The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live – the company's next AirPods-rivaling true wireless earbuds – are apparently launching in July according to a report by SamMobile.
The new earbuds could be rivals for the Apple AirPods – and recently leaked images of the new Galaxy Buds show off a pretty bold design, with a bean-like shape and built-in microphones that hint at noise-cancelling tech within. A recently leaked promo video reinforces the noise-cancelling rumors, with the following tagline: "Keep the noise out. Let the sound in."
Rumors of the new Samsung Galaxy Buds have been ramping up in the lead up to the brand’s next Unpacked event, which is expected to take place on August 5. According to SamMobile, this is when the new Galaxy Buds Live will go on sale, alongside the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2.
The new Samsung earbuds have just been awarded FCC certification (Federal Communications Commission), which revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Buds X will be somewhere around 15mm x 26mm x 14mm and will weigh in at just around 5 grams (via My Smart Price).
Rumors of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus successors have been ramping up in the lead up to the brand’s next Unpacked event, which is expected to take place on August 5. According to SamMobile, this is when the new Galaxy Buds Live will go on sale, alongside the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2.
Cut to the chase
The original Galaxy Buds were Samsung’s answer to the Apple AirPods when they launched on March 8, 2019, and they were followed in February 2020 by the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
Neither of Samsung's first attempts were able to outperform Apple's AirPods or the AirPods Pro in terms of popularity or proficiency – which is why a new, better version of the Galaxy Buds is such an exciting prospect.
Details about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (or Galaxy Buds 2, as some outlets are calling them) have now leaked to such an extent that we know just about everything there is to know about them ahead of the big reveal: even the accompanying Android and iOS apps have appeared.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live release date
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live will be launched in July, according to a report by SamMobile.
The new true wireless earbuds will be apparently be announced ahead of the company's Galaxy Unpacked event, which will take place on Wednesday, August 5 at 10am ET, according to an official statement from Samsung. That means you should expect a live stream at 7am ET, 3pm BST, and midnight AEST (the next morning).
The Galaxy Note 20 launch date has been confirmed for that date, and Samsung's next Android smartphone will be unveiled virtually, not at an in-person event. According to SamMobile, this is when the buds will go on sale.
In any case, we’re not the only ones expecting to see the Galaxy Buds Live soon. In a tweet showing off the new Galaxy Buds Plus color, XDA Developers’ Max Weinbach said “I find it weird they keep launching new colors right before the BudsX are rumored to launch”.
I find it weird they keep launching new colors right before the BudsX are rumored to launch. Don't get me wrong, I love the color options, but it's just interesting. pic.twitter.com/L3MID06QzNMay 20, 2020
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live price
The most recent Galaxy Buds Plus went on sale in March for $149.99 / £159 / AU$299, so we’re expecting something similar when the next earbuds arrive.
That figure has been backed up by SamMobile, which reports that the buds will cost "under $150". Another tipster has suggested that the earbuds will in fact go on sale for a slightly higher price: $169 in the US.
Samsung users may be in line for a discount, too, according to the SamMobile report, which says: "Naturally, we can expect the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live to be offered for free or at a reduced price as part of pre-order bonuses for the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Fold 2".
With new Apple earbuds also expected to launch in the near future (whether they will be the AirPods 3 or the AirPods Pro Lite remains to be seen), Samsung would do well to undercut its biggest competitor with its next-gen buds – after all, price is a huge deciding factor for those looking to buy new headphones.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live design
If leaked images are to be believed, the design of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live will be drastically different to that of its predecessors.
Noted leaker Evan Blass recently posted a set of two images to his Patreon account, which were swiftly picked up by 9to5Google – and they give us our most detailed look at the upcoming AirPods rivals so far.
The images show the buds in white, black, and a rather chic bronze color, with that unique kidney bean shape that looks very different to most wireless earbuds on the market right now. Previous renders have also shown the buds in a light blue color.
Those colors match up with images of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20; we're expecting the new wireless earbuds to go on sale alongside the Note 20 at Samsung's August 5 Unpacked event, so it makes sense that the company would launch its new products in corresponding colors.
