Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review
Whether it’s a playlist, a phone call, a podcast or an audiobook, audio content is part of our lives. We all want high-quality sound, yet it’s hard to find earbuds that not only deliver excellent audio, but are also comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Live fit the bill. The brand claims the wireless earbuds can offer wearers “all-day comfort with less fatigue.” The buds have 12-millimeter speakers for a superior audio experience, as well as an advanced active noise cancellation (ANC) feature.
We wanted to see if the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live really could deliver on the company’s promise to provide high-quality sound and comfort. So we tested them out and here is what we found.
Testing the Galaxy Buds
To test the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, we had our tester find a set that fit their ears the best and pair them to every device that made sense — Samsung phone, iPhone, MacBook, etc. — to gauge the earbuds’ performance. Additionally, our tester downloaded the Galaxy Wearable app and the Samsung Galaxy Buds app to evaluate as many features as possible. We used the tester’s extensive notes to compile this in-depth review.
What are the Galaxy Buds?
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live are wireless earbuds that are designed to deliver superior audio quality with a shape and level of comfort that allows them to be worn all day long. Our first impression was definitely positive. These Samsung buds are aesthetically pleasing and feature a subtle, sleek design that places the device more fully inside your ear, which makes them feel much less likely to get accidentally knocked out. The color choices also help these earbuds stand out from the competition, going beyond the typical options with Mystic Bronze, Mystic Blue and Mystic Red as well as Mystic Black and Mystic White.
How to use the Galaxy Buds
Although the bean shape of these tiny devices doesn’t look like it could possibly offer a secure fit, it nestled snugly in the ear. During activities such as eating, jogging, biking or even jumping, the Samsung earbuds never came loose. This is a noticeable improvement over other brands that we’ve tested, such as Apple’s earbuds, which can occasionally fall out.
There are two sizes of silicone tips (called “wingtips”) that allow you to customize your fit so the audio quality and noise cancellation features can function better. For us, the small size fit better, but there was still an adjustment period required before the devices felt comfortable for long wear. For example, in the beginning, it was only comfortable to wear them for 45 minutes to an hour at a time. However, the longer the earbuds were in our ears over time, the more we adapted to the fit and the easier it was to keep them in for extended periods.
- Samsung phone: The Galaxy phone we used for pairing came with the Galaxy Wearables app pre-installed, so connecting the buds to the phone was extremely easy. When the buds are paired to a Samsung phone, they will read notifications out loud.
- iPhone: To connect the Samsung Galaxy Live Buds to an iPhone, you need to download the Samsung Galaxy Buds app. After launching, it was a simple matter for us to follow the onscreen instructions to pair the Samsung earbuds to an iPhone. Though the app has a number of useful features, such as the ability to change the sound settings and to turn the ANC on or off, we deleted the app after pairing and were surprised to find the earbuds were able to stay connected without the app. Also, it is possible to use the tap controls on the earbuds to start, stop, fast-forward or rewind the content on an iPhone, so you can still have an impressive amount of control without the app.
- MacBook: The Samsung Galaxy Buds pair quickly and easily to a MacBook in the same way any other Bluetooth device connects. To do this, turn on the Bluetooth on your MacBook, open the Samsung buds case (leaving the earbuds inside), open the Bluetooth preferences on the MacBook and wait for the Samsung earbuds to pop up so you can connect them.
- Fire tablet: Although we tried pairing these earbuds with an older Fire tablet, we didn’t have any luck. The Samsung Galaxy Buds seemed to have problems connecting with older devices.
Key features of the Galaxy Buds
Overall, the audio quality of these earbuds was impressive. When listening to podcasts or music, or watching TV, the sound was crisp and the dialogue was clear and easy to hear over background noise.
We found the Samsung earbuds performed exceptionally well with phone calls. Even in a space that was filled with a great deal of ambient noise, the person who called us came through clearly and was easy to understand. Additionally, we used the earbuds to make a call while wearing a mask in a grocery store that had a lot of background noise. The individual on the other end of the line said they had no trouble hearing us — neither the mask nor the background noise interfered with the quality of the audio.
While the earbuds were perfect for one-on-one calls, in virtual meetings there was no way to balance and limit the volume, so some individuals were very loud while others were hard to hear.
While some users noted they had issues with connectivity and dropped audio, we never experienced this unless we moved out of range of the connected device — which happened at roughly a 10-foot distance. We did notice that it was very important to make sure that you pair both earbuds with your phone during the initial setup to have optimum performance.
The battery life on these earbuds is impressive. Admittedly, we never had a chance to see how long these earbuds would last because at the end of the day, they were still going strong. We just dropped them in the case and they were ready to go for the next day.
Galaxy Buds price
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live have a retail price of $169.99. However, you may find these earbuds at a reduced price depending on where you purchase them.
Where are Galaxy Buds sold?
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are available at Amazon.
Galaxy Buds benefits
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live feature a secure fit so you don’t have to worry about them falling out while you’re working out. They pair easily with most current devices that have up-to-date software and they aren’t limited to connecting with just one brand. The sound is crisp and clean, and the touch controls are intuitive and easy to learn. The attractive, low-profile design gives these earbuds a remarkably stylish look.
Galaxy Buds drawbacks
Like some other users, we found it was difficult to distinguish between when the active noise cancellation was engaged and when it was off. Also, it took a while for these earbuds to feel comfortable when wearing them for extended periods of time. Other than those two elements, however, we didn’t experience any other unfavorable issues with these earbuds.
Should you get the Galaxy Buds?
People who want an alternative to AirPods or standard corded earbuds will enjoy these Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. The ergonomic design and the silicone tip combine to provide a secure fit for most individuals, allowing them to engage in a wide range of activities without fear of an earbud falling out. The price is in line with comparable models from other brands, and the battery life is exceptional. Best of all, these Samsung earbuds are comfortable and excel at delivering crisp, clear high-quality sound in any environment, making them a worthwhile purchase.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.