Comparison: Galaxy Buds +, Buds Live or Buds Pro; which one to buy? | Gadgets

Samsung announced the Galaxy Buds Pro in January 2021, next to the Galaxy S21 line. The device is part of the manufacturer’s all-wireless headset portfolio, making it a more advanced alternative to its predecessors Galaxy Buds + and Galaxy Buds Live. But what, in fact, changes between models? We compare technical data, design and resources to help you choose your Galaxy Buds.

Galaxy Buds +, Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

Galaxy Buds +, Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

Design

From small dots in the ear to shiny beans, the Galaxy Buds +, Live and Pro deliver modern design, but they differ from each other. Starting with the Plus model, here we have the traditional construction, also present in the first version of the Galaxy Buds. These are in-ear headphones that are able to maintain comfort and are very firm in the ear – you can even use them for physical exercises without major problems.

Samsung Galaxy Buds +

Galaxy Buds + (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

In the Galaxy Buds Live, Samsung bet on a different look, which looks more like a bean pit. Despite being strange at first glance, Buds Live also proved to be comfortable and with good ear fixation during Tecnoblog tests. But they may not work as well on ears that deviate from the “Samsung standard” – it’s worth trying before you buy.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live - Review

Galaxy Buds Live (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Finally, the latest Galaxy Buds Pro go back to their roots, with a format that resembles Buds and Buds + more. However, the headphones retain the mirrored finish of Buds Live.

A big advantage of Galaxy Buds Pro is the IPX7 certification of water resistance – in Buds + and Live, the protection was only IPX2, that is, a splash resistance.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Active noise cancellation

Galaxy Buds + do not have active noise cancellation. We have this feature present only in the Live and Pro versions, with an advantage for the latter, due to the design.

Since Galaxy Buds Live are not in-ear, they just rest in our ears without actually entering the ear canal, they end up leaving a little to be desired by completely eliminating external sounds. This changes in the Pro model: passive insulation ends up helping to cancel active noise, resulting in a great experience.

In Paulo Higa’s experience, even sudden noises, such as voices and sirens on the street, were less noticeable when using headphones.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro on the Galaxy Wearable app (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Sound quality

The three models of headphones have the potential to please most users who are looking for a cool headset to listen to music on a daily basis.

Samsung has been reinforcing bass over the generations: Buds + were already slightly better in this regard than the first Galaxy Buds, and Buds Live highlighted this feature even more in an attempt to compensate for the open design, but the model ends up sinning little in the medium and medium-high frequencies, which slightly impairs the space of the voices during songs with more present instrumental.

Galaxy Buds Pro, on the other hand, are at a higher level – a great evolution compared to previous generations. The model manages to deliver mid, bass and treble in a very balanced way, and are the best option for those who have a smartphone from the Galaxy ecosystem. You can read more about our audio tests in the full Buds Pro review.

Connectivity, software and resources

The three models are compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 and can be easily connected between cell phones, tablets, smartwatches, computers or TVs.

Although they are all compatible with Android and iOS, Galaxy Buds Pro are not supported by the Galaxy Buds app for the Apple system, which makes software updates for headphones using the iPhone unfeasible (you would need to do this for an Android device using the Galaxy Wearable app).

And speaking of Galaxy Wearable, the app also allows you to configure the touchpad’s behavior – you can set the long press according to your preference to, for example, open Spotify or activate the Google Assistant. In addition, in the software you can switch between noise canceling and ambient sound modes.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Galaxy Buds Pro has some exclusive functions for users of the Galaxy ecosystem, such as automatic switching, which allows you to switch between devices quickly. It works like this: if you are using your headphones on a branded tablet and you receive a call on your smartphone, the headphones will automatically switch to your cell phone, without you having to touch anything.

In addition, Samsung offers Buds Pro 360-degree audio to track your head’s movement and reproduce three-dimensional sound. To perform these functions, it is necessary to have a device with One UI 3.1.

