Galaxy buds live: Samsung Galaxy Buds Live | Wireless Earbuds

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review

Someone get the can opener, because the beans are in. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live attracts plenty of attention for its kidney bean-shaped earbuds and unsealed fit. These open-fit active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds stand out from the crowd, but perhaps Samsung bit off more than it could chew with the Galaxy Buds Live. We spent a week with the Galaxy Buds Live to learn everything you need to know before buying. It’s time to grab your spoons, and dig in.

Editor’s note: this Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review was updated on May 12, 2023, to address 360 Audio support on the Galaxy Buds Live and expand the Alternatives section.

About this Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review: We tested the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live over one week with a Samsung Galaxy S10e. At the time, the earbuds ran firmware version R180XXU0ATG5. Samsung provided this unit for review.

Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners will benefit the most from the Galaxy Buds Live, thanks to Samsung Scalable Codec support and Wireless PowerShare. Plus, anyone considering the AirPods (3rd generation) should get this instead since it fits more securely.

What are the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live like to use?

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

Opening the charging case for the first time felt like digging into a new pair of earrings.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live looks luxurious but remains simple to use. Your first interaction with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live isn’t with the earbuds; instead, the experience starts with the squared-off, plastic charging case. Don’t let the material choice turn you off to the buds, though: it has a nice sheen and semi-matte finish that makes it enjoyable to use, especially compared to the glossy veneer of the Galaxy Buds Plus. No buttons exist on the or in the case, just two LEDs to indicate the case and earbuds’ respective battery levels.

Each half of the jewelry box-inspired charging case has a lip that makes it very easy to open the case with one or both hands. Samsung added an extra reflective finish to the Mystic Bronze color variant, but the Mystic Black, Mystic White, and Mystic Red options are treated with the same glossy finish. When I open the case, it feels like I’m unboxing a pair of earrings or a ring box.

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

Each earbud is absolutely packed with sensors and vents.

Magnets keep the earbuds in place, which allows me to be imprecise about dropping the buds into their cutouts. Sometimes I need to push the earbuds up so the contacts touch the pin connectors for charging, though.

Now, onto the earbuds. They’re shaped like beans, and don’t look like they will stay in place, but they always do. The Galaxy Buds Live buds stay in my ears during various exercises like rock climbing and running. No matter how much I jump or shake my head, these buds stay in place.

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

You may need to shove part of the earbud a bit more into your ear canal than the manual suggests.

They aren’t always comfortable, though. The one-size-fits-all approach is nice in theory, but leaves many of us unsatisfied. After 90 minutes, I have to remove the earbuds because my outer ears become sore. This happens whether I use the small or large-sized ear stays.

To properly fit the Galaxy Buds Live, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the left and right earbuds.
  2. Locate the bottom, inward-facing part of one earbud.
  3. The bottom should face down as you slide it into your ear canal.
  4. Rotate the top of the earbud so it rests firmly against your upper ear (concha).
  5. Make sure the external mics are still visible (you may need a mirror)
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 with the other earbud.

If the buds are falling out after you’ve tried these steps, you may need to try a different-sized ear stay. There’s a learning curve to correctly wearing the earbuds, but soon it becomes automatic. If you’re unsure of how to install the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, Samsung provides directions on how to wear them in the Galaxy Wearable application.

How do you control the Galaxy Buds Live?

Touch panels make it easy to operate controls without reaching for your phone, and someone out there is could be excited to know that direct voice access to Bixby is here.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live chipped away at my skepticism and proved to be a fine pair of buds for the right consumer.

Non-Samsung users can control media playback, make volume adjustments, and toggle noise-canceling all from the headset. The inward-facing IR sensors also detect when the earbuds are in and out of your ears, allowing auto-pause functionality. To resume playback, you must tap either earbud. Automatic ear detection isn’t the Galaxy Buds’ strong suit, and pales compared to the OnePlus Buds’ response time. If you want to remap any of the controls or delve further into the earphones’ feature set, get the companion app.

Should you get the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app?

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

You can use the Galaxy Wearable app for the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live and Buds Plus.

