Samsung has tested the waters on the wireless headset market for the latest Galaxy or Note devices launched. However, it always seemed to me that they still had a little to get that device that I like 100%. Well Samsung Galaxy Buds Live headphones meet many of these conditions.
They have an original shape and stand out, they sound ok, without being too insulating. However, for me they had a capital sin. Let’s start one at a time and start with the design.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: Design
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live bring truly a original design for these headphones, a bean shape, say. Or cashew, if you want us to be more pretentious.
This shape is created to fit people’s ears and in 80% of cases is excellent. What I don’t like about headphones is that they stand out too much like a taxi driver’s helmet. The teardrop shape from Airpods or Huawei Freebuds is reasonable, I got used to it, but what I saw at Sennheiser or even the previous generation of Buds was theoretically interesting. In practice, however, the helmet came out as if you were Shrek.
Buds Live solves this problem with an elegant shape. The headphones have a glossy paint and can come in dark blue, gold or white. I had the dark blue / gray ones and they were excellent in design. Also, the case is durable, looks good and is not extremely large, it can be easily put in your pocket.
The headphones have the earphone on the inside and which also contains the charging pins, as well as the audio and microphone channels.
Although the shape is exceptional, I had an extremely big problem. Apparently I have small ears, so once inserted in the ear (you will have a hard time finding the correct way to enter for the first time, but you get used to it) I immediately felt a pain. The headphones are very tight, which ensures tightness. However, for my ears, after 10 minutes when I took them out, they hurt quite a lot.
Even the extra plugs that are bigger and with more rubber didn’t help me, because they didn’t fit in my ear at all. Those are made for those with really big ears. But if you are among the right people, the headphones do not fall, they are excellent in the ear and you can do sports with them.
Technical performance and autonomy
The headphones have a very good sound quality, but although it boasts that they have Active Noise Cancellation, this isolation is a bit overbought by Samsung . But that doesn’t mean they’re bad.
So, from the Samsung Wearables app available on Android, you can set whether Buds Live have ANC active or not. Unlike other headphones, you will not feel the effect immediately. If you hold them in your ear without music you will hear what is happening around you quite well and you will be able to talk to people, although you will feel a relative microphone of your voice, as if you heard yourself on the phone .
Once you put on the music, don’t expect your surroundings to disappear. It’s a very discreet Active Noise Cancellation from my point of view, and even if Buds Live sits in your ear, you hear what’s happening next to you. With 50% volume music, you will still hear the surrounding voices relatively well. If you give things 100% you will have a strong and insulating sound.
So, in the subway or by public transport you will have to adjust the volume, not being the best headphones for podcasts. Otherwise, the sound quality is very good, on various styles, including heavy metal or strong bass.
I do not complain very much about this, because for many people it is important to have a minimum recognition of the environment. So, if you run or ride a bike, Buds Live will be safer than other insulating headphones. And no, try not to ride a bike without hearing the traffic. If you are looking for sound insulation, try other models. If you want something for lifestyle and sports, then Buds Live will be good.
I had no problems with Bluetooth stability. I also tried them on Android, an Oppo Reno 3 Pro 5G, but also on an iPhone 11 Pro. You will not have the Android options on your iPhone, but they will work properly and will not disconnect. What surprised me was the fact that I could not connect them at all to the laptop, a Macbook and from what I read this means that they are not compatible yet. It works on Windows 10. You don’t even have a button to force them to connect.
The quality of the microphone in video conferencing is very good, as well as in phone calls. I was expecting a much poorer performance, but I was surprised. Watch out for them in the rain. They are water and dust resistant, but not necessarily submerged. They only have IPX2 type resistance, which means you can sweat in them.
At the level of autonomy, I really liked them. They kept me listening for a whole day during work, which means I took them out. Theoretically, continuously, you can have about 6 hours, and the case offers 21 hours of listening, more than enough. The case also has wireless charging, which means you can use a reversible charging phone to power the headphones. Charging is done with a USB-C jack.
When it comes to software, Samsung Wearable is a solid application, with several options through which you can choose the type of sound, you can turn off the sound insulation and set the touch controls, to stop the song, to choose the next song and so on. They are well integrated with Spotify. Yes, and with Samsung Bixby, but that really doesn’t matter. Another interesting feature on paper, but I don’t see it used in reality, is that you can use Buds with a friend. Basically, you can connect two pairs of Buds to the same source and listen on the plane, for example, the same songs or a movie on Netflix .
Although the cost is higher than others, for the right people these headphones could be a best buy, especially if you want to use them connected to an Android that has the Samsung Wearables application installed.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live would be my favorite headphones, except for one thing. I can’t wear them. My ears are too small, so wearing them became uncomfortable after 30 minutes.
For those who have the right ears, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are a successful combination: they have a reasonable sound insulation, an extremely successful shape and a great autonomy.
But be careful: I would recommend that you physically test them or buy them and return them if they don’t fit. I tried all the methods of wearing and my ears still hurt. I tested with other colleagues and they were very suitable for them.