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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

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9.8
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You can’t talk about the Galaxy Buds Live without mentioning the unique design first. The bean-shaped earbuds are Samsung’s attempt at crafting something to conform to as many ears as possible.

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Best Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

You can’t talk about the Galaxy Buds Live without mentioning the unique design first. The bean-shaped earbuds are Samsung’s attempt at crafting something to conform to as many ears as possible. To pull it off, engineers cut off the driver sticking into the car and just let the earbud rest over the ear. Because nothing is sticking into the ear canal, it reduces any discomfort or fatigue in wearing them for longer periods, which could also benefit smaller ears.

Despite the unusual design, these were also Samsung’s first earbuds to offer ANC support, except the open fit means it has to work harder to block out ambient noise. For that reason, it’s not going to be as effective as the Galaxy Buds Pro are. In addition, passive noise isolation is easier when there is an ear tip plugging into the canal — another thing the Buds Live can’t offer.

That’s a big reason why Samsung equipped them with 12mm drivers to deliver stronger sound. They provide some good clarity and better bass than you might expect otherwise. You do have some flexibility in the Galaxy Wearable app to adjust the sound, should you feel the need to. Even call quality is excellent, ensuring callers can hear you clearly because of the onboard microphones.

Battery life isn’t bad, going up to eight hours when ANC is off or six if always on. The charging case is very small, and supportes both USB-C and wireless charging. Plus, color options are nice, especially Mystic Bronze, though you also have mystic black and white.

9.8Expert Score
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
PROS
  • One-size-fits-all design
  • Compact and well-built case
  • 12mm drivers kick out great audio
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Extremely useful companion app
  • Supports Qi wireless charging
CONS
  • Touch controls can be finicky
  • ANC isn't the best
  • Certain features exclusive to Samsung phones

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