What are Headphone Guides about?
Headphone Guides show you how to choose and use headphones.
Everything you need to know on how to choose and how to use headphones, Bluetooth headphones, noise-canceling headphones and AirPods alternatives, are covered in our headphone guides.
Headphone Guides @GadgetGuideOnline is an online community for sharing news, reviews, updates and guides on choosing and using headphones.
Headphone Guides will help you if you have questions on headphones, both new and seasoned users.
List of recent headphone guides
Here is the list of most recent headphone guides. The complete list of headphone guides can be found in Headphone Guides section.
When using (or planning to use) the earbuds for an extended period, you may want to know Galaxy Buds Live battery level to see whether you need to charge it now for continuous usage in the next few hours.
This Galaxy Buds Live guide explains 4 different ways to check Galaxy Buds Live battery level and the charging case battery level in both Android and iOS devices, including:
- Using Galaxy Wearable app (or Samsung Galaxy Buds app on iOS).
- Using LED colours in the charging case..
- From Bluetooth settings in Android devices.
- Using Galaxy Buds Live widget on Android devices (or the Battery widget in iOS devices).
Method 1: Check Galaxy Buds Live battery level and charging case battery level in Galaxy Wearable app (or Galaxy Buds app on iOS)
As explained in this guide, you can manage and customize Galaxy Buds Live in the Galaxy Wearable app (with the Galaxy Buds Live plugin).
In the app, you can also check the battery level of Galaxy Buds Live and the charging case, as shown in the screenshot below.
For example, as shown in the screenshot below, the L and R earbuds are fully charged (100%). The charging case has 55% battery left.
On iOS devices, the corresponding app is the Samsung Galaxy Buds app. You can find similar information, as shown in the screenshot below.
Of course, you can check the battery level of Galaxy Buds Live in the app only when the buds are connected to the device.
Method 2: Estimate Galaxy Buds Live battery level and charging case battery level from LED colours
If the buds are not connected to any devices, the only way to estimate Galaxy Buds Live battery level and charging case battery level is through the LED light colours.
When you open the charging case, the earbud battery indicator LED, as shown below, will light up automatically with 2 possible colours.
The LED light does not tell you exactly the better level. Instead, it tells you the charging “status” of the buds:
- Green. It means the buds are fully charged.
- Red. It means the buds are being charged.
- Flashing red, if charging is blocked due to abnormal temperatures.
- No light. It means the buds run out of
Although you can use the Galaxy Buds Live as standalone wireless earbuds, some settings and customization, as well as firmware updates, can only be performed through the Galaxy Wearable app on Android devices (or Galaxy Buds app on iPhone).
This Galaxy Buds Live guide explains how to use the Galaxy Buds Live plugin in the Galaxy Wearable app to manage, customize, and update Galaxy Buds Live. The feature differences between Galaxy Wearable for Android and Galaxy Buds for iPhone are also discussed.
What’s Galaxy Wearable? Why do you need it?
It is impractical for small gadgets like Galaxy Buds Live to configure all settings in the tiny space. So, you need an app to offload some of the functions from the buds.
Meanwhile, as standalone Bluetooth earbuds, there is no way to update the firmware. You need a “host” (or agent) to download the update and transfer it to the earbuds.
Galaxy Wearable is Samsung’s app to manage their wearables, including Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch. On iOS, the Galaxy Buds app supports a few selected buds (Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Live only, to be precise). In this guide, we will first focus on the Galaxy Wearable app. Galaxy Buds app will be briefly discussed later.
Each device, for example, Galaxy Buds Live, needs a plugin inside the Galaxy Wearable app. But you do not install these plugins manually. When you add a new device in Galaxy Wearable, the corresponding plugin will be installed automatically.
Galaxy Wearable is always pre-installed on all Galaxy devices (e.g., Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 20). So you do not need to install them. If you are using other Android phones, you have to install the app from the Play store.
How to use Galaxy Wearable to manage Galaxy Buds Live?
Galaxy Wearable (with Galaxy Buds Live plugin) lets you manage and customize Galaxy Buds live. For example,
- Connect (add) Galaxy Buds Live to the phone through Galaxy Wearable.
- Remove Galaxy Buds Live from the phone.
- Customize Galaxy Buds Live.
- Update Galaxy Buds Live firmware.
- Find/locate Galaxy Buds Live.
- Check battery level of the Galaxy Buds Live and the charging case.
Connect (add) Galaxy Buds Live to the phone
You can connect Galaxy Buds Live to the phone through Bluetooth settings.
The fastest way to adjust or control Galaxy Buds Live is to use touch control. You can pause, resume or skip music tracks by using the touch control on Galaxy Buds Live. You may also use touch control on Galaxy Buds Live to answer or reject calls.
