Sony is doing very well in the world of audio and video of all kinds. The individual proposals of this manufacturer are often praised for the solutions used and, above all, for the quality offered. The Japanese have recently decided to stand out from the repetitive headphone designs. This is how the Sony LinkBuds model was created, and here is their review. I cordially invite you to read their test and our opinion.
Sony LinkBuds review in three words of summary
LinkBuds are definitely one of a kind and thanks to their design they have made it possible to stand out on the market. However, Sony headphones do not fit every ear, which is crucial to appreciate a very neutral sound and comfort of use. We also don't count on getting flooded with low tones.
Sony LinkBuds kit, technical specifications and price
A very small box proves at every step that headphones want to be eco. In general, the packaging does not contain plastic at all. It’s like you don’t look at one of the key features of Sony LinkBuds.
After unfastening the clamp and reaching inside, we will see a very tightly arranged space for the headphones themselves, a USB-A – USB-C cable, a set of silicone inserts (in 5 sizes) and a few books. On individual segments, we also immediately learn how to put the accessory in the ears.
Sony LinkBuds are unique headphones, so the price is not the lowest. The tested accessory costs less than $179.99 , i.e. we are talking about a new equivalent, for example Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro or Sennheiser Momentum TWS 2 . However, due to the completely unique design, it is difficult to talk about direct competition.
Technical specifications of Sony LinkBuds
- construction: open GRP
- Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (44.1 kHz sampling)
- Bluetooth 5.2
- codecs: SBC, AAC (learn Bluetooth codecs )
- USB-C charging
- material: plastic
- certificate: IP54 (splash-proof)
- case: 34 g
- handset: 4.1 g
- case dimensions: 43.4 x 48.5 x 30.9 mm
- color versions: black and white
Construction and build quality
Sony headphones have always been distinguished by characteristic, not very readable names. LinkBuds (WF-L900) sound just good, but the design is very unusual. In this model, the company abandoned the pursuit of complete isolation of the user from the outside world.
The title headphones are just the opposite of this assumption, because their goal is simply to offer the possibility of listening to the sound with simultaneous access to everything that surrounds us. Knowing this concept, we can look at the LinkBuds themselves, which are made up of two circles – a loudspeaker grille in the form of a donut and a body with components.
The design of LinkBuds focuses on plastics, where some of the materials are recycled. After all, this is not the most important thing, but the construction itself, which clearly requires getting used to. The Sony headphones are so extensive that it’s hard to find them in each ear, regardless of the silicone used.
The presence of as many as 5 sizes in the set shows that we can freely adjust the pressure, but this still does not give a full guarantee. Especially if we have small ears. In my case, I had to get used to the unusual construction for a long time, but Bruno did not manage to fit them at all.
This is largely due to the fact that the elongated design will not fit in every ear so that we can perceive sound properly. However, they cannot be denied their lightness and the fact that if we manage to adjust the ears and get used to them, it is also the general comfort of use.
After all, nothing is sticking out of us and we have no fear that they will fall out soon. In addition, the included touch panels respond reliably and quickly to our commands.
Sony LinkBuds cases continue the eco-vision
Meanwhile, the case proves even more that we have eco-materials, which is emphasized by the finish itself. The impression of dirty paper is certainly interesting.
Nevertheless, it does not affect the overall impression of the workmanship, which is simply good. Everything has been properly folded, but pay attention to the overall size, which is relatively small, although it will be difficult to fit the case into a pocket.
Sony decided to give up magnets in favor of classic latches. The main one to open the cover is released at the front, and next to it is accompanied by a diode that informs about the operating status of the accessory and the battery charge.
Additional hooks can also be found inside to hold the headphones themselves. But let’s just stay outside to find a USB-C charging connector and a pairing button on the back. The mentioned cover opens to 90 degrees and locks in this position, so there are no problems with taking out the headphones themselves.
Handling and user experience
Most of the Bluetooth headphones, especially the more expensive ones, are connected to smartphones with the help of special applications. Of course, traditional communication also comes into play, but it does not give us the full potential. In this way, Sony also decided to give something more.
