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Sony LinkBuds Review: A Fresh Take On TWS Functionality
- Compact design
- Light weight
- Dedicated button to pair/unpair
- Unique formfactor
- No ANC
Sony has always been at the forefront when it comes to music peripherals. From the Walkman series to the recently launched WH-1000XM5 headphones, the company has a reputation for delivering high-fidelity music accessories. Time and again, Sony has also done a lot of experiments in the world of audio, and while some of them didn't make it big, some paid off really well for the company.
The Sony LinBuds is also one such product that defies the industry norms with an open-ear type design. The Sony LinkBuds currently retail in India for Rs. 12,990, and here is the review of these unique TWS-style earphones that you can buy in India.
Sony LinkBuds Design
Apple set a new trend for TWS with the launch of the original AirPods, paving the way for a whole new world of accessories. You can now buy TWS-style earphones for less than Rs. 1,000. Not just that, you can also get cheap earphones that look just like the AirPods but there is nothing like the LinkBuds on the market right now.
If you are an audiophile, then you might be familiar with the concept of open-back earphones which deliver clear and natural-sounding audio when compared to closed-back earphones. The LinkBuds use a similar concept, allowing you to stay connected with nature even when you are listening to music.
To achieve this form factor, LinkBuds use a new form of ear hooks that offer a snug fit for the majority of users. While most TWS earphones with medium-sized ear tips just work for my ears, I had to play around with the various ear hooks to get a proper fit on this one.
After a few tries, I was able to find the right fit. However, the left earbud did cause some pain due to the way these earbuds sit inside the ear. While these are definitely unique-looking earphones, they do lose some point on practicality.
LinkBuds Come With A Compact Carry Case
What I really loved about the LinkBuds is the compact carry case, which also doubles as a battery pack. Unlike most TWS earphones (including the AirPods Pro) these do not use a magnetic mechanism for opening and closing. Instead, there is a hook that keeps the top lid of the case locked in place, which can be released with a touch of a button.
On top of that, the carry case also has a physical pairing button, which comes in handy for using these earphones with multiple devices. These are also environmentally conscious products, as they are completely made out of recycled plastic while the packaging uses recycled paper.
If you feel the AirPods Pro case is compact, the Sony LinkBuds case is smaller, which makes it easy to carry around. While there is a USB Type-C port for charging, I would have really loved it if the LinkBuds came with wireless charging capability, especially considering the retail price.
LinkBuds Are On Par With Other Premium TWS
Despite being a niche product, the LinkBuds has almost everything that one can expect from a premium TWS, which includes features like LDAC support, wear detection, audio customization support, and adaptive volume control, which automatically changes the volume based on the ambient sound.
The LinkBuds are also IPX4 rated for water resistance, so you should be able to wear these while working out. The only major feature missing from the Sony LinkBuds is the active noise cancellation, which is understandable considering the design of these earphones.
Sony LinkBuds Audio Experience
If you can find the right fit, the Sony LinkBuds can deliver above-average sound output. If you are a bass-head or who loves very loud earphones, then the LinkBuds won't suit you. Given the open-ear-style design, you can listen to the crown when you are outside, even if you are playing the music at 100 percent volume.
The Sony LinkBuds offer balanced audio output. And the same also applies to the microphone quality, I did take a lot of calls on the Sony LinkBuds and the person on the other side was able to hear me without any issues, even when I was outside with a lot of ambient sounds.
The LinkBuds are also equipped with modern connectivity features such as Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair, which makes it easy to pair these earphones with an Android smartphone or a Windows laptop.
How Long Can LinkBuds Last?
The LinkBuds can deliver 5.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, and this stayed true for my case. I also liked the fact that the LinkBuds also support fast charging, and the carry case can fully charge these earphones twice. Besides, charging for just 10 minutes can deliver 90 minutes of music playback time.
Verdict: Try Before You Buy
Not every ear is alike, despite Sony claiming it has used extensive ear data (starting from 1982), the LinkBuds might not offer a great fit for everyone. Hence, if you are planning to buy these, give them a try before you spend your hard-earned money.
The Sony LinkBuds are for those who would like to have their TWS on their ear on the go. It does offer good audio and above-average battery life. While the missing ANC could be one of the drawbacks of the Sony LinkBuds for most users, it shouldn't be a dealbreaker.