New Render Shows Us The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro’s Design
Samsung only recently launched the third incarnation of its Galaxy line of true wireless earbuds – the Galaxy Buds Live – but it is reportedly preparing for the fourth generation. Listed in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document as SM-R190L “Buds Pro”, we don’t yet have many details about these new earbuds, such as: How much they cost, when they will be available, or their full specifications. But as we learn more we will share all the new details here.
Design: bean or bud?
Animation courtesy of Evan Blass
Some people really enjoyed the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, but we were disappointed with one of its greatest features – Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). In all honesty, we weren’t that impressed with the sound quality either. Samsung took a huge risk with the shape of the Bud Live. Avoiding the in-ear canal shape that virtually all high-end wireless earphones use to create a more ergonomic, bean-like shape with outer ear filling. Unfortunately, the risk wasn’t worth it: even with a subtle silicone fin on the backs of the buds, they couldn’t achieve a decent seal against the ear canal. Without this seal, the Buds Live couldn’t control how much outside noise leaked or how much audio leaked.
Famous leaker Evan Blass has released what he thinks are renders of the new buds (including the animation above) and they seem to confirm an earlier report by SamMobile claiming that Samsung will subsequently become the classic earbud shape of the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Returning Buds + All in all, why bother with a tried and true formula, especially given the poor results from the bean experiment?
Samsung / FCC
Interestingly, despite the obvious return to an in-ear design, Samsung is keeping the Buds Live charging case with its rounded square shape instead of going back to the capsule-shaped charging case of the Galaxy Buds +.
Active noise cancellation
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends
Names don’t always represent what a product can do, and names can change, especially so early in a product’s life. However, the term “Pro” for true wireless earbuds has become a major difference over the past year. Since Apple launched the AirPods Pro with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), other manufacturers have followed this trend. JBL’s Club Pro + are the company’s first true ANC wireless earbuds. Earfun uses the Pro term to indicate the ANC versions of its Earfun Air and Earfun Free models.
If the trend continues with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, these new earbuds will likely make ANC a focal point too.
Some will no doubt point out that the Galaxy Buds offers Live ANC and they don’t carry the Pro label. While that’s true, our review of the Galaxy Buds Live showed that the ANC didn’t exactly get them much praise on these earbuds. “Compared to the worst noise cancellation we’ve tested in other earbuds,” wrote our reviewer, “the Galaxy Buds Live offers even less performance: this is the new low.” Ouch.
Price, full specifications and release date
As for the rest of the details surrounding the Galaxy Buds Pro, we can only speculate. But here are a few educated guesses:
The Galaxy Buds + is $ 150 and the Galaxy Buds Live is $ 170 (when not for sale). Assuming the Galaxy Buds Pro offers upgrades for both models, then they’ll likely debut at $ 199. That would be the highest Samsung ever charged for a set of Galaxy earbuds, but it’s still well below the $ 249 price of the AirPods Pro.
The battery capacity stated on the FCC label does not seem to indicate any change compared to the Galaxy Buds Live in terms of the juice consumption of the earbuds or the charging case (120 mAh total for the earbuds, 500 mAh for the case). We suspect this will result in identical battery life for the Galaxy Buds Pro: 6 hours with ANC or Bixby Voice Wake-up turned on, 5.5 hours with ANC and Bixby Voice Wake-up turned on, and 8 hours with both turned off.
Wireless charging is here to stay, and it would make sense if Samsung continued to leverage its ownership of AKG for further improvements in the sound quality department.
Samsung has made water and dust resistance a priority for Galaxy earbuds in the past. If the company sticks to the Galaxy Buds Live design, it’s unlikely that will change. We expect the Galaxy Buds Pro to offer IPX2 – but possibly IPX4 – protection from water. It’s worth noting that Apple’s AirPods Pro are IPX4.
When do we see the Galaxy Buds Pro interface? According to reports, they will coincide with the launch of the Galaxy S21, which we believe won’t happen until February 2021.