Explore the evolution and impressive features of Sony Linkbuds S in a six-month journey... Read more
Test of Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Canceling Earbud Headphones with Alexa Built-in
- Superior noise cancellation
- Exceptional comfort with lightweight design
- Stable and reliable connection
- Convenient multi-point audio feature
- Quality mic and transparency mode
- Decent battery life
- Eco-friendly box packaging
- Lacks wireless charging support
- No volume control on earbuds
- Issues with multi-point connectivity
- Call quality can improve on clarity
“After six months of using Sony Linkbuds S, I am overall very pleased and impressed with their performance. While there were a few shortcomings, such as a lack of wireless charging and some challenges with volume control and multi-point connectivity, the comfort, sound quality, and well-implemented features like noise cancellation and transparency mode were standout features for me. For its price point, these earbuds certainly offer great value. So, if you prioritize comfort and high-quality audio in a pair of earbuds, without breaking the bank, the Sony Linkbuds S would be easy to recommend to both iPhone and Android users.”
Why trust Shaper Mint Review? Our analysts and reviewers specialists spend their days testing products and analyzing other users’ experiences to help you find a verified unbiased opinion on the product. See how we review
|Model Name||LinkBuds S|
|Form Factor||In Ear|
Initial Impressions of Sony Linkbuds S
When it comes to first impressions, the Sony Linkbuds S were initially quite underwhelming. My initial interaction was clouded by skepticism rather than enthusiasm. However, one of the best aspects of long-term use is that it often reveals merits that are not immediately evident, and such was the case with these earbuds.
Versatile Features and Reasonable Pricing: A Sweet Spot Hit
The Sony Linkbuds S turned out to be a pleasant surprise in performance. They boast an excellent balance of features and quality, perfectly suited for the price range. Their offering goes beyond just good sound, blending the much-needed mix of high-performing noise cancellation, water resistance, and a comfortable design. Given their price point, they offer great value, comfortably settling into the sweet spot where the price matches the package.
1 Noise Cancellation: High-Quality but Not without Limits
These earbuds have some genuinely impressive noise-cancelling capabilities, especially considering their price category. However, I should mention that while the feature is exceptional, it doesn’t exactly eclipse the performance provided by some pricier models such as the Sony WF-1000XM4s. Nonetheless, it holds its ground and certainly ranks as one of the best in this class.
2 Comparative Analysis: Sony WF-1000XM4s vs Sony Linkbuds S
After having used both for quite some time, I found that the Linkbuds S subtly outperforms the WF-1000XM4s in certain parameters. While the Linkbuds S didn’t immediately outshine Sony’s WF-1000XM4s in the beginning, they did bypass their higher-priced counterparts in terms of long-lasting comfort. Though not quite at par, their noise cancellation abilities were notably better than most earbuds in their price band, even close enough to be virtually indistinguishable in specific scenarios such as on an airplane.
Making a Case for Comfort & Usability
- Sony Linkbuds S offer remarkable comfort and usability
- Lightweight features and long-wearing comfort
- Eliminates ear soreness during vigorous activity
As a user who places a strong emphasis on comfort and usability, the Sony Linkbuds S provided a remarkable experience over the past six months. These aspects proved to be more critical than I initially presumed and played a major role in my growing appreciation for the product.
Ease of Transition: Improved from Initially Rough to Delightfully Smooth
The initial impression of the Sony Linkbuds S was somewhat rocky, with factors such as a rough-feeling case potentially posing as deterring features. However, with constant use, the material on the case seemed to smooth out. This unexpected but welcome transition elevated the product’s appeal, rendering an experience that was far more memorable and enjoyable than initially expected.
The Joy of Lightweight Comfort: A Standout Feature
One significant feature which personally resonated with me was the lightweight comfort offered by these earbuds. Weighing a mere 4.8g, I found they could be worn for hours without causing the usual discomfort associated with long-time usage of earbuds, making this a standout feature for the Linkbuds S.
Comparison: Comfort Levels against AirPods Pro and Beats Fit Pro
When compared to other popular products on the market, such as the AirPods Pro and Beats Fit Pro, the Sony Linkbuds S undoubtedly stood out in the comfort department. The other earbuds caused discomfort only 20 minutes into use, a stark contrast to the long-wearing comfort of the Linkbuds S. Thus, comfort remains a strong selling point for these earbuds.
