Brand: Samsung Electronics
Color: Mystic Black
Model Name: Galaxy Buds LIve
Headphones Form FactorIn Ear
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live come in three colors - black, white and bronze - and come with a matching charging case that’ll slip into your pocket. There’s a USB Type-C port on the back of the case for charging, or alternatively, you can also charge it wirelessly. An LED is present both inside and outside the case to let you know about the charging status of the case, as well as of the earbuds.
Fitting them inside your ear requires you to push the speaker grille all the way inside the ear while the charging contacts sit in the upper part of the outer ear. When properly aligned, the Buds should be a near perfect fit - sealing the ear with a snug grip.
Of course, as we pointed out in our preview with the Buds Live, it’s not always a perfect fit. If you have large or especially small ears - or you plan on buying these for your kids - there’s a good chance the distance between the ear canal and the outer ear won’t be the right size to hold the Buds in place, meaning that they can easily pop out.
Each of the buds also have touch sensors that can register a single, double, or triple tap that serves the expected actions of playing/pausing, as well as skipping tracks backwards/forwards. A tap and hold action is also available and is customizable for each bud separately - you can set it to increase/decrease the volume, launch Bixby or Spotify. Bixby obviously only works on Samsung phones and Spotify can only be launched on Android phones.
It’s impressive how much tech Samsung has packed into the Galaxy Buds Live. On each of the earbuds there are three microphones along with an additional voice pickup unit, the speaker with a bass duct and a bunch of sensors such as an accelerometer, IR, and a touch-capacitive sensor. All of this tech allows for a rich set of features on the Galaxy Buds Live- some of which work better than others.
Let’s start with Active Noise Cancellation - something that can be tricky to achieve in such small earbuds. What makes it even more challenging to get ANC on the Buds is that they don’t plug into your ear canal with silicone ear tips like some of the other buds that support this tech. Samsung has thus developed ANC for open type earbuds, which, according to Samsung, reduces low-band background noise under 700Hz – such as trains and buses - up to 97% while still allowing you to hear voices and announcements.
This sounds great on paper but didn’t really make much of a difference with our testing - at least not with voices. At lower volume levels, we could hear people around us with ANC enabled or disabled and cranking volumes close to 90% or more made the voices disappear with or without ANC. In short, like most other wireless earbuds, ANC depends on the fit of the buds and volume of what you’re listening to.
What does work well is call quality, which uses the three microphones (one inner mic plus two outer beam-forming mics on each side) along with the Voice Pickup Unit that uses the accelerometer to sense the movement of your jaw to convert that kinetic energy into voice signals via bone conduction.
Samsung has implemented a multitude of features for keeping the Buds Live connected and in sync with your device – all of which is based on Bluetooth 5. To keep a reliable audio stream, the Galaxy Buds Live feature Samsung’s proprietary Scalable Codec which prevents audio chopping by changing the bit-rate according to the strength of the Bluetooth connection.
At full charge, the earbuds are expected to last for six hours and the battery case cover can provide over two full charges, meaning you can expect close to 20 hours of playback with the Buds Live. Better yet, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live support quick-charging, which can provide about an hour of playtime with just five minutes of charging.
|Battery||Earbuds: 60 mAh|
|Call time||up to 2 hpurs|
|Charge time||40 to 1 hour|
|Music time||up to 5 hours|
|Standby time||up to 20 hours|
|Case battery capacity||472 mAh|