[Interview] How the Comfortable Form of the Galaxy Buds Live Was Realized after 320 Mockups

It takes courage and perseverance to strike out along a path that has never been trodden before. Assigned with the task of developing the first ‘open-type’ wireless earbuds for the Galaxy line-up, the designers of the Galaxy Buds Live needed just this type of conviction to ensure they got the job done.

The designers of the Galaxy Buds Live. (From left) Mingyeong Jang, Youngsang Jang, Sangok Sohn, Tommy Choi, Yongseok Bang and Joonha Kim

Protracted observation and extensive user testing were required when it came to developing the next-generation Galaxy Buds Live, which take comfort to the next level. But what was the development journey like for the designers who were charged with creating this never-before-seen type of earbud?
Samsung Newsroom found out below.
Step 1: On a Quest to Find the New Samsung Form Factor

The Galaxy Buds Live are designed to meet the needs of users who want to enjoy a broad range of sounds. Whereas the previously released Galaxy Buds+ were ‘canal-type’ earbuds that catered to those seeking immersive listening experiences, the Galaxy Buds Live are open-type earbuds that can be worn comfortably for long periods of time, making them convenient for users who listen to music, watch videos, or make phone calls for extended periods. Designer Tommy Choi explained that, “Unlike canal-type earbuds, which can become uncomfortable for some when used for longer hours, open-type earbuds sit outside the user’s earflap, facilitating air circulation and providing more comfortable usability. We came up with the current design to satisfy a broad range of users and distinguish our earbuds from other products with their unique form factor,” he added.

Step 2: Tireless Tweaking for Broad-reaching Comfort

Rapid prototypes (left) and dummy prototypes (right) were developed to enhance comfortability. Small dots on the dummies mark which parts of the earbuds were covered when inserted into ears.

No matter how good their performance might be, users are likely to avoid using earphones that are uncomfortable. As the Galaxy Buds Live were developed to accompany users throughout their days, a lot of effort was put into ensuring they were as comfortable as possible. “During development, 80 earbud RPs (Rapid Prototypes) were developed to check the product’s optimal size, shape and specifications. We prepared a lot of RPs since even the tiniest difference in form could lead to huge changes in comfortability levels,” said designer Youngsang Jang.

The human ear comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, thus finding a fit that satisfies all presents a significant challenge. And this was especially true in the case of the Galaxy Buds Live, which underwent meticulous user testing to ensure they provided a comfortable fit to a broad range of users,...