Exercise and Ear Soreness: The Linkbuds S Advantage
Another commendable aspect was the complete elimination of soreness even after prolonged usage. During vigorous activity such as exercise, the Linkbuds S remained firmly in place and did not tumble out or induce the discomfort that usually accompanies such activities, reinforcing their overall usability.
Focusing on Features: Sound Quality and Connection Stability at a Glance
- Sony Linkbuds S have outstanding sound quality and connection stability
- They feature multi-point audio support for multiple devices
- Their transparency mode effectively balances environment and playback audio
Third on my list of things to examine about the Sony Linkbuds S is the sound quality and connection stability. Now, this is where these earbuds truly shone, much to my delight and surprise. Let me elaborate.
Decoding the Multi-point Audio Feature
One of the standout features for me was the multi-point audio support. Essentially, this feature allows me to play audio from more than one connected device at a time. Even better? On Android, you can enable multi-point audio whilst retaining LDAC, a high-quality audio codec these buds very much support. It felt as if Sony had managed, in this aspect, to strike a good balance between providing a seamless experience and maintaining sound quality.
Assessment of Mic Quality and Transparency Mode
Speaking of sound quality, next in focus was the mic quality and transparency mode. When testing the mics, the sound reproduction was admirable. However, would it have been better if, on closer analysis, there was a higher clarity level? Yes, it could have.
As for the transparency mode, now, that was impressive. The transparency mode on Sony Linkbuds S, in my experience, emphasized providing an enhanced feeling of ‘openness’ whilst ensuring background sounds aren’t too overpowering.
Evaluating the Transparency Mode: An AirPods Max Comparison
Choice of device-wise, the transparency mode on my AirPods Max truly remains unparalleled. Yet, when it came to comparing these two, the LinkBuds S didn’t fail to deliver a commendable performance. Especially when stacked against the Sony WF-1000XM4s, the LinkBuds S transparency mode appeared a smidge better, largely attributable to their improved on-board mics.
In the grand scheme of things, the Sony Linkbuds S are a comprehensive, well-rounded set of in-ear buds with a particularly laudable focus on maintaining comfort levels and sound quality. From their sound performance to their consistent connection stability, the Linkbuds S offers just the right combination of staple earbud features with a few surprises on the side.
Taking a Look at Power, Charging, and More
- Sony LinkBuds S offers six hours of battery life
- Does not support wireless charging
- Uses eco-friendly, plastic-free packaging
The Sony Linkbuds S earbuds prove to be a marvel in terms of power and associated features. This evaluation primarily revolves around the battery life, charging mechanism, and the tactile feel of the charging case.
Battery Life and Case Charging: The LinkBuds S Way
The battery life on the Sony LinkBuds S earbuds is commendable for its size and weight. Offering up to six hours of listening time, along with an additional 14 hours reserve in the case, it allows a balanced duration of use. The Sony headphones app also thoughtfully provides an alert when the headphone case battery levels dip below 30%. This gives users ample time to power up and ensure a seamless audio experience.
When it comes to charging, however, the Linkbuds S follows a more traditional route, employing a USB-C cable. One caveat here is that the earbuds do not support wireless charging, a modern amenity that might be sorely missed by tech enthusiasts accustomed to it.
Case Feel and Packaging: Eco-friendly Commitment and its Impact
Upon initial impression, the Linkbuds S earbud case had a rough, rugged feel to it. But over the course of six months, the case material has definitely improved in texture, slowly transforming from rough to pleasantly smooth. This evolvement speaks volumes to the craftsmanship of Sony.
On a more eco-conscious note, it’s impressive and worth appreciating that Sony joined the companies committed to a greener earth by embracing plastic-free packaging for Linkbuds S. The green initiative is a step in the right direction towards environmentally responsible manufacturing and distribution.
In conclusion, while the Linkbuds S might lack some of the modern whims like wireless charging, it does make up for it on other fronts such as battery life, user-friendly alerting, and eco-friendly measures.
Audio Performance and the Joy of Clarity
- Sony Linkbuds S’s audio quality is rich and deep
- Status page allows for monitoring of decibel levels
- DSEE technology upscales low-quality music
Audio quality is arguably one of the most critical aspects of any earbud experience, and Sony’s Linkbuds S did not disappoint in this regard. The thing to focus on here is not just how well they churn out sound but the depth and richness of the audio experience they offer.