The Samsung Galaxy Wearable app (Android) or Galaxy Buds app (iOS) is worth downloading if only for firmware update access. You may also select from six EQ presets (Normal, Bass boost, Soft, Dynamic, Clear, and Treble boost), remap the touch controls, enable incoming notifications to be read aloud, toggle hands-free Bixby access on/off, and enter the Galaxy Labs tab where Samsung stores experimental features.

iOS and Android users can access their respective apps, but some features are limited to Android (e.g., Spotify Tap and notification readouts). Only Samsung Galaxy devices support hands-free, direct Bixby access and Samsung 360 Audio with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. 360 Audio is Samsung’s take on spatial audio, a virtualized 360-degree surround sound experience. With this, movies sound more immersive, but the Galaxy Buds Live doesn’t get head tracking like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Galaxy Labs is where you’ll find Gaming mode, which minimizes audio-visual lag, perfect for gaming and video streaming. Labs also has an ambient sound option to mitigate that clogged-ear feeling. Of course, you can also update the earbuds’ software and take a guided tour of your earbuds via the illustrated user manual.

What Bluetooth codecs does the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live support?

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live supports mono listening.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live uses Bluetooth 5. 0, streamlining the pairing process with Android devices running Android 5.0 and later, much like the Google Pixel Buds A-Series. All you have to do to pair the earbuds is enable Bluetooth on your Android smartphone, and open the charging case. A pop-up card will appear and read, “My Galaxy Buds Live” at the top. Once you tap “Connect,” a connection will then establish between your smartphone and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.

Streamlined pairing processes like this make wireless headsets accessible. Even the least tech-savvy among us can use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live right out of the box with little effort.

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

As long as Bluetooth is enabled on your Android phone, the Galaxy Buds Live will send a pop-up request to initiate pairing.

The Galaxy Buds Live supports SBC and AAC, which is good news for iPhone users interested in these earbuds. The earbuds also use Samsung’s Scalable Codec. Rather than hopping between static streaming rates, the Scalable Codec operates on a sliding scale from 96-512kbps. It balances sound quality and connection stability, so listeners using a Samsung device experience few, if any, connection hiccups.

Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Buds lineup still doesn’t support Bluetooth multipoint. You do, however, get automatic device switching between Samsung source devices, so long as they’re all connected under the same Samsung account.

Pairing the Bluetooth earbuds with an iPhone is more involved but easy nonetheless.

  1. Enable Bluetooth on your iPhone.
  2. Open the charging case.
  3. Select “Galaxy Buds Live” from the list of available devices in your iPhone’s Bluetooth menu.
  4. A connection will then establish between your iPhone and the earbuds.

To enter pairing mode directly from the onboard touch controls, tap and hold both touch panels simultaneously until a beep resonates. Then, follow the steps for your respective device.

Absent aptX support isn’t as big of a deal as you might expect

Although the absence of aptX support is disappointing, its presence wouldn’t have made much of a practical difference: high-quality Bluetooth codecs require all of the basics to be optimized first. In other words, you need to achieve a proper fit with a seal between the earbuds and your ear canal. Music is subjected to plenty of auditory masking: loud external sounds make it hard to perceive relatively quiet sounds, and even quiet ones will impact sound quality to varying degrees.

Any detail gained by using a high-quality Bluetooth codec to stream your music (compared to SBC) would be rendered null because environmental noise masks music detail. In this particular instance, AAC, SBC, and the Samsung Scalable Codec are fine for sound quality purposes; no high-quality codec will magically make the audio from the Galaxy Buds Live make you forget an audiophile setup.

How good is the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live?

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

Samsung hasn’t announced any plan to optimize battery life as Apple has with iOS 14.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live lasted 5 hours, 15 minutes on a single charge with noise canceling enabled. Our testing methodology subjects every audio product to the same rigors: a constant output of real music peaking at 75dB(SPL) until battery depletion. If you listen at quieter volumes, you’ll get closer to the specified 6-hour playtime from the earphones. Quick charging the earbuds takes just five minutes for one hour of listening.

Listeners who plan to listen with ANC exclusively enabled will enjoy an additional two and a half charge cycles from the branded case. Disabling ANC entirely affords approximately 8 hours of standalone playtime and 2.63 extra charge cycles. Samsung’s case retains wireless charging capabilities and is Qi wireless compliant. You may also top up the case directly from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone via Wireless PowerShare.

The constant deplete-and-recharge nature of wireless batteries exacerbates this decrease in capacity. Most of us place the earbuds back in the case when we’re not using them. While this makes for a convenient organizational tool, it also means the earbuds are always charging to 100%, and rarely hitting 0%. Right now, most totally wireless earbuds have an expiration date before the two-year mark.  With that in mind, be sure to adjust your budget for earphones accordingly.

