken a page out of Apple’s book. For example, the company reserves its best features for the most up-to-date Samsung smartphone users. This is true of the Samsung Seamless Codec, auto-device switching, and 360 audio recording.

Not all devices work in this way. For example, the Beats Fit Pro work just as well on Android as on iOS. Downloading the Beats app on Android provides access to once-proprietary Apple features. These include toggling listening modes, control customization, and performing firmware updates. On the other hand, Samsung does not currently offer an iOS-friendly companion app for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. This prevents Apple users from using Samsung’s EQ presets, custom commands, and ANC settings. Even those with non-Samsung Android phones suffer, missing out on 24-bit audio, wireless powershare, and more. Samsung will need the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro to be more compatible with other devices if it plans to scoop up a larger share of the market.

A more robust charging case

The closed back case of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro rests on a colorful tropical themed blanket.
The case feels grippy and solid.

In addition to juicing up our earbuds, charging cases act as a protective barrier against accidental drops and scrapes. Some, like the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) case, have an integrated speaker to help you locate it when it has been misplaced. Others, including the AirPods Pro 2, are built with an IPX4 water-resistant rating. This protects the case from light rainfall and omnidirectional splashes.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds benefit from an IPX7 water-resistant rating. This protects the buds from submersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, the charging case has no IP rating, making it susceptible to damage from water and dust. The matte finish also makes the case and earbuds prone to scratches and nicks. This is less of a problem for their glossy Galaxy Buds 2 cousin. With no IP rating and a matte exterior, users are more likely to have to replace a Galaxy Bud due to drops, scratches, dust, or water damage. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro would benefit from having a more robust charging case when they launch.

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

156 votes

Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro?

Roland Quandt reports on the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro
Roland Quandt
Trusted industry analyst Roland Quandt reports that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are in the pipeline.

Samsung earbuds are some of the most sought-after products on the headphones market. This is largely thanks to their impressive noise canceling, advanced feature set, and seamless compatibility with Samsung smartphones. The release of the Galaxy Buds FE on October 12, 2023, indicates the company is still invested in its Galaxy Buds catalog. These headphones are some of Samsung’s most affordable to date. Like their siblings, the Galaxy Buds FE make an excellent companion for Samsung and non-Samsung phone owners. For sub-$100, users gain up to 43db of noise canceling, the Samsung Scalable Codec, and a comfortable build.

Nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro remain the company’s flagship headphones. Thankfully, a feature-rich upgrade looks to be on the cards. On January 22, 2024, trusted industry analyst Roland Quandt of WinFuture reported that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are inbound. Furthermore, Lee Sang-deok of the South Korean Maeil Business Newspaper states that Samsung plans to release a wireless Galaxy Buds product in the second half of 2024. Supposedly, this will support real-time language interpretation using on-device AI. This makes sense, given the Samsung Galaxy S24 smartphone already boasts next-gen generative AI features like Live Translate and Chat Assist.

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro — January 14, 2021
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro — August 26, 2022

There is no set release date for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro. However, we can gauge a probable release window from previous product launches. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro came to market one year and seven months after the original Galaxy Buds Pro. If we apply the same window to Samsung’s next-gen buds, the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro should have come to market in March 2024. Strangely enough, both previous Galaxy Buds products retailed at different times of the year. For example, the original Galaxy Buds came to market in winter 2021. Conversely, the updated Galaxy Buds 2 dropped in the summer of 2022.

The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro may launch alongside the new Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 smartphones later this year. Given the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 launched in August 2023, a summer 2024 release looks likely. However, we will have to wait for details from Samsung for a reliable release date.

Should you wait for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro?

