Neither Wow nor Meh: My First Samsung Earbuds

My launch-day AirPods Pro are not working nicely. The microphones in the right earbud keep emitting funny noises that render it barely usable, despite the fact that it’s already an AppleCare-covered replacement unit and the original unit had the exact same issue. However, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to buy another pair of AirPods Pro at this point. They have been on the market for 2.5 years, and a new generation won’t be available until this fall or winter.

So I would need a set of makeshifts — something cheaper and assuredly made outside of the Apple realm. More importantly, they should not be worn deep in the ears with protruding ear tips, or rather earwax collectors, so that they could be good for a side sleeper like myself. After some research I came across the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, which looked like a perfect choice. To husband my money on this makeshift set I thought it would be wise to add an Amazon warehouse-inspected “like new” item to my shopping cart, rather than a brand new one at a higher price.

My last Samsung product was the NC10 netbook. I decided on that model by the same token – to save money on a makeshift (I haven’t been a Windows guy since late 2000s). For the past 1.5 decades I was not really a fan of the Samsung product lines, except that I did like a Samsung refrigerator I briefly owned.

Today the earbuds came – in pristine condition. It was a bit irksome to try pairing them to my iPhone, an experience definitely not on a par with that with my AirPods Pro. In addition, active noise cancellation is mediocre at best; sound leakage is noticeable; Dolby Atmos (spatial audio) is out of the question… But on the whole these earbuds are passable. I’d give a 3.5/5 rating for the sound quality, 2.5/5 for the connectivity, and 3/5 for the overall design (including the Galaxy Buds app).

Without doubt I’ll put them back in the box as soon as the new AirPods Pro hit the market.

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