Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Review: Battery that delivers all-day connectivity

When the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live was announced a few weeks ago, I was thrilled and delighted that someone finally thought further about in-ears for sports and urban use. The last few years have been rather sobering in this area. Things either looked like toothbrush heads (e.g. Apple) or screws in the head (e.g. Bose) and the focus was always on sealing the ear canal and noise canceling. It is important not to completely hide your environment, especially in an urban environment. In addition, sport (e.g. jogging) with closed ear canals is torture because every step is passed through the body into the auditory canal and amplified.

To make it short, I’ve been looking for what feels like an eternity for an in-ear system that:

  • Does not completely seal the auditory canal,
  • Sounds good
  • Battery >6 hr has
  • Looks discreet and sits comfortably in the ear
  • Is suitable for sports (jogging, cycling).
  • (ANC nice to have)

Things we like

  • Very comfortable, you don’t feel any discomfort even after hours of use;
  • Better sound quality than Galaxy buds plus;
  • Convenient case with wireless charging; – Fast connection between different Samsung devices
  • 3D sound when viewing video

Things we don’t like

  • They are not waterproof;
  • Noise suppression (Samsung declares an attenuation of 30%) but in my opinion it is practically non-existent
  • Non-waterproof case (buy a cover);
  • Not suitable for everyone who has small ears and probably not be able to use them.

Price and availability

I didn’t have high expectations but I didn’t have low expectations either; I was looking for wireless headphones at an honest price for a branded and quality product and I must say that I am very satisfied with my purchase.

The Samsung Buds live come with a total five colour variants such as Black, White, Blue, Bronze and Red colour. It is price $109.99. you can buy through company’s official website samsung.com.

Who should have to Buy the headphone?

  • Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners will benefit the most from Galaxy Buds Live, thanks to Samsung’s scalable codec support and wireless power-share.
  • Anyone considering AirPods (3rd generation) should get this instead because it fits more securely.

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Box content

  • Charging Case
  • Earbuds
  • Quick Start Guide
  • USB Cable
  • Wingtips(S, L)

What is the design of Samsung Buds live?

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Top! The design is really successful and well thought out. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live sit comfortably in the ear cup and stay in place during sports etc. I didn’t manage to get them to fall out. Even after a 4-hour bike ride, the Buds Live didn’t pinch or cause pain. What was positively noticed is that the buds naturally slip slightly during exercise. But the sound quality (bass) changes only very slightly. With closed-in-ear systems, the adjustment is always a pain and the bass drops massively when you move it. The Buds Live is a massive improvement.

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Touch

Maybe that’s the only thing I complain about; the touch itself has no problem and the headphones react immediately to touches. The problem is when I have to insert them in my ear; inevitably I press the touch zone and random songs start playing, in fact, I had to disable it. I don’t mind because I never got used to touching so I don’t miss it at all. u

But I think that with practice you can avoid the touch zone; however, it is also true that the Buds are quite “small” so I solved it directly with the application by disabling the touch.

Buds and recognition:

As soon as I opened my Samsung a53 it immediately recognized them. The Buds app was already pre-installed on my phone and are very intuitive. The “wearable” application offers many customization possibilities. It also offers a mini tutorial on how to wear them and where to touch them; for me, it was very useful as I was in the first steps with wireless headphones.

Should you get the Galaxy Wearable app?

The app that will allow you to manage the Buds Live is the classic Samsung Gear Wearable, as the name suggests, it is the app that allows you to manage all the Samsung wearables, associating them once purchased.

It’s good, it works well, and it offers some interesting options, the most important being: the equalizer that allows you to choose different sound profiles; touch controls, i.e. the possibility of choosing which action to perform by touch; the ability to have notifications read aloud and choose which app(s) to integrate into this function.

Form Factor and Wearability

But let’s get to the sore points. It is clear that each of us is different and perceives sounds in a different way and the same wearability can be considered comfortable or uncomfortable depending on the subject, it is also useless to specify that these are my sensations. The shape, although “innovative”, I find very uncomfortable in the insertion and removal phase and the slippery surface certainly does not make things easier, in my opinion, the stick makes it better, having a “gripping hook” which makes it easier. Given the period I’m using them at home and I don’t do extreme sports, the grip is firm and I’ve never had the feeling that they could fall.

It’s uncomfortable yes, but it’s not difficult to wear them, after some time you can figure out how to do it and you don’t have problems but in my case, I noticed that after a while they cause pain in my ear cartilage, the one in contact with the upper part of the headset and which serves to “contain” it.

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What is the sound quality of Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

 It’s the setup that counts… At first, I was shocked at what was advertised as “top sound” in recessions. This might work in connection with a Samsung cell phone, but with my P10 (which also has a very good sound engine) none of the settings in the Samsung app wanted to deliver a remotely usable sound. At least you could hear clear differences between 320 mp3 and Spotify (worse), which speaks for the listener. I don’t understand why Samsung doesn’t offer a full-fledged equalizer in their app! That was exactly the solution: with an additional equalizer app (e.g. SpotiQ) I was actually able to get a sound out of the buds that can be described as “very good”.