Drums

In this regard, it is the Galaxy Buds + that come out ahead, with the best autonomy. The model has an estimate of up to 11 hours of reproduction, but it held even longer than that: 12 hours and 33 minutes, with 50% volume, in our tests.

Okay, Buds + don’t have active noise cancellation, but it’s still an excellent brand for such small earbuds.

On the other hand, Buds Live arrive with the promise of autonomy for six hours with active noise cancellation, and resist a little more than that: 7:04 am with 50% volume.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The biggest disappointment in this regard comes with the Galaxy Buds Pro, which withstood only 4h26min of reproduction with the active cancellation of noise and volume by 50% – a result below that promised by Samsung (5 hours). Without ANC, Buds Pro will spend 8h34min of autonomy, above the 8 hours estimated by the manufacturer.

Price and cost-benefit: which Galaxy Buds to buy?

Currently, the prices * for Galaxy Buds in national retail are, on average, as follows:

  • Galaxy Buds +: R $ 499
  • Galaxy Buds Live: R $ 699
  • Galaxy Buds Pro: R $ 1,099

In this scenario, whoever is looking for a quality headset, but does not care so much for active noise cancellation, should choose the Galaxy Buds +, which has the best battery life and the firmest design in the ear.

On the other hand, if noise cancellation is something very relevant to you, Buds Pro are the ideal option, even more so if you are a user of the Galaxy ecosystem – the model delivers the suppression of external sounds more efficiently and have excellent sound quality, beating head-on with competitors, such as AirPods Pro, but at a much lower price. The caveat is about the battery, which has less autonomy, but still, it is a great product that should meet the majority of users.

* Prices collected on 03/19/2021.

Galaxy Buds +, Live and Pro – Datasheet:

Galaxy Buds + Galaxy Buds Live Galaxy Buds Pro
Launch February 2020 August 2020 January 2021
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Codecs Samsung Scalable, AAC and SBC Samsung Scalable, AAC and SBC Samsung Scalable, AAC and SBC
Drums
  • Charging case: 270 mAh (one recharge in both headphones)
  • Headphone (each side): 85 mAh (up to 11 hours of playback)
  • Charging case: 29 hours of sound (ANC off) and 21 hours of sound (ANC on)
  • Headphone (each side): 60 mAh (up to 6 hours of playback)
  • Charging case: 28 hours of sound (ANC off) and 20 hours of sound (ANC on)
  • Headphone (each side): 5 hours of sound (ANC on), 8 hours of sound (ANC off)
Mic and Sensors Two external microphones, an internal microphone, proximity, accelerometer and gyroscope Two external microphones, an internal microphone, proximity, accelerometer and gyroscope Two external microphones, an internal microphone, proximity, accelerometer and gyroscope
Compatibility Android 5.0+ phones with at least 1.5 GB of RAM or iOS 10.0+ (for the Galaxy Wearable app) Android 5.0+ phones with at least 1.5 GB of RAM or iOS 10.0+ (for the Galaxy Wearable app) Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets with One UI 3.1 or higher (for fast switching between devices and 360 degree audio), Android 5.0+ with at least 1.5 GB of RAM (for Galaxy Wearable)
Protection against water IPX2 IPX2 IPX7
Dimensions (mm)
  • Charging case: 70 x 39 x 26 mm
  • Headphone (each side): 17 x 22 x 19.2 mm
  • Charging case: 50 x 50.2 x 27.8 mm
  • Headphone (each side): 16.5 x 14.9 27.3 mm
  • Charging case: 27.8 x 50 x 50.2 mm
  • Headphone (each side): 20.5 × 19.5 × 20.8 mm
Weight
  • Charging case: 39.6 grams
  • Headphone (each side): 6.3 grams
  • Charging case: 42.2 grams
  • Headphone (each side): 5.6 grams
  • Charging case: 44.9 grams
  • Galaxy Buds Pro (each side): 6.3 grams

With information: Samsung

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