Sunday, July 21, 2024

Samsung unveils Galaxy Buds 3 Pro and Buds 3, available for pre-order now and shipping July 24

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There’s no right way to design a pair of wireless earbuds. However, there are plenty who get it wrong. Samsung went through a late phase of these before settling on the in-ear Galaxy Buds we all know and love. In all of its various iterations, though, the company saw fit to steer clear of Apple’s instantly recognizable first-party AirPods.

That changed at this week’s Unpacked 2024 event, where Samsung showed off the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro. The earbuds are going through something of an identity crisis for Apple. They’re not note-for-note remakes, but there’s enough common DNA to draw attention, particularly with the white models. That includes the elongated charging cases, which look similar to the one that comes with the AirPods Pros, albeit with a clear top.

The silver versions, however, are distinct enough to highlight some of the key design differences. The biggest aesthetic change is the inclusion of a colored LED strip on the stems, henceforth referred to as the “Blade.” The Blade Lights add a bit of shimmer to the new protrusion, which also features swipe-and-click interactions.

There’s a reason several hardware manufacturers are using the form factor, after all. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the standard Galaxy Buds is the lack of surface area for controls. The other notable design difference here is the suitably sharp 90-degree angle of the blade, versus the AirPods’ gentler curve.

The Pros get silicone ear tips. They’re absent on the standard model, as are Apple’s offerings. The truth of the matter is that the earbud bud is very subjective. Aside from all the usual issues of personal taste, everyone’s ears are shaped differently. For my money, though, I always prefer the comfort and secure fit of silicone tips.

Here’s where Samsung takes a stand on the issue: “Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro offer two specially designed design options. Buds 3 Pro is a canal-type for those seeking immersive sound, while Buds 3 is an open-type for people who prefer to wear the device in a variety of situations for a long time.”

The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro feature adaptive active noise cancellation, via the built-in microphones, as well as siren and voice detection features. Both versions of the Buds 3 are available for pre-order on Wednesday and will begin shipping on July 24. The standard Buds cost $180 and the Pro are $250.

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