Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live deliver cheap ANC and a unique earbud design

Image courtesy of Evan Blass (@evleaks)

The newest member of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds family has been unveiled and it doesn’t look anything like its predecessor.

The new Galaxy Buds Live from Samsung looks exactly like the bear-shaped leaks we’ve been seeing for the past few months, allowing the earbuds to nestle into your ear for a comfortable fit. While the design is a bit odd, it should allow the earbuds to stay in place since there’s nothing sticking out to throw off the balance if you’re walking down the street or during an intense workout (and you won’t have to worry about sweat thanks to the IPX2 rating).

But the Galaxy Buds Live don’t simply offer a new design. The main attraction here is the inclusion of active noise cancellation (ANC) and better audio than previous iterations thanks to a new 12mm speaker and audio tuning by AKG. The Buds Live don’t offer a full seal since Samsung has also included an air vent for a more natural feel while also allowing some passive noise in.

Thanks to a three mic setup, the earbuds also offer beam-forming noise cancellation during calls which will allow your voice to carry through while drowning out background noise. The mics can also one used to activate Bixby or your favorite voice assistant with their respective wake word to go a search, change the track you’re listening to or perform an action on your phone.

With 27% of earbud users have them in for more than 6 hours a day, Samsung has maximized the battery longevity with the Buds Live offering 8 hours on a single charge with an additional 21 hours of battery life with the charging case. With ANC turned on, the battery life on a since charge gets bumped down to 6 hours which will still quite respectable. The case itself can be charged over USB C and wireless charging. If you have a newer Samsung phone that offers reverse wireless charging, you’ll never need to plug in the case to charge it.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live will sell for $169 starting August 6th. That’s a bit more expensive than previous iterations of the Galaxy Buds, but it’s a steal when you compare them to other earbuds that offer ANC.

Galaxy Buds Live Specs
Dimension & Weight Earbuds: 16.5 x 27.3 x 14.9 mm, 5.6g
Charging case: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm, 42.2g
Speaker 12mm speaker
Microphones 3 mics (2 outer + 1 inner)
Battery Capacity Earbuds: 60 mAh
Charging Case: 472 mAh
Play Time22 6 hours / total 21 hours (ANC or Bixby Voice Wake-up ON)
5.5 hours / total 20 hours (ANC and Bixby Voice Wake-up ON)
8 hours / total 29 hours (ANC and Bixby Voice Wake-up OFF)
Talk Time22 4.5 hours / Total 17 hours (ANC ON)
5.5 hours / Total 19 hours (ANC OFF)
Charging 1 hour play time with 5 minutes quick charging23
Qi-certified wireless charging
Connectivity Bluetooth v5.0
Codec: Scalable (Samsung proprietary), AAC, SBC
Sensor Accelerometer, IR, Hall, Touch, Grip, VPU (Voice Pickup Unit)
Compatibility24 Android: Android 5.0 or later and with more than 1.5GB of RAM
iOS: iPhone 7 or later models with iOS 10.0 or later
Water Resistance IPX2





Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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