Samsung Galaxy Buds Live launch, with noise cancellation to rival AirPods Pro

samsung galaxy buds live
(Image credit: Samsung)

After months of leaks, Samsung has finally launched its latest true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

The Buds Live were announced at Samsung Unpacked 2020 virtual event. We've already had some hands-on time with the new earphones, and you can read our first impressions in our hands-on Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review

The strangely-shaped new true wireless earbuds come with active noise cancellation, like the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3; but at $169.99 / £179 / AU$319, they're cheaper than either of these models.

Available to preorder from August 6, the Galaxy Buds Live come in black, white, and bronze – and if you preorder in the UK, Samsung will throw in a free wireless charging pad for topping up the accompanying charging case.

Despite coming with active noise cancellation, these buds don't come with silicone eartips to create a physical barrier to environmental sounds – and any ambient sound passes through a built-in vent, rather than being sent through your buds via a Transparency mode, as in the AirPods Pro.

According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Live are still able to reduce low-band background noise under 700Hz, such as the rumble of trains and buses, by up to 97%, while still allowing you to hear voices and announcements – presumably as a result of that more 'open' design. 

High-tech buds

As well as sporting a unique design, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are packing lots of cool technology, including three microphones along with an additional voice pickup unit, a speaker with a bass duct, and a host of sensors, including an accelerometer, IR, and touch-sensitive controls.

That accelerometer is designed to make your voice sound super-clear during calls, by sensing the movement of your jaw. Using bone conduction vibration, it converts that kinetic energy into voice signals, which should allow you to be heard better on the other end of the call, even in noisy environments. 

samsung galaxy buds live

(Image credit: Samsung )

Bluetooth 5 support and Samsung’s proprietary Scalable Codec, which prevents audio chopping by changing the bit-rate according to the strength of the Bluetooth connection, means your music should sound great, with a stable connection to your device.

Battery life comes in at six hours from the buds themselves, while the charging case provides an addition 12 hours of juice. Those numbers are comparable to what Apple offers on the AirPods Pro – although many cheaper models, like the Lypertek Tevi, offer far more impressive battery life.

We had the chance to briefly test the new Samsung Galaxy Buds for ourselves, and so far we're impressed. We found that they deliver a well-balanced sound alongside lots of cool features, wrapped up in a unique bean-shaped design that we haven't seen in a pair of true wireless earbuds before. 

All those specs certainly suggest that the new earbuds will be more successful than their predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Buds Plus.

However, we're not sure whether that unique design is more of a hinderance than a help at this stage – stayed tuned for our full review, and in the meantime, be sure to read our hands-on Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review for our initial thoughts on the new buds.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.