What you need to know
- Samsung revealed a Galaxy Buds prototype that included a built-in OLED display.
- The concept device looks like a mix of a Galaxy Watch and a regular pair of Galaxy Buds, and can show information like the earbuds’ battery life.
- Although the prototype looks interesting, Samsung says it has no plans to release it.
There are plenty of prototypes and concepts that pop up at CES that won’t ever make it to market. One of the cooler ones at CES 2024 came from Samsung, which showed off a pair of Galaxy Buds with a built-in OLED screen. The small, circular display was capable of showing your earbuds’ battery life, now playing media, and the current time in demos.
CNET gave us a glimpse of the Galaxy Buds concept in a YouTube Shorts video. It looks like a strange hybrid of a Galaxy Watch 6 and a Galaxy Buds case. Imagine the two devices merged together, and that’s essentially what the Galaxy Buds prototype is.
The concept definitely feels like more of a novelty than a function-first product. However, there are some actual benefits that come with having a built-in display on your earbuds’ case. Showing the battery life is truly useful, as most owners of wireless earbuds can probably remember a time when their buds didn’t charge like they were supposed to.
Having playback controls is a nice touch, too, and neat animations like a record spinning are simply cool. Depending on the tech inside, a pair of wireless earbuds could replace other products in your life. Including health sensors might make a “Galaxy Buds OLED” a fitness tracker for people who don’t want to (or can’t) wear a smartwatch. Limited onboard storage could turn it into a modern-day MP3 player.
But this is all theoretical because Samsung’s concept still needs a connected device for most of its features. Plus, Samsung has no plans to release this as an actual product, at least for right now.
As Samsung is touting this concept, there are actual products of this kind for sale right now. The JBL Tour Pro 2 is a $250 pair of earbuds that feature a screen on the case. JBL is also working on the JBL Live 3, which will also ship with a screen on the case when it releases this summer.
Although Samsung won’t release a pair of Galaxy Buds with a screen anytime soon, maybe it should. It’s the perfect mix of real functionality and a cool concept, which is everything CES is about.