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Samsung’s bean shaped Galaxy Buds Live look cooler than the Airpods, but are they better?

Samsung’s bean shaped Galaxy Buds Live look cooler than the Airpods, but are they better?

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In Samsung’s unpacked event, streamed live from South Korea, the company unveiled more than 5 new devices, including the Galaxy Note 20 models, Galaxy Buds Live and the Galaxy Watch 3. While the majority of the releases cost upwards of a thousand dollars, the Galaxy Buds Live will be available on Aug 6th for $169.99 (the date of release and cost has not yet been announced on the Samsung Pakistan website).

The Galaxy Buds Live definitely look cooler than the AirPods (which retail for $159), with a more streamlined and compact design – there’s no protruding stem to house the microphone and the body of the Bud nestles inside the ear with an open design. The shape of the charging case is closer to that of AirPods than the Galaxy Buds+ but with an opening hinge mechanism similar to the brand’s more premium Buds+ in which the entire back of the Buds are exposed when the case is lifted open.

Design wise, the Buds Live come in three colours: Mystic White, Black and Bronze (the last one is colour coordinated with the Note 20 or Tab S7). During the Unpacking event, Yoonie Park, from Brand Marketing, said the Buds Live are ‘eco-friendly’ with the Buds and Case both made from recycled materials.

Unlike the 2nd Gen Airpods, the Galaxy Buds Live feature active noise cancellation – which is designed to drown out low frequency noises such as the sound of a train or an aeroplane cabin. Other sounds – such as people talking – won’t be drowned out on noise cancellation mode, but Samsung says that’s intentional, especially keeping in mind that there is no ambient mode (these advanced features can be found on Samsung’s Buds+ and Apple’s AirPods Pro).

The Buds Live feature six hours of continuous battery life with Active Noise Cancelling (and 21 hours on the case). With ANC and Bixby voice turned off – Buds Live last 8 hours and the case 29 hours. In comparison, Apple’s Airpods 2 Gen last 5 hours and the case has a battery life of 24 hours. The Unpacking event revealed that the Buds Live houses 3 microphones and minimises background noise for clearer audio. The AirPods boast a speech-detecting accelerometer and beamforming microphones that also work to drown out external noise. Unlike the AirPods which have a universal fit, the Buds Live come with two sizes of wing-tips for a more secure fit.

A possible perk: 5 minutes of charging on the Buds Live give you 1 extra hour of battery life.

Similarities: 

Sweat and water resistance, but no sweat and waterproofing. (Buds Live are IPX2 water-resistant)

Audio-sharing, enabling two AirPods or Buds Live to connect to the same device.

Both have compact charging cases that can be charged via cable or wirelessly, however, you’ll have to pay extra for Apple’s wireless charging case.

*Specs for Samsung Bud Live are based on Samsung’s Unpacking event.