Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro hands-on review: If you can't beat them, join them

The new Galaxy Buds family looks pretty familiar

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro and Galaxy Buds 3 are an all-new look for Samsung, with blades that prioritize microphone performance to power adaptive listening and AI features.


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    Convenient (though familiar) design

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    Adaptive EQ/ANC

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    Indicator lights


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    Plastic case lid looks flimsy

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Samsung has totally revamped its collection of wireless earbuds, introducing a redesigned lineup of products that take direct aim at Apple's AirPods. Ditching the bulb-shaped buds for styles with stems, the flagship pair goes by the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro, and I've been able to try them out ahead of the official reveal at Samsung Unpacked. And so far, I'm loving the new look.

Available for $249, the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro prioritize microphone quality, controls and adaptive AI-powered adjustments. Alternatively, the $179 Galaxy Buds 3 offer a similar, open-fit look for less, with both models available in Silver and White colors.

The Buds 3 series can adjust playback via voice and even play translated conversations with a new Interpreter tool. Microphones in each also improve the listening experience with Adaptive EQ and Adaptive ANC (active noise cancellation.) That said, the Pro model takes things one step further with Adaptive Noise Control, Siren Detect, and Voice Detect features.

So, does Samsung have a pair (or two) of the best wireless earbuds to offer? Read my full hands-on Galaxy Buds 3 Pro review below to learn more.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro hands-on: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Galaxy Buds 3Galaxy Buds 3 Pro
Price$179.99 / AU$299$249.99 / AU$399
ColorsWhite, SilverWhite, Silver
Galaxy AIInterpreter, Adaptive EQ/ANCInterpreter, Adaptive EQ/ANC, Adaptive Noise Control, Siren Detect/Voice Detect
Dimensions31.9 x 20.4 x 18.1 mm33.2 x 19.8 x 18.1 mm
Weight (per bud)4.7 g5.4 g
Battery life5 hours, 24 with case (ANC on)6 hours, 26 with case (ANC on)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.4Bluetooth 5.4

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro hands-on: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro and Galaxy Buds 3 are available for pre-order as of July 10 and will arrive officially on July 24. If you pre-order directly from, you'll get a free Clip Case for your buds with your purchase.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 cost $179.99 / AU$299, while Galaxy Buds 3 Pro cost $249.99 / AU$399. In the US, these are the exact prices of the Apple AirPods 3 and Apple AirPods Pro 2, which I only think is worth pointing out given the respective visual similarities.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro hands-on; Features

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro definitely look less AirPods-sy in Silver. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung smartphones and the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 7/Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra aren't the only devices that get the Galaxy AI treatment. The Galaxy Buds 3 family's microphones can feed an Interpreter feature when paired to a Galaxy Z Fold 6 or Z Flip 6, letting you hear the translation directly back through your buds. 

Sound is also "intelligently optimized" for the Galaxy Buds 3 models, with the microphones analyzing both external and internal sounds to adjust the EQ and ANC in real-time. Only the Galaxy Buds 3 Pro get Adaptive Noise Control that adjusts volume levels according to ambient sounds, as well as Siren Detect and Voice Detect that may disable ANC when there are things you might want to (or need to) be able to hear.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

There are two reasons Samsungs seems to have switched to the stem or "blade" design, with all these microphone-based features being one of them. The other is to introduce more intuitive controls, with wearers now able to control playback or switch between listening modes by pinching the stems. On the Buds 3 Pro, the blades have indicator lights, too. Especially in Silver, I happen to really like this futuristic aesthetic. The only drawback I see is that the clear plastic case lid seems a little flimsy, or at the very least, it'll get scratched up in a bag easily.

You'll get 5 hours of listening time on the Galaxy Buds 3 with ANC enabled, and 24 hours total provided by the wireless charging case. The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro offer 6 hours of listening time and up to 26 hours with the charging case, so not a major difference but still a possibly reason to opt for the Pro version. If at any point you misplace either version of the buds, Samsung Find can help you locate them.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro hands-on: Outlook

When you make earbuds like look like AirPods, they're going to be compared to AirPods. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 3 Pro and Galaxy Buds 3, especially in white, suggest that Samsung sees no harm in adopting a style reminiscent of one of consumer tech's biggest "it" items. If it's what shoppers want, why not? The shape is popular for a reason, after all.

Of course, it'll be Samsung's special features that determine how the Galaxy Buds 3 stack up in a saturated wireless earbuds market. All the adaptive tools sound interesting, but we'll need to put them, and the audience performance overall, to the test.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.