Over the past few years, Samsung has released a number of true wireless earbuds to compete with the likes of the Apple AirPods and the AirPods Pro, with each iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Buds getting better than the last.
Now, it looks like Samsung could be on the verge of releasing its next wireless earbuds model – the so-called Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 were seemingly revealed by some intriguing lines of code within the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app’s APK file data, as originally discovered by Android Police.
The Galaxy Buds 2 are seemingly being developed under the codename ‘berry,’ and will likely be able to connect to multiple devices at the same time. It’s anticipated that the true wireless earbuds could launch alongside the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 in the latter half of the year.
More recently, we've heard rumors that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will launch later this year in four different color options.
That means the Galaxy Buds 2 could compete with the rumored Apple AirPods 3, which are also projected to debut later this year. As was the case with previous generations, Samsung will likely be looking to undercut Apple’s flagship earbuds when it comes to pricing.
Other details are very thin on the ground at this stage, but there are plenty of features we’d like to see from the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, from improved audio compared to their predecessors to noise cancellation that can compete with the best wireless earbuds on the planet.
Cut to the chase
- What are they? The next wireless earbuds from Samsung.
- When will they be released? Possibly in 2021.
- How much will they cost? Likely around the same as the original Samsung Galaxy Buds ($149 / £139 / AU$249).
The original Samsung Galaxy Buds, launched in March 2019, sought to topple the Apple AirPods' monopoly on the true wireless earbuds market. Alongside their successors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, they make up a wider portfolio of Samsung true wireless earbuds.
Whether the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will be a successor to the original wireless earbuds or to the newer Galaxy Buds Pro remains to be seen. If they are the latter, we could see a reprisal of features like active noise cancellation and waterproofing; though if they are the former, we might see these more premium features dropped in favor of a cheaper price.
We think it looks more likely that the they'll be the former. The original Samsung Galaxy Buds never had a 'true' follow up, with the Galaxy Buds Plus acting as more of an upgraded version. According to Sammobile, the model number of the rumored Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is 'SM-R177', like most Galaxy Buds models. The Galaxy Buds Pro, on the other hand, come with the model number 'SM-R190', suggesting that the new earbuds won't pick up where the Pro left off.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 release date
Right now, there’s no confirmation on when the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will be released, but the discovery of code relating to the earbuds in the Samsung Wearable APK suggests that a release date could be imminent.
While the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro only launched in January this year, it’s not unlike Samsung to release wireless earbuds in quick succession. Since 2019, the company has released no less than four models in the Galaxy line.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 price
Again, we haven’t heard any rumors as to the price of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, but we can hazard a guess based on previous models.
The most recently released Samsung earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Pro, cost $199 / £219 / AU$349, while their predecessors, the Galaxy Buds Live, cost $169.99 / £179 / AU$319.
If the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are a follow-up model to the Buds Pro, you can expect them to cost around the same price as their predecessors, if not more. However, if Samsung is planning on releasing a more budget-friendly pair of earbuds, they may cost something more like the original Galaxy Buds, which cost $149 / £139 / AU$249. We think it's more likely that the Galaxy Buds 2 will have a similar price to the original Galaxy Buds, especially if Samsung wants to offer an upgraded version of its entry-level true wireless earbuds.
It’s also possible that Samsung will look to undercut its biggest rival – the Apple AirPods cost $159 / £159 / AU$249 at launch, but are regularly discounted.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 design
If the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the follow up to the original Galaxy Buds, we'd expect them to look similar to their predecessors, with rounded housings, interchangeable eartips, and a slim charging case.
We've recently heard that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will come in four different colors: black, white, green, and purple. These color options match the rumored color options for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, which are said to be coming in black and green, and green and light violet, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: what we want to see
The company’s latest wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, are its best yet – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any improvements we’d like to see from the Galaxy Buds 2.
Improved audio quality
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are the best-sounding Samsung buds yet, but they do leave a little to be desired. While their overall presentation is well-balanced, and they do make for a pleasant listening experience, they lack the detail and presence of audiophile-approved earbuds.
If Samsung wants to up its game, the Galaxy Buds 2 should provide more clarity in the mid and high frequencies, as well as a wider, more immersive soundstage.
Support for aptX HD
With the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, you’re limited to lossy SBC and AAC codecs unless you’re using them with a Samsung Galaxy device – which support Samsung’s Scalable Codec technology.
We’d like to see Samsung license aptX HD support from Qualcomm with the Galaxy Buds 2, which would give more widespread support for higher definition, 24-bit wireless audio. This can really make a difference to the audio quality of your music, so it would be a worthy upgrade.
Stronger noise cancellation
Noise cancellation was a welcome addition to the Galaxy Buds Pro, but they can’t compete with the Sony WF-1000XM3. Just wearing them around the house for a few days, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro were able to drastically reduce the sounds of loud air purifiers and humidifiers, but didn’t stand a chance when someone else in the house was playing music. They’re good enough that you won’t be able to hear nearby conversations in another room, but anything louder than someone speaking will be audible through the ANC.
We’d love to see an improvement to the noise cancellation feature with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, and it could make them a real competitor for the likes of Sony’s earbuds, and models like the Apple AirPods Pro.
The only smart assistant the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro supports is Bixby. That means, if you’re tapped into the Google or Apple ecosphere of products, you won’t be able to control them with a hands-free assistant. That’s not a deal-breaker on its own, but we’d like to see Samsung appeal to a wider audience with a voice assistant-agnostic approach to the Galaxy Buds 2.