Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 design leak shows AirPods inspiration

Samsung is about to unveil its new summer 2024 product lineup, with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6 being the obvious stars of the upcoming Unpacked event. Then there’s the first Galaxy Ring, new Galaxy Watch models, and new Galaxy Buds wireless earphones.

Most leaks these days focus on the new foldable smartphones or the smart ring, but you should be aware of a few exciting developments on the Galaxy Buds 3 front. Some reports said that Samsung would give its earbuds a massive redesign, making them look more like the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro.

That is, Samsung is expected to add a stem to the Galaxy Buds, thus copying the iconic AirPods design we’ve seen for so many years. A store in Korea leaked images of the upcoming Galaxy Buds 3 models, showing the AirPods-inspired design we all expected. Yes, Samsung is copying Apple here, but I think that might be the right choice.

Apple launched the original AirPods in 2016 as a way to mitigate a problem it had created. The iPhone 7 came without a headphone jack, a move others mocked, Samsung included. But every other smartphone vender — including Samsung — copied Apple in the years that followed.

Some people mocked the AirPods design at first, but the product turned out to be a massive hit. They were sold out for months after launch. To this day, the AirPods remain the best-selling earbuds in the world. Apple has updated the design, but all AirPods models still have the stem.

Since 2016, everyone in the mobile business has developed AirPods alternatives. Some had stems, and some didn’t. And we have plenty of copycats and knockoffs that look just like the real thing.

Samsung could not afford to launch Galaxy Buds that looked like AirPods. It would have had to deal with the obvious accusations that it was copying Apple again. So, the Galaxy Buds in stores now all have stemless designs.

However, if the images in the tweet below are accurate, the Galaxy Buds 3 and Galaxy Buds 3 Pro will have stems. A retailer in Korea listed what seem to be product images for the unreleased earbuds.

From the looks of it, the Galaxy Buds 3 will have a case with a transparent top, which is a design element that I like. The earbuds themselves look like the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 with one big difference. The stems are rectangular instead of cylindrical. Also, the Galaxy Buds have a metallic color that sets them apart from Apple’s white AirPods.

Why is Samsung changing the design? Well, I can think of a few reasons. First of all, the stem adds more internal space for extra sensors or a larger battery. That is, Samsung can add features to the Galaxy Buds 3 and improve battery life.

It’s also a design that might pave the way for smarter Galaxy Buds of the future. Reports say that OpenAI might be working on earphones with cameras that will come with ChatGPT support. Interestingly, Apple is also rumored to be adding cameras to future versions of AirPods so its own AI can see the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if others came up with similar designs, Samsung included.

I’ll also say that I prefer wireless earphones with stems. It’s about comfort and fit for me.

Samsung will probably confirm these Galaxy Buds 3 design rumors next month when it’s expected to hold its big Unpacked event for summer 2024.

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