It takes a lot of courage to go back to the drawing board and completely change the design of a product line that already enjoys relative success. Nevertheless, Samsung had done just that with its latest Galaxy Buds Live earbuds. It took a risk, it abandoned the existing Galaxy Buds+ formula in favor of a unique design, and this appears to have paid off. At the very least, the company has seemingly managed to reach its goal of creating a pair of earbuds that’s more comfortable to wear by a lot more other people.
Samsung explained in a recent interview what went into designing the Galaxy Buds Live and what it took to reach the final form. As simple as the earbuds’ bean shape seems on the surface, Samsung created no fewer than 80 earbud rapid prototypes (RP) and 320 mockups during development before realizing the final Galaxy Buds Live design.
A clear goal in mind: Comfort
The reason why Samsung went through so many design iteration was that it wanted to create a comfortable pair of earbuds that would meet the needs of users who want to enjoy a broad range of sounds. The company had realized that canal-type earbuds, such as the Galaxy Buds+, offer a more immersive listening experience but can become uncomfortable after wearing them for longer time periods. This can lead to an odd scenario wherein users might want to avoid using their earbuds even if sound quality is top-notch.
The Galaxy Buds Live aimed to address that issue even at a small cost of sound isolation – something we mentioned in our review. The human ear comes in different shapes and sizes and at least one compromise had to be made in order to create a set of earbuds that would fit comfortably in the ears of as many potential buyers as possible.
Each early Galaxy Buds Live prototype was tested with the purpose of honing the design to improve comfort, and according to Samsung, setting the standard for comfort was the most difficult part. The company tested the Galaxy Buds Live on around 2000 subjects. When eight out of ten subjects responded positively to the design, the company wanted to make sure that the next design iteration would satisfy the remaining two subjects without compromising the experience of the eight.
Samsung created 30 rapid prototypes for the charging case
The Galaxy Buds Live are accompanied by a new charging case and it, too, was redesigned. Samsung explored different shapes and even considered reflecting the Galaxy Buds Live’s bean shape onto the case itself. It created 30 rapid prototypes for the new charging case, and in the end, it settled on a square case with rounded edges.
But the thought process behind the shape of the final product wasn’t necessarily the same as with the earbuds themselves. According to designed Youngsang Jang, the Galaxy Buds Live look almost like jewelry so the idea was to create a case that would somewhat resemble a jewelry box.
Lastly, the Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White color options were chosen to match the company’s other products unveiled at Galaxy Unpacked 2020. Also worthy of note is that the Galaxy Buds Live innovate in terms of the materials they are comprised of, as they were made using 20% recycled post-consumer materials.