When a headphone maker describes their earbuds as sounding lively it is often just marketing jargon. But, with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, the description is very apt.
The Mystic Bronze version of the Buds Live that we got for review look like shiny beans. And when I stuck them in my ears for the first time, I was surprised at how good they sound.
I listen to a wide variety of music, and to my ears, the Buds Live sound lively and warm.
What I mean is the instruments and vocals sound punchier but not too loud, the bass thumps but it is not overly so, and every music that I play just sounds more fun and alive.
Overall the sound is also warmer, like a record player. It favours the lower register, pulling the mids and the lows lower. The highs are pleasant, nice and rounded, the opposite of most cheap earbuds.
There is however a slight loss of resolution. I notice some quieter and delicate sounds are often missing or drowned out.
It is most apparent when there are a lot of sounds going on like in a rock song that is busy with drums, guitars, and vocals.
While rocking out or working out, the Buds Live stay firmly in the ear. For me, that was another huge surprise, not only because of how weirdly they sit in the ears but also how they could do what most non-in ear earbuds cannot do; feel secure
After I got past the novelty, I was never worried about them falling out.
No matter what I do, even jumping with my head tilted to the side, like I’m trying to shake out water from my ear, they stay put.
However, even after weeks of using them, I still have to stop and think about how these beans fit into my ears before putting them on.
Although the fit and sound are excellent — at least to my ears — the Buds Live are still over-the-ear earbuds.
They don’t create a seal with the ear canal, so, weirdly, Samsung included an Active Noise Cancellation feature.
It is better than nothing, but it feels out of place. It is a nice feature to have, but I don’t find it very effective.
The giant bean design is relatively low profile, but it is not subtle. Once you notice it, it can’t be unseen.
The Mystic Bronze we got for this review looks like costume jewellery, perfect for a night out.
Just from the pictures, I feel that the Mystic Blue and Mystic Black are more neutral and contemporary.
The Mystic Red sticks out like an infection and the Mystic White, well I’m sure someone likes it.
Best Of The Bunch
Of the three Galaxy Buds that Samsung has right now, Buds Live is the best in my opinion.
It has the best balance of features and price. At RM549, it is just RM50 more than the Galaxy Buds2 and RM250 cheaper than the Galaxy Buds Pro.
Even if you don’t use a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, Buds Live can be paired with any other Android smartphone.
They can even pair with PCs and iPhones.
They’ll be missing some features that can easily be overlooked. But the sound quality will still be there, and that is what matters most.