Sony LinkBuds S evaluation – Pickr

Sony LinkBuds S review – Pickr

Excessive-end earbuds and headphones aren’t all there’s to the world, however that is the place a whole lot of the main focus is. Happily, extra funds fashions can profit from this, as Sony exhibits within the LinkBuds S underneath $200.

When looking for a pair of noise-canceling headphones, it is all too simple to really feel like it’s important to spend some huge cash.

Quite a lot of the main focus is on the high-end crowd, and never simply because they’re speculated to take advantage of cash for helmet makers, but additionally as a result of that is the place all of the tech is. particular. The most effective sound and one of the best cancellation expertise are a part of it, as is one of the best design.

Spend extra money and you may most likely get one of the best product, however that is not all the time what everybody desires. In actual fact, if you happen to’re craving to spend rather less, likelihood is you will get one thing with out as many bells and whistles.

That is not all the time the case, nevertheless, and with the LinkBuds S, Sony exhibits that funds and mid-range do not all the time have to supply a lot of a distinction.

Design and options

Trying a bit like a bubble to your ears and a softer model of the Sony WF-1000XM4, the LinkBuds S aren’t fairly what we anticipated, fact be instructed.

Regardless of their title, the LinkBuds S look nothing like the unique LinkBuds with their ring-shaped driver (a torus driver, to be precise). Somewhat, these are extra like your ordinary standard headphones, with a extra watered-down vibe paying homage to Sony’s high-end headphones, besides a bit extra budget-friendly.

Contained in the plastic case you will discover some bubbly stuff with a little bit microphone port on the facet, earlier than operating it into a reasonably standard-looking pair of headphones, with a couple of sizes of suggestions within the field.

Go additional and you will find a small 5mm driver in every earbud with help for Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, often known as ‘DSEE Excessive’. Whereas it is not fairly the identical as what’s utilized in Sony’s different headphones, it is comparable in that it could actually enhance the audio to your ears if you happen to settle for it, and there is even an app to allow you to management sure settings, in addition to help for IPX4 water resistance, often known as sweat resistance.

Of specific be aware is the noise cancellation facet, with the chip administration being smaller than that of the high-end XM4 headphones, whereas additionally incorporating Bluetooth expertise.

There’s additionally help for Sony’s “Headphones” app, which helps you to change between noise cancellation and ambient transparency mode, both forcibly or routinely, the latter of which is actually Sony’s reply to a mode. adaptive. You aren’t getting a lot management for noise cancellation right here – these are the most affordable ANC headphones round – however you do discover a option to tweak the ambient mode, permitting you to deal with the voice too.

The Sony Headphones app additionally presents 360 Actuality Audio help if you happen to’re utilizing it, plus an equalizer, discuss set off (to pause the headphones while you’re speaking), and auto-pause while you discuss. headphones are out of your ears.

Comparability of headphones from Sony: the LinkBuds (left), the LinkBuds S (center) and the WF-1000XM4 (proper).


Throw the LinkBuds S in your ears and it’s best to discover a pretty snug match, stunning provided that the extra premium XM4 can cut up a crowd in a short time. Within the dearer mannequin, you will discover a larger earpiece, and so they can truly trigger earaches fairly shortly.

With the LinkBuds S, Sony has corrected a few of this downside by making the headphones smaller and lighter, which additionally makes them simpler to put on. It is a good begin, though you aren’t getting such handy contact controls.

Though there’s technically a contact interface right here, it’s a contact interface, not a lot contact. Faucet the left earbud as soon as to change noise canceling mode or faucet the fitting as soon as to pause and play.

Mainly, the contact controls on the left earbud are for noise canceling controls and fast entry shortcuts set within the app, whereas the fitting is for media controls, equivalent to pause and play, with a double and triple faucet permitting you to maneuver ahead and backward within the playback of the monitor. .

Either side can set off “fast consideration” mode which retains the music enjoying within the background, however enables you to hear by way of them, useful for station or airport bulletins. Maintain both sides and that is what it’s best to get.

Total it is a simple mixture to maintain behind your head, however not fairly the premium really feel and sweep that Sony’s high-end headphones go for. Fairly simple, although. Let’s transfer on.


And let’s get to what’s arguably an important a part of any headphone evaluation: the sound.

Examined with Pickr’s Sound Take a look at, an inventory of tracks you possibly can try with your individual headphones and audio system, we begin our playlist with electronics, and the result’s fairly balanced, with respectable, clear sound.

