Even though Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds—Galaxy Buds Live—first went on sale not long ago in August, it seems the Korean electronics giant is already preparing for a follow-up. Filings for a product called Galaxy Buds Pro have appeared in multiple locations.
First spotted by MySmartPrice, in a new filing on the Indonesia Telecom website Samsung appears to have registered a device with the model number SM-R190 called the Galaxy Buds Pro. This same model number has also appeared as part of a certification in the Korean NRRA and, more recently, has even appeared in a filing for the FCC.
While there isn’t much useful info in the various filings aside from a few details like the Galaxy Buds Pro’s battery size—472 mAh—and what appears to be a square-shaped recharging case, rumored specs for the Galaxy Buds Pro also hint at the addition of active noise cancellation in a package that looks more similar to the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+ than the newer Galaxy Buds Live.
Rumors also suggest that the new Galaxy Buds Pro could be released alongside Samsung’s Galaxy S21 smartphone, which may be announced as early as late January. While the idea of Samsung releasing new wireless earbuds so soon after the Galaxy Buds Live might seem somewhat abrupt, if you look at Samsung’s current earbud lineup, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Prices for the Galaxy Buds Live have already fallen to $130 (down from $170 at launch), indicating that the Galaxy Buds Live are (and I suspect were always intended to be) more of a competitor to Apple’s standard AirPods than the more expensive AirPods Pro. On top of that, due to their semi-open design, even though the Galaxy Buds Live have built-in ANC tech, they aren’t a great pick for people looking to completely drown out outside or ambient noise like you’d be able to do with AirPods Pro or headphones like Sony’s excellent WH-1000XM4.
This means Samsung has a spot in its lineup for a more premium set of wireless earbuds that could land in the $200-$250 range with full ANC, improved mics, better audio, water resistance, some kind of on-board touch controls, and longer battery life (especially since the Galaxy Buds Live actually have shorter battery life than the Galaxy Buds+). Also, by launching more premium wireless earbuds priced higher than the Galaxy Buds Live, Samsung might also be able to streamline its offerings by sunsetting the older Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+.
Unfortunately, while other details about the Galaxy Buds Pro are still somewhat sparse, if the forecast about a late January announcement date holds true, we should know more in just a couple months.