Two hands hold one of the Sony WF-1000XM5 and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro showing the inside housing and ear tips.
Harley Maranan / SoundGuys
The WF-1000XM5 has a substantial and dense isolating ear tip, compared to the softer silicone ear tip on the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro remain on sale from the company’s website and most major online retailers. For the price, users gain Bluetooth 5.3, an IPX7 water-resistant build, and up to 52dB of noise canceling. However, the inflated price tag attached to these buds will make some potential buyers look elsewhere. Without a release date to look forward to, it is reasonable to question whether the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are worth waiting for.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($179 at Amazon) are excellent headphones for Samsung phone owners and those looking for exceptional noise canceling. Bass heads will also enjoy the default sound of these buds. With a roughly 9dB boost to sub-bass frequencies, some fundamentals and vocals can appear subdued. However, users gain six EQ presets to hone their sound via the Galaxy Wearables app. Samsung phone owners get even handier features and can utilize the Samsung Seamless Codec and 24-bit audio. Unfortunately, many of the earbuds’ best features like 360 audio recording and auto-device switching are reserved solely for Samsung phones. Those running iOS miss out even more, losing access to the built-in EQ, custom commands, and ANC settings.

Luckily for iPhone owners, the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) ($239 at Amazon) remain the best iPhone companions on the market. They share a similar feature set to the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro but are better optimized for Apple products. For example, iPhone users can use adaptive transparency mode, spatial audio with head tracking, and battery life optimization. The headphones benefit from a more pleasing frequency response out of the box that closely follows our target curve. The AirPods Pro 2 last longer than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, profiting nearly six hours of ANC-enabled listening time. Placing the earbuds on charge for five minutes yields 60 minutes of music playback. While they can’t compete with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro’s IPX7 rating, the AirPods Pro 2 case is protected from light water splashes.

The open cases of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro sit next to the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) on a wood surface.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro have an IPX7 rating, and the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) have the lesser, IPX4 rating. Neither case has an IP rating.

For substantially less money, Android fans should consider the Sony WF-1000XM4 ($278 at Amazon.) These earbuds yield nearly eight hours of ANC playback time, with the case providing two extra recharging cycles. The headphones are protected with an IPX4 water-resistant rating and wear foam ear tips for extra isolation. Under the hood, users can connect with Bluetooth 5.2 via the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. Unlike the Samsung Seamless Codec, LDAC is supported by a wide range of smartphones to provide up to 990kbps, 24-bit/96kHz audio sampling. Those who enjoy surround sound can utilize Sony’s proprietary 360 Reality Audio feature with supported content on Tidal, Deezer, and Amazon Music HD. To protect your music from unwanted environmental noise, the Sony WF-1000XM4 have up to 52dB of noise canceling. Sound quality is also very pleasing, with a much softer boost to sub-bass frequencies than the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Those looking for the best of the best should invest in the Sony WF-1000XM5 ($298 at Amazon.) These headphones improve upon their predecessor in almost every way. For example, they wear a more comfortable design and include extra small ear tips out of the box. According to Sony, the buds are also 25% smaller and 20% lighter than the WF-1000XM4. Those who missed multiple touch functions with the XM4 will enjoy the improved control operation and customization with the newer model. The Sony Headphones Connect app on Android and iOS allows users to control the custom EQ, 360 Reality Audio, and Sony’s DSEE Extreme upscaling feature. Canceling out unwanted noise is a breeze thanks to nearly 47dB of attenuation that is improved across the board. The Sony WF-1000XM5 also last longer than their predecessor with up to nine hours and 32 minutes of charge.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
Comfortable fit • Enhanced noise-cancelling technology • Satisfying battery life
MSRP: $229.99
Samsung's reliable earbuds upgraded
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds provide great sound and feature active noise canceling. They meld a great fit and comfort with a vast range of ear tips. Efficient ANC and five hours of battery life sweeten the deal.

FAQs

There has been no official announcement from Samsung yet. However, the company unveiled a new OLED screen at CES 2024, which indicates it is still invested in its Galaxy Buds catalog. Furthermore, trusted industry analysts Roland Quandt and Lee Sang-deok predict the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro will launch in the second half of 2024.

With no word from Samsung itself, nothing is certain. However, trusted industry analysts Roland Quandt and Lee Sang-deok of South Korean Maeil Business Newspaper predict that new Galaxy Buds earbuds are imminent.

There has been no confirmation from Samsung yet. However, trusted industry analyst Roland Quandt reports that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are imminent. Further, Lee Sang-deok of South Korean Maeil Business Newspaper notes that Samsung is set to release a new pair of AI-enabled Galaxy Buds with in-built real-time language interpretation capabilities in the second half of 2024.

Yes, Samsung discontinued the Galaxy Buds Pro in August 2022. This followed shortly after the announcement of the updated Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

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