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Is the Sony LinkBuds S worth getting excited about?

Posted: 20 May 2022 1:30 pm

The Sony LinkBuds S is available for pre-order, but what should we make of its price tag and features?

Pre-order Sony LinkBuds S on Amazon

Pre-order Sony LinkBuds S on Amazon

Consumers really are spoiled for choice in the earbuds market. From the recent Sennheiser Momentum 3s to Sony's own WF-1000XM4s, there are some truly cutting-edge products available. And if you're on a tighter budget, items like the Jabra Elite 3s are worth consideration.

But what about the land between the premium and the economical? In our guide to the best wireless earbuds in Australia, we cited the $379 Technics AZ60 buds as the best in the mid-range category. With the Sony LinkBuds S and its $269 RRP, Sony is looking to undercut products like the AZ60 and set a new standard in mid-range earbuds.

So what exactly is on offer with Sony's latest LinkBuds? Is it worth firing up the hype machine?

Sony LinkBuds S: What you need to know

Sony LinkBuds S
If you love the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds as much as we do, the value of Sony LinkBuds S can be measured against them. Well, based on the hardware, many of the features of the LinkBuds S will be similar to the XM4s, with slight downward tweaks. This is only fair based on the price differential.

The LinkBuds S has microphone and audio driver configurations that are highly reminiscent of the XM4s but naturally are not quite as premium in this category. Given Sony's track record, we'd expect audio of a similar quality as the XM4s, but certainly discernibly inferior.

An area that has the tech world very excited about the LinkBuds S is noise cancellation. It features the same digital noise cancellation as Sony's more premium offering, including ambient noise cancellation. This functionality utilises microphones to take in sound from the outside world and cancel it out before it can reach your ears. This should be highly effective noise cancellation, but again, expect a downgrade from the XM4s.

Standard earbud fare such as water resistance, 20-hour battery life including the case and a built-in voice assistant (Alexa) are all present. Some areas where you'll notice cost-cutting include the lack of wireless charging and multi-point Bluetooth connection.

If you weren't a fan of the controversial design of the original Sony LinkBuds, you'll be pleased to see Sony return to a more conventional look for the LinkBuds S. And if you found the 7.3g bulk of the XM4s too much to comfortably wear, the 4.8g weight of the LinkBuds S should be significantly more pleasing.

All in all, while the LinkBuds S won't make the market splash with more cutting-edge offerings, it appears to offer noteworthy value for its price. If $269 represents an upper limit for your earbud purchases, the LinkBuds S is worth a serious look.

Best deals on earbuds

Can't bear to wait until 29 June to get your hands on a pair of earbuds? Check out some great deals below.

21% off Sony Compact Truly Wireless earbuds
21% off Sony Compact Truly Wireless earbuds

If Sony's latest mid-range offering is still outside your price range, take advantage of this deal on these budget buds.

Buy now for $119 (was $149.95)

50% off Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds on Amazon
50% off Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds on Amazon

You can enjoy much of the functionality of the Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds on the cheap with the True Wireless 2 earbuds

Buy now for $248 (was $499.95)

34% off Bose Sport earbuds on Amazon
34% off Bose Sport earbuds on Amazon

Available in 3 colours, these earbuds allow you to work out in style while pumping your favourite tunes.

Buy now for $199 (was $299.95)

40% off Jabra Elite True Wireless earbuds on Amazon
40% off Jabra Elite True Wireless earbuds on Amazon

Amazon is slashing the price of these earphones, featuring active noise cancellation and a compact charging case that affords an extra 25 hours of battery life.

Buy now for $178 (was $299)

31% off Huawei FreeBuds Pro
31% off Huawei FreeBuds Pro

This offering from Huawei offers exceptional call functionality and dynamic, authentic sound.

Buy now for $227 (was $329)

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