Samsung Galaxy Buds 3: release date rumours, potential price, and spec leaks

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in three various colourways
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung's entry-level Galaxy Buds are long due for a refresh, and if recent leaks are to be believed, that could be coming as soon as next month. According to a recent report from Android Headlines, two new pairs of wireless earbuds – the Galaxy Buds 3 and the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro – will be unveiled at Samsung Unpacked in July 2024 – exciting times if you're a frequent user of the Korean brand's current tech. 

We've reviewed various Galaxy Buds models through the years, but they have tended to struggle in the sound quality department compared with the best wireless earbuds from Sony, Apple and Bose. We can only hope that its next generation of Galaxy Buds will be more competitive and, in anticipation of the big reveal, we've drawn up a list of features and improvements we either know will be arriving or that we hope to see when the third-gen buds finally land.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro release date rumours

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 alongside Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro

Could these be the third generation of Samsung's Galaxy Buds?  (Image credit: Android Headlines, Samsung)

According to Android Headlines's report, the Galaxy Buds 3 and Galaxy Buds 3 Pro will be launching as part of Samsung Unpacked on July 10th this year. 

For context, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 first was released in in August 2021, whereas the more premium Buds 2 Pro were revealed to the world a year later in August 2022. Whatever the case, both third-gen pairs are due a proper debut, so it's not surprising that Samsung will likely use 2024's Unpacked as a chance to finally drop its new wireless earbuds.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro potential price

Our ground is a little less firm when it comes to pricing. There is no official price point for either the Buds 3 or the Buds 3 Pro confirmed, but Android Headlines has predicted a starting price of around $139 for the standard buds and $229 for the flagship buds.

For context, the Galaxy Buds 2 and original Galaxy Buds launched for £139 / $150 / AU$219, so fingers crossed that Samsung follows this trend for another generation and keeps prices static, for the standard model at least. Apple's closest-priced rival, the AirPods 3, launched at £169 / $179 / AU$279 in October 2021, which may not seem like a huge difference until you realise that the AirPods don't include ANC and the Galaxy Buds do. The noise-cancelling AirPods Pro 2, meanwhile, originally retailed at £249 / $249 / AU$399, a small advance over the hypothetical Galaxy Buds 3 Pro.  

It's worth noting, sadly, that the recent trend for electronics has been to put prices up to cover mounting costs resulting from the ongoing global financial crisis. While many manufacturers have worked to keep tags relatively stable, don't be surprised if Samsung is forced to raise prices just a little to keep up with those rising overheads.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro: rumoured features and performance wishlist

Purple Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 on a notebook

You might have to say goodbye to your love of lilac, as we've only seen white and silver listed for the third-gen Galaxy Buds. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

As is the case with price, we do seem to have at least a few features that we can say with some confidence the Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro will pack in. Via Android Headlines, what appears to be a spec leak from a would-be retail listing reveals some of the fun features and aspects of performance you can expect from the upcoming earbuds. 

Hi-res audio: Per that source, both pairs will offer what is billed as "Ultra High Quality Sound" at 24-bit/96kHz, although the Buds 3 Pro is expected to offer a higher level of sonic performance thanks to their two-way speaker design, one-upping the one-way configuration of the standard Buds 3. Let's hope the sound quality will be more on par with its Apple, Sony and Bose rivals.

Noise cancelling: Both buds will feature ANC, as expected, although deployment and the extent to which that's true will vary slightly. The standard Buds 3 will offer Adaptive ANC, whereas the Buds 3 Pro will match that while additionally offering Adaptive Noise Control and an Ambient Sound Mode. The same screenshot also mentions something called "Blade Lights", although nobody is quite clear what those are at the present moment. Some fancy flashing LEDs on the side of your buds? Who knows.

Fancy features: What we do appear to know is that both sets will offer support for 360-degree audio, not to mention a solid durability rating of IP57. Each will offer support for the industry-leading 5.4 Bluetooth protocol and Auto Switch, an existing Samsung feature which allows you to seamlessly flit from one Galaxy device to another à la Bluetooth Multipoint. 

Battery life: Potential playtimes do vary, though, with the Buds 3 Pro offering seven hours from the buds and 30 hours from the case (ANC off) compared with the six and 24 hours mustered by the standard Galaxy Buds 3. There doesn't seem to be any differentiation in finishes, though; whether you're going standard or Pro, you've got a choice of either white or silver.

True wireless earbuds: Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro was the first to offer 24-bit audio support, but with select Samsung Galaxy source devices only. (Image credit: Future)

Customisation: What about the hypotheticals that we'd like to see onboarded with these third-generation hopefuls? Greater customisation would be welcome, especially with regard to the buds' overall functionality. We bemoaned the fact that the second-gen Galaxy Buds allowed for presets to be selected but "you cannot create your own with a three-band stage". We'd like more ANC flexibility, something you appear to be getting more of with the Buds 3 Pro.

AI: Let's ask that dreaded question: what about AI? The new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone is bursting with AI-enhanced features, while the more premium Galaxy Buds 3 Pro are expected to pack in some very fancy features courtesy of artificial intelligence (real-time phone translations, anyone?). While we'd love to see some of this tech trickle down to the standard Galaxy Buds line, Samsung will likely protect its premium line by segregating feature sets across the tiers, although the more expensive Pro could be in line for some AI-boosted bonuses.


Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review

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Read our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs. 

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