Samsung unveils the Galaxy AirPods Pro

There’s no right way to design a pair of wireless earbuds. There are, however, plenty of wrong ones. Samsung went through a spate of these before settling on the in-ear Galaxy Buds we all know and mostly love. In all of its various iterations, however, the company saw fit to steer clear from Apple’s instantly recognizable stemmed AirPods.

That changed at this week’s Unpacked 2024 event, where Samsung showed off the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro. The earbuds are experiencing a sort of Apple identity crisis. They’re not note-for-note remakes, but there’s enough common DNA to turn heads — particularly with the white models. That includes the oblong charging cases, which resemble the one that comes with the AirPods Pros, albeit with a transparent top.

Image Credits: Samsung

The silver versions, however, are distinct enough to draw out some of the key design differences. The biggest aesthetic change is the inclusion of an LED color strip on the stems, henceforth known as the “Blade.” The Blade Lights bring a bit of flare to the new protuberance, which also features swipe and click interactions.

There is, after all, a reason several hardware makers utilize the form factor. Perhaps the biggest downside with the standard Galaxy Buds is a lack of surface area for controls. The other notable design difference here is the blade’s fittingly sharp 90-degree angle, versus the AirPods’ softer curve.

The Pros get silicone ear tips. They’re absent on the standard model, much like Apple’s offerings. The truth of this all is that earbud taste is highly subjective. In addition to all of the standard personal taste issues, everyone’s ears are shaped differently. For my money, however, I’m going with the comfort and secure fit of silicone tips every time.

Image Credits: Samsung

Here’s where Samsung stands on the issue: “Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro offer two purpose-built design options. Buds 3 Pro is a Canal Type for those looking for immersive sound, while Buds 3 is an Open Type for people who prefer to use the device in a variety of situations for a long time.”

The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro features adaptive active noise canceling, via the onboard mics, as well as siren and voice detect features. Both versions of the Buds 3 are up for preorder Wednesday and start shipping July 24. The standard run $180 and the Pros are $250.


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