As wireless earbuds blew up in popularity following the release of the Apple airpods, it is no surprise how other tech companies have released their own models. Today, we will be reviewing one of Apple’s stiffest competitors, Samsung and their take on wireless earbuds with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live has captured the attention of the earbuds market with its unconventional bean-shaped design. It’s a breath of fresh air against Airpod-style “golf shaped” buds and clip-style earbuds that many brands have released. Aside from its innovative look, it also boasts of up to eight hours of non-stop listening and 29 hours of battery life which is very impressive. It also has active noise cancellation which is always a good feature to have especially in busy airports where you may want to tune out the other travellers but not the important announcements. These features come at a price point of $169.99 which is pretty standard in earbuds like this.
Now, all that sounds great but let’s see if it lives up to what it says. Starting off with the positives, we will lay out what exactly makes the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live a great pair of earbuds.
Superb Battery Life. With six hours of playtime (with noise cancelling on; eight hours with noise cancelling off), it’s a great everyday pair. Whether you use it to binge-watch your favorite series on a long flight or throughout a nine to five shift at the office, this will certainly see you through. It also makes a great companion for runs or hikes (being IPX2-rated so you shouldn’t have to worry about sweat or a little drizzle).
Noise Cancelling. This feature has become pretty essential in the wireless earbuds of 2020. We totally get it though because with active noise cancelling, this pair can make your commute more enjoyable and more relaxing especially for those who work early mornings or late nights by cancelling out ambient sounds.
Good Mic Quality. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live proved that aside from listening to music and watching movies, it can also be used for important calls with its good mic quality. Compared to other wireless earbuds on the market, its improved ability to detect speech via a “voice pickup unit” is great especially in a time where online meetings are becoming more prevalent.
That’s not to say that there isn’t any room for improvement for these buds though. There are a couple of things that we found that you should keep in mind before jumping in and getting this pair. See the Cons below.
Uncomfortable for Smaller Ears. Though its design is cool, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are definitely not small ear friendly. Being bean shaped with no silicone ear tips, it would be a pain to get these to stay on for those with smaller ears. This can result in it being quite uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time which is bothersome when working out or listening in important meetings.
Somewhat Difficult Controls. While it’s great that this pair supports tap function, it can get quite difficult using those controls because of its sensitivity. Even just brushing past the earbuds would make your music or movie stop playing which is quite a hassle during vigorous exercises or shifting positions when laying in bed.
Sound Quality Can be Improved. Even though the sound quality that these earbuds deliver isn’t bad, it can definitely still be improved. It falls short on resolution with some sounds translating into static. They also aren’t the loudest so if you’re someone who likes blasting their music, these won’t satisfy.
With all that being said, we think that the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live proved to be a good wireless earbud option for those with more spacious ears looking for something that can cancel out white noise during their daily commute or everyday happenings. With its great battery life and mic quality, it’s definitely a good choice for those always on-the-go.
Although, we think that there is still room for improvement in terms of the pair’s fit and features. Having a bean shape, it’s fresh and new but hasn’t proved to be a one-size fits all (Note: it isn’t customizable) pair which is pretty disappointing since people with smaller ears wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much. Aside from that, the controls are pretty difficult to maneuver since just a little nudge can unintentionally pause or play a track you’re listening to which is always frustrating. Lastly, the sound quality can be improved with this pair because even if it’s not bad per se it’s lacking in resolution and volume which can be a deal breaker for others.
Overall, while this pair is a good offering from Samsung, you might want to think about your purpose for buying these earbuds and how they will ultimately fit in with your lifestyle. Before taking the plunge, we hope to have helped you with this review and with your earbud hunting journey.