Why is it important: The market for true wireless stereo headphones (TWS) is currently saturated with options at all price points. However, Sony’s new LinkBuds S may stand out as they focus on being as comfortable and lightweight as possible without sacrificing features you’d expect for their $200 price tag, like active noise cancellation (ANC).
Sony has just announced the new LinkBuds S, a set of TWS headphones. developed to be as comfortable as possible, yet with active noise cancellation and high-quality sound.
Unlike the open design LinkBuds released earlier this year, LinkBuds S have a more traditional design, reminiscent of Sony’s flagship WF-1000XM4. However, the LinkBuds S are much smaller and lighter at just 4.8 grams each.
The headphones feature 5mm drivers and an integrated Sony V1 processor to enable high-resolution audio streaming with proprietary LDAC codec and DSEE Extreme upscaling. The company also plans to add a low latency mode for games, though it’s not available at launch.
The LinkBuds S have ANC, though Sony says it’s not as good as the WF-1000XM4. There is also a transparency mode for more ambient sound. Users can switch between them with a simple tap on the left earbud. In addition, Sony includes adaptive audio control that adjusts ambient sound settings based on your activity or location, and a Chat Talk feature that automatically pauses audio and activates transparency mode when it senses you’re talking.
Battery life is about 6 hours with noise cancellation turned on, and the case can add another 14 hours of use. Juicing for just five minutes will give you an hour of use, but it doesn’t support wireless charging. The earbuds are also IPX4 rated, making them sweat resistant.
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