Sony adds LinkBuds S to its earphone series

The (Dar)LinkBuds of May...

by Ian Collen
Hi-Fi News

Sony adds LinkBuds S to its earphone series

Sony has announced the latest addition to its blossoming LinkBuds series of earphones, with the LinkBuds S laying claim to the title of “the world’s smallest and lightest, noise cancelling, Hi-Res truly wireless headphones.”

Of course, that’s a very specific title that needs to be treated with a handful of salt, with the original WF-L900 LinkBuds some 0.7g lighter than this new arrival, which weighs in at 4.8g (and gets the more official but way less-cool model name of WF-LS900N). Regardless, the broader point is that Sony is managing to cram an awful lot of impressive technology into these very small packages, comparing favourably in relation to its larger siblings like the recently announced WH-1000XM5 headphones.

As with its predecessor, the LinkBuds S is designed for a “never off” wearing experience, meaning that you can seamlessly switch between its high-quality noise cancelling tech and the more natural ambient set-up as your day-to-day focus flits between the real world and your music, phone or TV. The Buds also use Adaptive Sound Control to automatically adjust the ambient sound settings based on your location and the noise around you, along with Voice Pickup technology that optimises the microphones in each earbud to ensure your calls remain crystal clear.

Sony adds LinkBuds S to its earphone series
The Sony LinkBuds S are available in black, white and ecru – described as "the colour of unbleached linen".

The LinkBuds S come with a new 5mm driver unit promising a “powerful bass and stunning clear vocals”, while Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 boasts of improved noise cancelling and sound quality, while reducing distortion with less power. Courtesy of the company’s own LDAC codec, you can enjoy High-Resolution Audio Wireless, while DSEE Extreme can upscale your digital music files in real-time.

One new addition to the LinkBuds S experience is Sony’s collaboration with Niantic in creating an augmented reality (AR) title called Ingress. The game implements use of the model’s sensor and spatial sound technology that affects the way that you hear in-game sounds based on the direction you’re facing. The buds are also ready for the Bluetooth-friendly LE Audio that supports ultra-low latency for an even smoother gaming experience.

As you might expect, there’s further compatibility with Goggle Assistant and Alexa for hands-free help, plus an intuitive touch-sensor control panel for making manual adjustments with minimal fuss. There’s also support for the likes of Spotify and Endel, along with Fast Pair to hook up your Android devices and Swift Pair for your Windows PC, laptop or tablet.

Sony adds LinkBuds S to its earphone series
With the charging case in tow, you can get up to 20 hours of playback from the LinkBuds S.

Sony’s idea of a “full working day of charge” equates to six hours with the noise cancelling function turned on, but you can add a further 14 hours to that with the accompanying charging case, with a quick five-minute charge providing up to an hour’s playback, with a full charge taking around three hours.

The Sony LinkBuds S will be available from the end of May, priced at £179 (€199), with a black, white and ecru finish to choose from. You can find out more on the Sony website, with its UK site already taking orders. They look the part, and are plastic free with recycled materials, but have the LinkBuds caught your attention beyond just the snappy branding?

SOURCE: Sony (via press release)
IMAGES: Sony

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