Samsung Galaxy Buds Live leaks are flooding the mobile audio tech sphere, and for good reason: the alleged Galaxy Buds Live have a baffling bean-shaped design. We’ve been updating you with leaks on a potentially pushed-up release date, colorways, and more. Now, let’s round-up all that we know and what we expect to see from the anticipated Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
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Editor’s note: this article was updated on July 17, 2020, to address a rendered video of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: All the rumors and leaks
A new bean-shaped design
Galaxy Beans pic.twitter.com/uJBO2BZbKB
— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) July 17, 2020
Twitter user @h0x0d revealed a render of the anticipated Galaxy Buds Live depicting white, rose gold, and black color variants. The video ends with text reading, “Keep the noise out. Let the sound in,” a strong suggestion of noise-cancelling technology. It appears each earbud has two contact points for charging, and the case has two LED indicators to communicate case and headset battery life.
The same Twitter account threaded the above image of the Galaxy Buds Live which depicts what appear to be inward and outward-facing vents or microphones, along with a sensor that likely enables automatic ear detection. This image and video are promising, further cementing the revamped Samsung Galaxy Buds X design.
All signs point to noise-cancelling technology with these rounded earbuds, which would pit them directly against the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro, Sony WF-1000XM3, and Panasonic RZ-S500W. This is some stiff competition for earbuds that don’t appear to seal to the ear canal.
Even with the Twitter leaks, you have every right to feel skeptical of the noise-cancelling performance: noise cancellation works best when a physical barrier is created between the listener’s eardrum and the outside world. Most earbuds achieve this with a standard silicone ear tip that creates a weak suction to the ear, thereby passively blocking out external noise. Without this kind of passive isolation, noise-cancelling — no matter how advanced the technology — won’t be very effective.
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If anything, it makes more sense for the bean earbuds to have ambient noise-cancelling technology apply to the microphone system to improve voice transmission. However, if the earbuds turn out to mimic more of the previous generations’ shapes, it would make sense to see active noise-cancelling (ANC) that extends beyond the microphone array.
Microphone quality should be better
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are all but guaranteed to have better microphone quality than the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. We already saw a huge improvement in call quality from the first-generation Galaxy Buds to the Galaxy Buds Plus, so it only makes sense to see this taken one step further.
Samsung Galaxy Buds microphone demo:
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus microphone demo:
Even if microphone noise-reduction or noise-cancelling isn’t included, we could see an improvement to the beamforming microphones used in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. Voice clarity improvements would be a welcome upgrade as more and more of us rely on our wireless headphones to field calls, rather than our handsets. The last thing anyone wants during a call is to annoy his boss because of poor voice quality.
Live fitness tracking
Per the Galaxy BudsX trademark registration filed back in April, it appears the headset may hearken back to the Samsung Gear IconX by integrating a fitness tracker and a heart rate sensor. The exact verbiage from the filing is as follows, “… central processing unit and software that incorporates and provides fitness guides for users … software for measuring distance, speed, time, change in heart rate, activity level and calories burned.”
The reintroduction of fitness tracking into the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live would be a wise move seeing as many of us rely on at-home exercise regimens. By tracking daily activity such as calories burned, steps taken, heart rate fluctuations, and more, it may make it easier for stay-at-home athletes to achieve fitness goals.
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Not all notes included in trademark filings make it to the end product; in which case, there are plenty of fitness trackers and smartwatches to choose from. However, assuming Samsung includes these features in the new Galaxy Buds, greater water-resistance will likely follow: the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are IPX2-rated, which is fine for moderate workouts. For extremely intense exercises or those performed in humid climates, a greater IP rating may be in order.
We may not see better battery life if noise-cancelling is included
Noise-technology is uniquely power-hungry, and if the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live include it, standalone battery life may last just five hours. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s plenty when you consider that most charging cases include upwards of two battery cycles for portable playback. Sure, true wireless batteries have their issues and degrade quickly over time, but seeing Apple’s Optimized Battery Charging software for the AirPods gives me hope for the future of true wireless headset longevity.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: Price and release date
We expect a standard $149 USD price tag to accompany the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (or Samsung Galaxy Buds X, however they’re titled), which is on-par with past Galaxy Buds pricing.
At the latest, the new true wireless earbuds should be officially announced from the Samsung Unpacked event on August 5 alongside the Galaxy Note 20 series, but hopeful news trackers suspect we may get official word by the end of this month.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: What we want to see
While the leaks have set high expectations for Samsung’s next-generation true wireless earbuds, there are still some features we hope to see that haven’t been talked about.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live should be able to connect to two devices at a time
Bluetooth multipoint was an anticipated feature of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, and one that we’ve seen properly implemented with the likes of the Jabra Elite 75t and Jabra Elite Active 75t. However, Samsung quietly pulled any mention of dual-device connectivity from the official Galaxy Buds Plus product page upon launch. Perhaps the company will include this useful feature in the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, which would make it a very versatile pair of earbuds.
While it will be disappointing to see yet another wireless headset lack the ability to connect to two devices at once, Samsung Dual Audio remains a useful feature on Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It doesn’t completely make up for the lack of multipoint connectivity, but it’s nice to output audio to more than one headset from a single Samsung device.
A non-bean shaped design
Okay, this is a long shot…
Wireless PowerShare is a great trick to have up your sleeve when you’ve left the USB-C cable at home.
The kidney bean earbud renders continue to permeate various corners of the internet. It seems inevitable that this bizarre form factor is what we’re getting, but I sincerely hope that’s not the design Samsung ran with. Tech reviewers across the board lamented the Apple AirPods design for their poor fit, and we’re bound to hear the same complaints with bean-shaped buds that don’t include silicone sleeves.
What features would you like to see for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live? Let us know in the comments.