The updated version of the Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless is the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless. Even yet, the S model of the LinkBuds is more akin to the Sony WF-1000XM4 Really Wireless than the original LinkBuds, even though the entire LinkBuds family was created with ambient sound in mind. Instead of an open-ear enclosure, they first have an in-ear fit and an active noise cancelling (ANC) technology to assist block out background noise. In comparison to the XM4, their design is relatively similar, but they are lighter and more comfortable due to the fact that most of their construction is composed of recycled plastic. Sony has shifted away from the fad of selecting a very bassy, boomy sound profile, albeit the change is not 180 degrees.
The LinkBuds S are slightly more expensive than the original LinkBuds ($180/£180/AU$350). Given that they offer active noise-cancelling, it’s not surprising that their price is more than that of the LinkBuds and several other non-ANC competitors.
You can see a natural progression to the more expensive pair when compared to the premium Sony WF-1000XM4 model’s “tested at” price of £250 ($280/AU$450), though the difference isn’t particularly large given that you can presently purchase the XM4 for about £199 ($230/AU$299; depending on where you look).
At this price range, you can also find the five-star Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 (£219, $249.95, AU$399.95), or if you want something with a sportier edge, the JBL Reflect Flow Pro (£160, $180, AU$299). Of course, the original AirPods Pro are also a consideration given their current price of slightly more than £200/$200/AU$300. The top-rated AirPods Pro 2 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II are comfortably priced above the LinkBuds S.
With a new five millimeter driver for the LinkBuds S, Sony has returned to a more conventional wireless earbuds design after the original LinkBuds were all about the open ring driver and purposefully letting outside noise in. This entails eartubes, silicone eartips, and Sony’s addition of active noise cancellation (ANC) to assist block out external noise.
Sony has kept the earpieces tiny while modifying the design and adding this additional technology. very little Sony marketed the earphones as the tiniest noise-cancelling wireless earbuds in the world when they first came out. Sony says they’re 41 per cent smaller than its WF-1000XM4 and 33 per cent lighter.
And you can actually feel it in your palm and in your ear. They are simple to slide into position, twist, and achieve a tight seal with (four different sizes of tips are provided in the box). The Sonys can withstand a workout at the gym and a typical commute to work thanks to their IPX4 water resistance.
Sony has since created an eco-friendly set of LinkBuds S in a “Earth Blue” finish that is manufactured from recycled water dispenser bottles. The LinkBuds S originally came in three finishes: white, black, and a beige-like color called Ecru. This creates a “one-of-a-kind” marble look on the outside surface of the buds and case that is reminiscent of Global Hypercolour t-shirts.
According to the manufacturer, the LinkBuds S’s battery can last 6 hours of nonstop playback while the ANC feature is turned on and 1 hour after 5 minutes of charging. As per usual, Sony makes no mention of the codec that was employed.
The LinkBuds S lasted 6 hours, 50 minutes of nonstop playback when tested using AAC. Playback took place for 1 hour and 14 minutes after a 5-minute charge.
The LinkBuds S lasted for 4 hours and 5 minutes when tested with LDAC locked to 990kbps. 44 minutes of playback were produced with a 5-minute charge.
It is deserve, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual, as per usual Using it with AAC lowered the battery life to 4 hours and 47 minutes. That’s a significant decrease for a feature that doesn’t actually improve the audio quality.
Due to the LinkBuds S’s absence of wireless charging for the case, charging on these devices is only possible through a cable.
Although the LinkBuds S are small, their specifications are extensive. If these Sony genuine wireless in-ears lack a function, it’s usually not worth having, with the exception of multi-point pairing.
Bluetooth 5.2 is used for wireless connectivity, and it supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs but lacks aptX capabilities as is customary for Sony products. Still, the LinkBuds S are a comfortable pair of high-resolution headphones if you have a smartphone that supports LDAC.
They employ the same V1 CPU that combines noise suppression and audio processing in one as in the Sony WF-1000XM4, but it feeds a new 5mm full-range dynamic driver, which is smaller than the XM4. Depending on whether active noise-cancellation is turned on or off, the earbuds themselves can last between 6 and 9 hours, and the little charging case can contain up to two additional full charges. Thus, the battery life is extremely competitive. The buds that perform better are significantly bigger and heavier, however it is not class-leading. With ANC on, the comparably lightweight AirPods Pro only last 4.5 hours on a single charge, giving Sony a significant advantage.
Nevertheless, there is also the ‘Ambient sound’ option, which gives 20 various settings, meaning the Sony’s will let in anything from ‘a hint’ to ‘a torrent’ of external sound if you so wish. Noise-cancellation can be turned on or off in the control app or the capacitive touch surface on each earbud.
In the “Headphones” control software, you can also change the EQ, choose between Bluetooth’s “sound quality” and “connection reliability,” reorganize the touch controls, and many other features. The app is the same one that Sony’s high-end headphones use, and it works and is stable everywhere.
The LinkBuds support both Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, and the touch controls are equally trustworthy and well-implemented. Behind a small mesh circle, the external microphones for voice control and telephony are visible on the outside of each earphone.
The Sony LinkBuds S can reveal a lot about their approach to music reproduction with little more than a quick listen to a MQA-enabled TIDAL Masters stream of Gabriels’ Love and Hatred in a Different Time. These earphones are straightforward about their respective strengths and shortcomings right away, so there are no performance secrets to be teased out of them.
They are open, distinct, and fairly strikingly detailed to listen to, which is a positive. Low frequencies don’t slow down tempos or make rhythms sound out of place because they are meaty and well-controlled. They also provide a lot of information about tone and texture. At the very top of the frequency spectrum, treble sounds have a similar detailed attitude and are just about bright enough while yet being sufficiently substantial.
The LinkBuds S give a lot of information in between, which is helpful for all types of singers. Vocalists can take center stage while still being seamlessly integrated into the performance as a whole on the Sony’s soundstage, and from that position, they are able to communicate effectively. The LinkBuds S will draw attention to any character in a singer’s delivery.
Overall harmony and rhythmic expressiveness are both excellent, and the Sony successfully brought all the components of a recording together.
A genuine sense of urgency or drive is however absent in the area of sound quality. Here, dynamic headroom is constrained, which causes everything that occurs in a recording to typically occur at one constant volume. The LinkBuds S are an oddly uninteresting, almost emotionless listen; undoubtedly, any number of competitors with similar prices sound much more involved and, as a result, fascinating.
Mind you, there aren’t any justifications necessary for the Sony’s noise-cancelling implementation. The LinkBuds S effectively handle outside noises and do so without leaving a trace. Also, the call quality is pretty respectable, with clear speech and Sony’s wind-noise reduction. Technology known as “Precise Speech Pick-Up” is effective.
Sony’s latest wireless earbud forays have seriously spoilt us. The WF-1000XM4 and the original LinkBuds both introduced something new to the market for high-end wireless in-ears.
The LinkBuds S have various useful functions, good music quality on their own, good noise cancellation, are lightweight, and are easy to wear. But, they fall short in the auditory department, lacking the excitement and rhythmic energy that Sony’s wireless headphones often deliver in abundance. Very solid, but not among Sony’s finest.