Therefore, there is no shortage of support for Google Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift Pair, Spotify Tap or voice assistants (Google and Alexa). You have to admit a lot of it for yourselves, right? The only thing that was missing is the ability to connect several devices at the same time. All this is dominated by the Sony Headphones Connect application for smartphones and here the situation gets a bit more complicated.
The functionality of the program is still impressive. From the basic possibilities of updating the firmware, going through adjusting the control method, activating the 360 Reality Audio system (compatible with selected applications), and ending with saving the time of use. Yes, we can even collect achievements in this regard. However, the app itself has a few issues.
First of all, she is crude in handling and not everything has been solved in the most convenient way possible. Software updates can be annoying because they take a long time, and it is not difficult to accidentally remove the earpiece from the ear, which will disconnect them from the smartphone. The very stability of the connection with the program, unfortunately, sometimes limps and it happened to me that the left earphone was not detected.
Functionality is also there, the general basics are there, but now it needs to be fine-tuned. Fortunately, you can see that Sony is actually working on it , because one update that appeared during testing has significantly improved the stability of the connection.
The quality of the microphones
At first, the microphones surprised me a lot. Due to the fact that LinkBuds do not offer active noise reduction, Sony did not have to do much effort with their software. Nevertheless, the quality of calls is fully satisfactory for most tasks – both in the context of phone calls and calls on Zoom, Teams or other communicators. Inevitably, the sound quality is clearly headphone , but better in terms of naturalness than most of its class competitors.
Speaking of naturalness, this is also the main feature of the sound produced by Sony LinkBuds. The reviewed headphones sound exceptionally coherent and do not try to reach particular frequencies in any way. However, you definitely need to be aware that without adjusting them to the ears properly, the quality is clearly limited. It should also be remembered that the open design allows you to fully enjoy individual sounds, mainly indoors.
More noise completely ruins individual bands, which does not change the fact that these are interesting headphones for walking. After all, there is even no question of passive isolation, so all sounds from the environment reach us directly along with the music. Of course, depending on the situation, this could be a downside or an advantage. After all, you have to take into account that loud music is also audible outside. The maximum intensity itself is average.
Meanwhile, returning to the sound, it is certainly clean, though not perfect in itself. First of all, low tones are missing. Once again, we remind ourselves that we should not expect a bass from this design, as it is in the case of most proposals with an intrathecal design.
The low tones are very delicate and clearly pushed into the background by the remaining frequency ranges. The guitars, cymbals and most of the instruments generally sound very clean. At the same time, the vocal is not damped by them, so the overall perception is very interesting.
First of all, there are no compromises, and everything complements the surround sound well, and this is definitely one of the key advantages of Sony LinkBuds. Therefore, if you appreciate the design of these headphones and understand its specificity, the sound quality is definitely satisfactory in a given price class.
Battery – working and charging time
Sony LinkBuds do not want to set special records for working on a single charge. A little over 5 hours is an acceptable result , although you could expect a bit more from the case, as it only allows you to recharge with a hook twice. In total, I was able to use the headphones for about 15 hours. No revelation, but no tragedy either.
Moving on to charging, 10 minutes in the case should give us 1.5 hours of listening, which +/- I was able to confirm in practice. The box itself takes around 2.5 hours under the cable and it’s a bit of a shame there is no induction option.
Sony LinkBuds review – summary
If you want to stand out, you have to reckon with compromises. This is the domain of Sony LinkBuds, which is not easy to fit in the ear, but if it is successful, we can count on exceptional comfort of use.
We are not cut off from the world, and at the same time we receive a very natural sound. Admittedly, with a limited number of low tones and sometimes annoying problems with the application.
In that case, if you are tired of classic in-ear designs, and the intrathecal ones even more, LinkBuds are definitely worth considering due to their individual design. It’s just worth checking them in advance.
- Headphones that make you stand out
- Light and (if fitted) comfortable construction
- Constant access to what is happening around us
- Balanced sound quality
- It’s definitely not a universal design – LinkBuds are worth checking out beforehand, especially with small ears
- There is a lack of bass
- You have to reckon with the fact that you can hear a lot outside