While the cases between those two pairs of headphones are virtually identical in shape and size, the actual earbuds are quite different. The Galaxy Buds Live were sometimes jokingly called “the beans” due to their unique bean shape. It gives them a distinct, sleek and arguably elegant look.
The Buds Pro earbuds on the other hand sport a more traditional look, with familiar rubber eartips that are, at least in theory, more likely to perfectly fit a greater number of users’ ears. And while I personally loved the “beans” as they fit me flawlessly, there’s a small possibility that they won’t fit perfectly in your ear canal. So your safer bet in this regard would be the Buds Pro.
In any case, both the Buds Pro and Buds Live look superb, with smooth curves, glossy plastic on the outside and matte plastic on the inside. Both of their cases open in a similar fashion to a wedding ring case, fit just fine in pockets and charge via a USB Type-C port on the back.
In regards to color options, the new Buds Pro come in violet, black and silver, while the Buds Live are available in bronze, black and white.
The Galaxy Buds Pro will be available starting January 15 for the price of $200. The Buds Live were released in August of 2020 for the price of $169.
Galaxy Buds Live in-ear
Samsung says that the Buds Pro feature “the most comprehensive sound” in the Galaxy Buds line yet, with detailed, balanced and full sound.
In our testing, the Buds Live sounded nice and clear, with great bass, significantly stronger than, say, the AirPods Pro.
Stay tuned for our detailed impressions of how both sound as compared to each other right here.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs Buds Live active noise cancelling
Both the Buds Pro and Buds Live support active noise cancellation (ANC). If the unique shape of the Buds Live doesn’t seal your ear perfectly, though, its ANC effectiveness will suffer. With the Buds Pro’s more traditional ear tip design, you’re less likely to face such an issue.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs Buds Live features and customizability
Both the Buds Pro and Live can be customized via the Galaxy Wearable app, which includes an equalizer or enabling Bixby wake-up. However, the Buds Pro come with a significantly higher set of features, such as 360 Audio, Auto Switch, Multi Mic Recording and Game Mode, which we covered in our Galaxy Buds Pro first impressions.
In this regard, the Buds Live are a great set of “basic” truly wireless earbuds, while the Buds Pro are the ones to choose if you like having a large set of cool features to play around with and take advantage of.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs Buds Live water resistance
While the Buds Live are IPX2 rated, so they’ll be fine with a bit of sweat if you’re using them at the gym, the Buds Pro have a higher rating of IPX7. That rating means they should survive under up to a meter of fresh water for 30 minutes.
And although the higher rating provides better peace of mind, if you’re using the Buds Pro in the rain, for example, neither them nor the Buds Live are suited for use at the beach or near pools.
Note that the IP ratings apply only to the actual earbuds. The Buds Pro and Buds Live cases aren’t water resistant at all.
Galaxy Buds Pro vs Buds Live battery life
The Galaxy Buds Live case (shown here) is mostly identical to the one with the Buds Pro
On a single charge, with ANC on, the Buds Pro will last up to 18 hours with the case, or up to 5 hours without it. If you turn ANC off, they’ll last up to 28 hours with the case and 8 hours without it. Also, 5 minutes of quick-charging the Buds Pro can add up to an hour of playback.
With ANC on, the Galaxy Buds Live will last more – up to 21 hours on a single charge, with their case. They’ll last about as much as the Buds Pro without it, though – up to 8 hours.
Both of their cases are Qi-certified for wireless charging too.