Why Samsung's Galaxy Buds 3 Pro May Copy Apple's AirPods Design

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 2 in a charging case on a yellow background.
Electronics giant Samsung might be making a major design switch with its long-running Galaxy Buds Pro earphones. A leak has emerged showing the adoption of a stem for what may possibly be the next Galaxy Buds 3 Pro or a completely new model. What does this mean for consumers?

For almost as long as time itself, Samsung's Galaxy Buds and Apple's AirPods earbuds have lived on separate evolutionary paths—Samsung taking the compact gumdrop design while Apple soldiering on with its stem-style form factor. However, if this latest heavily blurred image is to be believed, we might be seeing either a completely new earphone model or the next Galaxy Buds 3 Pro. Whichever way you look at it, the design is a logical step forward especially if you take into consideration of Samsung's push for AI throughout its product ecosystem.

Unpacking that concept a little more, the necessity of endowing wearables like the Galaxy Buds series with AI-powered functions require muscle and resources. The gumdrop shape of current Galaxy Buds may serve well for discreteness and side-sleepers. However, increasing the dimensions of the device allows engineers to add larger processors, batteries, and potentially better audio hardware.

For example, if the next Buds 3 Pro does incorporate always-on listening Bixby AI, a larger battery is a must. Having extended stems could also bring greater gesture controls for activating voice commands beyond what is currently available, but again, only time will tell. Technically, the extra components required for AI can fit in a gumdrop shape, but would require the dimensions to grow outward from the ear canal, which causes imbalance and thus comfort issues for wearers. A stem solves that problem by lowering the center of gravity and—if done right—also lowers the point at which the earphone's mass is evenly distributed.

Since we're dealing with rumors here, let's thrown another one into the mix. The extra real estate may allow Samsung (and Samsung-owned Harman-Kardon) engineers to bring in new audio tech to really put it ahead of Sony and Apple. Could we see something promising like planar magnetic drivers or, better yet, XMEMs tech

Not much else can be garnered from the leak, which originated with Evan Blass (@evleaks on X/Twitter), but with the Samsung Unpacked event coming on July 10, more details about this mystery device will definitely emerge.