The Status Page and Health-Friendly Features
One remarkable feature I discovered was on the status page. It allows you to monitor the decibel level you’re listening to with your earbuds. Why does this matter, you ask? The benefits are twofold:
- Reduction in the risk of ear damage: With constant monitoring, you’re less likely to listen to music at unsafe levels that could permanently damage your hearing. If you value your long-term hearing health, you’ll appreciate this small but crucial feature.
- Prevention of discomfort: Keeping tabs on the decibel levels can also help avoid unnecessary discomfort from loud music, especially during long hours of use.
1 Sound Profile Testing and DSEE Technology: Sony Innovations at Play
As for the sound profile of the Linkbuds S, they came with an in-app EQ feature that lets you tailor the sound to your preferences. However, the out-of-the-box sound was pretty impressive, and I didn’t feel a need to tweak it much. The DSEE technology, Sony’s proprietary feature for upscaling low-quality music, offers more clarity and detail. While its impact isn’t dramatic, especially for those streaming modern music through high-quality apps, it’s still a nifty feature to have.
2 Praise for Sony Linkbuds S Sound Quality: Going Beyond the Price Range
The last, but not the least, thing I must commend about the Linkbuds S is the sound quality. Despite their price range, they served a pleasant auditory experience. They delivered a clean sound, albeit with a bit less separation in certain tracks compared to higher-end models. Yet, considering their affordability, I must say their performance was commendable and delivered great value for the price. Unbiasedly speaking, the rich and clear audio output can give a serious competition to some higher-end models out there.
Areas For Improvement: Evaluating the Downsides
- Lack of wireless charging in Sony Linkbuds S
- No tap or swipe controls for volume
- Issues with multi-point connectivity
The Sony Linkbuds S is quite an impressive pair of earbuds, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few areas where it could improve. Let’s shed light on these aspects and how they influenced my overall user experience.
Wireless Charging: A Much-Needed Feature
One significant drawback that I have found is the lack of wireless charging support. In a world where most tech gadgets now come with this feature, the omission was disappointing. Having wireless charging capability would have made these earbuds near-perfect, making them more accessible and convenient to charge in this smart era.
Earbud Volume Control: A Feature Missed
It may not seem like a significant issue, but as a user, the absence of tap or swipe controls to regulate the volume on the Linkbuds S was a conspicuous absence. This missing feature could have been easily solved by integrating it into the app, thus providing a more seamless listening experience. This was particularly noticeable since most competing earbuds on the market provide such an interactive feature.
Challenges with Multi-point Connectivity: A User Experience Perspective
Multi-point connectivity is a commendable feature in the Linkbuds S. However, I found in my personal usage – it could lead to a couple of mishaps . For instance, while trying to trigger the assistant on one connected device, I ended up activating it on another device. This can disrupt the flow of usage and might require a more intelligent approach to device recognition. A smoother transition between devices would significantly enhance user experience.
In conclusion, even with its sophisticated features and impressive performance, the Sony Linkbuds S leaves some room for improvement. Addressing these issues could significantly enhance user experience and widen their appeal to a larger audience.
Phone Calls on the Sony Linkbuds S: The Struggle with Background Noise
- Sony Linkbuds S struggle with background noise during calls
- Lack of control over noise cancellation during calls
- Enhancement needed for better communication experience
Every product has its shortcomings and the Sony Linkbuds S are no different. One area where these wireless buds have room for improvement is during phone calls. Let’s dissect this issue.
The Conflict of Transparency Mode and Noise Cancellation during Calls
If you’re a frequent caller or anyone who relies heavily on their earbuds for conversations, this may come as a rather noticeable shortcoming. When you start a phone call on the Linkbuds S, the transparency or ambient sound mode activates. In many situations, this is a good thing. It allows you to be aware of your surroundings while you’re engaged in a conversation.
However, consider this scenario: you’re in a noisy environment and you want to block out as much of the background noise as possible so that you can focus on your call. Ideally, you’d want to switch to noise cancellation, but with the Linkbuds S, this isn’t an option.
Contrasting this with my experience with the XM4s, you can activate noise cancellation with a simple tap on the left earbud. This dramatically reduces environmental noise, making it easier to concentrate on the call. Unfortunately, with the Linkbuds S, this feature seems missing, making calls in such settings slightly challenging. It’s something critical that needs to be addressed so users can have the flexibility of manually controlling noise cancellation.