Apple is attempting to soften this issue with software: its iOS update now instructs the AirPods line of earbuds to communicate with the case, preventing them from charging beyond 80% capacity, until you plan to use them. This slows down the degradation process by learning your usage habits. If you consistently listen to your earbuds on the train to and from work during the week, the earbuds will only top up in preparation for that event. That’s just one example of the technology which will become familiar with each user’s habits over time.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live noise canceling works

Because testing an unsealed ear necessarily introduces a type of selection bias, we’ve opted to hold off on publishing measurements on the ANC performance of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live. Instead we will post scores, but no charts. We absolutely do not want this kind of thing passed around until we can verify a range of reasonably representative outcomes in normal use. The problem is twofold: because the earphones don’t seal the ear, a number of variables we can’t control (like the size and shape of your ear, distance of the Buds to your ear canal, etc.) will dramatically change the performance for you—much more so than earphones that seal the ear canal. Because whatever chart we posted would not reflect your experience, its utility is very limited here.

While the noise canceling doesn’t meet the hubristic claim of muting 0-600Hz frequencies, the technology quiets low frequencies to the point where they sound about half as loud as they would without ANC enabled. The ability to dispel low frequencies without a proper seal is no small achievement: having an unsealed ear canal makes it nearly impossible to combat outside noise in real time. Let’s not mince words—the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live’s noise canceling performance is nowhere near the best, but it is impressive considering the conditions it operates under. The software has to work much harder to reduce background noise without the help of good passive isolation.

Samsung braved new ground with its earbuds, and took a risk in a time when everyone is following Apple’s lead.

The noise canceling performance is impressive given the conditions, but there’s no getting around the fact that passive isolation is the cornerstone of all the best canceling headsets, and that requires a proper seal to form between the earbuds and your ear canal. If a seal doesn’t form, well, that introduces outside noise to your music. No matter how effective a noise cancellation system is, it can’t completely make up for a tenuous fit.

I prefer traditional noise canceling earbuds, but understand the Galaxy Buds Live’s appeal most when walking around. I enjoy hearing my surroundings without software passthrough, which usually sounds unnatural and grating. Even then, I don’t notice a big difference between enabling and disabling noise-canceling though.

You can learn about the ins and outs of feedforward and feedback noise canceling, but all you have to know from this Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review is that noise canceling works, but will not mute your surroundings.

How does the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live sound?

Bass notes sound twice as loud as midrange notes, which makes it hard to hear detail from music.

Sound quality is okay from the Galaxy Buds Live, but again: your mileage will vary based on fit, outside noise, and other consequences of an unsealed ear canal. The AKG-tuned 12mm dynamic drivers have a consumer-friendly sound that handles popular genres of music like hip-hop, pop, and rock, but we suggest playing around with the app if you find that the sound isn’t what you want out of the box. This is not an audiophile product given its likely use, but not everyone needs a set of high-performance audio products when they’re out and about.

We’ll caution you again to take any charts posted of the measurements with a truckload of salt, because the nature of an unsealed ear canal means that the fit can’t be controlled for. However, the most repeatable result is shown above. On top of that, you’re unlikely to hear your music quite as the chart depicts because of how auditory masking works: the loud external noises of your environment make it hard to process the sounds from your music. This happens because our brains have limited bandwidth for auditory processing, prioritizing threatening sounds (e.g., a screeching car, or a roommate washing dishes) over quieter ones (e.g., music playback). Our brains do this to survive, but it can make it difficult to enjoy music to the fullest when out and about.

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus (left) has ear tips that help block out background noise more reliably than the Galaxy Buds Live.

The sound is good for general consumers and aligns with what we’re accustomed to hearing: amplified bass and high notes. Bass emphasis isn’t as egregious as I expected it to be, though voices are hard to hear during instrumentally busy parts of any song like choruses.

When you’re listening to your music out on the street, or even as your roommate loads up the washing machine, clarity will be lost; your brain will be more focused on picking up those external, loud sounds than on parsing apart tonal resonances.

These bean-shaped buds stay in my ears while exercising—which doesn’t happen when I wear the Apple AirPods.