This Galaxy Buds Live guide explains how to use touch control on Galaxy Buds Live to control music playing, answer or reject calls, and how to adjust the volume or customize the long tap gesture for the touch control on Galaxy Buds Live.
The touch control on Galaxy Buds Live is slightly different from that on Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds +, this guide applies to Galaxy Buds Live only.
What is the touch control on Galaxy Buds Live?
You can use different gestures in this area to control the media, answer or reject calls, and adjust settings for Galaxy Buds Live.
The location of the touch panel is around the top microphone, as illustrated in the picture below.
Galaxy Buds Live accepts single tap, double-tap, triple tap, and long-tap (tap and hold) gestures.
Because two buds (L and R) of Galaxy Buds Live can work alone, the gestures are always identical on both buds. Only the function (action) of the long-tap gesture can be customized.
Of course, you can disable touch control on Galaxy Buds Live (block touches) if you often accidentally touch the area.
How to use touch control on Galaxy Buds Live?
The functions (actions) of the 4 gestures are different depending on whether you are playing media or you are on a call.
By default, you only need to apply the gesture on one of the buds. The exception is the long-tap gesture, which may require you to apply it on both buds for some special functions.
The single tap gesture lets you pause (if currently playing) or resume (if currently paused) the music.
If you use the buds to read the messages and notifications, you can use the single tap gesture to stop the reading (text-to-speech).
Please note, unlike some other wireless earbuds, you cannot pick up (answer) a call using the single tap gesture. You need to use the double-tap … Read the rest
This Galaxy Buds Live guide explains the layout of Galaxy Buds Live, the function of each part, and how to use each part properly.
As the layout of Galaxy Buds Live is substantially different from that of Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+, this guide applies to Galaxy Buds Live only. For the layout of Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds+, please check this guide.
Why do you need to know the layout of Galaxy Buds Live?
While Galaxy Buds Live is simple to connect and use, it is a bit difficult to control it. For example, you may accidentally reject a call if you are not familiar with the location of the touch area.
It is also important to regularly check and clean the speaker vent and air duct of the buds so that Galaxy Buds Live always in the optimal state.
You should know the location of the microphones and antenna to avoid some possible interferences.
Anyway, it is worth spending a few minutes on getting to know the layout of Galaxy Buds Live if you want to get the optimal performance of the buds.
Inside layout of Galaxy Buds Live
On the inside layout of Galaxy Buds Live, you can find the following 6 parts, as illustrated in the picture below:
- Charging contacts.
- Wearing sensor.
- Speaker (vent).
- Microphone (inside).
- Airduct (inside).
We now explore them one by one.
1. Charging contacts
The two charging contacts are used to charge the buds when you put them on the charging case.
To charge the buds, you need to position the buds properly in the case so that the two contacts connect to the corresponding contact points inside the charging case.
If you mess up left and right buds in the case, the charging contacts will not match the contacts in the charging case. And therefore, the buds will not be charged although you close the case.
Many Galaxy Buds Live owners haven’t realized the existence of the wingtip. They are very small! But they do work as expected.
When you get the Galaxy Buds Live, … Read the rest
You should charge the Galaxy Buds Live properly to minimize the degradation of battery capacity.
This Galaxy Buds Live guide explains the 3 ways to charge Galaxy Buds Live battery: USB cable charging, wireless charging, and wireless PowerShare (charging with a Galaxy phone), and how to use them properly.
Galaxy Buds Buds Live (and other Galaxy Buds, including Galaxy Buds, Buds+, and Buds Pro) can only be charged by the charging case when you put the buds in the case. So, in this guide, when we say “charge Galaxy Buds Live battery”, we are referring to charge the Galaxy Buds Live charging case.
What are the 3 methods to charge Galaxy Buds Live battery?
You can charge Galaxy Buds Live battery (charging case) with 3 different methods:
- USB cable charging. You can charge the charging case with a normal USB wall charger, or the USB port on your PC.
- Wireless charging. You can put the charging case on the wireless charging pad to charge it.
- Wireless PowerShare. You can your Samsung Galaxy phones to charge the Galaxy Buds live.
We will explore them one by one.
Please note, the buds can only be charged by the case when it is positioned properly in the charging case. There is no way to charge the buds directly without the charging case.
If you want to check the battery level of the earbuds or the charging case, please check this guide.
How to charge Galaxy Buds Live through a USB cable?
To charge the buds with a USB cable, you may follow these steps.
Step 1: Make sure the buds are positioned properly in the case
The buds can only be changed if they are positioned properly in the case.
So, before connecting the charger, you should open the case and check the position of the buds, as shown below.
The metal charging contacts on the buds should align with the corresponding contacts in the charging case.
Step 2: Close the charging case
If the charging case is open, then the buds will NOT be charged.
