Galaxy Buds Live: Unique design and balanced sound

Kishore Bhargava | Updated on October 25, 2020

These bean-shaped earphones are unique and work best with a Samsung smartphone

In the world of truly wireless earbuds there are tons of options. Many of the buds have the same shape, design and features. Along comes Samsung with the Buds Live, with a new design and a new shape.

The Buds Live come in a compact little shiny box, much like a ring case which is small and light and charges the Buds and fits most pockets and bags quite easily. Inside the case, the Buds themselves are giant kidney beans. A very unique shape indeed. Most people I know refer to the Buds as Beans rather than Buds. But jokes apart, the design is really interesting. It is actually an open headset and has active noise cancellation as well.

Out of the box, the buds have the small wing tips installed and when you first look at them you are bound to put them into your ear the wrong way. Fortunately, there are many images and videos showing how to wear the Buds Live right, and once you master that technique they are truly great.

The biggest difference between the Buds Live and say, the Buds+, is that these don’t seal or block your ear, instead they just sit in the nook of your ear very comfortably and surprisingly don’t fall out. With the shape and size of my ears it took me a while to figure them out and I kept triggering some action or the other on them unintentionally. Finally, I decided to just block all touches from the Samsung Wearable app, till I got used to putting the Buds Live on without a struggle.

In terms of sound, the Buds Live like many of the Samsung headsets are tuned by AKG. Personally, I like the sound. A very good balance of bass, mediums and highs. For the kind of stuff I listen to they were just perfect. A lot of podcasts, jazz, hindustani classical, western classical and of course my staple of classic rock all sounded just right.

Decent sound stage

A decent sound stage with enough depth and good resolution. Since the average listener is bound to just use a streaming service of some sort, one would find the Buds Live performing perfectly in such situations. And if you want to tweak that sound a little more there are a few pre-sets available in the app including a bass boost, a treble boost and “dynamic”, my go-to setting for Samsung headsets . These earphones will work with any Android phone, but are optimised for best sound with higher-end Galaxy phones.

With the open design and the Buds just sitting in the ear, the active noise-cancellation is something that one would worry about. Well, Samsung has taken a different approach here as well. Rather than being super aggressive and cutting all sounds out, it cuts a large amount of the low frequencies. So the rumble of an engine or an air-conditioner will be very muted but most mid-range and high frequencies come through clearly. I guess that’s why they are called “Live” they let you enjoy your music and yet be in the moment.

Battery life is also great on the Buds Live. You can comfortably get through the day with over 6 hours of continuous use, the case of course will charge the headsets a couple of times easily extending the life to 16-18 hours and finally the case itself can be wirelessly charged. If you have one of those phones with a reverse charger you can easily juice-up for a few more hours of listening.

Samsung has gone “Mystic” with their colours this year. You can now buy the Buds Live in three different mystic shades. You get a white, black and bronze. You also get these colours on their phones and watches so if you want to match everything up then you could certainly do that. I guess I’m boring I liked the black best and during my review I had paired it with a Mystic Black Watch 3!

Overall the Buds Live are a great pair of wireless buds but you do need to ensure that they fit your ears in the recommended manner. I tried with three different pairs of ears and all had minor issues, one pair of ears was too small, one where they fit just right the user felt that they would pop out and also that they were not loud enough (kids these days!) And finally my ears, a little too large. While my wearing them didn’t quite match up to the images one sees online, they remained comfortable and the sound was full. If you are looking for a good pair of wireless buds these are really good if they fit.

Price: MRP ₹14,990/-

Pros: Great design, good sound, active noise-cancellation, if they fit, they don[t fall out

Cons: Fit for some ears only, require learning to put on, touches triggering actions inadvertently, optimal with a Samsung phone

Published on October 25, 2020

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