The resolution is clean, the different bass layers are audible, and the stage is wide… Electronic music styles and especially indie pop are a real pleasure with Buds Live. You can really immerse yourself in the music. The AKG engineers did a great job there! In summary, the Buds sound really good when set up correctly (and the Samsung app isn’t much help there)

Does the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have good Noise cancellation capabilities?

The thing that made me very happy was the sound cancellation, a novelty for me since I was still stuck with the old five-euro wired headphones.

Obviously, they don’t cancel loud noises, but they do smooth out background chatter, I repeat a lot!

When people talk to me from very close I can’t hear them and I have to take them off. I would like to point out that I don’t listen to loud music, absolutely.

This is perfect for me as a student and I study out a lot in libraries or bars which, especially in the evening, can be very noisy places.

On the other hand, you have to be careful when using them on the street because I really, personally, don’t feel anything from what’s happening around me, that’s why I always try to use them when I’m sitting and studying.

Also, the sound canceling helps me a lot with people chatter; I don’t like continuous noises, noises of people only talking, and other music in the background especially in crowded places. Yes, they help. The continuous noises make me uncomfortable but with the Buds, it seems that the problem has been solved; I was even opting to get huge headphones for construction work to reduce the sounds but I think there is absolutely no need.

How good the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro for taking calls?

Take noise-free calls that blow your mind. The best quality call for true wireless earbuds means you get less noise and a clearer voice on calls at home or out in the world. With three built-in microphones and the voice pickup unit, every word is crystal clear. The low protrusion design minimizes wind contact, while the sophisticated wind shield solution blocks the sound of wind during calls.

Moreover, the earbuds come with a Bixby voice wake-up technology for calls. It wakes up to your voice, letting you control your phone without lifting a finger. Manage your calls, adjust the volume, or check weather while on the move. You talk, Bixby listens.

How good is the microphone?

The quality of the microphone is excellent, as Samsung has used an advanced array with true wireless earbuds to mute its sound. Each earbud is equipped with built-in hardware, including three microphones. Two microphones are beamforming and the third is an inward-facing voice pickup unit; This is the fancy name of an accelerometer that detects vibrations from the bones of your jaw and uses bone conduction to convert it into an audio signal. All of this combines to transmit clear audio while rejecting background noise. Microphone quality is one of the things that improves over time with firmware updates, so I expect this to get better over the months.

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How good is the connectivity option?

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Here comes the big BUT! The connection cannot be called particularly stable. Bluetooth 5.0 is on board the buds but should be backward compatible with BT4.2 (P10). As other recessions have reported, the stability of the connection at busy intersections, etc. is very marginal. With the phone in the back pocket of the jeans, movements of the head (right/left) cause crashes.

When making calls, I also noticed that it is enough to enclose the phone (P10) with both hands to achieve a clearly audible deterioration in the incoming voice quality. All in all, it’s very annoying, but Buds Live can’t help it. I could also observe this behavior with other tws In-ears. I think the issue of Bluetooth 4. x on older devices also explains the many recessions complaining about disconnections.


How good is the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live?

The battery is good, I have been using them for several days now and I realized that listening to music it consumes about 20% every hour with continuous use, as per the attached image taken this morning, you can notice that after about 2 hours of Youtube and Spotify the percentage was 61%

Among other things, the case also has its own internal battery which will serve, once stored, to recharge your Buds Live up to 100%

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Conclusion

Samsung did everything right with the Buds Live.

Everything that is important for an in-ear in an urban / sporty environment has been solve very well:

  • Design
  • comfort
  • sound (albeit with an extra EQ app)
  • Fitness for sports
  • Runtime
  • Perception of the environment

One-star deduction for the complex sound setting due to the missing EQ in the app.

I hope that future software updates can improve the EQ issue and the connection problem. That would be very desirable because then the long-term search for usable “open” in-ears for everyday sporting activities in the city would have found a happy end.

Other recommendations for Samsung’s R&D:

– to release a Sport Edition for the Buds Live (matte colored design, softer silicone hooks for even better grip and comfort, possibly silicone attachment with extended nose in the auditory canal, e.g. with the old Bose Soundsport) … then it would be for reached me absolute perfection ; )

Unfortunately, the Buds Live are going back due to the poor connection stability with my P10 (BT4.2).

What should you get instead of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live?

If you want Samsung earbuds, just get Galaxy Buds 2 or Galaxy Buds Pro. Interestingly, the Galaxy Buds 2 has a slightly better sound cancellation than the more expensive Buds Pro, but the trade-off is that Buds 2 only has an IPX2 rating (compared to IPX7) and it supports Samsung 360 Audio. Does not. The buds of both pairs seal the ear, giving you a better sound, isolation and fit between the two than the Galaxy Buds Live.

For the best portable noise cancelling experience, don’t even consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. Instead, get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, Sony WF-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds both of which fit most customers better and have much better sound quality than the Galaxy Buds Live. Boss’s earbuds are slightly larger than Sony’s but you’ll find them more comfortable and better for exercise due to the Steer Max ear and wing tips.

Alternatively, the Jabra Elite 7 Active is a solid alternative with OK ANC, good fit, great app (iOS and Android) and good sound. This is not the best of anything but it is very good at almost everything.

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