So, if you need to charge the buds and the charging case simultaneously, then you must close the charging case, as shown in the picture below.
Anyway, you just remember to close the case when charging.
Step 3: Connect the USB cable to the USB-C port on the charging… Read the rest
With Galaxy S21, Samsung released the new wireless earbuds: Galaxy Buds Pro in January 2020 as an upgrade for Galaxy Buds+. This causes some confusions on Galaxy Buds’ lineup because Galaxy Buds Live (released with Galaxy Note 20 in August 2020) is also an upgrade for Galaxy Buds+. So, how about Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds Live?
This earbuds guide explains the new features of Galaxy Buds Pro (vs Galaxy Buds Live): traditional fit/shape, IPX7 rating, Voice Detect, ambient sound, 360 Audio, Auto Switch. Based on the comparison of Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds Live, you may also understand which earbuds are the right one to meet your needs.
The differences among Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds+, and Galaxy Buds were explained in detail here (Galaxy Buds Live vs Galaxy Buds+) and here (Galaxy Buds+ vs Galaxy Buds). The layout of Galaxy Buds Live can found here.
Galaxy Buds Pro and Galaxy Buds Live share similar active noise cancelling (ANC), similar battery life, similar audio quality, and similar microphone quality. This guide tries to highlight the new features of Galaxy Buds Pro vs Galaxy Buds Live.
Galaxy Buds Pro looks more like Galaxy Buds+ than the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live.
The more traditional ear tip design offers a better seal for the earbuds sound from the ambient noise. You can choose the ear tip of different sizes to fit your ear. It also makes active noise cancelling more effective.
But some users may feel it less comfortable compared to Galaxy Buds Live.
The bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live is usually more comfortable for wearing for a long time. But it seems a few owners find the Galaxy Buds Live does not fit their ears well and therefore it may cause pains. The wingtip on Galaxy Buds Live offers minor support, and many owners are not aware of different sizes of wingtips in the box.
Anway, Galaxy Buds Pro returned to the traditional shape and improved the fit and comfort over Galaxy Buds+.
Galaxy Buds Pro improved water-resistant and has an IPX7 rating, which means Galaxy Buds Pro is waterproof and can be submerged in water at a depth of one meter for 30 minutes. This matches water-resistant of Jabra Elite Sport, which is one of the best sports earbuds.
So, it is safe to wear the Galaxy Buds Pro … Read the rest
The added active nosing cancelling (ANC) makes Samsung Galaxy Buds Live a direct and serious competitor to Apple AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3.
This headphone guide explains the new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Live (vs Galaxy Buds Plus), and how Galaxy Buds Live stands against Apple AirPods Pro to help you choose a pair of proper wireless earbuds.
Galaxy Buds Live vs Galaxy Buds Plus: the new features of improvements
Galaxy Buds Live share many similar features and controls with Galaxy Buds Plus (Galaxy Buds +). For example, both buds share the 2-way dynamic speaker system tuned by AKG, 3-microphone array, touch panel control, Spotify integration, Qi wireless charging and wireless PowerShare charging. The plugins for these two buds in Galaxy Wearables are very similar as well.
But Galaxy Buds Live comes with some improvements and new features that cannot be found in Galaxy Buds Plus.
In this post, we will focus on these differences.
The No.1 new feature of Galaxy Buds Live is the active noise cancelling (ANC).
Samsung claimed that Galaxy Buds Live received UL Verification for reducing background noise by up to 97% in low-frequency bands.
It is an overstatement, although ANC on the buds is comparable to other wireless earbuds.
In the real world, the top-tier consumer ANC over-ear headphones (e.g., Sony WH-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort 35) can reduce about 70-90% background low-frequency noise. Wireless earbuds with ANC normally can only reduce about 40-70% noise.
Galaxy Buds Live adopts the open-type design. The buds do not try to create a sealed environment in the ear canal. Instead, there are air vents on the buds so that you will feel quite comfortable even if you wear the buds for extended periods.
Most other wireless earbuds with ANC need silicon (or foam) tips to create a sealed space. For example, both Apple AirPod Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3 use silicon tips to help noise cancelling. But for most people, the seal will cause pain and is uncomfortable … Read the rest
This sports earbuds guide explains everything you need to know about the Jabra Elite Sport: the outstanding (and unique) features (a no-nonsense review of Jabra Elite Sport), items in the box, the layout of the Jabra Elite Sport buds and the charging case/base, how to use the buttons to control Jabra Elite Sport, how to charge the buds and charging case, how to wear the earbuds properly, how to pair the buds with mobile devices, how to reset the earbuds, how to use HearThrough and SideTone.
For owners of the Jabra Elite Sport, this guide will show you how to use the main features properly and answer questions you may have about the earbuds. For readers who are considering this product, this guide will help you make informed decisions when purchasing a new pair of sports earbuds.