That said, the familiar sound will attract listeners of all sorts. Bass emphasis like this actually helps your ability to drown out noise near you, given that at your ear canal they’re about one and a half times louder than low-midrange notes, which masks some musical detail. How AKG tuned these 12mm dynamic drivers won’t give you a surgically-accurate representation of what your music sounds like, but it’s a pretty typical sound target for consumer audio products. If you usually buy your audio products from big box stores, you’ll be at home with this kind of sound that plays kindly with pop, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Lows, mids, and highs

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

Samsung’s Galaxy Wearable app differs from other companies’ headphone applications.

Angie McMahon’s song Slow Mover begins with a C-F chord riff on electric guitar, and then on the upstroke of the strumming pattern, string-muting is audible, but just barely. This sound is relayed very clearly through the AKG K371 headphones. What’s more, the reverb effect from the guitar amp is also tough to hear when listening to Slow Mover.

McMahon’s low register is reproduced well enough, and her voice sounds clear. To hear this, skip to 1:26, as she sings, “He thinks we can make it work.” Here her pitch raises at the end of the word “work,” and you can hear the squeak of the letter -k. Throughout most of the song, vocal detail is hard to hear over the accompanying instruments. It’s easy to forget the voice is a string instrument with resonances that fall victim to the Galaxy Buds Live open-type design. Highs are difficult for me to discern during the song’s chorus, too, particularly cymbal hits at 1:58.

How good is the microphone on the Galaxy Buds Live?

All frequencies are relayed with relatively equal loudness, but the sound comes out a bit “hollow.”

Microphone quality is excellent, as Samsung used an advanced array with its noise canceling true wireless earbuds. Each earbud is decked out with internal hardware, including three microphones. Two of the microphones are beamforming, and the third is an inward-facing voice pickup unit; this is a fancy name for an accelerometer that detects vibrations from your jawbone and uses bone conduction to turn them into audio signals. All of this combines to transmit clear audio while rejecting background noise. Microphone quality is one of those things that improves over time with firmware updates, so I expect this will only get better as the months pass.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live microphone demo (Non-standardized):

How does the microphone sound to you?

5861 votes

Background noise rejection is pretty good when inside, but like all embedded microphone systems, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live struggle with combating wind noise. If you like to pass personal calls by going on walks, make sure you check the weather first. A gust of wind may not be so loud to you but could irritate your friend on the other end of the call.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live?

Lily Katz / SoundGuys

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live appears refined, but doesn’t deliver when it comes to noise canceling and sound quality.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live warrants much of the gathered attention but may not be worth buying. Before purchasing, consider the pros and cons: do you really want noise canceling that only works a little bit? Technologically, it’s very impressive, but its functionality doesn’t seem as versatile as Samsung’s marketing claims. When using the earbuds, I miss my Nothing Ear 1 earbuds, or Shure AONIC 50 noise canceling headphones.

Had the earbuds been billed as a non-noise canceling pair of open-type buds, I’d be more eager to recommend them: they’d be more affordable and less gimmicky. Still, Samsung deserves credit for its Hail Mary attempt at innovation, and these are the only open-type pair of earbuds that work for my ears. There are still some people who will be drawn to the buds, and that’s great, so long as you go in with the proper expectations of the noise canceling capabilities and limitations.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Great connectivity • Fast charging • Excellent microphone



Keep aware of your surroundings

The Galaxy Buds Live sound good and feature an excellent microphone. Active noise canceling is efficient, and the open-ear design lets you keep aware of your surroundings.

See price at Amazon

Save $52.99

See price at Samsung

Save $90.00

See price at Best Buy

Save $90.00

Should you get the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro or Galaxy Buds 2 instead of the Galaxy Buds Live?

Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys

If you want similar performance at a reduced cost, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are worth a look.

If you want a different pair of Samsung earbuds, get the Galaxy Buds 2 or Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The Galaxy Buds 2 ($89 at Amazon) has slightly better noise canceling than the now-discontinued Galaxy Buds Pro, but the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($214 at Amazon) has the best ANC in Samsung’s lineup. All Galaxy Buds 2 series buds support Samsung 360 Audio and an in-app ear tip fit test. Unlike the Galaxy Buds Live, both pairs of buds seal to the ears, so you’ll get better sound, isolation, and fit than the bean-shaped buds.

What should you get instead of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live?

The silicone loop fins are really important for getting a secure fit.

The Sony LinkBuds ($178 at Amazon) is another pair of true wireless earbuds with an open-type fit. Similar to the Galaxy Buds Live, the LinkBuds serves to keep you connected to your world, while allowing you to stay entertained with music or podcasts. Unlike the Galaxy Buds Live, however, the LinkBuds has an IPX4 rating, and the case doesn’t support wireless charging. You’ll likely find the LinkBuds more comfortable than the Galaxy Buds Live due to the interchangeable ear wings and more stable fit, but both pairs of buds are more comfortable than the AirPods.

