Samsung Galaxy Buds Live has a unique shape and since the launch event on 5-Aug-2020 I wanted to have them in my kitty and it came true on Christmas 2020 when Samsung South Africa sent me an annual gift for the first time for all the support I did for the brand on my blog posts. I was really happy to receive the same in Mystic Bronze colour and grateful to Samsung for fulfilling my untold wish.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live design amazed the world with its unique iconic design and immediately after the launch event, people started mapping it to various shapes especially kidney beans. When the whole world is travelling the stem earphones route, Samsung broke the barriers for a new shape never seen before. I really love the comfort and fit Buds Live brings to my ears with its ergonomic design. The next thing is the bling that Mystic Bronze colour brings and the people immediately recognizes that these are Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. With a glossy finish on one end, the earbuds are packaged in a jewellery-box styled square charging case with 50mm length and breadth and the height of the box is around 28mm which is really great to open and close. The magnets are strong and keep the earbuds secure even if you try to shake the open case. It also comes in Mystic White and Mystic Black colour which I have not seen much because everyone wants this Mystic Bronze I think. Also, there are no buttons anywhere on the case and earbuds are touch-sensitive so everything is controlled via the Galaxy Wearables app or the touch. More about the app in the review later on.
Instead of having silicone earbuds, Galaxy Buds Live has wingtips sizes (1 extra in the pack along with a USB type C charging cable) coming in the package that also secures in your ears. I never faced a problem of them falling even if I am running but may happen if you touching them, again and again, to increase/decrease the volume or to change songs etc. If you are touching them with force, also you need to adjust them so that they don't fall. The earbuds only weigh 5.6 grams and the charging case is 42.2 grams. The battery capacity of each earbud is 60mAh and the case has 472mAh of reserved power which charges the buds around 3.5 times fully. The Galaxy Buds Live are fast charging enabled where 5 minutes of charging can provide for 60 minutes of playback. As per Samsung, each earbud can last for 6 hours of continuous playback of music with ANC off and the charging case will provide for 15 hours totalling 21 hours in a single charge. The case has wireless charging where you can charge the earbuds using the Galaxy smartphone with wireless reverse charging.
Each earbud has 12mm speakers with sound by AKG not forgetting that part to bring you a whole range of frequencies to cover low to high clear notes. The earbuds also have a bass duct to get that dhinchak effect in your ears. Air vents provide the necessary space to reduce blockage and putting unnecessary pressure on your ears. The earbuds also have 3 built-in mics - the glossy end has 2 and one on the rear side touching your ears along with a voice pickup unit. This setup takes the vibrations from your jaws to enhance the sound quality when you are on call etc. The touch on the earbuds is really responsive and can work even if you are wearing a buff as in South Africa, many people use Buff as their face mask. I use a buff to keep my neck covered during winters and sometimes takes it up to cover my ears too. Overall, Galaxy Buds Live has around 7 sensors which include an accelerometer, IR, hall, touch, grip, gyro and voice pickup unit. A single tap play and pause track, double-tap can play next track or can be used to answer or end the call, triple tap play previous track whereas touch and hold can be customized to users choice (ANC, Bixby, Volume up/down, Spotify) or to decline the call.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live also comes with ANC i.e. Active Noise Cancellation in an open type earbuds design. ANC provides some kind of isolation to your ears but you have to wear both earbuds to enable the ANC feature. There is a sound made every time you switch ON or OFF the ANC. Also, it only provides the basic ANC and is not as strong as you might expect from the in-ear earbuds because they already isolate a lot of noise using the earbuds stem going into the ears canals. In Galaxy BudsLive the ANC switches off very little noise from the surroundings but depending on where you are using them, it will provide some form of noise cancellation and will have ambient noise coming to you too. There is no way in the app to control the level of ANC as seen in the newer versions of Galaxy Buds.
All wireless earbuds need seamless connections between all the devices you use your earbuds on and Buds Live has Bluetooth v5.0 supporting A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and I didn't face any problem in connecting them to my laptop, Galaxy smartphone as well as the other branded smartphones. The earbuds are compatible with Android v5.0 onwards and iOS 10 upwards.
Let's talk about all the features available in the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app from where you can control these kidney beans shaped earbuds. Touch controls can be set to 4 options - ANC, Bixby, Volume Up/Down, Spotify. You can also block the touch completely in case you want to and in that case all controls need to be done via the paired device. The equalizers that are present in settings are 6 - Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear and Treble Boost. Find my earbuds is another feature that helps you find them as earbuds start making chirpy sounds if one or both are lost somewhere under your sofa and are still able to get connected to the main device. Labs provide the gaming mode which really minimises the audio delay for a great gaming sound experience. It also has an option to relieve the pressure with ambient sound to ease the feeling of compression when wearing the earbuds without the ANC feature ON.
In the end, I started using them as soon I received them and totally fell in love with the design and quality of the earbuds. I totally loved the features as BudsLive was the first one of the whole series that I received as I had never used the Buds or Buds+ earlier in my life. Buds and Buds+ are still something I have never used but I have used the Samsung uFlex headsets (over the neck). I found the dynamic equalizer for my taste to listen to all the Bollywood music and other audiobooks and even during watching web series etc on Galaxy Buds Live. Though it didn't have the ambient noise feature of the previous generation but due to its comfortable size and fit, you will be able to listen to the other person voice with some kind of concentration and music being stopped. I have used them continuously while trying to complete all the episodes of various web series in a single go and easily lasted me for around 5 hours of non-stop audio. The case keeps providing power to make earbuds reach 100% while its battery decreases over time but I found that I didn't need to charge them for around a week based on all my listenings.
I have stopped using the earbuds as much because I didn't walk for many months in the evenings due to being Corona Postive and weakness thereafter but I used them to connect to my laptop to attend office teams calls and other WhatsApp calls. Also, I never took them to the road when I used to go for long walks as anyone can easily recognize them and may try to snatch and grab so I never took that risk. I found that my voice goes clearly to the person I am talking to and these are really great for your day to day use. Overall, I am very happy with the performance of Galaxy BudsLive and this will remain in my Tech Museum for their unique design and for being the first of the Galaxy Buds series which I used in my life. I have always longed for Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Icon and many other released before these but finally, my draught was fulfilled by Samsung for the Farewell 2020 gifts. Thanks to Samsung South Africa for this lovely gift in Mystic Bronze colour. If you have any queries on these earbuds, please do connect with me on Youtube comments or you can comment here too.
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