Release date, rumors, price, features, and more
Zak Khan / Android Authority
Samsung’s line of true wireless earbuds makes for an eclectic and impressive-sounding catalog. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 stand proudly as an affordable alternative to the flagship Buds Pro series. They share much of the same DNA, including industry-leading noise canceling and sound quality. They are also great value for money, costing little more than $100 at the time of writing.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that people are tingling with excitement for a next-gen Galaxy Buds 3 upgrade. There’s no official announcement yet, but read on for everything we know and our take on the features we would like to see included in the Galaxy Buds 3.
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 series?
Samsung has been updating its range of earbuds pretty regularly since it debuted the Galaxy Buds in 2019. Its latest release, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, is the brand’s biggest accomplishment to date. Announced alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 smartphones in August 2022, it has some of the best ANC capabilities on the market. This is in addition to several bespoke features for Samsung smartphone owners. Given that Samsung only recently released earbuds from the flagship Pro series, it’s safe to assume there’s no imminent release for the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro. However, that does leave space for an update to the original Galaxy Buds line.
It’s also worth noting that earbud manufacturers are currently falling over themselves to bundle high-end features into affordable buds. For example, HUAWEI released the FreeBuds 5i in January 2023. These earbuds offer superior ANC capability and sound quality without breaking the bank. Not only that, but OnePlus and Sony have made recent releases too, in the form of the Nord Buds 2 and the WF-C700N respectively. All three of these earbuds come in at a price point between $60 – $120. With that in mind, Samsung will more than likely be showcasing its own affordable and feature-packed earbuds sometime in 2023.
What is the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 release date?
Zak Khan / Android Authority
- Samsung Galaxy Buds series — March 9, 2019
- Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 series — August 11, 2021
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds portfolio is relatively small in comparison to other manufacturers, such as Sony. For that reason, it can sometimes be a little tricky to gauge the release pattern of upcoming earbuds. That said, the previous two models in the Galaxy Buds series were released roughly two years apart. Last generation’s Galaxy Buds 2, Buds Live, and Buds 2 Pro all came out between the 21-28 August. That gives us a pretty good indication of Samsung’s preferred release schedule.
For that reason, it seems quite likely that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 will be released sometime in August 2023. There’s still a little while to wait, but it certainly isn’t too early to start getting excited about this next-gen upgrade.
What features and specs will the Galaxy Buds 3 have?
Zak Khan / Android Authority
Without any official announcements to pinch details from, here’s what we can gather from the rumors and our expectations so far.
The Galaxy Buds 2 made some nice improvements to the original Galaxy Buds model. They were smaller and lighter than their predecessor, weighing in at only 5g per bud. They also had a very pleasing and compact form factor, without sacrificing some of their top-of-the-range features. The rounded wing tip-free design was undoubtedly comfortable too, even if athletes had to miss out on securing a reliable fit. The build quality of the Galaxy Buds 2 felt sturdy, without being too bulky to sit nicely in its charging case. While we don’t imagine the Galaxy Buds 3 will stray too far from the design of the Galaxy Buds 2, there are a few improvements we’d like to see.
For example, the glossy finish of the Galaxy Buds 2 feels a little outdated. We’d hope for a matte finish on the next-gen model, especially given how great Samsung’s more sophisticated flagship Buds 2 Pro are to handle and wear. It would also be welcome if Samsung adopted a slightly more ergonomic design for the Galaxy Buds 3. Even though the shape of the Galaxy Buds series helps to form a better seal in the ear, the bulky size means they often feel as though they might fall out. Slimmer designs, such as those of Apple’s AirPods Pro, Nothing Ear 1, and HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i, are increasingly popular. We’re not looking for Samsung to ditch its trademark shape completely, but a slightly smaller build could increase comfort further.
Specs and features
One feature Samsung’s future buds will no doubt excel at is active noise canceling. It’s a mainstay that keeps listeners coming back, and it’s pretty safe to assume the Galaxy Buds 3 will carry the torch here too. A mixture of good isolation provided by the shape of the buds, as well as the fit of the ear tips, is second to none with Samsung earbuds. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro boast some of the best ANC on the market today, and we expect the Galaxy Buds 3 to share this same quality.
As you can see in the charts above, the Galaxy Buds 2 isolates music from a wide range of frequencies. While not the strongest ANC-capable buds around, they render low drones around 100Hz much quieter than without ANC activated. That means rumbles from cars, planes, and trains are much less audible. You also protect your hearing by not having to ramp up the volume to keep unwanted noise from penetrating your soundscape. The level of isolation and noise canceling upwards of 2kHz is also impressive, making higher-pitched whines less prominent. It’s hard to imagine Samsung won’t be looking to improve its ANC capabilities further with the release of the Galaxy Buds 3.