If you’re set on getting open-ear headphones, consider bone conduction headphones like the Shokz OpenRun. This costs $129 at Amazon and is one of the more durable headsets on the market with an IP67 rating. You’ll hear everything around you while listening to music, and this type of headphone works well with certain kinds of hearing aids.

Listeners who want great noise canceling shouldn’t even consider the Galaxy Buds Live. Instead, get Sony WF-1000XM4 ($195 at Amazon), Google Pixel Buds Pro ($149 at Amazon), or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds ($189.99 at Amazon)—all of which fit most consumers well and have much better ANC than the Galaxy Buds Live. Bose’s earbuds are a bit bulkier than Sony’s, but you might find them more comfortable and better for exercise thanks to the StayHear Max ear and wing tips.

Frequently asked questions about the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus is the same price, or cheaper, than the Galaxy Buds Live, and outperforms the Galaxy Buds Live when it comes to sound quality, fit, and battery life. Our same testing recorded 11 hours, 44 minutes of playtime with the Galaxy Buds Plus which runs circles around the ANC earbuds’ battery life, even with ANC off. The old earbuds lack noise canceling, but do a better job of mitigating high-frequency sounds.

You can customize the controls, EQ the sound, and more through the Galaxy Wearable app; and the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus case supports Wireless PowerShare and quick charging. Microphone quality is a hair better with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, though. For the best value within the Samsung family, get the Galaxy Buds Plus.

One of the easiest ways to fix connection issues with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live (or any Bluetooth headset for that matter) is to reset the connection. To do this, go into your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings, and select the options next to the Galaxy Buds Live. Select “Forget this device.” You’re then ready to begin the pairing process as if the Galaxy Buds Live were never associated with your smartphone.

The trouble with personal audio products that don’t create a seal is that anyone around you can hear your music too if it’s loud enough. Of course, it won’t be very loud, but it’s still audible if you’re close enough or it’s quiet enough where you’re listening. This is one of the reasons we generally avoid recommending this type of product if you want to listen in a noisy environment.

Samsung’s quirky Galaxy Buds Live are the ultimate noise-cancelling Prime Day 2023 steal

Released all the way back in 2020 with a decidedly unconventional design and a pretty great list of features, the Galaxy Buds Live are somehow still around despite the discontinuation of Samsung’s younger Galaxy Buds Pro, for instance.

By no means the overall best wireless earbuds you can buy in 2023 (or the best-looking alternative to Apple’s industry-leading AirPods), these puppies are extremely hard to turn down at a new record high discount of 57 percent from a $149.99 list price in a grand total of four different paint jobs. Alternatively, you can get a pair at Best Buy at an even better deal. The online retailer offers these tiny beans for just $54.99 if you don’t mind buying refurbished.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

True Wireless Earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation, AKG-Tuned 12mm Speaker, Enhanced Bass Tone, Three Microphones, Up to 29 Hours of Battery Life, Always-On Voice Assistance, Wireless Charging Case, Multiple Colors, Prime Membership Required

$85 off (57%)

Geek Squad Certified Refurbished Galaxy Buds Live – 67% OFF

Enjoy clear, detailed sound with these refurbished Mystic Black Samsung Galaxy Buds Live true wireless earbuds. Now at an amazing price with 67% off.

$95 off (63%)

Whether you’re thinking of going with a more “straightforward” black or white colorway or a flashier bronze or red hue, Amazon will let you save a whopping 85 bucks with a Prime membership today and tomorrow. It’s perhaps needless to say that this killer Prime Day 2023 deal makes the Galaxy Buds Live more affordable than ever before, as well as cheaper than quite possibly all noise-cancelling options from all of the wireless audio industry’s major players.

Samsung’s even older Galaxy Buds+ do still undercut the Buds Live at Walmart sans the love-it-or-hate-it kidney bean-inspired design but also without state-of-the-art active noise cancellation technology.

If it’s important for you to be able to completely isolate yourself from everything that’s around you while listening to your favorite tunes and you want to keep your spending to a minimum, this is definitely the ideal Prime Day headphone offer right now and you should not waste another second before pulling the trigger.