In a nutshell, while the Linkbuds S ace the game in many aspects, this shortcoming with noise cancellation during calls is something to reckon with. Improving on this front could enhance the communication experience for users immersed in noisy ambient environments.
In Conclusion: Evaluating the Sony Linkbuds S Experience
In wrapping up, the past six months with the Sony Linkbuds S have undeniably given me a new perspective on wireless earbuds. This reflection has led me to deeper insights that shape my overall evaluation of the product.
Summarizing Six Months with Sony Linkbuds S
There’s no denying that the initial phase was marked with skepticism. Their first impression didn’t quite hit the mark, but as I continued using them, my appreciation for their features, quality, and price grew substantially. I discovered that often a product requires time to fully understand its potential and the Linkbuds S were such a case. I particularly admired their noise cancellation abilities, the reliability of connection, and transparency modes. However, they didn’t come without shortcomings; the lack of wireless charging support and challenges with multi-point connectivity were noticeable snags.
Where and How to Buy: Details for Interested Customers
Occasionally on sale for a price between $120 and $150, the Sony Linkbuds S are definitely in the affordable range for both iPhone and Android users. They pair easily with devices such as Windows PCs and Macs, a factor that heightens their appeal. Be sure to research the most reliable place to purchase a set and to check current pricing.
Farewell Note: Assessing all Aspects of the Sony Linkbuds S
All in all, Sony Linkbuds S validate the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. If you’re on the hunt for a set of earbuds that prioritizes comfort, sound quality, and is impressive enough to compete with slightly more expensive options in the market, consider trying out the Sony Linkbuds S. The features that once seemed like downsides may turn out to be uniquely suited to your preferences. It’s all part of the journey with Sony Linkbuds S – one that turns a skeptical first impression into a profound appreciation for the product’s uniqueness.
Should you buy the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Canceling Earbud Headphones with Alexa Built-in?
Buy it if…
Appreciate High-Quality Sound
The Sony Linkbuds S offer a high-quality sound experience within its price range. While not matching the WF-1000XM4s, the sound clarity is present and impressive for earbuds in this category.
Comfort is Key
The LinkBuds S are noted for being exceptionally comfortable, especially with sustained use, making them ideal for long commutes or extended periods of wear.
You are Looking for a Stable Bluetooth Connection
Sony Linkbuds S offer a remarkable connection stability. They also support multi-point audio, making it possible to simultaneously connect and play audio from numerous devices.
Don’t buy it if…
You Require Wireless Charging
The Sony Linkbuds S, unfortunately, do not come with wireless charging capabilities. For some, this may be a notable downside and a factor to consider before purchase.
You Need Instant Volume Control
The Sony Linkbuds S do not have a swift swipe or tap control feature for volume management. This could be a hindrance for those who often need to adjust volume quickly.
Expect Intuitive Multi-point Connectivity
The Linkbuds S can sometimes struggle to discern which device you are actively using when connected to multiple devices, potentially triggering the virtual assistant on the wrong device.
- Are the Sony Linkbuds S noise cancelling?
Yes, the Sony Linkbuds S feature noise cancellation, and their performance in this area is praised as one of the best in their price range.
- How’s the comfort of Sony Linkbuds S?
The Sony Linkbuds S are described as extremely comfortable, capable of being worn for hours due to their small and lightweight design. They were even found to cause no ear soreness.
- What is unique about the Sony Linkbuds S connection?
The Sony Linkbuds S’s connection is praised for its stability. The earbuds also support multi-point audio, allowing you to play audio from more than one connected device at a time.
- What is the battery life of Sony Linkbuds S?
The Sony Linkbuds S have a battery life of up to 6 hours, with an additional 14 hours available from the charging case.
- What’s the difference in sound quality between Sony Linkbuds S and WF-1000XM4s?
While Sony Linkbuds S have good sound quality for their price range, the richer sound quality of WF-1000XM4s with more fullness and separation in certain tracks is noted.
- Do the Sony Linkbuds S support wireless charging?
No, the Sony Linkbuds S do not support wireless charging – this was mentioned as a feature that could be improved.
- Do the Sony Linkbuds S allow volume control?
The Sony Linkbuds S don’t have controls for adjusting volume directly from the earbuds.
- Do the Sony Linkbuds S support multi-assistant?
The Sony Linkbuds S do support multiple assistants like Google Assistant, and Amazon Assistant, but can sometimes trigger the wrong assistant on the wrong device during multi-point connectivity.