Sony LinkBuds review: A very different beat | Are LinkBuds s worth it? : Did the true wireless earbuds category need a reinvention? Not sure, but re-imagining the design requires a fresh set of eyes.
And those set of eyes came from Sony in the form of the LinkBuds. Sony’s latest addition to the true wireless category is unique in many aspects. They don’t come cheap – priced at Rs 19,990 – but are worth a decoy for a number of reasons. We’ve been using the Sony LinkBuds for a while now and read our review to find out what makes the earbuds different and whether you should consider buying them:
Tired of similar looking earbuds? We definitely are. And that’s probably why the Sony LinkBuds come as a breath of fresh air in terms of design. Sony says these are the world’s smallest. We’re so used to eartips — silicone or otherwise — that at first glance these earbuds look a little weird straight out of the box.
Kudos to Sony for continuing to offer truly eco-friendly packaging for their earbuds. Sony LinkBuds Go looks different from the word go. The ‘body’ of the earbuds is in a circular shape and contains a speaker – ring-shaped – that actually goes inside your ear canal. It will take some effort to find out what goes.
Like we said, this is a very unique design that these earbuds sport.The earbuds come in two color options – black and white – and are made from recycled plastic materials but with a matte finish. The charging case is also quite small and is shaped like a mini trunk. You can find a status indicator light in the middle while the pairing button and USB-C port are on the back.
The charging case has magnets that hold the earbuds in place quite securely. The earbuds come with an IPX4 rating but no charging, so one needs to be careful.We found the earbuds to be quite small and some people would definitely find it uncomfortable. It is just design and there will be people who will not like the design.
Two reasons: People with smaller ears will find it difficult to wear them for long periods of time, and secondly, the design is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. As far as we’re concerned, it took us a while to get used to the design but once you’re set, these are a really comfortable pair of earbuds. You can wear them for hours without any kind of fatigue.
The only issue we had was with the touch controls on the Sony LinkBuds. Due to the small size, it was a bit difficult for us to tap them correctly to get the desired response. Sony has a way out of this problem with a feature called Wide Area Tap. This feature is really cool and with just a double or triple-tap in front of the ears, one can control the earbuds.
Sony LinkBuds Review: Performance
The Sony Headphones Connect app is required to get started with these earbuds. The app has several other features such as providing controls, and making use of speak-to-chat feature among others. We saw this feature on the WF-1000XM4 and it works well on the LinkBuds as well. As soon as you start talking, the music will stop automatically and if the earbud doesn’t detect that you’re talking, the music will resume.
For connectivity, the Sony LinkBuds come with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, support for SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. It’s surprising to see no advanced Bluetooth codec support on the Sony LinkBuds. The frequency response range on the earbuds is between 20-20,000Hz.
The Sony LinkBuds’ sound signature is a bit flat, to be fair. The bass level doesn’t hit the sweet spot and overall you feel like something is missing. AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” wakes most earbuds from their proverbial slumber. Brian Johnson – this is the first song he sang as the band’s lead singer – didn’t hit the right pitch on the Sony LinkBuds.
The melodious, acoustic type of tracks sound quite good. Like “Unchained Melody” from The Righteous Brothers. But switch to Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” and you’ll see that the treble levels are not optimal. Pick up Neil Diamond’s cute “Play Me” and it sounds melodious on the Linkbuds.
What we found is that songs that don’t have a thump are apt for these earbuds. But it’s clear that Sony isn’t going for the “best” audio experience on these earbuds. The earbuds have a purpose – for the purest form of ambient sound experience – and that they do quite well.
Having said that, we realized that the earbuds work really well for watching shows or listening to podcasts. The vocals are really clear and the same goes for making/receiving calls. The calling experience on the earbuds is quite good.
Battery life is pretty solid as you can easily get over 6 hours of playtime on a single charger. It has a quick charge feature that gives you an hour of playtime with just 5 minutes of charging. The other thing that we liked about the earbuds is that you can use them individually as well.
Sony LinkBuds Review: Verdict
If you’re one of those buyers who doesn’t want the run-of-the-mill by the dozen earbuds available on the market, the Sony LinkBuds are a good option. These earbuds look very different, feel very different and are extremely comfortable to wear.
If you want an ambient sound experience like no other, the Sony LinkBuds are the way to go. At Rs 19,990, the price point could be a tough sell for Sony, as there are more rounded options out there. Sony deserves a thumbs up for trying something unique here and the Sony LinkBuds are an experiment that works for the most parts.
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