Sony’s leaked LinkBuds S wireless earbuds could fix its predecessor's biggest issue

a closeup of the sony linkbuds
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Sony might be on the verge of unveiling a slightly refined version of its new LinkBuds True Wireless Earbuds, if some new images leaked on Twitter are to be believed.

Images that popped up from leaker account SnoopyTech on Twitter on April 21 purportedly unveil a new version of the Sony LinkBuds, codenamed the Sony LinkBuds S. Looking at the images, the new true wireless model trades out the hole in the center of the earbuds for a round vent near the ear canal that can allow sound to pass through. 

Overall, they look a lot like Sony’s other mainstay true wireless earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM4, but could allow for better ambient awareness through the vent - keeping true to Sony’s LinkBuds ethos - without using an open hole that can’t be covered.

That, in so many ways, could fix some of the LinkBuds’ biggest issues.

Analysis: The LinkBuds alternative for us

When they were released a few months ago, the Sony LinkBuds were divisive in the audio world. Some saw real potential in the open-ear design that allowed you to keep tabs on what's going on around you - particularly if you work from home with small children. While others felt they were a bit uncomfortable and lacked bass.

Using a vent instead of an open hole would allow the LinkBuds to close off the vent when you don't need ambient awareness - boosting bass response in the process - and unplug the vent when you want to let the outside world in.

Because they share a similar design to the Sony WF-1000XM4, they're bound to be a bit more comfortable than the LinkBuds were and they'll stay in the ears a bit better for some folks as well.

Unfortunately, there's no word on price or release date for these models - we're still waiting on Sony to confirm or deny their existence publicly - but May and June are usually the time when Sony talks about its upcoming audio products. 

Hopefully, the LinkBuds S will be among them.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.