Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Headset Review: An Interesting Alternative to AirPods (Pro)

On Friday, we brought you on our website the first impressions of the Galaxy Buds Live headphones from the Samsung workshop, which we managed to get to the editorial office for two weeks before their official start of sales, thanks to our partner Mobil Pohotovost. That's why I looked at the headphones honestly over the weekend so that I could now give you my impressions of them. Is it really a tough competitor to AirPods or AirPods Pro, as many headphones called Unpacked after their performance on Wednesday, or are they far from the qualities of apple models? I will try to answer exactly these questions in the following lines. The review of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live headphones is here.

Technical Specifications

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Galaxy Buds Live from Samsung's workshop are completely wireless headphones with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, a sensitivity of 92 db / mW and an impedance of 50 Ohms. The size of their inverter is 12 mm, the weight of each handset is only 5.6 grams. Charging of the headphones is solved in a completely standard way via a charging box, which also works as their case. In terms of connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 takes care of it, making the headphones connectable to almost anything – including iOS. The biggest features of the headphones include active suppression of ambient noise, touch control or resistance according to IPX2 – ie resistance to dripping water. Of course, there is also a microphone, through which you can handle, for example, calls. The headphones are made in three colors – specifically in bronze, black and white, with the fact that they will arrive at the store counters on August 21 this year. Their price is 5499 crowns and you can pre-order them now.

Processing and design

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If I had to describe the design of the headphones in one word, it would be the word "unusual". You would look for such headphones on the market really in vain. Their shape is very close to beans, which may seem funny at first glance, and I admit that I laughed at them a little at first, but the result is a great move – but more on that later. However, precisely because of their special shape, their design can be described as somewhat controversial, so it is clear that it simply will not be for everyone. The imaginary headphone spirit that breathes on you when you look at classics such as AirPods, they simply lack. As far as processing is concerned, practically nothing can be said here. Samsung has invested in plastic during production, but it doesn't look like a forum in any way, so I believe that it won't be bad at all with the durability of the headphones. Upon closer examination, I did not come across anything that seemed to me untouched or downright sloppy. So this is a product for which you will look in vain for processing concessions.

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Testing

And what are headphones in terms of use? That's exactly what I tried to figure out practically the whole weekend, for which I tested the headphones during almost all normal activities. Let's start with how it holds in your ears. As I wrote in my first impressions, at first I found the shape of Galaxy Buds Live quite strange and perhaps a little incomprehensible, as it stands out significantly for virtually all headphones on the market today. However, over time, I must admit that this risk will definitely pay off for Samsung. The headphones hold in your ears absolutely bombastically and do not move in them, no matter how hard you try. I tested them and left them to five family members, holding everyone's ears in a completely phenomenal way. Therefore, I dare say that the incompatibility with the ears, which is paid for by AirPods or AirPods Pro, is not a threat at Galaxy Buds Live.

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With the headphones, I have been doing really different activities in the past tens of hours, from classic walking, through driving (the headset was used as a hands-free), exercising in the gym to running training. In none of the cases did I encounter the fact that my headphones tended to fall out or I felt that my ears were moving. So while the shape may seem really strange, the fact is that Samsung chose it brilliantly. All credit to his engineers.

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Recent years have taught me to use cordless headphones primarily for phone calls instead of the speaker on the iPhone, as I can do a lot of other things during calls. That's why I was very curious about how Galaxy Buds Live can handle calls. Their manufacturer states that it should be absolutely top notch thanks to three integrated calls – even supposedly the best among True Wireless headphones. I can also confirm with a calm heart that the voice recording of the headphones is really first-class, but I honestly would not dare to say that there is such a marked difference between them and, for example, the classic AirPods or AirPods Pro. Yes, you can hear better, but the difference is at least in my estimate in percent units.

According to the manufacturer, the battery life should be around 6 hours of continuous listening, or 21 hours in combination with a charging case. These values ​​are definitely not unrealistic, as I was able to get to 6 hours of listening at medium volume as well. Then, if you "bend" the headphones more, they will naturally discharge faster. However, the charging box charges them really fast, so discharging the headphones will not be a problem. However, the overall charging seems a bit ausus for me, as it takes place through the raised pins in the box, through which energy flows into the headphones. On the one hand, this solution does not look perfect on the eye, on the other hand, it seems relatively bold in terms of possible damage, and on the other hand, I simply think that headphones sold for more than 5,500 crowns deserve something more cool. Sure, AirPods also charge on the same principle, but their box doesn't at least admit it that way.

