Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, the bean-shaped true wireless earbuds that have leaked extensively over the past couple of months, are now official. Priced at $169.99, they’ll be sold alongside the more traditional $149.99 Galaxy Buds Plus as a step-up option with larger audio drivers and the addition of active noise cancellation. They’ll be available starting August 6th in black, bronze (which looks more rose gold in certain light), and white.
But with the unconventional design of the Galaxy Buds Live and their lack of in-ear tips or an actual seal, Samsung’s noise canceling works a bit differently here compared to what you’d experience from the AirPods Pro or Sony 1000XM3 earbuds. The company says that the Galaxy Buds Live are designed to cut down on very low, constant frequencies like the sound of an airplane cabin or the rumble of a train. But they’ll let the bulk of most sounds through and that’s intentional.
There’s no “ambient sound” mode on these earbuds because you’ll have no trouble hearing someone talking next to you or an important announcement at the terminal. Not everyone will like that, but if you want more isolation, that’s where the Buds Plus and their sealed-off design come in.
The Galaxy Buds Live can get up to six hours of continuous battery life with ANC enabled (21 with the case) or eight hours (29 with case) if you’ve got both ANC and Bixby Voice — really, who’s using that? — switched off.
These probably aren’t ideal fitness earbuds, however; the Buds Live are only rated for IPX2 water / sweat resistance, meaning they might not survive a rainstorm or a fountain of sweat on a hot day. You’re better off with the Galaxy Buds Plus or something like the Powerbeats Pro for workouts. But the unconventional design of the Galaxy Buds Live will certainly make them stand out against the competition.