Due for an imminent launch, the Sony LinkBuds are a smart and lightweight earphone that look to offer a seamless audio experience that enables you keep one ear on the outside world, so you may never have to turn them off.
Sony’s latest earphone innovation is certainly an interesting proposition, with the company itself declaring the LinkBuds as “a new frontier for headphones”. Whether that will ring true remains to be seen, but the idea of a bud that doesn’t look to cancel out noise from the outside world, but instead accepts that you may well have more important things to be listening out for than your Spotify playlist, is bold step. Perhaps the only thing you won’t hear so much is the WF-L900 model name, which is sure to be lost among the much cooler LinkBuds branding.
Priced at £149, the LinkBuds (see!) are compact and lightweight – just 4.1g each – and have been crafted using “ear shape data” to ensure a snug fit that should stay comfortably in place. They benefit from a 12mm ring driver with the central diaphragm built into the housing, and an open ring design using audio transparency. This means that you should still be able to hear a friend calling out, or your phone or doorbell ringing, without having to mute your music or pausing your TV/gaming playback. There’s also a Speak-to-Chat function that will automatically pause the music when you start a conversation, which then hits the play button when you say your goodbyes (after 15 seconds by default, or with a quick manual tap).
This helps to support the idea that you may never have to turn off the earphones – or at least you can leave them in for long periods as you should be able to continue your daily routine with them in place and not miss any real-life audio inputs. Although there is some automation to the drop in/out playback as mentioned, there is a double/triple tap system in place, and with Wide Area Tap technology you’ll be able to touch your ear rather than the buds themselves to avoid knocking them out of their comfort zone.
Of course, that “never off” status is dependent on battery life, with the LinkBuds offering 5.5 hours of playback (which Sony describes as “a full working day of charge” without even a wink to camera). However, you can add to that a further 12 hours of power stored in the carry case – with 90 minutes of use ready from just a 10-minute charge.
The Lowdown on the Sony WF-L900 LinkBuds
The WF-L900 (it’s not the same, is it?) buds are powered by Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 along with a Digital Sound Enhancement Engine to deliver high quality performance with minimal distortion. There’s also 360 Reality Audio, so you can hear each experience as it was originally intended, with Microsoft Soundscape also integrated into the package. You’ll also find the buds rated with IPX4 water resistance – but not the carry case, so don’t take that with you into the shower.
Other features include Adaptive Volume Control to keep the levels in perfect harmony with your ambient surroundings. The earphones also use precision voice pickup technology to enhance the voice signal processing, with advanced AI in place to recognise and accentuate your voice. There’s also Fast Pair functionality across a host of Android devices and Swift Pair for Windows 11 or 10 products, along with Voice Assistant for your Google and Alexa commands.
The LinkBuds have a launch date of February, so expect them to be available imminently, priced at £149 in the UK and €180 in Ireland (other regional variations may apply). You can get them in a crisp white or deep grey finish, and can find out more on the Sony WF-L900 product page. Although we still don't think that model name is going to stick...
SOURCE: Sony (via press release)