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Of course, my testing did not miss the software functions of the headphones or their control. In both cases, we can talk about conflicting feelings. So let's start with software functions. These are activated via the Galaxy Buds application, which can be downloaded to the iPhone from the App Store completely free of charge, with the addition of headphones to it being a matter of a few seconds. As an AirPods owner, I'm not used to such solutions at all, so I thought maybe they would bother me a little. Sportily, however, I must admit that I would welcome some elements of the application in iOS and I would not mind if Apple created the same application for them as Samsung for its headphones – a kind of Watch. For example, checking the headphone firmware gives many apples long wrinkles on their foreheads, as it is not so simple for inexperienced users, and most importantly, the firmware sometimes cannot be "called up" and therefore installed. However, this will not happen thanks to the update interface in Galaxy Buds, which simply feels good to me.

By no means did I even be offended by the equalizer, through which you are able to adjust the music you are playing quite decently. The application offers a total of six options to choose from, and the differences between them are really quite audible. You may be wondering why I'm melting into just that. That's because I already had a lot of electronics in my hand, which had tons of different modes, but they were usually practically the same, and you therefore felt that whatever you turned on, you still have the same thing in your hand.

While I was really pleased with the previous things, the active ambient noise cancellation (ANC) that the headphones have is not. In fact, when I activated it, I noticed almost no difference compared to using headphones without activating it. Yes, the headphones displaced the ambient noise quite well, but in my opinion mainly because they are plugged in their shape and thanks to that they de facto offer passive suppression of ambient noise – so ANC will not thank you for that at all. AirPods Pro are definitely on top in this regard, as there is a difference between active and inactive ANC to hear really enough.

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In short, I would also like to evaluate the maneuverability of the headphones. This is solved with the help of touches, which are set via the application, with the proviso that they can be adjusted really decently. I admit that at first the touch control made me a bit of a problem, because it seems to me that the delay between the touch and the action of the headphones is relatively long, so you don't know much if the touch was recorded or not. However, once you touch the controls, you will not have a problem. It works really reliably and it rarely happens that what you wanted to evoke does not happen. Personally, I prefer more "physical" controls such as taps or presses as with AirPods or AirPods Pro, but it's probably just out of habit. Users who are not as used to it as I am or Galaxy Buds Live will be their first headphones of this type will probably be satisfied with the controls.

Sound

The alpha and omega of each headphone is without a doubt their sound, which I tried to test in as many forms as possible – from music, through listening to the spoken word or watching movies and series, to playing games. Even now – after a decent dose of hours in my ears – I would rate it as well as in my first impressions of the headphones – very good. The sound quality is at a relatively high level (from the point of view of the average user), as it moves somewhere between AirPods and AirPods Pro, while it is closer to the second model. When listening to music, you don't have to worry about not enjoying your favorite songs due to lousy depths or highs or bland and merging mids. The fact is that the headphones are really sure of all these positions. However, a certain disappointment is the bass, which is simply not much, even when you "salt" it through the equalizer.

The headphones achieve very good results even when listening to the spoken word, which sounds completely natural and clear – of course, if it was recorded on a high-quality microphone. So if you are a lover of podcasts or like to watch various interviews, you will be satisfied in my opinion. The same can be said for games, as both mobile and console or computer sounds very decent in the headphones. Sure, you can have more fun with the headset and it can draw you into games more, but as an "emergency" if you don't have a headset on hand, Galaxy Buds Live will suffice. Both shooting games and racing or sports games sound really nice in them.

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Resume

I will be honest with you. As I wrote in the first impressions, because of their appearance, the headphones were a bit of a laugh at first, rather than perceiving them as competitors for AirPods, AirPods Pro or other popular models. Sporty, however, I must admit that my first feeling of them was completely wrong, because it shows that Samsung really won with them and there are few things that could be done better. Sure, a strangely functioning ANC or charging could certainly be done differently, but in neither case are these things that would explicitly rupture the veins of the world. ANC is not used by all users anyway, and the most important thing about charging is that it simply works. So when I add really good sound to the minimum of flaws, I get headphones that you shouldn't be afraid to give a chance to if you're thinking about them. They are simply good, even in conjunction with the iPhone. When connected to smartphones from Samsung, the ride will be even bigger. So I can definitely recommend Samsung Galaxy Buds Live for myself.

You can pre-order Samsung Galaxy Buds Live headphones here

Source: Edited by Flying the World with Apple

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