Blame it on WFH and incessant online meetings, we’ve seen a flurry of true wireless ear buds hit the scene. It’s also become tough to tell some of these apart given the sheet clutter and ‘me too’ products in the segment. That’s one reason Samsung’s new ear buds caught our attention almost from the moment they were first unveiled along with the brand’s flagship Note 20 devices. The Galaxy Live buds one of the most innovative design ideas we’ve seen in this segment in a while and that’s saying a lot.
Almost ever since the AirPods debuted almost four years ago, true wireless ear buds have chosen two distinct design routes. There are the AirPods clones with the extended stems and no silicon tips – these offer no size customisations; it’s pretty much one size fits or doesn’t fit all. And then there are the earbuds with custom silicon tips with better sound isolation and a better chance of finding the perfect fit. The Galaxy Live buds don’t fit into either silo; that’s what makes them interesting. They might remind you of jellybeans. I first paired them with a Samsung Galaxy device; Samsung has a fairly detailed description about how to place them in your ears with the speakers stuck into your ear at a 45-degree angle. While the angle might vary slightly for each one of us, you will eventually get used to perfecting the art of sticking these into your ears.
These buds are designed to blend in almost seamlessly – no visible stems. But they will surely stand out with their shiny metallic gloss especially if you opt for the Mystic Bronze variant. These buds don’t fall off; they passed my vigorous shake test and are also comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Given that we won’t be on any long haul flights any time soon, you’re unlikely to wear these longer than the 6-hour run for each battery charge. Sticking with battery life, these buds stretch to 21 hours if you include the case and 29 hours without the ANC (active noise cancellation) mode on. You can stretch the 6-hour battery life to eight hours without Active Noise cancellation. Just like the previous generations of Galaxy Buds, the ring box style case offers wireless charging.
There are two key stories in the sound department. These are the first Samsung buds with active noise cancellation. You can activate it with a simple touch control. I also paired the buds with an iPhone. The Galaxy Buds App on iOS offers quite a few controls including toggling sound modes and setting the touch controls for each of the buds. Noise cancellation is good but doesn’t offer the same insulation as the AirPods Pro or Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 2 that are both pricier than these buds. The Samsung buds stay true to their ‘Live’ suffix and don’t completely cut you off. The other story is sound quality an area where the Buds Live take a big leap over their predecessors. I tried everything from Podcasts during an outdoor workout to lounge to grunge rock and they held their own against pricier rivals with true bass and great sound especially at mid volume levels.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live stand out with their unique form factor. They may not be the first choice for users whose biggest purchase driver is Active Noise cancellation. But if you’re looking for a pair of true wireless earbuds with a unique form, great sound quality that also aces calls (with a dual noise cancelling mic system) the Galaxy Buds Live are worth checking out.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live cost Rs 14,990 and come in three colours – Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic White.