Sony’s LinkBuds S are the latest to join the ever-growing TWS earbuds segment and offer a slightly lower priced option to their flagship earbuds – the WF-1000XM4
I still remember travel in a pre-pandemic world. Although TWS earbuds were already part of my travel kit back then, I still preferred a set of over-the-ear headphones when I really needed to immerse myself in music. Cut to 2022 and post-pandemic travel (the masks are finally off too!), those bulky headphones don’t figure in my travel essentials. It’s testimony to the
acoustics of new age TWS Bluetooth earbuds that have brought their A game to the table this year. From Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro to the new AirPods Pro, this list keeps getting more impressive each month. Sony’s LinkBuds S are the latest buds to join this party and offer a slightly lower priced option to their flagship earbuds – the WF-1000XM4.
The first thing you will notice when you check out the case is its featherlight form and the distinctive matte finish. It’s a good thing, this case is less likely to slip out of your hand and damage the buds as a consequence. The design sticks to Sony’s design aesthetic, it looks premium but doesn’t break any new ground. We checked out the sedate black colour option. The earbuds are light and are comfortable to wear for hours at a stretch. That’s a key win for any pair of earbuds. The case is slim enough to slide into your tight jeans or portfolio bags; a slim case is almost a given for earbuds now.
Sony’s companion app is quite intuitive and works well across platforms. I paired these buds with an iPhone and a Samsung device and the pairing process was a breeze. The app also snaps a picture of your ears to provide the perfect ear fit. Sony’s earbuds have always scored on the ANC (Active noise cancellation) front and the LinkBuds S is no exception. I spent a couple
of hours in an Uber where these buds shut out external sounds and the music in the car. You get multiple sound cancellation modes that also allow you to stay plugged into external sounds when you need to.
Comparisons with the WF-1000XM4 are inevitable. We can say that these buds hold their own and yet the flagship WF-1000XM4 has a clear edge over the LinkBuds S. Sony has kitted these buds with 5mm drivers. Sony’s buds always deliver on bass and so does the LinkBuds S. There are multiple sound modes and they offer a distinctive experience. I switched to the ‘vocal’ mode while listening to Varaha Roopam from Kantara and this mode elevated the rich vocals. I toggled to ‘excited’ mode and was transported to a nightclub while checking out the ‘loungy’ beats in Changing Lanes by Joseph Ray. We’ll say this, the LinkBuds S are among the best earbuds at this price point in terms of audio credentials. Battery life is solid (we managed about 18-20 hours with the case) but a lack of wireless charging is a miss at this price point. Call quality is great – my callers could hear me even when I was in a cab with background traffic noise.
There’s a lot to like about Sony’s new TWS earbuds – from premium design, terrific sound quality and decent battery life. It deserves to be in your consideration set if you’re looking for Bluetooth earbuds around the Rs 15K price point. The Sony LinkBuds S (WF-LS900N) cost Rs 16,999.