Monday, September 21, 2020
Home Science Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live Beat Google’s Pixel Buds With Two Features -...

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live Beat Google’s Pixel Buds With Two Features – Forbes


Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Buds Live wireless earphones are displayed during the Samsung … [+] Unpacked product launch event in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Samsung Electronics Co. set out its premium Android device lineup for the rest of the year with the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 series and a teaser for the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable in its first virtual launch event. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP

Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live are quickly becoming my go-to pair of true wireless earbuds

They aren’t superior to the competition in every way, you can pick up far more expensive and accomplished earbuds from Sony and Sennheiser for unrivalled audio quality, but they’re solid all-rounders at a good price. 

What I’ve particularly enjoyed is the fact that Samsung has genuinely innovated in a space that’s difficult to be creative in, and in an industry that likes to copy each other. The bean-like shape works surprisingly well. They snugly fit in the contours of your ear, whilst being small and lightweight so they don’t protrude or fall out. 

MORE FROM FORBESThis Is Only The Android Apple Watch Rival I’m Excited AboutBy Jay McGregor

I’ve been using both the Pixel Buds and Galaxy Buds Live (alongside the Galaxy Buds+) for the last few weeks and I am reasonably confident that Samsung’s earbuds edge out Google’s. Here’s why. 

Connectivity issues

Hundreds of users have been complaining about persistent connectivity issues in the Pixel Buds since May. The problem appears to be that the earbuds temporarily lose audio in certain useage scenarios. Users have reported audio cutting out when walking, travelling on public transport, moving their head too vigorously or simply sat still. Others have reported their buds dropping out at exactly 1 minute 50 seconds. You can read my coverage of it here

MORE FROM FORBESGoogle Pixel Bud Owners Angry At Continued Problems Despite UpdateBy Jay McGregor

Google released an update on August 20th to tackle this issue, which it has for some, but not for others. Pixel Bud owners are still contacting me with complaints about the issue despite the update.

The reason for the connectivity issue isn’t clear. But in an interview with me last month, Sandeep Waraich, senior product manager for wearables at Google said that it’s likely related to Bluetooth interference, whilst also hinting that a smaller RF antenna, which is a result of the earbuds’ miniaturised design, could be a factor. 

Many users have reported no problems with their buds whatsoever, others have had several replacements and ultimately settled with a pair that worked. So it seems to be a game of roulette when it comes to whether or not you get a working pair of Pixel Buds. I’ve experienced exactly this, my first review units didn’t turn on or connect to my phone at all. 

My second pair worked almost perfectly. I have also experienced the connectivity issues, but not as seriously as others. When crossing a road a few weeks ago and listening to Spotify, I whipped my head right and the audio cutout briefly. If I cup both ears with my hands when wearing the buds the audio will stop streaming, although I can’t imagine this in a similar real-life scenario (they worked fine under a hood and beanie). 

The Galaxy Buds Live have no comparable connectivity issues. 


Samsung is taking another look at the longevity of its products. The company announced at its August Unpacked event that it will now offer three years of Android support for its Note and Galaxy phones. A few days later, repair company iFixit found that the Galaxy Live earbuds are very repairable – giving them a high score of 8 out of 10. In comparison, Apple’s near-impossible to repair AirPods Pro received a 0 out of 10 from iFixit. 

MORE FROM FORBESForget Apple’s Macbook, Or Microsoft’s Surface, This Is A Serious LaptopBy Jay McGregor

iFixit hasn’t done a teardown of the new Pixel Buds, but a user teardown on its site revealed the difficulty in dissembling them without damaging the outer casing. The Galaxy Buds Live, however, come apart with a pick and some pressure from a vice.

iFixit said they’re “some of the easiest buds we’ve ever opened”. This is important because the small lithium-ion battery in the Galaxy Buds Live – and all other earbuds – will deplete. The battery becomes less efficient from the very first time you use any battery-powered device. So if you want to hold on to the buds for a long time, you’ll want easily replaceable batteries. Although iFixit says it might be difficult to source the CP1254 lithium-ion button battery in the Galaxy Buds Live.

Repairability is true value for money and it seems Samsung agrees. 

Honorable mentions

The Galaxy Buds Live have a clear, well-balanced sound and – when the dynamic or base boost EQ profiles are enabled – excellent base. The Pixel Buds perform similarly well and have improved thanks to the new base boost function that came with last week’s feature drop.

The air vent on both models means they don’t have that plugged-in feeling, but it also means there is less passive noise cancellation – particularly in comparison to Samsung’s previous Galaxy Buds +. Clearly hearing ambient noise is a matter of taste, but Samsung’s offer of active noise cancellation to cut this out is virtually non-existent. The feature barely works, if at all

Elsewhere Google’s promise of continually upgrading the Pixel Buds with feature drops – a semi-regular feature update program that started on Pixel phones last December – means the buds will always improve. We’ll have to see if that means they’ll be better at maintaining a solid connection. 

For now, though, with the design, repairability and reliable performance – the Galaxy Buds Live are my favourite of the two earbuds. 

More on Forbes

Google Rolls Out 7 New Pixel Bud Features Today In First Major Update

Apple’s Next Enhanced AirPods Suddenly Take Shape To Rival Pixel Buds

Read More



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Thai activists’ plaque for royal reform vanishes

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The plaque (R) and the empty space after its disappearance (L) A plaque laid by anti-government protesters declaring Thailand “belongs to the people, and not the king” has been removed. Installed just a day earlier, it was seen as a bold act in a nation where criticising the monarchy…

India Covid-19: Taj Mahal reopens after longest shutdown

Publishedduration2 hours agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThe Taj Mahal is located in the northern Indian city of AgraThe iconic Taj Mahal has reopened its doors to visitors after six months - the longest it has ever been shut.It was closed as the country went into a stringent lockdown in March to halt the spread of coronavirus.It…

Humpback whale finds escape from Australian crocodile river

Publishedduration4 hours agoimage copyrightPArks Australiaimage captionThe humpback whale seen after returning to the seaA humpback whale that took a wrong turn into a crocodile-infested river in Australia has safely returned to sea.The whale was first seen in the Northern Territory (NT) river over a week ago, prompting fears it may get stuck in shallow waters…

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas – MacRumors

In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the world have been busy…