About all of the information about the Sony LinkBuds S is favorable. They include a ton of well-thought-out control choices, are compact, light, and comfy, and have a battery life that is reasonable. They’re also a pleasant listen, although given their price, they might use a little more sonic vitality and motion.
Features of the Sony LinkBuds S review
Although the LinkBuds S are tiny, 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 communication, and it supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs but lacks aptX capabilities as is customary for Sony products. Nonetheless, the LinkBuds S are a comfortable pair of high-resolution headphones provided you have a smartphone that supports LDAC.
They employ the same V1 processor—which integrates noise suppression and audio processing in one device—as the Sony WF-1000XM4; however, it drives a new, smaller 5mm full-range dynamic driver. 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 more full charges. Thus, the battery life is quite competitive. The buds that perform better are significantly larger and heavier, however it is not class-leading. With ANC enabled, 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 allow in anything from ‘a hint’ to ‘a torrent’ of external sound if you so wish. Noise-cancellation can be turned on or off via the control app or the capacitive touch surface on each earbud.
With 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 reliable 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 exterior of each earphone.
Review of the Sony LinkBuds S: design
There isn’t much that can be done in terms of “design” when a device is this small and light (Sony claims LinkBuds S are 40% smaller and over 30% lighter than its own WF-1000XM4).
The LinkBuds S’s compact size and light weight are obviously intended to provide a comfortable fit, and in this aspect, the design is a complete success. When it comes to truly wireless designs, 4.8g per earbud is nothing, and when combined with the four pairs of eartips that come in various sizes, they’re easy to set safely and comfortably.
They’ll stay like way for hours on end, too—at least until they require charging—and while present, they have a completely understated appearance.
As a result, the LinkBuds S are flawlessly constructed and finished in the same textured recycled plastic and stone that the business uses to construct their top-of-the-line headphones. Choose from “ecru,” “white,” or black finishes. To be honest, that final shade makes the Sony appear quite artificial.
There is no wireless charging capability here, and it will take a few hours to get from “flat” to “full” while charging over USB-C. Nevertheless, after that’s done, you can (generally speaking) take your LinkBuds anyplace because of their IPX4 classification, which enables them to withstand splashes from swimming or perspiration from working out in the gym.
Review of the Sony LinkBuds S: audio quality
The Sony LinkBuds S can tell 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 coaxed 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 seem out of place since 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 vocalists. Vocalists may take center stage while still being seamlessly incorporated 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 nonetheless 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 far 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. The quality of the calls is also extremely good; they can be understood clearly, and Sony’s “Precise Voice Pick-Up” wind-noise reduction technology performs effectively.
The LinkBuds S appear to have been condensed rather than shrunk when you take into account the quality of construction and finishing used here. The earphones’ impeccable polish gives off the idea that they were made to endure a lifetime. The charging case concludes with a quick and comforting “snap,” which is also accurate.
The LinkBuds S are a fantastic example of how Sony has recently improved the environmental effect of their products. The earphones and charging case are made of a substance that blends recycled plastic from auto parts with stone, and they come packaged in unbleached, unprinted, and plastic-free materials. At the conclusion of the product’s lifespan, it can be recycled on its own.
Yet ultimately, the sound quality of in-ear headphones determines whether they succeed or fail, and the Sony LinkBuds S fall short in this regard. They obviously get a lot more things right than wrong, but where they fall short, primarily in terms of dynamics and drive, they significantly dampen the energy of recordings.
Must I get a Sony LinkBuds S?
If, buy them.
You like some discreet earbuds.
It will be difficult to find genuine wireless in-ear headphones that are more compact, lighter, or more comfortable to use for extended durations than these.
Balance and detail in the audio are crucial.
The LinkBuds S provide unbiased, very detailed sound that keeps you well-informed at all times and in all situations.
You prioritize politeness in the way you reproduce sounds.
The sound here is unquestionably a bit on the mild side due to the Sony’s unwillingness to truly assault a recording, much alone take it by the scruff of the neck.