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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live represent a significant departure from the standard in every category. They are unlike anything we have ever seen. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the first wireless earbuds to feature noise cancellation.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: design

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: noise cancellation

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live – Call quality

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: audio quality

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: battery life

Should they be bought?

This category is not new to Samsung. You can see the previous earbuds from Samsung in our Samsung Galaxy Buds Review and Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Review. However, the shape of these buds is quite different from other brands. Most wireless earbuds are designed to plug into your ears.

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds Available at Amazon For US$89.99

 

It is natural to be cautious about change. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, however, are the real deal. These earbuds can compete with the best earbuds available, such as the Apple AirPods or the Google Pixel Buds. They offer many of the same features, plus some new ones that are exclusive to Samsung owners. (Surprise, it’s Bixby!)

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They’re not the best Android-based wireless earbuds, but they aren’t bad. Our Sony WF1000XM4 review will help you find the best pair. The Buds Live sound great, and the noise cancelling is similar.

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Add in some issues with sound leakage, low IP rating and you have a competent successor for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. But it’s not a great pair of buds. Compare the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live to our selection of the most true wireless earbuds.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Specs

Acoustic design: Open

Weight: 5.6g (buds) 42.2g (charging case)

Drivers – 12mm dynamic driver

Battery Life: 6 hours (buds), 20 hours (with the charging case)

Additional features: Accelerometer and Voice Pickup Unit. Touch controls, Quick Charging, Bixby.

Galaxy Buds Live are similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro but they are not the most recent earbuds. To learn more about the latest buds by Samsung, read our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Review.

The Galaxy Buds 2 offer significant improvements over previous attempts by Samsung, including improved active noise cancelling and a more balanced sound profile. For those who want to learn more about Samsung’s first true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Review is a good place to start.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: Price and availability

  • They are $169.99/PS179/AUPS319.
  • They are similar in price and performance as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
  • The Plus has a better battery and the Live has an ANC.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds can be purchased now at $169.99 / PS179/ AUPS319. For a more efficient, but less expensive, option, check out our AirPods Pro Review. They cost $249 / PlayStation249 / Australian$399

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. These were released in 2020. The Buds Plus cost $149.99 / PS159 / AU$299 which is about $20 less than the Buds Live.

There is a difference between the Buds Live and the Buds Plus. The Buds Live use active noise cancellation, while the Buds Plus uses ambient noise reduction. The Buds Plus also have a longer battery life, but a lower overall one when you add in the charging case.

The Galaxy Buds Live is a better option than the Plus, unless you are going to be wearing your earbuds for more than 11 hours.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: design

  • Available in white, black, dark grey, and bronze.
  • A unique design that is comfortable and snug.
  • Bixby onboard for Samsung phones.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are available in four colors: black, white (called Mystic Black), dark grey (called Mystic Black), and bronze. They also come with a matching charging bag that you can slip into your pocket. The back of the case has a USB Type C port for charging. You can also charge the device wirelessly. The case has an LED inside and out that informs you about the charging status.

Samsung created something fun and original with the buds. While other wireless earbuds makers are copying Apple’s AirPods design, Samsung’s design team clearly works hard to create something unique.

To fit them in your ear, push the speaker grille into the ear. The charging contacts are located in the upper portion of the outer ear. The Buds will fit snugly in your ear if they are properly aligned.

(Image credit: Future)

As we mentioned in the preview with Buds Live, it is not always a good fit. You might have small or very large ears, or if you are buying these for children, there is a chance that the distance between your ear canals and the outer ear will not be sufficient to hold the Buds in position. If this happens, the Buds can pop out.

Even if the buds fit well, there is another problem. The IPX2 rating of these buds means that they are not water-resistant. This means that they can only be used for light sweating or drizzle. They could end up with you if it rains, snows, or when you go to the beach.

The touch sensors on each bud can also register a single, double or triple tap. This serves the expected actions of pausing/playing, and skipping tracks forwards/backwards. You can also customize each bud’s tap-and-hold action. This allows you to adjust the volume, launch Bixby, or Spotify. Bixby is only compatible with Samsung phones. Spotify cannot be launched on Android phones.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: noise cancellation

  • ANC specifically for open earbud designs.
  • aims to reduce background noise and make speech audible.
  • The ANC is dependent on the fit of the buds as well as volume levels.

It is amazing how much technology Samsung has packed into the Galaxy Buds Live. There are three microphones on each earbud, along with an additional voice pick unit, a speaker with a bass-duct, and a variety of sensors like an accelerometer, an IR and a touch capacitive sensor. This tech allows you to access a wide range of features on Galaxy Buds Live, some of which are better than others.

Let’s begin with Active Noise Cancellation. This can be difficult to achieve with such small earbuds. It is even harder to achieve ANC with the Buds because they don’t have silicone ear tips that plug into your ear canal like other buds that support this technology. Samsung has developed ANC for open-type earbuds. This reduces low-band background noise below 700Hz – like trains and buses – by up to 97%, while still allowing voice and announcements to be heard.

Although it sounds great on paper, this didn’t make any difference in our testing. At least not with voices. We could hear the voices of people nearby with ANC disabled or enabled at lower volumes. Turning up to 90% made them disappear, with or without ANC. ANC, in short, is dependent on how the buds fit and the volume of what’s being listened to.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: High quality

  • Three microphones.
  • Bone conduction is used to improve call clarity in noisy areas.

Call quality is a good option. It uses three microphones (one inner and two outer beam-forming microphones) as well as the Voice Pickup Unit, which uses an accelerometer to detect movement in your jaw to convert that energy into voice signals via bone Conduction.

This allows you to be heard clearly on the other side of the call even in noisy environments. This was tested and our voice was clear even with background music.

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: audio quality

  • Bluetooth 5
  • Works well up to 20 feet.
  • Excellent audio, but some sound leakage.

Samsung has implemented many features to keep the Buds Live connected and in sync. All of these features are based on Bluetooth 5. The Galaxy Buds Live feature Samsung’s Scalable Codec, which prevents audio chopping and changes the bit-rate depending on the strength of the Bluetooth connection.

Scalable Codec encodes audio information automatically with a higher compression ratio when the wireless connection is weak. This allows the earbuds receive data uninterrupted even if there’s a drop in the signal. Even though the Galaxy Buds Live was more than twenty feet away, we were able to enjoy uninterrupted audio. However, you shouldn’t try to walk in between rooms with your phone.

(Image credit: Future)

The audio quality is good in general. While the bass has a punchy, fun bounce that makes Eminem’s Godzilla really sing, it can also affect clarity in the highs and mids. The Galaxy Wearable app lets you set sound between six modes, including bass boost and treble booster. However, you cannot set a custom equalizer.

The Galaxy Buds Live are also comfortable because they don’t plug into your ears. Samsung has included an air vent to allow for ventilation. This helps reduce the discomfort you may feel after listening to long periods of music.

The bad news: The bad news? You can expect to hear many complaints from commuters and office workers about the volume of your music.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: battery life

  • 6 hours on-board battery.
  • 20 hours in the charging case.

The earbuds can last six hours on a full charge. The battery case can hold over two full charges so you can get close to 20 hours of audio playback with Buds Live. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live supports quick-charging which allows for up to an hour of play time with only five minutes of charging.

How does it compare to the rest? It’s very similar to the AirPods Pro. For an example, our Lypertek Tvi review will show you how cheaper models can offer a better battery.

Do I need to buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live or not?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (left), with the AirPods Pro. (Image credit: Future)

If you are…

You are looking for an alternative to Apple AirPods that is Samsung-friendly?

The Galaxy Buds Live are an excellent companion for your Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The Galaxy Buds Live have many features specifically for Samsung devices, such as the Scalable Codec. They also pair much more easily.

Bixby is your favorite!

You can use Bixby, your smart assistant, on a Samsung Galaxy Buds Live device. This is another advantage. While this is not an important advantage for most people, it can be a big plus if you have become obsessed with Bixby in the past few years.

If you love bass-heavy music, wireless earbuds are the best choice.

The sound quality of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is not great, but they do deliver the bass. The Buds Live are a great choice if you like thumping bass but don’t mind a little bit of clarity in the highs and mids.

If they are not…

No noise cancellation

It’s clear that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live active noise cancellation is not full cancellation. You’ll be able hear most of what’s going on around you in most cases, but at a lower decibel level than if the earbuds weren’t there.

Your ears are irregularly shaped

There is no guarantee they will fit your ears. Galaxy Buds Live are incredibly slim and should fit comfortably. However, if your ears are too small or if you’re buying them for children, there’s a chance that the Buds won’t stay in place due to the difference between the outer ear and the ear canal.

Looking for true wireless earbuds at a bargain price?

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is Samsung’s premium wireless product. They are the most expensive. You don’t have to spend $169.99/PS179 for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Or the Lypertek Tvi, which offers many of the same features but costs a lot more.

Also, consider

These are three other wireless earbuds you might consider if you’re not satisfied with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Review.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review ” data-widget-type=”deal”>

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds 2, offer superior sound quality and active noise cancellation. They’re not the most reliable true wireless earbuds, but they are a great choice for Samsung smartphone owners who want flawless synchronicity with their Galaxy Gear.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 review

Review of the Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds ” data-widget-type=”deal”>

Sony WF1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds

The WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds from Sony are the best. Although they aren’t perfect, they’re still very good. They are comfortable, have great sound quality, call quality, and other useful features. These are great buds, although you will need to spend more for the impressive specs.

Review of the Sony WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds

Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0

These wireless buds are affordable, so make sure to get Lypertek. These buds are minimal and comfortable, and the brand continues to push its limits. They also come in an affordable package that is both stellar-sounding, and very well-priced. The battery life is also excellent, at a staggering 80 hours including the case.

 

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