Samsung's Galaxy Buds Live vs. Apple's AirPods Pro

Samsung last week unveiled new flagship smartphones and the new bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live, a set of wireless earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation that are designed to rival Apple's AirPods Pro. We got a set of the new Galaxy Buds Live and compared them to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in our latest YouTube video.


Priced at $179, the Galaxy Buds Live have a unique look with a jelly bean-like design that matches the contour of the ears. We found them to be comfortable even for long periods of time, and the multiple ear tips available will allow them to work with most ear sizes.

Samsung added 12mm drivers to the Galaxy Buds Live along with three built-in microphones and a voice pickup unit, with the microphone quality demoed in the video above.

galaxybudsbeandesign
When it comes to sound quality, the Galaxy Buds Live sound decent (and better than the AirPods), but the ‌AirPods Pro‌ win out with more balance and clarity. The Galaxy Buds Live have more noticeable bass, but it can cause songs to sound a bit muddy. Sound can be adjusted with equalizer settings available in the Galaxy Buds app, but we didn't see much of an improvement tinkering with these settings.

One of the main selling points of the Galaxy Buds Live is Active Noise Cancellation, a feature also offered in the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but the Galaxy Buds Live ANC functionality was mediocre, at least with our unit.

galaxybudsvsairpodspro
It's hard to tell when ANC is enabled or disabled on the Galaxy Buds Live because the feature just doesn't seem to be blocking out much ambient noise. There's no comparison to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, which offer much better Active Noise Cancellation. It's better than no ANC at all, but it's so subtle that it can't compare to competing products.

There are several gestures available for the Galaxy Buds, which are similar to the gestures available on ‌AirPods Pro‌. One tap pauses, two taps skips a song, and three taps goes back. A long press can be set to turn Active Noise Cancellation on or off, activate Siri, or control the Volume.

galaxybudscase
The Galaxy Buds Live offer eight hours of battery life before needing to be recharged, while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ offer 4.5 hours of listening time. The square-shaped case that houses the Galaxy Buds Live and provides extra battery life is compact and pocketable, plus it has a USB-C port for charging. It adds an additional 21 hours of playback time, while Apple makes about 20 hours of additional battery life available with the ‌AirPods Pro‌ case. In total, the Galaxy Buds offer 29 hours of battery life while the ‌AirPods Pro‌ offer 24.

galaxybudsapp
Galaxy Buds Live have useful features for Samsung users, such as one tap pairing and seamless switching, but on an iPhone they function as standard Bluetooth earbuds. There's a Galaxy Buds app in the iOS App Store for connecting and to provide firmware updates and equalizer settings, but since these are designed for Samsung devices, Apple features are limited.

Galaxy Buds owners who have iPhones are going to want to download the app and update the Galaxy Buds Live software right away because we found the Active Noise Cancellation and gestures weren't working properly until an update was installed.

galaxybudscasevsairpodsprocase
Even with the less than stellar Active Noise Cancellation functionality, the Galaxy Buds Live sound decent, fit well, and are some of Samsung's best true wireless headphones. At $179, they're cheaper than the $250 ‌AirPods Pro‌, but if you're an ‌iPhone‌ user, you'd be better off with Apple's more expensive option.

Android users seeking a solid set of true wireless earbuds should take a look at the Galaxy Buds Live as a potential option.

Top Rated Comments

jeplex Avatar
23 weeks ago


It's hilarious watching so many companies attempt to differentiate and still all look the precise same. Of all of the imaginable configurations, it must be a pure white, glossy case with a pinpoint-sized bright green LED?

Enough with the "copying" garbage. Samsung was the first of the two companies with true wireless earbuds. Their Gear IconX headphones preceded the AirPods to market by 6 months. (They rebranded their wearables division, dropping the "Gear", in 2018.) And in the going on 5 years since Apple released the AirPods, there has been absolutely no attempt by Samsung to emulate their form or function. Instead, Samsung has continued to iterate on their pre-existing product. The same with their smartwatches: preceded the Apple Watch by 2 years, introduced LTE to smartwatches back when everyone mocked it as a ridiculous concept, and continue to mostly do their own thing with it regardless of what Apple's product does.

I know that a lot of people are still salty over the "rounded corners/home button/pinch to zoom" thing but seriously that was 2009. Since Samsung went in their own direction with the Galaxy Note - and "phablets" in general - and became the largest selling smartphone company in the world as a result, the most significant idea that Samsung has gotten from Apple was dropping the headphone jack. By contrast, since then Apple has adopted A) the phablet form factor, B) the multi-tasking UI features, C) stylus support, D) curved OLED screens, E) dropped the home button, F) will within the next 2 years adopt in screen fingerprint scanners and foldable phones ... modern iPhones have far more in common with the look and UX/UI of Samsung Galaxy phones - and this will be the case even more so when iOS 14 is released - than they do all iPhones released before the iPhone 6. But Samsung won't sue because they are making far more money selling Apple the components that Apple uses to make iPhones more closely resemble Samsung phones!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Plinga Avatar
23 weeks ago


These earbuds look distinctive, I suppose works well, and are definitely cheaper than AirPods Pros... could be a hit if Samsung really pushes it smartly.

These Buds are not just much more lower priced than the Airpods Pros, the Buds also cost $20 less than the 2nd gen AirPods with wireless charging case. Samsung is already losing on marketing because everyone is comparing it to the Pros when the Buds are great value compared to the regular AirPods (even MacRumors says the Buds are "better than the AirPods"). Most people have the regular Airpods not the Pros and they should be seriously considering the Buds
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
23 weeks ago


they look like peanuts

Let's be honest... they are all far from beautiful.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
23 weeks ago


I agree with many tech reviewers across the web, these should be called the "Beans".:p

AirPods is a prime example of modern day marketing that embraces the peculiarity of a product. These earbuds look distinctive, I suppose works well, and are definitely cheaper than AirPods Pros... could be a hit if Samsung really pushes it smartly.

100% guarantee that "Beans" was at least a consideration. A consideration that should have been finalized imo. They're Beans. In fact, Samsung even called them Beans. iFixt's tear down revealed each Bud's connecting cable says "BEAN RIGHT" and "BEAN LEFT".
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+Buds+Live+Teardown/135908
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FightTheFuture Avatar
23 weeks ago
The sales for these are going to be huge in Chicago.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
23 weeks ago


It's hilarious watching so many companies attempt to differentiate and still all look the precise same. Of all of the imaginable configurations, it must be a pure white, glossy case with a pinpoint-sized bright green LED?

It would be necessary to ignore the obvious differences in each product to come up with looks precisely the same. Heck, even a blind person would be like, bruh... c'mon man. Considering white is but one of the available colors, it's even more hilarious to claim sameness. What you're doing is the equivalent of claiming a Ford Focus and a Honda Civic look precisely the same because they're painted white and have headlights. :D


Attachment Image
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
macbook pro screensaver table

Some M1 Macs Affected By Fast User Switching Screensaver Bug

Monday January 18, 2021 1:57 am PST by
A growing number of user reports online suggest some of Apple's M1 Mac models are susceptible to a Fast User Switching bug that spontaneously activates the screensaver and leaves the user unable to dismiss it. In macOS Big Sur, Fast User Switching allows users to quickly switch between user accounts without having to completely log out. Based on posts in the MacRumors forums, Apple...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...