A promo video leaked by reliable tipster WalkingCat (@h0x0d) on Twitter has also given us a good look at the new true wireless earbuds:
Galaxy Beans pic.twitter.com/uJBO2BZbKBJuly 17, 2020
We've also been given our first look at the Galaxy Buds Live's charging case, which features a rounded design and what looks like an LED battery indicator light on the front.
Judging from the pictures, each earbud sports two microphones – which could be an indication of noise-cancelling tech, as well as the ability to use these buds to take calls and summon your device's voice assistant.
There are no silicone tips though, so any noise cancelling tech – if it exists – might suffer as a result.
The images posted by Blass back up previous image leaks from WinFuture, which gave us our first glimpse of the bean-shaped buds.
WinFuture says that the back of each earbud “fills the upper part of the ear, while the lower part and thus the integrated loudspeakers protrude into the ear canal”. This bean-shaped design isn’t a form factor we’ve seen before, so we’re excited to see how they look and feel when they’re finally released.
Based on the 3D renderings that have appeared, there are going to be big changes in the design.
The new Samsung earbuds have recently been awarded FCC certification (Federal Communications Commission), which also revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Buds X will be somewhere around 15mm x 26mm x 14mm and will weigh in at just around 5 grams (via My Smart Price).
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live noise cancellation
We were disappointed to find no noise-cancelling tech in the Galaxy Buds Plus – we were expecting them to be Samsung’s answer to the Apple AirPods Pro.
Once the preserve of bulky over-ear headphones, noise cancellation is increasingly common in true wireless earbuds, especially after the success of models like the Sony WF-1000XM3.
It’s about time that Samsung brought the technology to its line of Galaxy earbuds, and we hope that the Galaxy Buds Live will deliver – and now that images have revealed microphones built into the buds, it's entirely possible.
Even more recently, a leaked promo video has reinforced rumors that noise cancellation will come with the Galaxy Buds Live, with the following tagline: "Keep the noise out. Let the sound in."
Saying that, the apparent lack of silicone or memory foam eartips could stop the earbuds from effectively blocking out environmental sound – how Samsung will get around this remains to be seen, but we expect some clever audio processing will be the key to keeping noise out.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live fitness-tracking
The trademark filing discovered earlier this year revealed some of the features we might see from the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, including “software for measuring distance, speed, time, changes in heart rate, activity level, calories burned."
It’s worth bearing in mind that the specs described in trademark filings don’t always show up in the final product, but these biometric sensors could make the new Galaxy Buds a great pair of running headphones like the Powerbeats Pro.
The trademark filing also describes “wireless earsets incorporating software for providing a fitness guide”, which means they could come with a built-in voice assistant (Bixby, perhaps) that can help bolster your running performance by giving you real-time advice based on data collected by biometric sensors.
If Samsung does release a pair of fitness-tracking headphones, we’d expect to see an IPX4-or-above waterproof rating, which would keep them safe from sweat or rain.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: what we want to see
Both the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus were decent true wireless earbuds, but there are a few improvements we’d like to see.
The Galaxy Buds Plus didn’t sound bad by any means, but we’d like to see an improvement in the audio quality with the next generation.
One way Samsung could achieve this is by introducing support for Hi-Res Audio codecs like aptX, aptX Low Latency or, even better, Sony’s LDAC.
Longer battery life
The Galaxy Buds Plus boasted a far longer battery life than the original Galaxy Buds, but the charging case left something to be desired. The earbuds themselves contain 11 hours of charge, while the charging case provides an additional 11 hours, bringing the total battery life to 22 hours.
That 11-hour battery life is pretty long for earbuds – but for the charging case, it’s not a huge amount of battery. For comparison, the Apple AirPods contain 5 hours in the buds themselves, with an additional 20 hours provided by the charging case, for 25 hours in total. We’d love to see the charging case of the Galaxy Buds Live afforded a longer battery life so you can charge more than once on the go.
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