Sony continues to expand its premium line-up of wireless earbuds and the latest to hit the market is the new Sony LinkBuds S noise-cancelling earbuds. We got a chance to try out the new noise-cancelling earbuds and here are our thoughts about them.
While the first LinkBuds featured a very unique design, Sony decided to stick with the traditional earbud design for the new LinkBud S. Sony claims that LinkBuds S is the “world‘s smallest and lightest, noise canceling, Hi-Res truly wireless headphones”, thanks to the compact audio driver and the fusion of Bluetooth Audio and the NC processor as a single chip. The earbuds are about 40% smaller than the previous WF-1000XM4. The weight is only 4.8g for each earbud.
While Sony reduced a lot of the weight factor, they also were able to keep the shape of the earbud that fits well with the human ear. Like their other earbuds, Sony made use of its extensive ear shape data to develop the ergonomic design of the LinkBuds S. The earbuds are very comfortable to wear and it instantly fits without us worrying about them falling off.
As a part of its commitment to the environment in mind, Sony makes the LinkBuds S earbuds with recycled plastic materials from automobile parts. The outer touch-sensitive part of the earbuds features a texture that reminds us of sandpapers with a slightly rough surface. The Sony insignia is located on the sides of the earbuds and there is a mic on the outer area too. The IR sensor is located on the rear side, along with the charging pins.
The charging case also gets the same sandpaper-like texture and the device is quite small and stylish with rounded edges. The case weighs about 35g and has a USB-C connection on the rear side, along with a button for pairing and reset functions. There is also an LED indicator on the front side of the case.
Sony has supplied four different sizes for its hybrid silicone rubber earbud tips and this includes the SS, S, LL, and M.
The package contents also include a USB-A to USB-C cable and some manuals. The packing is also made of recyclable materials. The USB cable is quite short with a length of only 20cm. The earbuds are also IPX4 certified water-resistant so they can handle some splashes and sweat.
Sony made sure that the reduced size does not compromise the capability of the earbuds. The earbuds come with a 5mm driver unit with high-power neodymium magnets and the frequency response ranges between 20Hz and 20,000Hz (with 44.1kHz sampling). And with LDAC 96kHz sampling at 990kbps, the response reaches up to 40,000Hz. Despite their size, the earbuds are able to produce really good bass effects and the vocals are crystal clear for all genres of music.
Also, with the help of Sony’s DSEE Extreme, compressed digital music files are upscaled in real-time and high-range audio is restored. The music experience is further enhanced with the noise-cancelling function, which I must say, is really good for a device this small. The NC function is boosted with the help of the Integrated Processor V1 chip.
The noise-cancelling capability is complemented by the popular Ambient Sound mode that Sony offers throughout most of its NC headphone line-up. The earbuds can switch automatically between NC and ambient mode, depending on what you are doing, thanks to the Adaptive Sound Control.
For its wireless capabilities, the LinkBuds S comes with Bluetooth 5.2 and has an effective coverage of up to 10m. The device also brings support for High-Resolution Audio Wireless technology, thanks to LDAC, that is capable of transmitting three times more data than conventional Bluetooth audio.
Other features include support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, along with Dolby Atmos experience and 360 Spatial Sound. On the battery side of things, the earbuds are capable of continuous music playback for up to 6 hours with NC on and up to 9 hours with NC off. The device also offers continuous communication time for up to 3.5 hours of time. The earbuds take about only 2 hours for a full charge via the charging case. And charging the case to the max takes about 3 hours of time. The charging case, when fully charged, offers another 14 hours of music playback when on the go.
If you are looking for stylish and lightweight earbuds with outstanding noise-cancelling abilities, then the new Sony LinkBuds S is one to consider. The earbuds feature a very small and ergonomic design that fits comfortability on the ears. You will be able to control the functions via the touch panel and the device is made of recyclable materials. The earbuds are also water-resistant that can handle splashes and sweat.
The LinkBuds S uses Bluetooth 5.2 for its wireless audio performance, along with excellent noise-cancelling performance, thanks to the Integrated Processor V1 chip. The 5mm audio driver has a frequency response between 20Hz and 20,000Hz. The DSEE Extreme helps to upscale digitally compressed files and the Adaptive Sound Control automatically switches between noise-cancelling and Ambient mode. Despite their small size, the earbuds and the charging case combined can offer up to 20 hours of playback music.