Galaxy Buds Compared: Buds+, Buds Pro, Buds Live

If you’ve never tried a pair of truly wireless smart earbuds, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. But once you’ve felt freedom from all wires, you won’t want to go back. There’s nothing like the freedom of being completely unencumbered, and recent earbuds entries from many makers have drastically increased sound quality and functionality.
Samsung has several varieties of true wireless earbuds for sale right now: the Samsung Galaxy Buds+, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. If you’re already using a Samsung phone, choosing Samsung earbuds is a no-brainer. (And even if you aren’t, these are still compelling earbuds.)
In today’s comparison post, you’ll learn the main differences between each version of the Galaxy Buds so you can make the choice that best fits your lifestyle.

Main Differences

If you don’t have time to read this entire guide, here’s the short version:
  • The Galaxy Buds+ are the cheapest, at $149. They’re also the lowest ranking in terms of sound quality and feature set.
  • For $20 more, you can get the Galaxy Buds Live, which offers significantly improved sound quality. At $169, it’s hard to justify not scrounging up an extra $20 for better audio.
  • The top tier offering is the Galaxy Buds Pro, which retail at $199. They retain the upgraded audio quality and add in a handful of additional smart features, plus IPX7 water resistance.
This is just a high-level overview, though. There’s more to know about each set below.

Dimensions, Case, Battery Life

Each type of Galaxy Buds has slightly different dimensions. The Buds Pro measures 0.8 inches in every direction, and the Buds+ are similar. Only the Buds Live take a significantly different approach with a 0.6 by 1 by 0.6 inch design. It has not so fondly been described as bean-shaped.
The original Buds+ have a small case, barely larger than the buds themselves. The Buds Live and Buds Pro have identical-shaped cases that measure roughly 2 by 2 by 1 inch.
The Buds+ get the best battery life, probably because the added quality and smart features in the pricier buds draw more power. The Buds+ will last 11 hours on their own and 22 hours with the charging case.
The Buds Live and Buds Pro, on the other hand, will run up to 8 hours alone and upwards of 28 with the charging case.

Water Resistance

Only the Buds Pro get IPX7 water resistance, which means they’ll survive up to 30 minutes in shallow water. The other sets only get IPX2, meaning they’ll somewhat resist rain and sweat. This additional water resistance is another strong reason to pay a little extra for the Galaxy Buds Pro.

Touch Controls

All three sets have similar touch controls. Once you get used to the control scheme of one pair of Galaxy Buds, you’ll do fine with any of them. That said, reviewers haven’t exactly been thrilled with these controls on any model.

Smart Features

The Buds Pro has a really useful feature that lowers sound volume when you’re talking or when there’s enough ambient sound near you. It’s nice to be able to have a conversation without having to pause your music. There’s also Ambient Sound and active noise cancellation, which you can toggle between. Ambient Sound actually boosts the sounds around you significantly. All of these features are adjustable, too, so you can raise or lower the ANC or Ambient Sound levels as you need to.
The Live and Plus models offer portions of these, but not the full suite. Buds Live has strong ANC, while Buds+ do not. (They call the lack of ANC “active aware.”)
If you’re using an Android phone, both the Buds Live and the Buds Pro can read your notifications aloud. Buds+ don’t have this feature.

Audio Quality

Audio quality is always a subjective thing, but you’ll generally get more when you pay more. The Buds+ use two-way dual dynamic speakers, while the Buds Live use 12mm drivers. The Buds Pro takes the cake here, with two-way 11mm drivers paired with 6.5mm tweeters for full, robust sound at every point of the spectrum.
The microphones on each model are effective, with two beam-forming outer microphones and one inner microphone. The Live and Pro models add in a voice pick up unit in addition.

Galaxy Buds+, Buds Live and Buds Pro: Which Should You Buy?

When it’s all said and done, which set should you buy? The answer’s pretty straightforward for most users: buy the Buds Pro. They cost a little more, but they’re just simply better in every category, and the price difference is pretty minor.

Upsie Can Protect Your New Galaxy Buds

No matter which set of Galaxy Buds you spring for, Upsie can protect them from whatever you (accidently) throw at them. Upsie’s earbud extended warranty coverage is affordable and effective, and it covers accidental damage of all sorts. You can rest easy knowing that you’re covered with local repairs and 24/7 claims if something goes wrong.
Ready to protect your Buds? Get Upsie now.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.