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Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 release date, price, and rumors

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. (Image credit: Samsung)

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.

We've also heard rumors that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 will launch later this year in four different color options. And most recently, what looks like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 were spotted on the FCC (Federation Communications Commission) platform by 91Mobiles , which suggests a launch is imminent. We've also seen leaked images of the device.

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. We're hoping that these will be able to 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 on August 11
  • How much will they cost? It's rumored that they'll cost around  $179 / £129 / AU$239

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 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro. (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 release date

The discovery of code relating to the earbuds in the Samsung Wearable APK was the first suggestion that a release date could be imminent. 

More recently, we've heard that the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 release date will fall later in 2021, so we may not have long to wait. (Galaxy Club, via Sammobile). In fact, tipster Roland Quandt has said that Samsung is "ramping up production" on the next-gen Galaxy Buds, which means they could be released as soon as August, on the three-year anniversary of the original Galaxy Buds.

More than one tipster has gone as far as saying that August 11 is the day when the Galaxy Buds 2 and plenty of other Samsung hardware will see the light of day. If they do launch in 2021, they could have some stiff competition in the form of the Apple AirPods 3 (rumored to be launching this year) and the Google Pixel Buds A (already out).

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 

According to MySmartPrice, which cites "industry sources", the Galaxy Buds 2 will cost "between EUR 180 and EUR 200".

If we assume that the buds will sit bang in the middle of those two prices, that works out at around $225 / £160 / AU$300. By comparison, the AirPods Pro cost €279 / $249 / £249 / AU$399 when they launched in 2019, though discounts are sometimes available. 

It's worth taking these prices with a pinch of salt; they're based on a conversion from the leaked EU prices, and it's not like Samsung to have such differing prices in the US and the UK (the Galaxy Buds Pro cost $199 / £219 in these regions).

Update: The retail price of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 could be cheaper than what was originally projected. A statement to MySmartPrice from notable tech tipster Ishan Agarwal suggests that the Galaxy Buds 2 will now cost €149. That’s around $179 / £129 / AU$239, which is substantially cheaper than our original estimation.

samsung galaxy buds

The original Samsung Galaxy Buds. (Image credit: TechRadar)

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.

Most recently, we've heard that they'll sport a very similar design to the Galaxy Buds Pro, after a photos of the upcoming buds attached to an FCC filing were revealed.

We've also 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.

More recently, we've seen some actual leaked images, including the picture below: you can see how the design follows the template of the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 leak

(Image credit: 91mobiles)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2: features

While most of the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 leaks and rumors have centered around the design of the earbuds, there are a few features that are said to be coming with the next Samsung buds. 

Seasoned tipster @UniverseIce has revealed that the Galaxy Buds 2 will be keeping the active noise reduction of their predecessors, and come with "better sound quality" – an upgrade we would usually expect from a new pair of earbuds.

There's an image attached to this leak as well, though it doesn't really tell us much more about what's on the way. It looks as though the infrared sensors for automatic in-ear wear detection will be kept from the Galaxy Buds Pro, and we won't be seeing a return to the bean-shaped design of the Galaxy Buds Live:

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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. 

Ditch Bixby

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.  

Olivia Tambini

Olivia is TechRadar's Audio & Music Editor, covering everything from headphones to smart speakers. Based in TechRadar's London offices, she previously worked in the music industry for a few years before finding her calling in journalism. In her spare time Olivia loves playing retro video games, hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora, and bingeing on Netflix.