Samsung's new wireless earbuds have been an incredibly poor-kept secret, as the past few months have given us leak after leak. Samsung officially announced the beans-shaped Galaxy Buds Live today, complete with Active Noise Cancellation, 12mm speakers, and an estimated 8-hour battery life.
The Galaxy Buds Live are definitely one of the most unique wireless earbuds to date, at least in terms of design. The exterior is glossy, but the parts touching your ear have a matte finish. There's also an air vent that helps keep your ears cool, and doubles as a sound gateway for when Active Noise Cancelling is turned off. By comparison, the Galaxy Buds+ uses its exterior microphones to pipe through outside sound when its Ambient Mode is enabled.
|Speaker||12mm AKG-tuned speaker|
|Microphones||2 outer mics, 1 inner mic|
|Dimensions||Earbuds: 16.5 (W) x 27.3 (H) x 14.9 (D) mm, 5.6g
Case: 50 (W) x 50.2 (H) x 27.8 (D) mm, 42.g
|Play time||ANC and Bixby Voice on: 5.5 hours / 20 hours with case
ANC or Bixby Voice on: 6 hours / 21 hours with case
ANC and Bixby Voice off: 8 hours / 29 hours with case
|Talk time||ANC on: 4.5 hours / 17 hours with case
ANC off: 5.5 hours / 19 hours with case
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, Qi wireless charging|
|Codecs||Scalable (Samsung proprietary), AAC, SBC|
|Other||IPX2 water protection, 1 hour play time with 5 minutes quick charging|
The earbuds use a 12mm speaker with AKG-tuned audio, and two sizes of wingtips are available for a more comfortable fit. If the Buds Live are paired to an Android phone, you can talk to Samsung's Bixby voice assistant at any time by saying "Hi Bixby." On both Android and iOS, tapping the earbuds will activate your phone's native assistant (usually Google Assistant on Android, Siri on iOS).
Battery life should be a high point for the Buds Live, assuming Samsung's estimates are correct. The earbuds can last for up to eight hours, with the case providing an additional 13 hours on top of that. That's not quite as high as the 11-hour battery life of the Galaxy Buds+, and keeping ANC enabled will cut it down to 6.5 hours, but Samsung is still leading the market here.
If you aren't a fan of the design, or you just want the most battery life possible, you'll be happy to know the Galaxy Buds+ aren't going anywhere. Samsung will continue to sell the Buds+ for the foreseeable future as an alternative to the Buds Live.
The Galaxy Buds Live will be available tomorrow (August 6th) in three colors, and will be priced at $169. That's only $20 more than the Galaxy Buds+, and $80 less than the Apple AirPods Pro — not bad at all.
This year marks the first time Spigen has launched a lineup that’s not only 100% slim and protective, but that's designed to cover the entire Galaxy family, including the new Note20 and Note20 Ultra, Galaxy Buds Live, and Galaxy Tab. With a collection that includes the best-selling Tough Armor, clear Ultra Hybrid, svelte Liquid Air, and even the newly upgraded Thin Fit, Spigen has everything you need to keep your Samsung gadgets looking clean and pristine for years to come.