Samsung's Galaxy Buds Pro leak confirms Apple-like surround sound feature

They're expected to debut with the Galaxy S21 smartphone.


Samsung currently has three models of Galaxy Buds earphones, including the original Buds, Buds+ and bean-shaped Buds Live — the latter its first with active noise cancellation (ANC). However, as rumored, a fourth model called the Buds Pro is set to join the lineup, according to a leak from Samsung’s Galaxy Store seen by XDA and in an APK teardown. It appears to have a new design that should improve passive noise cancellation, along with a feature called 3D spatial audio that likely works like Apple’s AirPods feature of (nearly) the same name.

The Buds Pro earphones most closely resemble the Buds+ because of the soft in-ear tips, though the shape is somewhere between the Buds+ and Buds Live. According to the renders, they’ll come in black, white and a soft blue/purple color.

The most interesting new feature is the 3D spatial audio, but unfortunately, it will only work with Samsung smartphones running Android 11. It simulates a surround sound system, changing the direction of where audio is coming from based on the direction of your head and position of the phone. That sounds a lot like Apple’s spatial audio introduced a few months ago that uses an accelerometer in the earbuds to adjust the audio based on the position of your head.

Other new features include “Voice Detect” that can lower the media volume and turn on audio pass through when you’re speaking. It also added a left/right sound balance for folks with differential hearing problems. As with the other models, it offers features like ANC with ambient sound options, customizable touch controls, notification readouts, a “Find my Earbuds” option and more.

The Buds Pro are expected to arrive in January along with the Galaxy S21 smartphones. There’s obviously no word on pricing yet, but for comparison, the Buds+ can be found for around $150 while the Buds Live are about $170. As such, the Buds Pro should be somewhere north of that.