It also applies to the LinkBuds S, a sort of sub-flagship model that offers many of the same features as the WF-1000X but in a less expensive package. The updated version of the Sony LinkBuds Truly Wireless is the Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless. Even yet, the S model of the LinkBuds is more akin to the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless than the original LinkBuds, even though the entire LinkBuds family was created with ambient sound in mind. Instead of an open-ear enclosure, they first have an in-ear fit and an active noise cancelling (ANC) technology to assist block out background noise. In comparison to the XM4, their design is relatively similar, but they are lighter and more comfortable due to the fact that most of their construction is composed of recycled plastic. Sony has shifted away from the fad of selecting a very bassy, boomy sound profile, albeit the change is not 180 degrees.

Sony LinkBuds S review: Design

The LinkBuds S is marketed by Sony as being “all-day comfortable.” The nicest part about them is that they are comfortable to use. They are little and light (4.8g each earbud). After a while, we hardly notice their existence in our ears; they resemble the WF-1000XM4 in appearance but are less substantial. The ear-tip sizes range from XS to L, and we discovered that the largest size was the one that best fit me. During normal use or exercise, the medium size didn’t result in the tightest fit; instead, the larger size produced the best airtight feeling. Although touch controls are sometimes criticized, the LinkBuds S’s responsiveness is a plus. These controls operate with a variety of taps and holds, much as the WF-1000XM4. Not all control settings are available by default; some cutting and modifying is necessary to get what you’ll need most. The Headphones Connect app allows for customization. The construction is robust enough. These earbuds are constructed of recycled plastic, much as the WH-1000XM5. However, there was a tiny chip from an unintentional drop on the concrete. The IPX4 grade offers some protection against perspiration or water. The case is incredibly small and pocket-friendly and has a smooth, pebble-like texture that suggests premium craftsmanship. The front of the device has an LED light that flashes various colors to indicate the battery’s status, while the back has a USB-C port. The LinkBuds S are offered in three finishes, including black, white, and cream.


The straightforward, rounded form is appealing to us and is understated enough to wear all day. We wore the LinkBuds S throughout a typical day because Sony advertises them as all-day earbuds. They were lightweight, plastic-free/recycled, and small enough to wear for several hours at a time. They also stayed put for us during workouts and commuting. That isn’t always the case with wireless earbuds, and it most definitely wasn’t the case for the LinkBuds WF-L900 in our testing. also you can read our article on Sony LinkBuds S review. The LinkBuds S fit may not be as secure or comfortable for everyone as they were for us, but once again, we were pleasantly surprised by how secure and at ease we felt with them in place throughout the review. As you might anticipate, LinkBuds S also come with a charging case and various ear tip sizes. The charging case has a rounded top and a flat bottom so it can sit upright on a flat surface. It resembles both the WF-1000XM4 case and the AirPods cases.

Sony LinkBuds S review: Connectivity

Bluetooth 5.2 functions efficiently and consistently. Thanks to Google Fast Pair, which can be activated with a single tap on Android smartphones, pairing occurs instantly. In open areas, range can extend up to 40 feet, which is several feet longer than the 32 feet that Sony advertises and just long enough to jump from room to room without any dropout. Speaking of which, Apple Music and Spotify both smoothly support the AAC and SBC codecs. Although it offers quick transfer rates, LDAC occasionally has the potential to degrade connection stability.

Noise canceling

In the audience at a college graduation, we put the LinkBuds S active noise suppression and transparency to the test. When the names of the graduates were called, ANC provided respite from obnoxious family members, and transparency mode brought us back into the action. Some loud frequencies (who brings an airhorn to commencement?) could still be heard despite the ANC’s successful struggle with other graduation attendees and the noisy traffic outside the collegiate football stadium. Although the LinkBuds S are highly convincing in transparency mode, we found that the AirPods Pro, among the best noise cancelling headphones, did a superior job of blocking out ambient noises in the same setting. With the band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” in the background, we could hear family members talking while the names of graduates were being called to walk the stage.

Audio performance

The LinkBuds S’s price position in Sony’s current lineup of wireless earbuds is known, but where do they stand in terms of audio quality? The general balance is fine, so that’s good. You’re rewarded to another fair performance by a Sony, which frequently occupies the Centre ground. The treble isn’t spiky, and neither does the bass sound tubby or obese. We Got 5 On It by Luniz has robust, precisely controlled lows that have little trouble lending weight to the bass notes that puncture the pages. There is texture there, and the individual notes provide a strong feeling of depth. On the other end, the percussion is clear and distinct. A vocal with added attitude sits in between the two. The Sonys provide a sufficient enough description when Limbo from Royal Blood is played with an orchestra. The rock-cum-classical group excels at painting with broad strokes and provides a tone of detail. They lack the open, airy sound of the standard Linkbuds, which is something we definitely miss. Our disappointment is increased by the sound’s apparent lack of propulsion and dramatic thrust. The timing doesn’t feel as precise, and the drum thwacks don’t land as strongly as they should. Nevertheless, all the necessary components are present and in place. Additionally, they lack some of the dynamic clout of significant competitors. Simply said, everything has a flat sound. The best wireless earbuds for the money really drive the drums, strings, and vocal home as the song crescendos, but the Sonys don’t seem to have the drive necessary to really carry the song forward. The earbuds struggle to provide enough separation and clarity, making all the different instrumental textures sound a little samey.

Sony LinkBuds S review: Call performance

We believe the call performance may be improved, the LinkBuds S made our voice sound considerably fuller than the original LinkBuds. The LinkBuds S are more practical for taking a fast conversation while out and about, even if we think, for example, that the Apple AirPods 3 are one of the best headphones with a mic for voice and video chats. When the background noise didn’t include voices, like those from a TV or radio announcement, the noise-cancelling earbuds appeared to work as intended.

Battery and charging

With ANC on, Sony claims that the earbuds have a six-hour battery life, and the case, if full, has a 14-hour battery life. 20 hours overall, especially with noise cancellation turned on, is respectable, but if you prefer, you can find earbuds with a longer battery life. And you might want to, given that the LinkBuds S failed to live up to Sony’s claims in my testing. They dropped from full to 41% on a two-hour train ride into London with ANC on the vast majority of the time. They recovered to 60% after a 15-minute charge from that point, but if they are completely dead, you might get more than 20%. Sony claims that a five-minute charge will provide one hour of playback, but that charge must be made via USB-C because the case lacks wireless charging like the XM4 case does. you will check our article on Sony LinkBuds S review.

Price and availability

They fall into the middle of the wireless earbud market because of this, and the price is very reasonable given what you get. But there’s a WF-1000XM4-shaped wrench in the works in this scenario. Older technology becomes less expensive over time, and since the XM4s are readily available for $220/£199 at the time of writing, the price difference isn’t that significant.


Sports and fitness enthusiasts will love the Sony LinkBuds S. These small, lightweight earbuds are a great option for running or working out because they fit securely but comfortably and are quite portable. Additionally, they are well-made and have IPX4 water splash resistance certification. The LinkBuds S are a great all-around, affordable package for a pair of true wireless earbuds, as was to be expected. In addition to being compact, lightweight, and comfortable, they also come in three different colours and offer nearly all of the features found in the WF-1000XM4 earbuds, including advanced noise cancellation with Adaptive Sound Control, Speak-to-Chat, wear sensors, LDAC, and many more.

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