The Galaxy Buds Live, mind you, come with extraordinary battery life and premium AKG sound in addition to top-notch noise-cancelling capabilities, not to mention IPX2 water resistance and native support for both Android and iOS. If they didn’t look so… weird, they would probably be the absolute greatest budget wireless earbuds available today (and tomorrow). Even so, it’s not easy to snub this outstanding deal, is it? For more bargains, check out:

Our top 3 list of the best Prime Day phone offers right now

Pixel 7 Pro: save $250 right now at Amazon with this sweet Prime Day deal

Amazon’s giving you the opportunity to save $250 on the latest and greatest Google flagship, the Pixel 7 Pro. The biggest discount is on the 128GB version, but you can get 25% off the 256GB model as well. Alternatively, you can enjoy 23% off the 512GB model if you want a bit more wiggle room with the storage.

$250 off (28%)

Galaxy S23 Ultra $350 OFF Prime Day discount

Enter the world of the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the 256 GB model for $850! If you are confident that you want more storage, you can get the 512 GB variant for a full $400 off ($980)! Get this premium flagship by Samsung now at a very good price thanks to this Prime Day offer and enjoy stellar performance, one of the best camera phones on the market, and the Samsung flagship experience!

$350 off (29%)

Galaxy Z Fold 4: save an epic $700 with generous Prime Day offer

This generous Prime Day deal discounts the Z Fold 4 by a generous $700 right now. If you’ve wanted to get this fancy foldable, but the price has been tipping you off, Prime Day has come to solve the issue! This phone is now available for regular ‘vanilla’ flagship phone money. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to get an eye-catching foldable! Keep in mind that not all colors are in stock anymore, so hurry!

$700 off (39%)

Pebble in the Sky read online Isaac Asimov (Page 9)

Chapter 6

Night Terrors

The Steward’s palace looked as fabulous by night as by day. Garlands of curly evening flowers (brought to Earth) opened their white buds, filling the entire palace with a delicate aroma. In the polarized light of the moon, artificial gems, skillfully soldered into the ornament on the walls of the building, gave a slight purple shimmer against the background of a metallic sheen.

Enus looked at the stars and admired them as part of the world to which he belonged. Above the Earth there was an ordinary sky, which did not have that indescribable beauty of the skies of the central worlds, where the stars were so dense that the darkness of the night was almost absent from their radiance. Neither did he have the peculiar splendor of the frontier worlds, where the impenetrable darkness was only occasionally illuminated by the dim light of a lonely planet and where the lonely stars were indistinguishable from the diamond dust of the Milky Way.

Two thousand stars were immediately visible in the sky of the Earth. Among them – Sirius, around which one of the ten most populated planets of the Empire revolved, Arcturus – the capital of the sector in which Enus was born. The light of Trantor, the capital of the Empire, is also lost somewhere in the Milky Way.

Enus felt a gentle hand touch his shoulder and covered it with his own.

– Flora! he whispered.

“Everything will be all right,” the wife’s voice was heard. “It’s almost morning, and you still haven’t gone to bed since you got back from Chica. Can you have breakfast? Should I order food here?

— Why not?

— What’s bothering you? she asked softly.

“I don’t know,” said Enus, shaking his head. – I’m tired of the accumulated problems … This Shekt and his Synapsipher, and this archaeologist Avardan with his theories. And much more. Those earthlings! Enus continued through gritted teeth. “There are many indications that they are preparing an uprising again.

He looked at his wife.

— Do you know that the doctrine of the Council of Elders is that the Earth was once the only home of mankind?

— But that’s what Avardan was talking about, wasn’t it?

“Yes, that’s right,” said Enus gloomily, “but he spoke only of the past.” The Council of the Elders also talks about the future. Earth, they say, will once again be the capital of the race. They even proclaim the approach of the mythical second kingdom of the Earth, warn that the Empire will perish, and the Earth will acquire its original greatness. Three times such nonsense caused uprisings that ended in mass destruction on Earth, but this did not shake their faith.

“They are just unfortunate creatures, these earthlings,” said Flora. What do they have besides faith? They are deprived of absolutely everything: a normal world, a normal life. They lack even the dignity that would equate them with other people of the Galaxy. Therefore, they live in dreams. Can we blame them for this?

