Let me be frank with you. I have seen many headphones, tried them, used them for months and been disappointed. But when I opened up the Sony LinkBuds, I was pleasantly surprised. The USP is the unique design that isn’t just for shock value. The charging case that houses the LinkBuds comes in a tiny form and can fit in the palm of your hand. Note that if you throw it in your purse or backpack, you’ll have to dig it up. The matte dark gray cover is sleek and subtle and also quite sturdy. Sony claims the packaging is eco-friendly and sustainable.
And inside are the LinkBuds which are nothing like any pair of headphones you’ve seen. While Apple’s Airpods and their hockey stick design sparked several cheaper iterations, Sony’s new open-ring design is a game-changer. It may be the new truly wireless model for headphones.
HOW TO WEAR THEM?
I asked myself this question many times even as I marveled at the design. So if you opt for these, it will take some trial and error to get the best fit. But once they’re fitted, Sony’s LinkBuds are light and comfortable and one of the most comfortable fits in wireless headphones.
THE ‘NEVER OFF’ EXPERIENCE
In a sea of noise-canceling wireless headphones and earphones, Sony offers to keep you aware of your surroundings. The LinkBuds come with an “Audio Transparency” feature, which basically means you’re glued to what’s going on around you even when you’re running, writing your memoir, or in a team call. with the LinkBuds. This feature works surprisingly well and is convenient. Let’s face it, you don’t want to be caught nodding to your favorite songs when your boss is screaming for you!
There’s no active noise canceling feature by choice and some may find that annoying at this price point. Personally, I use headphones as a support feature to go wireless, not to muffle the noise. So if true ANC is your goal, go for the Apple Airpods Pro or Sony’s own ANC leader, the WF-1000XM4.
SOUND QUALITY: GOOD, NOT SPECTACULAR
Sony is known for its noise canceling audio category which has set the bar high for the competition. The Sony LinkBuds, however, are a curious proposition. Once you’ve paired the headphones to the Sony Headphones Connect app, you can customize controls, use Speak-to-Chat features and more. But I find these to be very cosmetic in nature and not value-added.
Spectacular, overpowered, intense – these are adjectives you probably wouldn’t use to describe the sound quality of the LinkBuds. And that’s because they hope to achieve another goal. LinkBuds let you enjoy music while connected to the mundane but important demands of the real world. The sound is sometimes a bit flat even when listening to high adrenaline rhythms.
But if you’re looking for great ambient sound in a comfortable earbud fit, the LinkBuds are your best bet.
SHOULD I BUY THEM?
At nearly Rs 20,000, the Sony LinkBuds are certainly an investment worth considering. They perform well when it comes to answering and receiving calls. Running with them was surprisingly fun considering the IPX4 rating and sweat-wicking design and no, they didn’t fall off! LinkBuds let you enjoy your favorite beats while keeping up to date with the activity around you. Is it something you want? Then the LinkBuds are a great buy.
Great design, comfortable fit and superb battery life can convince you to dish out some cash. If active noise cancellation had been added, that would have sweetened the deal.
SONY LINKBUDS: Rs 19,990
— COMPACT AND COMFORTABLE DESIGN
— BATTERY: 17.5 HOURS WITH CHARGING CASE
— EASY BLUETOOTH PAIRING
— NO ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION