Sep 04, 2020 Reviews
Samsung has introduced a new player into the very competitive wireless earbud game called the Galaxy Buds Live. The buds have been able to make an impression because of their unique design and features. With such a hefty price tag, we shall see if these earbuds are really worth it and if the price is justified.
With wireless earbuds, its crucial that the size and shape allow to keep them secure in the ear of the wearer. Samsung took a risk and came out with a truly unique shape. Accurately referred to as the “Galaxy Beans”, the Buds Live are bean shaped which may seem odd at first but they really do fit the ears very comfortably as they are shaped specifically to fit in your ear. They have a reflective plastic body and a very redeeming feature of these earbuds is that they are larger in size than other earbuds we’re used to seeing which is great because it calls for a bigger battery and a bigger driver to drive the audio into your ear.
At the top there is a rubber piece that locks the buds in place and you don’t have to worry about them falling out. This rubber piece sits on the outer portion of your ear, around the cartilage. Samsung also added another rubber piece in the package to cater to people who might have slightly smaller or larger ears.
Truthfully, upon first glance, these earbuds seem weird and you can’t help but question Samsung for this design, wondering how you will ever be able to wear these. But once you figure it out and get past the initial confusion, the buds are worth it. They are some of the most comfortable earbuds and are lightweight. The unique design allows the earbuds to remain clean and ensures that they don’t get covered with earwax.
All in all, the buds are what they are. They are a one size, one design and, one shape and if they don’t fit you then there really isn’t much that you can do about that.
The new and most exciting feature of these earbuds was that they had active noise cancellation which is a first from Samsung with their truly wireless buds.
The Galaxy Buds Live are open-ear earbuds hence sounds enters into your ears regardless. It’s due to this design which makes noise cancellation difficult. Samsung acknowledges this and wanted to give the users a best of both worlds experience. The “Live” branding of the Buds Live means that the important sounds such as voices and announcements make it through to the earbuds. But the noise cancellation is supposed to cancel out low level frequencies such as a pestering hum, not background sound. In addition, the noise cancellation feature is just a simple on off option. There are no options to adjust anything.
The audio quality is great and is significantly improved from the Buds Plus in many areas. There is a broader, wider sound stage which gives these buds a really full sound and a wide range. Samsung also improved the bass with some new hardware additions like a base duct and it paid off. The bass is deep and with the ‘Bass Boost” mode, you can really hear everything in your music. The vocals are very distinct and crisp and you can make EQ adjustments in the app to get the right sound profiles. These are great when you want to use them in a quiet setting but in a noisy one, even with the imperfect noise cancellation, you won’t be able to help but crank the volume to max
The touch controls are also very impressive and accurate. While you don’t have an obvious flat touch area, it gets the job done when you want to play and pause the music, skip a track etc. You can even customize the controls too.
The buds live have an improved microphone for voice recording and phone calls by increasing the number of mics and introducing a sensor which pics up when you’re about to start talking which ensures that the mic is picking up the sound.
With the redesign of the buds, Samsung also redesigned the case. It is a standard compact plastic case with magnetic charging points to make it easier to pop the earbuds in the case and charge them. The case can also be charged wirelessly. The battery life falls short compared to the competitors. With ANC enabled, you’ll get around 6 hours of listening. Without ANC, the buds will last an hour or two more.
The Galaxy Buds Live retail for $169 which is by no means cheap but it is somewhat fair. While the earbuds offer crisp sound quality, sound profile adjustments, decent battery life, comfort and a unique design, it has its flaws with the ANC and the lack of customization. As stated above, these earbuds are desirable if and only if they fit your ear shape and has features that can truthfully be found is many other wireless earbuds. The Galaxy Buds Live are the best buds that Samsung has launched and if they meet your needs then these are the buds for you.