Sony LinkBuds S review: “Impressive at any level, let alone at this price”

Wireless earbuds have all sorts of uses, from casual use through to newer generation wireless talkback products. Chris Foreman takes a look at Sony’s latest LinkBuds S.

With my love of technology and miniaturisation when true wireless earbuds burst onto the scene, I was hooked. I had to look this up, but my first pair were bought back in 2016 when the tech was in it’s infancy, there was no battery charging case, just a basic USB dock with those ones.

Roll on some 6 years and more than I few pairs later I found myself attracted to the LinkBuds S, Sony’s follow up to the their somewhat different take with the open LinkBuds.

So why the LinkBuds S, when there are hundreds of different options out there? First of all for me the low profile and lightweight nature were key, I often sleep with ear buds and most can prove painful when the weight of your head and pillow pushes against them when sleeping on your side. Which means that most of the time with other earbuds I end up only wearing one.

The other was that I was intrigued as to how well the active noise cancellation would work, knowing that a good fitting earbud can provide significant passive isolation, could this be better with a combination of the two? Whilst these are far from the first earbuds, even from Sony to offer this. The other thing that attracted me was the price. At £179.99 ($199.99) they came in below what I was expecting given the specifications.

Ok, enough of the why, now for the how, how do they perform? Well the first word I uttered when I turned them on was WOW, mainly because these are loud, probably the loudest wireless earbuds I’ve ever tried. As for sound, well out of the box they needed a bit of a tweak in the EQ section of the app to get a sound I liked. Initially they were a little flat, I’m not bass head but being the (very) wrong side of 40, they needed a little lift in the treble too. I do wish that Sony had given us something more than just a 5 band adjustment with clear bass though.

Wireless earbuds have all sorts of uses, from casual use through to newer generation wireless talkback products. Chris Foreman takes a look at Sony’s latest LinkBuds S.

With my love of technology and miniaturisation when true wireless earbuds burst onto the scene, I was hooked. I had to look this up, but my first pair were bought back in 2016 when the tech was in it’s infancy, there was no battery charging case, just a basic USB dock with those ones.

Roll on some 6 years and more than I few pairs later I found myself attracted to the LinkBuds S, Sony’s follow up to the their somewhat different take with the open LinkBuds.

So why the LinkBuds S, when there are hundreds of different options out there? First of all for me the low profile and lightweight nature were key, I often sleep with ear buds and most can prove painful when the weight of your head and pillow pushes against them when sleeping on your side. Which means that most of the time with other earbuds I end up only wearing one.

The other was that I was intrigued as to how well the active noise cancellation would work, knowing that a good fitting earbud can provide significant passive isolation, could this be better with a combination of the two? Whilst these are far from the first earbuds, even from Sony to offer this. The other thing that attracted me was the price. At £179.99 ($199.99) they came in below what I was expecting given the specifications.

Ok, enough of the why, now for the how, how do they perform? Well the first word I uttered when I turned them on was WOW, mainly because these are loud, probably the loudest wireless earbuds I’ve ever tried. As for sound, well out of the box they needed a bit of a tweak in the EQ section of the app to get a sound I liked. Initially they were a little flat, I’m not bass head but being the (very) wrong side of 40, they needed a little lift in the treble too. I do wish that Sony had given us something more than just a 5 band adjustment with clear bass though.

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