“Yes, you can,” Enus exclaimed excitedly. Let them leave their dreams and fight for recognition. They do not deny their difference. They just want to replace “worse” with “better” and it’s hard to expect the rest of the galaxy to agree with them. Let them forget their obsession, their outdated and humiliating “laws”. Let them be people, and they will be looked at as people… But let’s not talk about that. What, for example, happens to Synapsipher? There is something here that keeps me awake. Enus frowned.

— Synapsipher?.. Isn’t that the device Dr. Avardan was talking about at dinner? Did you go to Chica because of him?

Enus nodded.

— And what did you learn there?

– Actually, nothing. I know Shekt. And I know well. I am sure that this man was dying of fear all the time I spoke with him. There’s a sad secret here, Flora.

— But does the machine work?

— Am I a neurophysiologist? Schekt said no. The volunteer who was processed, he claims, is almost dead. But I don’t believe it. I felt his excitement. Moreover. He triumphed! His volunteer is alive, and the experiment ended successfully, or have I never seen a happy person in my life?! Then why did he lie to me? Can you imagine what Synapsipher is in action? Do you realize that Shekt can create a race of geniuses?

— But then why keep it a secret?

– Ah! For what? It’s not clear to you. Have the Terran uprisings failed? So increase the intelligence level of the average earthling. Double it up. Triple.

– Oh, Enus.

– We may find ourselves in the position of monkeys attacked by humans.

– You exaggerate. The Bureau of the Outer Provinces can always send a few psychologists to randomly check the level of intelligence of earthlings. Any deviation will be detected.

— Yes, of course… But something else is possible. I’m not sure of anything except that an uprising is being prepared.

— Well, are we ready for it?

Are you ready? Enus laughed bitterly. – I – yes. The garrison is ready. Everything that could be done with the available means, I did. But, Flora, I don’t want an uprising. I do not want my governorship to go down in history as the governorship of an uprising. I don’t want my name to be associated with violence and death. I would have been rewarded for this, but I would go down in history as a bloody tyrant. I would have preferred the fame of a man who prevented a rebellion and saved the priceless lives of twenty million fools,” he concluded rather hopelessly.

– Can you do that?

— How can I? Everything is against me. The bureau itself supports these fanatics by sending Avardan here.

End of the introductory fragment

Sunflowers – Superfamily Passeroidea | Non-commercial educational and cognitive Internet portal Zoogalaxy

Systematics of the Sunshine family

Sharptail Sunbird

Yellowback Sharptail Sunbird

Malachite Sunbird

Bright-breasted sunbird

Purple sunflower

Copper sunbird


Family Sunflowers ( Nectariniidae ) – small (body length varies from 8 to 25 cm, weight – from 4 to 20 g), very mobile birds of slender build with thin legs of medium length and relatively short rounded wings and a rounded stepped tail . The jaw apparatus of these birds is adapted to feeding on nectar and pollen. Their beak is elongated (longer than the head), thin, arcuately curved downwards and laterally compressed. The edges of his mandible have small notches. The tongue of sunbirds is long, thin, with a longitudinal groove and a tassel on the tongue.

The overwhelming majority of species of sunbirds are characterized by sharp sexual dimorphism in coloration: males in breeding plumage are very bright, often with a strong metallic sheen, usually 3 or more colors are combined in their coloration; females are painted in dull greenish, yellowish, olive, brown colors. The beak of the male is noticeably longer and thicker than that of the female.

Nectarinia genus Nectarinia unites 76 species, typical members of the family.

Habitat and lifestyle

Representatives of the family are distributed in the tropics, partly in the subtropics of the Old World – in Africa south of the Sahara, in Eurasia from the Middle East to the south of China, the Philippines, the Lesser Sunda Islands. Nectarines are generally considered the ecological vicariate of hummingbirds in the Old World tropics. Indeed, they are very similar to hummingbirds in appearance, type of coloration, size, some behavioral features, and food preferences. However, the wings and legs of sunbirds are arranged differently than those of hummingbirds, and have different proportions. Sunbirds can only feed on flowers for a short time, staying in the air, their fluttering flight is not at all like the flight of a hummingbird. Usually nectaries drink nectar, sitting on a branch or peduncle, hanging from the inflorescences. Some birds pierce the base of tubular flowers with their beaks, which is difficult for them to reach through the corolla.

Among the sunbirds there are highly specialized species closely related only to some plant species, their exclusive role as pollinators of these plants is undoubted. In habits, many sunbirds resemble small tits, warblers, white-eyes, especially when they examine the leaves in search of insects or catch them in the air from a perch.