Sony is taking another crack at the open-style earbuds market. Today, the company is introducing its new LinkBuds, priced at $179.99, and it takes just one look at them to realize that these aren’t your everyday true wireless earbuds. The LinkBuds have a unique style, which Sony refers to as an “open ring design.”
That big donut hole cut through the earbuds allows you to hear more ambient sound at all times. Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live, Sony isn’t bothering to equip the LinkBuds with ineffective active noise cancellation. If you want actual ANC, the WF-1000XM4 earbuds are still your answer.
The LinkBuds don’t have silicone tips; they just sit in your ears with the help of silicone supporter arcs. (Sony includes four sizes in the box.) Their 12mm ring-shaped audio driver is powered by the same V1 processor as Sony’s 1000XM4 buds and offers DSEE audio upscaling but lacks the LDAC support found in the pricier flagship earbuds.
To control the LinkBuds — skip tracks, adjust volume, etc. — you can actually tap the section of your skin right in front of your ear instead of having to find the earbuds themselves. Sony calls this “wide area tap.”
Battery-wise, the LinkBuds offer 5.5 hours of continuous playback on a charge, with the case containing 12 additional hours. They’re rated IPX4 for water resistance and support Fast Pair on Android and Swift Pair on Windows 10 / 11. Unfortunately, they lack wireless charging, which is disappointing for the price.
I’ve been wearing the LinkBuds for the last several days, and the looks department isn’t the only area where they stand out. Read my full review here for all the details and impressions.
Sony’s LinkBuds are available starting today for $179.99 in dark gray or white.