True wireless earbuds typically come in one of two designs: Silicone-tipped in-ear models like the Jabra Elite 75t and those that simply hover just outside the ear canal like the AirPods. That’s what makes the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live so intriguing — they use a hybrid shape that fills the outer ear but doesn’t close off the ear canal itself. And during Black Friday deals, they’re even more affordable, at just $140.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the answer to the question: Can I get active noise cancellation (ANC) in a set of true wireless earbuds without needing a silicone ear tip wedged firmly inside my ear canal? The answer is yes. Thanks to the Buds Live’s bean shape, they block outside sound much more effectively than Apple’s AirPods, while their active noise-canceling circuitry deals with most of the sound that still manages to get through.
If you don’t mind the in-ear-canal design of most true wireless earbuds, you may not be inspired by the Galaxy Buds Live. But for those who find any object in their ears unpleasant, the smoothly curved shape of the Buds Live off a much more comfortable solution.
Given that they don’t seal the ear canal, sound quality is surprisingly good — especially in the bass department. The available app for Android and iOS lets you tweak the sound profile with six equalizer options: Normal, Bass Boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble Boost.
The Galaxy Buds Live offer another unique feature. They’re the only true wireless earbuds to give you hands-free access to Samsung’s Bixby, the voice assistant that comes with the company’s line of Galaxy smartphones. If you’re a Galaxy user, this is an especially convenient bonus.
Battery life is on-par for ANC true wireless earbuds: 5.5 hours (plus about 15 more hours in the charging case) with ANC and Bixby detection turned on, but this can quickly ramp up to 8 hours plus 21 hours if you turn these features off. Speaking of the charging case, you can charge it with USB-C, wirelessly from a Qi-compatible charging mat, or from a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone.
Looking for some other great deals? We’ve also checked out the best Black Friday headphone deals if you’d prefer something a bit chunkier to listen to music through, and there are plenty of other excellent Black Friday deals so there are sure to be some bargains you can’t resist snapping up.
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