The Sony LinkBuds are priced at Rs 19,990 in India and promise a comfortable fit all day long. They also have the comfort of hearing the surrounding sound and the call and audio performance is also claimed to be better. As true wireless earbuds that you can wear all day and wear in multiple ways, the Sony LinkBuds stand out from the premium TWS earbuds you usually find. Do they keep all the promises made? Find out in this review.
Sony LinkBuds design and features
The design of Sony LinkBuds attracts more. Many people, if they didn’t already know, wouldn’t realize that these are headphones. They fit the outer ear and do not enter the ear canal. No stem has been given on these. The headset driver chamber has a donut-shaped hole, so that the surrounding sound can be heard clearly even when the headset is turned on.
This means that even with them on (no audio playback) I can still hear my surroundings. If hearing the sounds around you is just as important to you, then you won’t get a better design than this right now. This unique design also provides a comfortable fit, along with which Sony also provides arch support. Five pairs of tips are included in the sales package for a customizable fit. I found the smaller size tips more comfortable for my ear shape. But this affected security. The earbuds were in danger of coming off with even a slight movement of the head, so you’ll have to try them out and choose the most comfortable and secure pair.
The Sony LinkBuds earbuds weigh 4.1 grams and are IPX4 rated for water resistance. The outer sides have been given an interesting texture. Touch sensitive controls have been made. Interestingly, you do not need to touch the earpiece, for this a function called Wide Area Tap has been provided.
You can touch your cheek in front of your ear when enabled through the app. This gives you control over the headphones. It worked well for me. This made control on the device much easier.
Its charging case is quite small compared to most wireless earbuds found in this price range. Due to this, it takes up even less space in your pocket. At the front, it has been given a lid release button and an indicator light. The pairing button and the Type C port are located on the back. Charging requires the earbuds to be in place, but this happens automatically when the lid is closed, so it takes some getting used to. You don’t get wireless charging at this price, which is a disappointment.
Other features include support for Voice Assistant, Google Fast Fare, Spotify Tap, and 360 Reality Auto. There’s no active noise cancellation available on it, but due to the position and design of the earcups, it doesn’t get lost.
Sony LinkBuds App and Specifications
The Sony LinkBuds work like the rest of the company’s headphones through the Sony Headphones Connect app, which is available for both iOS and Android. The app has a long list of features for these, including Talk to chat, Equalizer, 360 Reality Audio Settings, Touch Control Customization, Adaptive Volume Control, Auto Play & Pause, Firmware Update, etc.
Some of these features are also present in the old Sony headphones. An adaptive volume control has been provided on Sony LinkBuds, which adjusts the volume according to noise or sounds coming from the surrounding environment. The wide area touch switch lets you access device controls without even touching the earcup.
For connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2 has been given in it, with which there is support for Bluetooth SBC and AAC codecs. There’s no support for advanced Bluetooth codecs, which is disappointing at this price. The headphones have a frequency response range of 20-20,000 Hz. In addition to 5 pairs of arch support accessories, it also includes a USB Type-C cable in the box.
Sony LinkBuds performance and battery life
Sony Linkbuds have been designed in such a way that they cannot be compared to any other product in this price segment. There is no passive noise cancellation and there is no active noise cancellation. Nonetheless, the company offers a comfortable fit, a range of functions and ease of use with awareness of the surrounding environment.
It was a little hard to get used to at first, but overall it provides a good overall experience, as I find on other headphones. The comfort, versatile nature, and environmental awareness make these my favorite headphones to wear all day.
It was a challenge listening to audio playback on the headphones without passive noise cancellation, to say the least, but the headphones felt good in terms of volume and audio. The sonic signature sounded a bit odd, with weak sub-bass frequencies and the mid-bass looking a bit dull.
Croatia Squad and Frey’s White Horse felt good to hear loud in the house. However, the punch and attack didn’t seem to be present on this aggressive house track and its deep, rhythmic grooves sounded a bit hollow.
Still, the sound sounded fairly balanced, and detail was good in the midrange. The reason for this could be its form factor. Also, the ambient sound that comes with audio playback can also affect it. But it can also be said with certainty that it doesn’t fit the musical genre in many ways.
Out in the open these headphones seem to have a bit of a struggle. With the volume up to 80 percent, I was able to hear audio playback through the headphones comfortably. But at this point, the surrounding sound could not be detected again. It didn’t matter much in quieter areas, but the noise coming from the busy streets of Mumbai was quite distracting.
Because of the tuning of these headphones, they work well for voice-based content such as audiobooks, movies and TV shows, and YouTube videos. The voice is heard quite clearly. Along with this, the quality of voice calls is also very good. The good calling experience is available at slightly higher volume levels. Rather, opening your ears to outside noise during calls also makes calls more natural.
Its battery life will be called average. There’s no battery-draining active noise cancellation or advanced Bluetooth codec support, however, average battery life is disappointing. It lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes at a moderate volume.
Sony makes the best wireless headphones and earphones. It has a wide range of products that can be chosen as per the requirement. Sony’s LinkBuds come in the company’s exclusive products. They are generally in contrast to the design found in practice and have been created to provide a special type of user experience.
Sony’s LinkBuds succeed in providing a comfortable fit, ambient sound experience, and sound quality. However, your music experience may be slightly affected in noisy environments. Also, due to the low bass level, some music genres may have strange experiences. I really liked using these headphones for calls, walks in the fresh air and for daily work at my desk.
Sony’s LinkBuds are expensive at Rs 19,990 and considering the unique design alone, they are expensive even at the pre-order price of Rs 14,990. These are good for users who want a good voice-based sound experience and are looking for environmentally conscious headphones. But, if you’re more musically inclined, I’d recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4 in the same price range.