The Sony LinkBuds are the earphones of the digital age, of intelligent working, paradoxically also of the pandemic (even if they were designed before the virus’s arrival). This device was conceived as a “link” between the natural world and the digital one made up of calls, audio messages, sessions in front of the PC, and music. All this is the particular aspect of the Sony LinkBuds, without isolating us from the external environment, without creating an auditory barrier between what happens around us and what we are listening to in the earphones.
Unlike traditional earphones, the protective surface covering the diaphragm is integrated into the body to save space. Taken as a whole, the shape was designed based on a wealth of data on the anatomical conformation of different ear types, collected by Sony since the introduction of the world’s first in-ear headphones in 1982.
To achieve this, the Company has wholly rethought the headset concept, testing different solutions up to the speaker’s original ring shape (rather than conical): an authentic look with the hole in the middle. Precisely this shape also offers a new way to wear the earphones that no longer fit into the ear canal but lean gently without having to do them. A change that is anything but trivial because, in this way, the device does not create a cap and is also much more comfortable to wear, even for hours and hours.
The exceptional comfort ensured by the LinkBuds is also thanks to the miniaturization that Sony engineers have managed to achieve. These true wireless are tiny and light, just 4.1 grams each. The case is also tiny, weighing just 34 grams. The ear anchoring system is guaranteed by a silicone protrusion, available in 5 different sizes, which blocks the earpiece. It takes a little bit of confidence, in the beginning, to understand how to wear the LinkBuds, but after a bit of practice, everything becomes automatic. It must be said that, although the headset remains firmly in the ear, there is always a bit of fear of being able to lose them: it is just a feeling.
Crystal Clear Sound
Sony’s great tradition in the professional audio sector has been brought into developing these earphones. Still, the ring speaker was not at all prominent that it sounded good – also because it cannot be helped by the insulation of the ear cup that all in-ear models ensure. The surprise is, therefore, more significant. The Sony LinkBuds offer a clean, crystal clear, balanced, powerful sound, ideal for any listening occasion. Used for telephone calls or video calls, they are a boon. It is really as if we had our interlocutor in front of us.
To offer maximum clarity to telephone conversations, the LinkBuds are equipped with Precise Voice Pickup technology, which guarantees advanced processing of voice signals. Sony’s noise reduction algorithm was developed with the support of machine learning, using over 500 million voice samples to eliminate ambient noise and detect speech. In this way, it is possible to hear the interlocutors clearly, even in the noisiest situations. Music reproduction is also rewarding, but you have to accept no isolation from the outside world. We are a bit unprepared for this listening.
Although this usually happens when we listen to music live or played from an external speaker, it is a bit strange that we hear in this way while wearing headphones. However, the electronics of Sony and the V1 processor and customization via the app ensure an enjoyable and perfectly balanced listening that is likely to disappoint only lovers of pumped bass. In addition, the adaptive volume control system automatically optimizes the volume level according to the context, perfectly integrating the music into the environment.
We said that the LinkBuds are small, so compact that the touch control would have become a little complicated, and perhaps it could have compromised the stability of the device in the ear as well. The playback modes can be controlled at will with two or three taps on the anterior area of the ear, just in front of the tragus, without having to touch the LinkBuds. Kind of like we have a bionic ear.
LinkBuds can also be used when your hands are full. Thanks to the Speak-to-Chat function, the music automatically pauses when you start talking to someone. Once the conversation is over, the music restarts automatically. In addition, with the hands-free voice functions, you can activate the voice assistants, ask for information, call friends, set reminders, etc.
Suitable For Any Situation, Perfect For Working
The LinkBuds are perfect for everyday use., Even outdoors and during sports activities, thanks to the IPX4 degree of protection. The charge also lasts an entire working day, with 5.5 hours of autonomy and an additional 12 hours of charging if stored in the power bank case. It only takes 10 minutes of charging to ensure up to 90 minutes of extra playback.
We are faced with something new, something that unfortunately must be tried in person to understand its meaning. It takes a while to appreciate but then makes it difficult to go back. The point is that Sony LinkBuds shouldn’t be an alternative to traditional true wireless earphones but an accessory that should be added to our kit.
A device designed to be worn for hours, in total comfort, represents an asset, especially for those who work at a desk or spend a lot of time in the car. Price is perhaps the main obstacle to impulse buying: 180 euros may seem like a lot for headphones without noise cancellation, but it is wrong to make this comparison. They must be tried.
- Rating: 8.5
- Wired: innovative design, rich and balanced sound, excellent comfort, advanced controls
- Tired: No noise cancellation, high price