Sony’s strange-looking LinkBuds are now official
Following multiple leaks, Sony’s strange-looking LinkBuds are now officially out. If you don’t like the tight seal created by earbuds with silicone tips, these might be for you.
The Sony LinkBuds WFL-900 (via The Verge) have a unique “Open Ring Design” that looks nothing like we have seen before. The buds have a big hole in the center, allowing outside sound to easily pass through. Thanks to their open design, the buds don’t enter too deep into your ear canal; they have silicone “Arcs” that help them stay securely in your ears. The LinkBuds feature 12mm, ring-shaped drivers, paired with the V1 processor and Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) upscaling technology. They miss out on the LDAC codec support, so you’re limited to lossy SBC and AAC codecs.
Unlike other open-design earbuds, like the Galaxy Buds Live, Sony’s LinkBuds don’t have ANC. This is a good move as it’s near impossible to achieve effective ANC with the open design and also kind of defeats the purpose of open earphones in the first place. The Sony 1000XM4 remains our top pick if ANC is important to you.
The LinkBuds WFL-900 have a unique gesture system. Instead of touching the bud, you can tap in front of your ear to skip tracks, adjust volume, play/pause, etc. They also have a Speak-to-Chat feature that automatically pauses music playback as soon as you start speaking to someone.
The Sony LinkBuds offer up to 5.5 hours of continuous listening time. The charging case holds an additional 12 hours of battery life. The buds are IPX4 rated for sweat and splash resistance. They also offer Google Fast Pair support on Android devices and Swift Pair on Windows. However, there’s no Bluetooth multipoint, and wireless charging support is also missing.
The Sony LinkBuds WFL-900 come in Grey and White colors and cost $180. They’re available for purchase starting today.