Now, with them in hand (or ears, rather), I have some serious concerns.
I wanted these for the use of listening to music and equally, if not more importantly, for hands free phone calls.
For the record: I have paired these with my Samsung S8 phones. I have alternated between two S8's and have found identical results
Being a 100% Android and anti-Apple consumer, I can honestly say that Apple got it right with the AirPods. Not only for sound but for call transmitting and receiving audio quality. The Galaxy Buds Live may not be up to the same level in the call quality department.
Call Quality: From my first call, the audio I heard from the caller sounded quite good. Then the audio I was hearing began to sound a bit distorted and I kept experiencing a lot of digital noise. What I found is, if I put my phone in my pocket, or I'm holding my phone and I put my hand down by my side, it almost seems like I lose connection or there is interference. As if the signal is poor. But, if I'm holding the phone upright, or almost right near my face, the sound seems fine. Shouldn't be like this. On the plus side, in comparison with my Bose headphones, multiple callers said these sounded equally as good on their end.
Unfortunately, I have to rate the call quality as Very Bad at this point. After being sent a second pair, same exact issue.
I am curious if this is some form of a software incompatibility issue with the Samsung Galaxy S8. Because the call quality is so poor, and I intended on using these heavily for calls, these are now likely to be returned.
The Fit: Very interesting but nice. They're light, comfortable and once you trust that they won't fall out, you really feel like they're not even there.
Music/Audio: Sounds great. I'm not a $1000 headphone audiophile. It needs to sound clear with your highs and mids defined and just good in general. Sound quality is very good. Here's the catch was that though. I started noticing the same signal issue that I was noticing with the call quality. While I was watching/listening to a YouTube video and I put the phone in my pocket or I walked away from the phone, mind you only a couple feet away, it seems like there's interference or the reception is bad. It cuts out constantly. Again, this shouldn't be happening.
Active Noise Canceling: I'd have to say that my Bose QC35ii's are my benchmark for ANC. That bar is pretty high. The Galaxy Buds Live disappointingly offer little in terms of ANC technology. If you're looking for the same level if ANC that you get from a good pair of over the ear or in ear silicone tip ear buds, this will not measure up.
I experimented with this. While sitting indoors, in a relatively quiet setting, you almost feel like you notice the ANC effectiveness. Walking down the street with moderate car/traffic noise, I noticed absolutely no ANC effect. Merely an automatic battery drain at best.
Wearable App: Good. It would be nice to have a more dynamic equalizer option rather than the "canned" sound profiles.
Overheating: I've yet to actually find information on this in the manual, but I believe that they have an overheating prevention feature where the individual earbud will begin beeping continuously in your ear. The audio playing, in my case a podcast, doesn't stop but a continuous beep begins. Not being able to figure out why, my best guess is that this is an overheating warning. I had been sitting outside and my left side was facing the sun. It was not excessively hot out and the actual left earbud did not feel warm or get warm in my ear. However, it repeatedly kept beeping.
- In the home office and around the house: Not bad. I enjoy the lightweight design. As long as my phone is in front of me and not in a pocket, audio and call reception and quality are good.
- On the elliptical: Nice. Comfortable and stay in place. Slight movement as you build a bit of a sweat.
- Outside for a walk: ANC is non-existent. I also notice wind noise if it's a little breezy. By breezy, I mean a very light and intermittent wind. Not a hurricane.
- On a bicycle ride: Crazy wind noise. Very off-putting, unfortunately.
- Online Microsoft Teams Meeting (Android App on S8): I was told that I sounded distant and the audio was thin. As soon as I disconnected and called the person directly, they said I sounded great.
Summary: Very disappointed at this point. This is primarily due to the reception issues. The price point is great for what I had expected. However, for what they are, I'd just as soon spend much, much less for a set of wireless headphones since making calls with these simply doesn't seem to be a good feature, out of the gate.
After running through all of the same with two separate sets of GBL's, using two different S8's, I've gotten identical results. I'm hoping that perhaps this may just be an S8 compatibility issue, as indicated earlier. I would enjoy editing this review to be nothing short of incredible, in the future.
Because they are so new, Samsung telephone support couldn't be all that helpful. With these being, literally, on the market for only a couple of days, there wasn't a whole lot of trouble shooting assistance available.
At this point, I've gone through two sets of these and have not seen a difference between the two. I'm torn whether or not I should return them. I so badly want them to work out. But, I'm finding that they're just not measuring up.