A new addition to Sony’s lineup of wireless earphones, the Sony LinkBuds, has recently been introduced. In March, the original LinkBuds caught our attention with their innovative ring driver design, offering a unique fit and sound quality that set them apart from the standard options. While they weren’t perfect, they received a four-star rating. However, the latest iteration of the LinkBuds might surprise you with their appearance, as they don’t immediately seem like part of the same family. Let’s delve into the Sony LinkBuds review in this article!
Sony LinkBuds Review: Design
Sony has already experimented with the concept of open-style earbuds in the past. The Xperia Ear Duo, introduced back in 2017, featured a distinctive design where the earbuds had an open ring that sat outside the ear canal. Although they felt a bit unusual when worn, they showcased Sony’s willingness to explore unconventional ideas. However, with the latest LinkBuds, Sony has taken a different approach. The design is now divided into two parts, with the majority of the components housed in a compact, dome-shaped enclosure. The ring-shaped speaker unit is attached to an open circle, providing a secure fit.
Compared to the Xperia Ear Duo, the LinkBuds offer enhanced functionality. The advancements in truly wireless technology over the past five years have allowed Sony to significantly reduce the overall size of the earbuds. The LinkBuds are IPX4-rated and consist primarily of hard plastic, except for the flexible “fit supports” that help keep them in place. Sony has put great effort into ensuring a comfortable fit and impressive sound quality, offering a remarkable alternative to the typical options in the market. Although they may not look like they belong to the same family as the originals, the Sony LinkBuds have a lot to offer.
Sony LinkBuds Review: Features and Software
Sony is known for packing its truly wireless earbuds with cutting-edge technology, as seen in the WF-1000XM4. The LinkBuds continue this trend, offering touch-based controls that don’t require you to actually touch the earbuds. Instead, you tap in front of your ear, and a motion sensor detects the vibrations, allowing you to play/pause, skip tracks, adjust volume, and activate voice assistants.
With double and triple tap gestures available, you can assign the most important actions to the four available slots (two on each side). Additionally, the LinkBuds provide hands-free access to popular voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. Sony has also included the Speak-to-Chat feature, which automatically pauses the audio when you start speaking, ensuring you don’t miss out on quick conversations. You can customize the pause length and adjust the voice detection sensitivity according to your preferences. The LinkBuds also feature adaptive volume control, allowing the volume to adjust based on your surroundings.
Sony LinkBuds Review: Sound
The LinkBuds find their place in Sony’s current lineup of wireless earbuds, offering a balanced audio experience. Sony has always managed to strike a good balance with their sound quality, and the LinkBuds are no exception. The treble is well-controlled, without any harsh spikes, while the bass is powerful and well-regulated, providing weight and texture to the lower frequencies. The percussion comes through with clarity and definition, while the vocals maintain a strong presence. When listening to complex compositions, the LinkBuds excel at delivering a detailed and immersive audio experience, although they may not offer the same level of openness and spaciousness as other models in Sony’s range.
Sony LinkBuds Review: Battery Life
Sony claims that the LinkBuds can last up to five and a half hours on their own, with an additional 12 hours provided by the charging case. During testing, the earphones lasted for approximately six hours, exceeding the promised time by around 30 minutes. Although wireless charging is not available, a quick 10-minute charge provides 90 minutes of usage. Sony has wisely kept the LinkBuds’ charging case compact, prioritizing portability over accommodating Qi-compatible devices.
The LinkBuds may have an unconventional design, but they deliver exceptional performance. Wearing them while listening to music creates the sensation of having a personal soundtrack playing in your ears, which can be a pleasant experience, especially if you need to remain aware of your surroundings. Cyclists and joggers, in particular, will find the LinkBuds to be highly practical. They are an excellent choice for those seeking true wireless earphones that still allow them to stay connected to the world around them. While bone conduction headphones offer an alternative, they often come with a neckband design, making them less convenient and stylish compared to the LinkBuds. Additionally, the LinkBuds provide a more secure fit than many other options in the market.
Read more: Sony LinkBuds Review: A Distinctive Design