Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review: best to date, but not perfect

While they could have gone undetected together with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Note 20, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live stood apart with their innovative bean-shaped design. They are likewise the first real wireless headphones with ANC southern Korean maker. Here is my total evaluation for NextPit.


✓ Ergonomic and original style

✓ Solid battery life

✓ Good microphone call quality

✓ Comprehensive buddy application


✕ Spotty ANC efficiency

✕ Disappointing and incorrect audio rendering

✕ Not the best option at this price

Lowest rate: Galaxy Buds Live

Best price

Who are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live for?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live have been offered for purchase considering that August 6, 2020, at a cost of ₤ 179. They come in 3 colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White.
These are the very first true cordless headphones from Samsung to use ANC, or Active Noise Cancellation. The South Korean corporation is one year behind the 2 market leaders for such an offering, particularly the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple Airpods Pro.
In regards to rate, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live were cheaper than the rival buds from Sony and Apple at launch. In a time period of one year, these two outstanding criteria have actually had time to decrease their costs, so the rate of the Galaxy Buds Live is not all that competitive anymore.
What sets the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live apart is their special kind element. The bean-shaped style is unlike anything else on the market. And, as Ill describe in this review, its the only truly original feature of these 100% wireless headphones, since the ANC ability showed to be far too spotty for my taste.

What I like about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live …

Their initial and surprisingly ergonomic design

The set that I got for evaluation can be found in Mystic Black which I found to be very stylish, as did the carrying case with its strong hinge and compact design. The only snag was that the shiny, metal finishing on the Galaxy Buds Live showed to be a nasty finger print magnet.
And finger prints are what youre going to leave in order to make full usage of the Buds touch controls. The touch controls handle an extremely traditional format, however that is not a bad thing either since it is also extremely extensive. Sensitive adequate to respond well to your touch under a lot of circumstances, you will seldom find yourself experiencing incorrect positives.
But the funniest aspect of the Live Buds is this: I might see numerous of my fellow reviewers, of whom I will not name, creating a past life as an ENT by raising matters concerning the bass that is incorporated into the speaker, “and is positioned behind the tragus (small protrusion at the entryway of the ear canal) and the antitragus (the opposite rim).” I discovered these pseudo-scientific descriptions a wee bit too much, but still actually amusing.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Lives case exudes a really superior look and is, above all, compact./ © NextPit

Solid battery life
Samsung revealed six hours of listening time with a 60 mAh battery within each earpiece. And, its unusual enough to remember that the maker managed to exceed what it promised ( unlike its mobile phones). I used the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in a mixed manner, where I listened with ANC switched on and handled a variety of calls for five hours at my workplace hours and a couple of hours during my commute, in addition to more audio time back house.
With seven hours of use on typical daily, I systematically exceeded the assured six hours of battery life. Combined with the 3 full charges that the charging case carries, you can last near to 28 hours before having to plug them into the USB-C power adapter.
Charging is quite quickly and it takes just more than 20 minutes to charge the Buds Live to 50% battery capacity. In order to attain a full charge, it would need roughly an hour and a half. This is more than appropriate in regards to performance when compared to current market standards.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+, the Galaxy Buds Live are also compatible with inductive charging. The battery level of the headphones and the case will be shown by small LEDs, but it is possible to obtain information about the charge level by means of the companion application.
Effective microphones and hands-free cars and truck package
When it comes to this pair of true cordless earphones, the voice pickup quality indoors is really good. The signal is clean and the voice is not smothered. The timbre is continuous, and you can be sure that your conversations will be entirely intelligible.
When outdoors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are extremely good at straining wind noise. Its a tour de force that I can only praise because numerous producers guarantee this element without ever delivering on the anticipated performance.
On the other hand, voices take a hit in a very contaminated sound environment. The software application processing of the three microphones in each earphone tends to attenuate the voice, just as an HDR or night mode would smooth an image to limit digital noise (badum-tsh!).
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are really reliable for making calls and dealing with limitless video conferences in the workplace.

Once theyre in your ears, you barely feel the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live./ © NextPit

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live adopt an open-fit format, i.e. not in-ear. In terms of feel, I d state theyre close to semi-in-the-ear, yet they still fit very comfortably into the ear canal. And contrary to what their unusual design may suggest, they fit really well.
What I hate about the open fit style is the constant fear of losing an earpiece at the smallest touch. I was satisfied that at no time whatsoever have I ever felt that method with Galaxy Buds Live. Theyre also extremely discreet once they have lodged themselves onto the ear concha, thanks to the 5.6-gram weight of each earpiece.

