The new Sony LinkBuds S earbuds are pricey, but they might be worth it

Sony LinkBuds S
(Image credit: Sony)
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Sony has announced its new noise-cancelling LinkBuds S earbuds, which feature much of the audio tech from the company's excellent WF-1000XM4 earbuds, in a lighter and more affordable package.

The buds, which have been heavily leaked, sport Sony’s Integrated Processor V1, which enables that noise-cancelling and reduces distortion while taking little energy from the battery. They have also DSEE Extreme to restore audio quality that may get lost in compression.

Delivering this sound are two dynamic 5mm drivers with a water resistance rating of IPX4, allowing them to survive splashes of water.

Leading the suite of features is Adaptive Sound Control. The earbuds will automatically adjust their sound to suit the surrounding environment, but the amount of adjustment is dependent on where you're located. Sony claims the AI behind Adaptive Sound Control will learn user behaviors, and recognize locations you visit often.

The LinkBuds S also have Precise Voice Pickup Technology, which functions similar to Adaptive Sound Control. This feature controls the microphones present on both buds to ensure clear phone conservations by automatically suppressing ambient noise.

Customize your listening

Sony also included some interesting quality-of-life features. You can enable Speak-to-Chat, which will pause the music playing whenever it detects you having a conversation with someone. Proximity sensors are present inside the buds, and pause the music whenever you take them out.

If you want even more control, the LinkBuds S have sensors that let you adjust settings, control music apps, and activate Endel, an app that lets you create personalized sound profiles.

The last set of notable features involves Sony’s recent partnerships. The LinkBuds S works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and has a unique functionality with the AR mobile game Ingress (opens in new tab). The title will take advantage of the earbuds' sensors and features to deliver spatial sound.

And if you’re curious about the battery, the LinkBuds S has a max battery life of 16 hours with noise canceling turned off. The earbuds will launch at the end of May in the US for around $200 in either Black, White, or Cream colors.

If you live in the UK (opens in new tab) you can purchase them right now for £179. If you're in Australia you'll need to wait till late June, though, with the LinkBuds S setting you back AU$349.95 (opens in new tab).

Sony’s recent headphones have been getting rave reviews. The WF-1000XM4 Wireless Earbuds have been enjoyed by critics who love its rich sound and controls. Then there are the WH-1000XM5 headphones which also sport Speak-to-Chat and similar sound control.

If this keeps up, our best wireless earbuds list might need an update.

Cesar Cadenas
Contributor

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.