Sony recently introduced a new kind of true wireless IEMs: the LinkBuds and their ring-shaped driver. This unique open-ear model with a surprising design allows you to listen to music while remaining perfectly aware of your environment.
While Sony has had a number of references in noise-cancelling wireless in-ear monitors (such as the WF-1000XM3 and WF-C500), it lacked an open-ear model. It is precisely this missing link that the Japanese brand is filling with a new unprecedented and unique model. Simply named LinkBuds, the new pair of true wireless IEMs unveiled by Sony creates a surprise with an innovative concept and style. Its intention: to allow the user to listen to music without disconnecting from their surroundings. This, while wearing the IEMs all day. To this end, the LinkBuds adopt a discreet, aerated construction with minimal isolation. An open-ring device designed to be as unintrusive as possible and therefore leave the listener fully aware of outside noise. This concept is particularly suitable for remote working.
In addition to their sleek and original style, the LinkBuds are distinguished by their small size and light weight. Nestled in the ear, they can almost be forgotten. Sony announces 4.1g per earpiece, which is 51% lighter than the Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless IEMs. The same goes for the case, which is 44% smaller than that of the WF-1000XM4. The other innovation of the LinkBuds true wireless IEMs concerns their driver. With its unique ring shape, this new 12mm driver has an amplification stage exclusively developed for these in-ear monitors. The result is an open and spacious sound. Sony also highlights the presence of a new amplification module and DAC integrated into the LinkBuds in-ear headphones.
The boldness of LinkBuds is also evident in their control system. Rather than a classic button or a touch sensitive surface placed on the earphone, this wireless model embeds a vibration sensor. The user therefore taps a localized area around the ear (temple, cheekbone, back of the ear, etc.). to trigger a specific action. For play/pause, two taps are necessary, three to go to the next track, etc. Enough to transform the area around your ear into a real touch sensitive surface. A novel and ingenious system that has the advantage of not obliging the user to touch a specific part of the earpiece. Protected from jolts, the LinkBuds remain well in place, even when using multiple gesture controls.
Noise reduction algorithm, DSEE, IPX4…
In addition to these new solutions, the LinkBuds include most of the features of the Sony WF-1000XM4 true wireless IEMs. For example, they feature the Sony V1 processor. The same applies to the algorithm for reducing unwanted noise during calls, the DSEE upscaling algorithm and even the system for lowering the music volume when a conversation is initiated.
IPX4 certified and compatible with AAC/SBC Bluetooth audio codecs, the LinkBuds wireless IEMs have a battery life of approximately 17.5 hours (one charge + one and a half charges via the mini case). The monitors are also compatible with the Google Fast Pair and Swift Pair systems, as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants.
Sony LinkBuds wireless IEMs are currently available for 199 euros.