Browse all

How Samsung's Buds Live want to change the world of wireless headphones

With its new Beans, the South Korean company has launched the challenge to Apple

How Samsung's Buds Live want to change the world of wireless headphones With its new Beans, the South Korean company has launched the challenge to Apple

The world of technology has always witnessed battles between companies and brands in eternal competition to grab the last slice of the market. A tradition born with the struggle of home video between Betamax and VHS, passed to the world of video games with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and arrived at smartphones with the competition between Apple and Samsung.

The latest battlefield of the two tech giants is that of wireless headphones, which has been dominated by the Cupertino company for years thanks to the enormous technological and cultural weight of its AirPods. More than a simple pair of headphones, thanks to its design and the name that accompanies it, the made in Apple product has quickly turned into a real symbol to use and show off beyond their real use. And it is precisely from the design that Samsung has decided to start to make its Buds Live, renamed Beans for the innovative shape that, in addition to reminiscent of a bean, makes them unique and different from the competition. Designed to fit your ear, the Buds Live have a simple look that allows the headset to disappear, immediately underlining a clear difference with the Apple product. If the AirPods have become an important accessory to be included in an outfit, the Samsung Beans go in the opposite direction, preferring comfort and simplicity to flamboyance.

Features which are accompanied by the other features of the Beans, which in addition to having a sound quality in line with the Apple standard, guarantees a battery life superior to that of the AirPods. Remaining in the field of performance, the only point where the Buds Live seem to suffer is the cancellation of the sound, a feature that judging by user feedback would seem a step backwards compared to that of the Apple competition. But net of a technical sector of note, the lead designer Yongseok Bang and his team worked two years to create a product that was not the ninth copy of the Apple design, looking for a compromise between an attractive look and performance that would satisfy Samsung. Over 2000 people lent their ears to find the final design of the Beans, passing through a very long series of shapes and sizes that at a stage of development also included the idea of a bean-shaped case.

But will all this be enough to undermine Apple's hegemony? Last year the Wall Street Journal questioned the real status of the AirPods, a symbol of generation breakup but above all of millennial wealth. An accessory with a price range capable of cutting out a part of potential buyers (€ 279 for the AirPods Pro) but not making it prohibitive for another, an object of desires capable of splitting the world of smartphone users in two. Because if on the one hand luxury brands such as Burberry and Gucci did not miss the opportunity to launch cases of any shape and size on the market, on the other there is a slice of the public faithful to their wired headphones and not at all eager to own a pair of AirPods. This is probably where Samsung could look for its new audience, relying on the attractive but not flashy design of its Buds Live and the willingness to diversify of an audience in search of the real novelty.

The Galaxy Buds Live are available online and in-store with a retail price of € 189.