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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live – funny shaped buds to surprise and delight
4.3Overall Score
Name: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live
Price (RRP): $319
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live have affectionately been called Jellybeans, but one thing is for sure – the type of buyer it targets won’t care.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are, well an unconventional luxury experience. From the Mystic Bronze (or white or black that we don’t consider that deserve to have the pre-nominal ‘Mystic’); the pretty ring box shaped Qi charge case; the odd kidney/jellybean shape; and even the price – $319. These are the Galaxy owner’s chic Kardashian accessory.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

So perhaps I am the wrong person to review them. As a budding audiophile, I can pick every little flaw, but I can also compliment where they excel.

Let’s be clear up front. They are not an audiophile’s delight. Noise cancelling is average at best, and yes, they did fall out during exercise. But I expect Galaxy Buds Live owners won’t give a ‘whatev darling’ about specs or performance. It is a fashion item with pretty respectable performance all around.

Australian review – Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Model SM-R180NZW

  • Website here
  • Price: $319
  • Warranty: 12-months
  • Country of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • Samsung is a South-Korean global supplier of smartphones, tablets, TVs, home appliances and more.

We use FAIL, PASS and EXCEED against all test parameters. PASS meaning it meets all our expectations.

First impression – EXCEED

A pregnant jellybean. Mystic Bronze is not my colour, but the white version is quite tolerable.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

The Qi/USB-C ring box charger case would be at home at a jewellery shop. It comes with a USB-A to USB-C 80cm ‘too short’ cable and pair of larger slip on wingtip seals.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Fit – you must get it right – PASS

Size: 27.3 x 16.5 x 14.9 mm x 5.6g – these are light

Remember these are noise cancelling so there should be at least some noise isolation. There is not. They do not fit into your ear canal (and that is a good ear health thing).

They rely on a kind of reverse twist and insert and locate the ear wings (small and large ‘rubbers’ provided) at the top of your ear (ear pads inwards and upwards) and the speakers over your ear canal.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Over a week of use, I perfected the insertion and de-sertion. They have a tendency to pop out during exercise if not properly placed.

Setup – PASS

You must use the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app. It works on Android and iOS. The app requires you to have a Samsung account, but overall, the privacy provisions are reasonable. It also integrates the Buds with Smarthings – Samsung’s IoT app.

Volume – PASSable

I have heard louder, but these pass for adequate volume levels. The Galaxy Buds+ are a tad louder, but that is because they are in-ear canal.

Sound stage – PASS+

While its normally no wider than your head, there are times where you swear the sound is coming from several centimetres outside it. It also has particularly good Left/Right separation, and you can hear

Noise cancellation – FAIL – well, barely pass

Noise cancellation relies on two things.