Sony LinkBuds S Review – Light, Comfortable, Smart
+ Sustainable, non-fingerprint magnet, sandstone material
+ Comfortable for people with small ears
+ Advanced audio software
+ Adaptive ambient noise control
+ Impressive Noise Canceling
+ Audio is crisp and clear
- Narrow soundstage
- Short battery life
- Occasional connection lost
- Earbuds feel warm on touch after long period of usage
Unboxing the Sony LinkBuds S
The Sony LinkBuds S comes in a grey box that is the same within their family, the Sony LinkBuds.
The main box contains three smaller boxes that separate its contents into different compartments.
Inside the box, you can find the following items:
- User guide
- USB to USB-C cable
- 3 extra pairs of earbuds of different sizes
- Tidal 3-Month Music Service Free Trial
- The Sony LinkBuds S
|Frequency Response||20 Hz – 20,000 Hz (44.1kHz sampling) / 20Hz-40,000Hz (LDAC 96kHz sampling 990kbps)|
|Headphone Type||Closed, Dynamic|
|Connection||Bluetooth Specification Version5.2|
|Noise-cancelling||Ambient Sound Mode, Quick Attention|
|Battery||Continuous Music Playback Time
Max. 6 hrs (NC On) / Max. 9 hrs (NC Off)
Continuous Communication Time
Max. 3.5 hrs (NC On) / Max. 3.5 hrs (NC Off)
Max. 8.5 hrs (NC On) / Max. 16 hrs (NC Off)
|Colour||Ecru, White, Black|
The Sony LinkBuds S is the latest product of the LinkBuds series of wireless earbuds. The product has a sandstone texture that has a unique and nice feel to it and is rather durable despite being tossed in my bag, with not a single scratch to be seen! The material is also a non-fingerprint magnet which does not require much cleaning.
One thing that I really like about the LinkBuds S is that the earbuds fit my ears comfortably. As a person with small and waxy ears, it is pretty tough to find the perfect earphones fit. However, the earbuds’ design suits my ear and has a feature that can assist me in selecting the best eartips that are suitable for me. Despite moving quite a lot and tipping my head side to side, the earbuds did not slip out of my ears and I did not need to constantly readjust them.
The Bluetooth effective range of the LinkBuds S by Sony is 10 meters which are half of a tennis court. With this, I am able to do my chores around the house with my phone upstairs without the device’s connection being disrupted or disconnected.
The pairing starts immediately as soon as you take the earbuds out from the casing and they are compatible with Android and Windows 11 devices. The button on the back of the casing allows you to pair the earbuds to other devices seamlessly by either holding the button once and pairing them through your Bluetooth settings or through Google Fast Pair in Android and Swift Pair in Windows. The earbuds are compatible with iOS devices where you have to manually pair the earbuds.
Sony provides the advanced audio software, Sony | Headphones Connect which features Adaptive Sound Control that senses the activity that I am doing, such as Staying, Walking, Running, and Transport, while controlling the amount of ambient noise surrounding me.
I can choose between a full Noise Cancelling or adjusting the level of the Ambient Sound or just only focus on voices when wearing the earbuds. The Noise Cancelling of the LinkBuds S is impressive as it cancels out loud noises such as a loud cafe blender mixing drinks or annoying construction noises
Despite the audio being transmitted being clear and crisp while watching videos and gaming, it is an issue when listening to music. The LinkBuds S did not meet my expectations during Hans Zimmer’s No Time for Caution, as I could not enjoy the immersive instrumental performance due to the narrow soundstage.
However, while listening to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the earbuds showed excellent clarity and could capture the mids and vocals of the song very well from the soft trickling sound of the guitar to the multi-voice choir.
Despite Sony stating that the LinkBuds S can last up to 6 hours, I could get up to only 4.5 hours of continuous usage, which isn’t long for battery life. The right earbud takes significantly more battery than the left as it is used for the playback control whereas the left bud is used for volume control. The controls are customizable for each bud, so the usage depends on each individual.
One thing that concerns me was the occasional connection lost around the 45% battery mark even though my phone is relatively near the earbuds. It did not happen as often after several uses, but it sure is a problem that you should keep an eye out for when using it. Lastly, the earbuds do feel slightly warmer on touch after a long period of usage but the warmth could not be felt through the ears, just on my fingertips when utilizing the controls.
If you want to compare it to the original Sony LinkBuds, click right here for our review of it.
Sony LinkBuds S Verdict
Personally, I find it difficult to suggest the Sony LinkBuds S as its starting price is RM929. There are better options out there that offer longer battery life and a more immersive experience. However, if you are looking for a pair with amazing built quality with good audio software with Noise Cancelling and adjustable Ambient Sound control, you can consider getting these earbuds.
For that, I give the Sony LinkBuds S a Silver Pokdeward.
Our thanks to Sony Malaysia for sending us the Sony LinkBuds S for this review.