The style of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is their finest possession. They look like earrings and their case is similar to a jewelry box.
I dislike to associate the design of each consumer electronic devices item such as headphones or smartwatches to those of Apple offerings, although they tend to dominate such markets and have set specific patterns throughout the years.
So no, Apple did not develop the cotton bud shape that practically all real cordless earphones have actually adopted considering that 2017. On that note, however, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are a breath of fresh air. The only other example I have in mind of a rather innovative style in this market would be the Libratone Track Air+ and their “wing” shape which would definitely turn heads.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hold remarkably well in place despite their bean-shaped style./ © NextPit

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live have a more than reputable battery life of over 7 hours./ © NextPit

What I do not like the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live …

The disappointing sound correction that shows the sad market standard

Wearing a pair of these earbuds while looking fashionable is something that the majority of us would like, where the form factor will be one of the main determining buying requirements for most of users who, for the a lot of part, dont care about the audio performance. The audio efficiency from Samsungs offering this time around falls within the typical band of what is readily available on a lot of consumer-level real cordless headphones. It is merely too typical for my taste, and filled with bass. However the same modus operandi has actually been utilized by practically all of the other makers prior to Samsung, with Apple being the very first.

It is, therefore, the bare minimum, which you might discover irritating down the road when using it. The sound signature of the Live Buds is the same as on any pair of real wireless headphones which retail anywhere in between ₤ 100 and ₤ 200. The requirement is not too expensive to start with, and even if they are amplified, the bass is not accurate enough, particularly when you crank the volume up.
This digital audio performance muffles the mediums (voices and certain instruments), which are cruelly doing not have in precision. On the high mediums, one will certainly notice screeching when it concerns certain instruments and voices. The tone of the voices generally experiences a devoted recreation, however again, it does not have precision here. Basically, the most subtle elements of the musical message are lost in a noise that has actually experienced far too much post-processing on the software application.
To put it just, its the acoustic equivalent of 50x digital zoom as soon as you crank up the decibels. When viewing video or game material, I likewise experienced a very visible latency. The game mode enables you to a little reduce this latency by compensating for the delay if you have a Samsung smartphone.
The Active Noise Cancellation
Simply put, the only obvious result of the ANC in Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is that it drains your battery. Its so spotty that I wound up leaving it switched off, often forgetting that I had turned it on.
Im not a bat, my hearing is as fundamental as my mobile phone evaluations are long, thats for sure. But you dont have to have actually a carefully tuned and musical ear to hear the smallest noise from the car, office, or train next-door neighbor pounding his keyboard while frantically waiting for the weekend with the ANC feature discovered in the Galaxy Buds Live.
And for when this is not just another one of my hyperboles. The active noise cancellation is just bad. This is partially due to the lack of passive seclusion linked to the open-fit style which does not permit enough clog of the ear canal.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live ANC is not a magic bean./ © NextPit

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live have a certain appeal. Honestly, having received them free of charge from Samsung, I would utilize them with no problem on a day-to-day basis. They are really elegant and the style is the most original on the market today.

Its like providing ANC on on-ear headphones or open headphones. Why put sticks in the wheels just to implement an innovation that needs millions in R&D, and yet does not perform as intended?
Ill stop ranting, but this long-awaited feature on Samsungs true wireless headphones does more than make a false start. When headphones even have a hard time to reduce continuous solid-state noise (which results from contact with a surface area, and therefore making it solid-state sound), one definitely needs to question in which direction is the market heading towards.
We are extremely far from what the Sony WF-1000XM3 provides, where even the Airpods Pro occur to provide rather on their pledge.

The carrots are cooked for the magic beans that are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. And if I was the popular Jack from the English fairy tale, I would pick another vegetable to go eliminate giants.

I can advise the Sony WF-1000XM3 that sells for approximately the very same, the Sennheiser Momentum 2 for the more costly however plainly much better alternative, and the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 as the more affordable option (and without ANC).

The range is also appropriate sufficient to make it a pair of functional day-to-day earbuds. Throw in the very great quality of the hands-free microphones, and the Galaxy Buds Live look far from outrageous.

Final conclusion

But the excellent novelty that was to be the ANC truly left a bitter taste in my ears. And at ₤ 179, one will discover alternatives at a similar price point or others that are more fascinating in spite of hovering at more pricey or even less expensive levels.

I hate all the snobbish audiophile lingo that reviewers usage in order to sound as though they are the sole authority in the matter.” A tip of sibilance in the highs without falling into the lows, full basses with good balance and mids and blah, blah, blah, blah.” No one understands and its awfully pompous.
So lets keep it basic and begin with the technical information sheet and after that with how I felt during the time I invested with it, without having to fall back on any audiophile references. Since similar to Apples Airpods Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is clearly not real cordless headphones that target the audiophile community, contrary to what their cost may suggest.
In order to deliver decent audio quality, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live trusts AKG 12mm diameter transducers. In addition to these speakers, Samsung has actually likewise integrated a channel particularly devoted to bass diffusion for extra amplitude. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are just compatible with fundamental Bluetooth audio codecs, SBC, as well as AAC, however does not support aptX, aptX HD, or LDAC.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live provide really average sound, similar to almost all of their rivals./ © NextPit

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While they might have gone undetected together with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Note 20, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live stood out with their innovative bean-shaped style. What sets the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live apart is their special type factor. On that note, nevertheless, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are a breath of fresh air. In order to provide good audio quality, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live relies upon AKG 12mm diameter transducers. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are just compatible with fundamental Bluetooth audio codecs, SBC, as well as AAC, but does not support aptX, aptX HD, or LDAC.

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