You don't play with food.

Generation after generation, this sentence has remained in the educational repertoire of many parents.

But these "beans" are even stuck in your ears: the

Galaxy Buds Live,

the latest wireless (true wireless) headphones from the South Korean hardware

giant Samsung.

The earplugs are already the third model in the Buds series, but they are breaking new ground, especially in terms of design.

In fact, the headphones look like shiny beans.

The plan: The devices nestle against the lower part of the auricle and hold in the ear by turning them slightly - like two mini speakers.

This means that these are no longer classic in-ear headphones that are pressed into the ear canal via a silicone plug.

Samsung wants to have created a universal headphone shape that fits every type of ear.

But that is exactly what turns out to be a risky game of chance in the test.


One thing is certain: the design is absolutely successful.

The headphones are of high quality.

Unfortunately, they are not water-resistant, so they do not have an IP classification.

The shiny surface, including in bronze, is a real eye-catcher.

The same applies to the flat, matt charging case, which fits comfortably in any trouser pocket and can be supplied with power wirelessly


Samsung Galaxy Buds

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Shiny headphones, matt charging cradle: the Galaxy Buds Live scores with an elegant design

Source: Samsung

But Samsung has also made important changes inside the device with the third generation.

For the first time, the Buds Live feature active noise cancellation (ANC), which means that they independently reduce background noise in buses, trains or on the street.

Microphones record the ambient noise, and the headphones generate precisely opposing sound waves in order to absorb the ambient noise.

If you set the function in the corresponding app on your smartphone, you can also ensure that messages or announcements are played back anyway, while annoying noise remains locked out.

Because the ears are not completely sealed, there is no feeling of a kind of negative pressure, but the noise suppression cannot keep up with the AirPods Pro or the Sony WF-1000XM3 - especially when filtering loud noises and voices.

But if you want to filter out a background noise in your environment, for example in the office or on the train, you won't make a mistake with the Samsung beans.


There is hardly any criticism when it comes to the sound either: the twelve-millimeter speakers from sound experts AKG ensure clear sound without distortion.

Smaller weaknesses can only be heard in the bass.

Here, users should use the app to adapt the sound profile to their needs.

A voice assistant such as Samsung's own artificial intelligence Bixby can also be activated at the push of a button, and music and calls can also be controlled.

These functions are practical for power users, but have now become almost a matter of course in wireless headphones.

Just like when making a phone call, three built-in microphones ensure clear voice quality at a high level.

And that for a really long time - the headphones last up to six hours.

If the transport case is fully charged, the Buds Live can be supplied with energy again and then have a total of 21 hours of running time.

Nevertheless, the Buds Live did not last long in a very personal WELT test.

After using completely wireless headphones privately for several years, the Galaxy Buds Live should provide me with music and calls in the future - the elegant design was the decisive factor.

But soon after buying it in the electronics store, disappointment set in: the headphones hit.


After only half an hour I felt painful pressure at the lower end of the auricle - doctors call the affected area antitragus.

Replacing the included silicone lips for a better hold in the ear did not improve the situation either.

The ear continued to be irritated after wearing it.

That's why the headphones were quickly returned over the counter.

Users on the internet also complain about the uncomfortable fit or that the headphones simply fall out of their ears.

Others praise the perfect fit for them.

Such problems have never happened to me with conventional in-ear headphones.

This shows that the difficult-to-adjust fit is actually not suitable for every ear shape.

But if you can wear the headphones without any problems, you get two high-quality processed "speaker beans" with a rich sound and practical noise suppression.

However, buyers should also be aware that the devices do not close the ear as comprehensively as real in-ear headphones.

According to Samsung, 320 test models on the way to the final form of the Galaxy Buds Live have been designed

Source: Samsung

But there is still rich sound, an elegant design and a good price-performance ratio.

The current offer price for the Galaxy Buds Live has already fallen below 150 euros;

a few weeks after launch.

However, if you want to make sure that the headphones really fit, you should clarify a possible exchange before buying.

More and more electronics stores are providing headphone packaging with warning notices that an exchange is only possible with unopened original packaging.

This is of course understandable for hygienic reasons, but then the 150-euro beans quickly become an expensive design object.

This article was first published in October 2020.