Sound quality is another bastion of Samsung earbuds. The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro experienced a slightly higher-than-normal enhancement in its bass frequencies. This fairly standard and consumer-friendly customization helps amplify the “oomph” of kick drums. While that’s also true for the Galaxy Buds 2, its bass response remains flatter, similar to that of the Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Pro. The treble frequencies above 2kHz are also amplified, which means that voices and cymbals aren’t masked by the bass boost. If the Galaxy Buds 3 can recreate and enhance the frequency response of the Galaxy Buds 2, we imagine most genres of music will sound very pleasant.
Samsung’s Seamless Codec is sure to feature on the Galaxy Buds 3.
Samsung’s Seamless Codec is sure to feature on the Galaxy Buds 3 as well. This promises listeners 24-bit, 48kHz audio sampling at up to 512kbps. In other words — decent high-res music streaming. That spells good news for Samsung smartphone owners looking for a high-quality listening experience. It’s also a variable bitrate connection, automatically adjusting the data transfer rate when radio environments become congested. This helps to maintain a strong connection between the earbuds and the source device while prioritizing audio quality when less congested radio environments allow. However, the Samsung Seamless Codec is a proprietary connection. Those without a Samsung smartphone must connect via the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. These are reliable but don’t do much in the way of enhancing audio quality. If Samsung wants to up its game, it should include aptX wireless connectivity to draw in a wider audience.
Samsung remains just about on par with other headphone manufacturers when it comes to battery life. The Galaxy Buds 2 offer a maximum of just over five hours of charge. That’s fairly typical of ANC-capable buds, albeit leaning slightly toward the shorter end of the spectrum. We’d like to see the Galaxy Buds 3 hold at least this amount of charge, if not a little more. In addition, the Galaxy Buds 2 case supports fast charging, providing 60 minutes of playtime from just five minutes of charge. It also supports 15 hours of extra ANC-enabled listening time. The next-gen model should perform equally well here, with the inclusion of Qi wireless charging and Wireless Powershare with compatible Samsung phones.
Samsung already boasts industry-leading ANC and 360 audio features that will make the Galaxy Buds 3 a competitive choice.
Those looking to immerse themselves in surround sound can bet on the Galaxy Buds 3 featuring Samsung 360 Audio. Provided the content is available in Dolby Atmos, users can experience 360° surround sound. Unfortunately, those on iOS have previously been excluded from enjoying many of Samsung’s bespoke features. On the Galaxy Buds 2 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, there is no app support for Apple devices whatsoever. That means missing out on firmware updates and other useful app-related features. Samsung should consider tearing its propriety rulebook apart and finally embracing Apple users once and for all. The Galaxy Buds 3 could be the turning point here, but we doubt it.
What will the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 price be?
Lily Katz / Android Authority
- Samsung Galaxy Buds — $129
- Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 — $149
- Samsung Galaxy Buds+ — $149
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Live — $169
- Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro — $199
- Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro — $229
The original Buds series are billed as an affordable alternative to the more sophisticated Buds Plus, Live, and Pro series, and that will be the case with the Buds 3. Nevertheless, prices have been increasing across the board year after year throughout Samsung’s entire range of headphones. We expect that trend to continue.
On August 28, 2022, Samsung released its latest in-ear headphones, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. At launch, these buds cost $229. While they’re Samsung’s most accomplished buds to date, they’re also the most expensive headphones the brand has to offer. Costing $30 more at launch than its predecessor, the Galaxy Buds Pro, Samsung is consistently increasing its prices.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 earbuds could be priced at more than $149.
At launch, Samsung’s original Galaxy Buds cost $129, followed by a price hike of $20 for the second-generation product. With global inflation still riding higher than normal in 2023, we could see the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 priced at more than $149.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 3: What we want to see
Samsung’s release of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro last year marked an unforgettable milestone for the company. They’re a truly remarkable set of true wireless earbuds and are considered a genuine alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro and Sony’s WF-1000XM4. While that achievement can’t be understated, it does beg the question: will Samsung be able to package its high-end feature set into the more affordable Galaxy Buds line? Here’s what we’d like to see from the Galaxy Buds 3 in 2023.