Fitness-focused features of Jabra Elite Sport (A concise review of Jabra Elite Sport)
As one of our favourite sports earbuds, Jabra Elite Sport has some outstanding fitness-focused features.
Heart rate monitor
Jabra Elite Sport has a heart rate monitor. Most importantly, it is quite accurate if you wear the buds correctly.
So, if you need a heart rate monitor with your wireless earbuds, your choice is actually very limited. And this Jabra Elite Sport wireless earbuds probably is the best choice.
Ther built-in tri-axis accelerometer can track your walking or jog very accurately.
Of course, if you want to track or map your run, you need to use GPS on the phone through the Jabra Sport Life app (or some other supported fitness tracking apps).
You can also track reps for some exercises with the Jabra Sport Life app.
You can get “personalized” real-time audio coaching through the Sport Life app.
You can watch the video illustration for some cross-training activities on the phone. It’s beneficial for owners who didn’t have a coach before.
VO2 max measurement
Galaxy Buds+ (Galaxy Buds Plus) may look physically similar (almost identical) to the 2019 version of Samsung Galaxy Buds. But there are many new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus (vs Galaxy Buds).
This wireless earbuds guide explains the five best new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus: longer battery life (11-hour non-stop playtime ), 2-way speaker. 3-microphone system, Spotify integration, and the Galaxy Buds+ app for iOS.
Although Galaxy Buds Plus was announced together with Galaxy S20, it works with all Android devices with Android 5 (Andriod Lollipop) or newer versions and most iOS devices. You can also use Galaxy Buds Plus as a universal Bluetooth headphone on almost all platforms with Bluetooth audio support.
Longer battery life: the best improvement of Galaxy Buds Plus
Samsung Galaxy Buds already has a decent battery time. You can use the buds for about 6 hours in one charge. The charging case offers an additional 6 hours of playtime.
Now, Samsung further improved the battery life for the Galaxy Buds+ for about 50%.
You can continuously use the Galaxy Buds+ for more than 11 hours in one charge. The charging base gives another 11+ hours.
In addition to the longer battery life, Samsung Galaxy Buds+ also charges faster. You can use the Galaxy Buds+ for one hour after charging it for 3 minutes. As a comparison, you need to charge the Galaxy Buds 15 mins to get a battery life of 100 mins.
Anyway, no other wireless earbuds can match the battery life of Galaxy Buds Plus currently. We consider the longer battery life is one of the best new features and improvements of Galaxy Buds Plus.
The tiny Galaxy Buds+ now features 2-way speaker, which is seldom found in other wireless earbuds.
The combination of a woofer for the low and mid-range sound and a tweeter for high-frequency sound technically can significantly improve the sound quality, if tuned properly.
It seems the best (balanced) sound quality can be achieved when you set the equalizer to dynamic for Galaxy Buds Plus.
If you choose the equalizer to normal, it … Read the rest
AirPods Pro is the lastest wireless earbuds offered by Apple. It complements AirPods 2 in the high-end market with some useful new features.
This wireless earbuds guide explains the top 10 new features of AirPods Pro (compared to AirPods 2): active noise canceling (ANC), wireless charging, in-ear design, transparency mode, force sensor, adaptive EQ, Sweat and water resistance with IPX4 rating, ear tip test, secure fit, and a $249 price tag.
Please note, the direct competitor to AirPods Pro is Sony WF-1000XM3, which offers better noise-cancelling and better audio quality (at $229). Samsung Galaxy Buds Live offers similar features with a lower price tag. Samsung Gallaxy Buds+ offers better battery life and cheaper price. Jabra Elite Sport offers a heart rate monitor and a companion workout app (Jabra Sport Life).
#1.Active noise canceling (ANC): the best new feature of AirPods Pro
As explained in this guide in detail, active noise canceling (ANC) uses special sound waves to cancel the ambient noise and therefore gives you immersive and quite listening experience.
Bose and Sony are the indisputable industrial leaders in ANC for consumer headphones. It is unclear whether Apple licensed some technology from third parties or developed their own ANC technology in-house.
If you compare AirPods Pro with Sony WF-1000XM3, Sony is a clear winner in most situations. Please do NOT compare AirPods Pro with the first generation of WF-1000, whose noise canceling was a failure.
Anyway, for many Apple users, ANC is probably new to them. They will enjoy this feature gradually.
#2. Transparency mode
Transparency mode is the opposite of noise canceling. In this mode, you can hear clearly outside without removing the AirPods Pro from the ears.
You can use the force sensor (read on) to switch between noise canceling and transparency mode instantly.
In fact, all noise-canceling earbuds and headphones have this feature.
#3. New in-ear design
Enjoy your headphone!