The Galaxy Buds Live are Samsung's wireless earbuds - which happen to be an Interesting bean shape! The first thing you will notice, compared to other devices on the market, there are no silicone tips that jam into your ears - the speaker point straight into your ear canal. Instead, the silicone tips, found on other devices, are transformed into stabilisers. Despite the slightly alien look, it works. There are also larger silicone stabilisers that should help the device fit better. It is always about having a secure and snug fit.
The case itself has an LED on both the inside and outside. The LED on the outside of the case. They show you the charging status of the both the case and the earbuds. When you connect the earbuds, you get an exact percentage but the LED lets you get the rough idea.
The device uses standard Bluetooth - version 5, In order to connect to your phone and is very easy. I tired across 5 smartphones and 2 tablets and didn't encounter any issues. Every time I've taken the Galaxy Buds Live out of their case, it paired with my phone extremely quickly. Keep in mind, I had left my Bluetooth enabled on my phone - but then again everybody does. When outside, especially in crowded areas, the device did have a couple of hiccups where the music might've stopped. Not sure if this was purely a connectivity issue though, but many others have had the same problem. This could be something that future software updates will take care of.
The sound of the earbuds is clear and well-balanced. With the dynamic and bass boost EQ profiles, you'll be able to get more bass if you so wish. Whilst the Galaxy Buds Live have a very good sound quality, true audiophiles may want to choose something else that is specialised for sound and obviously will come with a hefty price tag.
The device also has a Scalable Codec feature. This used in order to keep a reliable audio stream when the Bluetooth connection is weak. Scalable Codec encodes audio information with a higher compression ratio - which allows the earbuds to receive data without interruptions. I was happy to say I could move between rooms and even leave my phone downstairs and still get smooth audio.
I did found that whenever I adjusted the device in my ear, I'd almost always trigger the touch controls. However, personally, it wasn't much of an issue because I rarely had to adjust the Galaxy Buds Live. Over time you learn gripping by the side is the preffered method. Speaking of touch controls, once you've learned them, it's fairly easy to control your music. One tap to pause/play. Two taps to move onto the next song. Three taps go to the previous song. When you tap and hold, it activates Active Noise Cancellation. However, this can be changed to control the volume and use voice commands in the accompaniying app.
The Galaxy Buds Live use three microphones - one inner mic and two outer beam-forming mics on each side. There is also a Voice Pickup Unit. The unit uses the accelerometer to sense the movement of your jaw when you're talking to convert that kinetic energy into voice signals via bone conduction. As a result, you're heard clearly on the phone - even in noisy areas.
The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is barely there, unfortunately. It might get rid of low-band background noise under 700Hz - like trains and buses. When it comes to being out in the streets, you'll still hear it be able to hear people talking. If you're a person that doesn't want to get rid of all ambient noise, then this is fine for you. Personally, I like to be immersed in my music - no sounds from others thank you very much. Children come to mind...
The devices has IPX 2 water resistance rating which means that it will tolerate light sweat and light rain. If your workouts are a bit more epic and you're in the rain-filled outdoors you may want to reconsider.
When it comes to battery life, I was impressed. According to Samsung, these Buds can last up to 6 hours with continuous listening with Active Noise Cancelling. This comes to 21 hours total with the case recharging it. Without ANC you get eight hours with a total of 29 hours. For my listening, the device has lasted up to three days without recharging the case.
As well as this, whilst doing various chores, I was happy to say that I could use the Google Assistant very nicely. There is a setting on phones where you can use the voice assistant when the phone is locked. I only had to activate this setting and carried on with the cleaning and used Google to control what I was listening to with the Galaxy Buds Live. As well as this, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live support quick charging. SO with about a five minute charge, you can get about an hour of listening out of it.
If you're planning to keep these buds for a longer time, replacing the battery at some point could be a good idea. Maybe you're a little clumsy and had an accident. Whilst the individual parts might need a little search, the device itself has been rated "The Most Repairable Eardbuds" by iFixit and got an 8/10 rating.
Overall, the Galaxy Buds Live have a great sound quality and are able to stay in your ears snugly with their new bean-shaped design. It connects to your device very fast but could have trouble with playback when you're in public spaces. The main downfalls are the IPX 2 water resistance rating and the lack of good ANC. The battery life is pretty good with 8 hours of continuous listening if you don't have ANC enabled.
As of now, the Galaxy Buds Live are selling for $149.99/£159. However, as the device is new, you get a free pair of Galaxy Buds Live when you get a new smartphone. If you're due for a new one, this could be something to think about. Check out the Galaxy Buds Live on Samsung's website - click here! Are you thinking about buying the device?