The Galaxy Wearables app needs better iOS support
Lily Katz / Android Authority
Much like its biggest rival, Samsung has increasingly adopted proprietary features to entice consumers into its ecosystem. Nowadays, you often have to decide not only if you’re an Android or Apple fan, but if you’re a dedicated Samsung fan too. You’re forced to commit to one ecosystem that tends to lack any meaningful support for any other. This over-simplified black-and-white choice causes problems with cross-connectivity and makes our listening experiences more difficult.
No truer is that the case than for iPhone users wishing to install the Samsung Wearables app for their earbuds. For too long, iPhone users have been unable to perform software updates for the original Galaxy Buds or Buds 2 series. Not only that, but iPhones are excluded from enjoying Samsung’s ear tip fit test, EQ presets, and control customizations. That’s not to mention the Spotify Tap feature, which only works for those that stream music via Spotify on their Android device. We’d like to see the Galaxy Buds 3 change the tide here, with better iOS support out of the box for the Samsung Wearables app.
aptX high-res audio for the masses
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Speaking of proprietary features, the Samsung Scalable Codec offers high-res audio, but only for those using Samsung smartphones. For everyone else, the Galaxy Buds 2 supports AAC and SBC Bluetooth connectivity. While they’ll play nicely for the average listener, audiophiles will undoubtedly be left wanting.
A happy middle ground could be the adoption of the aptX Bluetooth codec. This can stream 16-bit, 48kHz audio at 352kbps. That isn’t quite on par with Samsung’s Seamless Codec, but it’s much more universal. Whether you own a OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, Xiaomi Mi 11, or anything in-between, you would have the option of listening to high-quality music. Better yet, Samsung could incorporate aptX Lossless into its headphones. This would provide universal access to 16-bit, 48kHz audio sampling up to 1Mbps. We’d love to see the Galaxy Buds 3 adopt this Bluetooth connectivity into its arsenal, however unlikely.
Thomas Triggs / Android Authority
Given that Samsung prides itself on audio quality, it’s surprising the Samsung Wearables app is yet to host an adjustable equalizer (EQ). By comparison, the Sony Headphone app has offered this feature for some time. One of the main reasons I keep coming back to Sony headphones is because of how customizable and interactive the companion app is.
EQ presets might get the job done for most, but audiophiles are likely to want more control over their mix. For example, The Samsung Wearables app only boasts six different options to choose from. While that’s more than, say, the Nothing X and HUAWEI AI Life apps, Samsung only includes “normal,” “bass boost,” “soft,” “dynamic,” “clear,” and “treble boost.” Being able to adjust specific frequency ranges across a multi-band EQ provides much more control over your sound. It also means you don’t have to rely on pre-made settings to get the best out of your music. If the Galaxy Buds 3 want to be truly competitive, we’d like to see them host a multi-band EQ in the Samsung Wearables app.
Improved microphone quality
Lily Katz / Android Authority
Galaxy Buds 2 (glossy earbuds) and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro (matte earbuds).
Let’s face it, true wireless headphones will struggle to deliver the call quality of over-ear headphones with closer microphone proximity. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all wireless earbuds are doomed to offer poor microphone quality forever; there are already some good examples on the market. It just so happens that Samsung has faltered here somewhat with its previous models.
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2nd Gen, for example, host possibly some of the best microphones on the earbuds market today. The Google Pixel Buds Pro aren’t too bad either. The problem is, these headphones cost a lot more than the Galaxy Buds 2 did on release. What would be most welcome, is if Samsung could bundle a low-distortion, high-quality microphone setup into the Galaxy Buds 3. This would address an often-overlooked aspect of affordable wireless buds.
More comfort and control
Thomas Triggs / Android Authority
I’ve often found that Samsung Buds feel a little bit too bulky in the ear. It’s true that their build, in addition to the silicon tips, is often what helps to seal off the ear canal from unwanted noise. Combined with impressive ANC, Samsung is a proud champion of noise canceling. The caveat to all of this, however, is that the buds are a little on the larger side. That means they don’t always rest snugly between the tragus, concha, and antitragus.
More streamlined earbuds, such as Apple’s AirPods, Nothing Ear 1, HUAWEI FreeBuds 5i, and OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are generally more comfortable. Their addition of a stem also helps to separate the touch controls from the rest of the bud. That means no accidental song skipping when inserting the buds into your ears. Unfortunately, I do this all the time with my Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, and it’s pretty frustrating. The Galaxy Buds 2 suffered from this too, hosting overly-sensitive touch controls that picked up unintended gestures. If Samsung doesn’t want to adopt a stem for the Galaxy Buds 3, they might consider chucking out the single-tap function. That way, we can insert and take out our buds without any annoying accidental prompts.
That’s all for now! That’s everything we would like to see from the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3.
What do you want most from the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3?