Tycho’s “Glider” begins the take a look at, and whereas the bass could also be tighter, you aren’t getting the nice and cozy sound recognized from Sony’s headphones, however moderately one thing much less rounded. It is the identical in Daft Punk, and extra pop with Carly Rae Jepson and Ariana Grande, delivering a pleasant sound with sufficient element, simply one thing that sounds a little bit on the generic facet.

In soul and R&B, you possibly can really feel that generic sound a bit extra clearly: the soundstage is there and the supply is sweet, however the bass would not supply the identical snap or depth you would possibly anticipate in case you have heard the opposite presents from Sony. Within the case of FKA Twigs’ “Two Weeks” our earthy bass take a look at lacked the growl we have been on the lookout for, whereas Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” wanted a tighter bass slap.

Most ears must be joyful, thoughts you, and we have most likely been a bit spoiled listening to the variety of headphones in the marketplace. Total the LinkBuds S ship balanced sound that can attraction to many, a sense we had throughout rock, jazz and classical too.


There’s good battery life within the LinkBuds S too, though it would not win any awards for longest battery life in a pair of actually wi-fi earbuds or noise canceling headphones.

As an alternative, you will discover as much as six hours of battery life in these headphones, with a further 14 hours within the case. Our testing confirmed between 5 and 6 hours was possible, and there are about two extra prices within the case, which is ok, though charging the case does require a USB Sort-C cable. Sadly, there is not any wi-fi charging right here, because it’s reserved for the top-end mannequin.


Priced at round half of what this high mannequin prices in Australia, the $198 LinkBuds S aren’t dangerous worth in any respect and supply comparable options at a extra inexpensive worth.

At round half the value of present benchmarks just like the Sony WF-1000XM4, the LinkBuds S make a whole lot of sense, particularly if what you are on the lookout for is respectable sound with a touch of the noise-canceling tech that its large brother has. will get.

App help by way of the Sony Headphones app helps make it worthwhile and someway carries the characteristic set of the WF-1000XM3 to a brand new era of headphones modeled on the dearer and flashy XM4.

The look and sound are a bit generic, however with a strong price ticket underneath $200, the LinkBuds S make a whole lot of sense. They’re particularly interesting to these trying to economize on noise-canceling headphones.

What wants work?

There’s a design similarity between the LinkBuds S (left) and the WF-1000XM4 (proper).

The factor is, whereas there’s nothing incorrect with their sound, anybody hoping the LinkBuds S is sort of a miniature model of the WF-1000XM4 has to mood these expectations.

These headphones sound nice, however additionally they lack the heat and persona of Sony’s premium in-ear headphones. They get the job completed for positive, and for a lot of that can be simply high-quality, however these aren’t the highest finish fashions, and you will get that within the total sound. It is balanced, however lacks the dynamics of its high-end sibling, getting a part of the best way, however not the complete method.

It is a comparable picture with lively noise cancellation, which does the job properly, however once more is not fairly like that of the dearer WF-1000XM4.

To Sony’s credit score, you will discover an automated adaptive mode with the Headphones app, which is a pleasant inclusion contemplating it is beforehand solely been on Sony’s high-end headphones. Nevertheless it’s not fairly on par with Sony’s high-end headphones; it’s going to do for most individuals, however chances are you’ll discover higher noise cancellation if you happen to have a look.

Ultimate Ideas (TLDR)

Not everybody desires to spend large on a pair of actually wi-fi earbuds, and we fully perceive. Occasions are costly, and whereas audio is usually factor to spend on – as a result of one of the best expertise is not all the time low-cost – it is advisable to steadiness your spending along with your wants.

This is among the causes democratized expertise could be so thrilling; with all of the R&D obtainable in high-end fashions, the expertise can finally be integrated into cheaper units, saving you cash.

That is the place we’re just about at now, with extra budget-friendly noise canceling headphones popping out, providing some actually nice expertise at a fraction of the value. Positive, the top-end mannequin is healthier, however the cheaper variant can nonetheless be fairly good.

And that is what the Sony LinkBuds S ship: a less expensive model of noise-canceling headphones that can work for a lot of ears and wallets.

Make no mistake, there are higher noise-canceling headphones on the market, however for the value, Sony’s LinkBuds S are price a glance. They’re a simple possibility for positive.

Sony LinkBuds S


Balanced sound

Helps lively noise cancellation

Small and light-weight

Rated for IPX4 water resistance

Barely extra snug than the higher-end WF-1000XM4

Nice worth

The not so good

Sound lacks the persona of Sony’s different headphones

ANC could possibly be a bit higher

No wi-fi charging

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *