Samsung unveils Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro with AirPods-like design, and some actually interesting AI features

Samsung wants to put artificial intelligence in your ears – at least that’s going by its newly announced Galaxy Buds 3 and Galaxy Buds 3 Pro wireless earbuds. 

Revealed at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked on July 10, 2023, the two new sets of Galaxy Buds bring in a new design, with both pairs of earbuds now featuring an AirPods-esque stem used for physically controlling the volume of the earbuds via swipes up or down. And the Buds have a case that’s more vertically oriented than the horizontal, rounded rectangle of the Galaxy Buds 2.

The standard Galaxy Buds 3 feature an ‘open type’ design, in that they don’t have tips to get into one’s ear canal (much like AirPods 3rd Gen), while the new Galaxy Buds 3 Pro do have in-ear tips (like AirPods Pro 2), which should result in better passive blocking of unwanted external noise to help boost their active noise cancellation. 

a photo of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 and Galaxy Buds 3 Pro in white

(Image credit: Future)

Let’s start off with specs. The Galaxy Buds 3 have an 11mm dynamic driver to provide the sound, 3 mics, support for 24-bit Hi-Res Audio when used with compatible Galaxy devices, and can handle 360 Audio spatial sound with head tracking. Active noise cancellation is present too, though we’ll have to see how well it work in an open design without an in-ear tip to seal off the outside world.

The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are broadly the same, only they have a two-way speaker design with a 10.5mm dynamic driver and a 6.1mm planar tweeter. The ANC has ambient sound detection and the ability to detect voices and let conversations filter through without the wearer needing to stop any music or take the earbuds out of their ears – a feature we’ve seen before on Sony headphones and AirPods Pro 2, to varying degrees of success, so hopefully Samsung has improved on those others here.

a photo of the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro in silver

(Image credit: Future)

On the battery life side, the Buds 3 themselves have a 48mAh capacity, while the Buds 3 Pro have a 53mAh battery capacity. The cases for both hold a 515mAh battery, but it’s worth noting the Pro buds have “Blade Lights’ which are light strips on their stems that light up to indicate things like the earbuds’ pairing mode being active or can help you to find misplaced buds. Such lighting could suck up a little more electrical use than the light-less standard Buds , on top of the double-speaker system and more advanced processing.

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