The talk of the town (well, the technology-focused virtual one, that is) is the newly-launched Samsung Galaxy Note 20, naturally. But let’s not forget about a few other devices that were also announced alongside Samsung‘s latest flagship smartphone—including some very, very interesting devices.
Among these are the Galaxy Buds Live, now with a unique bean-like design that isn’t quite like any of the other TWS earbuds out there in the mainstream market. However, they’re also notable for being the first Galaxy-branded earbuds to come with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) tech.
All in all, the Galaxy Buds Live look to be one of Samsung’s more drastic updates, which is certainly an interesting prospect for us. Now that I’ve piqued your interest, let’s get right into it.
Price and availability
If you’re keen, the Galaxy Buds Live will be available in select markets from the 6th of August 2020. Colour options include Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black. We don’t yet have official word on a Malaysian release date just yet, but we do expect to see a local release sooner rather than later.
As for pricing, the Galaxy Buds Live is being priced in Malaysia at RM699, which firmly pits Samsung’s new TWS headphones against the Apple Airpods. So, how does it stack up?
The first thing to note here is the rather strange design of the Galaxy Buds Live. The bean-like (or kidney-shaped) look of the Buds also mean that they aren’t in-ear headphones, with a hard-tip setup instead. Navigation is done by a touch-based PUI (physical user interface), which is basically touch controls.
You get a 12mm speaker at the top of each Bud, with three mics—two that sit on the outside, and one that sits on the inner portion—helping with noise cancellation. Meanwhile, audio is piped through a chamber that sits in the middle of the body of each earbud.
And of course, Samsung has finally added Active Noise Cancellation to its range of Galaxy earbuds, although I’m unsure as to the effectiveness of this due to the Buds’ hard tip design. Samsung tells us that the ANC tech has been configured to cancel out ambient noise from the wind, or passing vehicles.
Battery-life is decent, with Samsung promising up to 29 hours of usage including the charging case with ANC turned off, with up to 8 hours of playback estimated for the Buds themselves. With ANC and Bixby Voice Wake-up turned on, you should get up to 6 hours of playback on the Buds, with a total of 21 hours including the 472mAh charging case.
Meanwhile, Qi-certified wireless charging is supported, and a 5-minute (wired) charge via USB-C will give you an hour’s worth of juice. You won’t be able to take this swimming, however. An IPX2 rating means that it should be able to take a few drops of water, but this is not a pair of water-proof headphones.
Samsung also says that the Galaxy Buds Live will be able to seamlessly switch between connected devices—a feature that is becoming more and more common with high-end headphones. On the gaming side of things (because we all know how big mobile gaming has become), there’s a “Game Mode” that reduces audio latency.
Finally, the new Buds Together feature also looks really interesting. You’ll be able to “easily share music with friends” (who also have a pair of Galaxy Buds Live), instead of wearing a single earbud each. This sounds similar to a feature that the AirPods have, and it’s a nice touch.
For full specs, click here. If you’re keen to know more, be sure to read Rory’s first impressions of Galaxy Live Buds in the related reading section below.
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this article with more details upon confirmation.