Sony designs and produces wild things with an enviable frequency – now it happens less often, before every year there was a natural hell. For example, I myself tried to walk for a week with the Sony PFR-V1, these are wearable near-field speakers / headphones of the 2011 model: drivers were located in round circles, some kind of limiters were stuck into the ears so that the cups were located at the correct distance. All week I had this face:

In the subway car, people listened to Krovostok with me, at work my colleagues scolded me for loud sounds – I think it would be better if this expensive model remained an experiment.

Sony also had (and has in Japan) mobile air conditioners for wearing around the neck, that is, it blows on the back – the guys from Big Geek brought us one, they could not set it up. I can also remember lamps with built-in speakers. Small waterproof TVs for use next to the bath. Aibo robot dogs. Yes, it must be said here that the game did not always seep into Europe and the USA – some things were sold only in their native market, that is, in Japan.

Why am I saying all this? It’s very simple: Sony LinkBuds continue the idea embodied in the Xperia Ear Duo – they were very strange headphones, the purest “sonystyle” in all its glory.

The idea is simple: you are, as it were, listening to music, BUT you are also listening to everything that happens around you. Ideal for meditation, running, sports, city use, when the track becomes a substrate for life. The idea seems to be ok, I tried to walk with Xperia Ear Duo with all my might – I could not get used to it. In a number of situations (say, in the office), extraneous sounds annoyed, I had to get other headphones. As a result, Ear Duo went to one of the friends.

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Sony Xperia Ear Duo Review: A bit of Useful Suffering

I suppose most people will not dare to do such experiments for their money – it’s easier to buy AirPods and not worry. I will repeat this idea in the verdict. In the meantime, let’s unpack LinkBuds and see how it is.

Design

The site has a review of LinkBuds S, in general, everything is very similar. Only in vain did Sony take a course towards simplifying design – all these stories about ecology sound good among macrologists, but it is not in vain that consumers choose beautiful white glossy plastic. Yes, I’m talking about AirPods. At Sony, everything looks like recycled from cardboard.

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Review of Sony LinkBuds S headphones

The case is very small, the cups are also small, weightless. If you, like me, are annoyed by the shabby gray color, there are LinkBuds in black.

The earphones have an operating time of approximately 5.5 hours, the case gives two more charges. Naturally, here is USB-C, the cable is included. You can also find rubber tips in the kit – the size of the protrusion resting against the ear can be changed.

Water protection is basic, IPX4 – the headphones are very afraid of heavy rain and heavy sweat, I do not recommend taking risks. The control system is standard: touch pads on the cups – the functions can be changed in the proprietary program for iOS and Android.

By the way, I really like that you can adjust the volume with the help of pressing. Well, only in the Sony Headphones application you can update the firmware of the headphones.

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Now a little about the design. Especially for LinkBuds, a ring driver with a diameter of 12 mm was created – an extremely unusual, spectacular and effective thing, I’ll tell you more about the sound quality. The proprietary V1 processor is responsible for the operation of all systems, Sony buys chips from Mediatek and finishes them for their own needs.

As I said, the cups are small and light, they literally get lost in my ears – I managed to walk with headphones for a couple of hours and happily forget about them. Forget to such an extent that I put AirPods 3 in my ear – and I was SURPRISED: the earpiece does not fit! In general, the model turned out to be somehow too comfortable – LinkBuds deftly attach themselves to the grooves in the case, the case itself fits into any pocket.

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Sound

Bluetooth 5.2 profile, AAC and SBC codecs are used. It seems strange that there is no aptX, but you look again at the ring driver. There is no time to listen to the nuances, it would be nice to convey the canvas of the work as a whole! Strange as it may seem, but LinkBuds does it perfectly. I listened to a lot of music – there were no frank failures anywhere. The basses are light and pleasant, there is a middle, and everything is so magical, interesting – especially if the sounds of the city are mixed in with it. The most thrill is to turn on Burial and walk along Maroseyka or Myasnitskaya on a summer evening. That’s when you understand the idea of ​​Japanese engineers.

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Also, LinkBuds, like the older brothers LinkBuds S, turned out to be an ideal machine for working with Endel – let me remind you that this program creates sounds for various tasks, I wrote about it more than once. Well, at least I was able to focus on work and fall asleep easily on a jet lag business trip.

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Verdict

In retail, the headphones cost about $198. Now for $169 you can buy AirPods Pro – as for me, these are royal headphones with excellent active noise reduction, chic sound and voice quality. And here, for thirty thousand, an experimental model “with a hole” is offered, as my friend noted. Well, do Sony LinkBuds have no right to life at all?

I do not think so. One person jokes about holes, but my friend, a yoga fan, specifically asked to use it and spoke enthusiastically about the device, they say, this is simply the best thing on the planet. And I understand it! For once, Sony took into account all the mistakes of the past – the Xperia Ear Duo did not sit well, did not work well, and their sound was not very good. With Sony LinkBuds, the opposite is true: they sit great, play great, are functional, live a long time, and the case is weightless. Music is heard by others – there is such a thing. But if you are sitting somewhere in nature or walking in the park, then there is some kind of unity with the surrounding space – ordinary headphones do not give such an effect.

I haven’t made such a conclusion for a long time, but if you are still passionate about all sorts of exotic devices, look at curiosities and, so to speak, sometimes buy yourself a Fold to dispel boredom, here it is, your dream gadget. I did not recommend buying Xperia Ear Duo, but Sony LinkBuds can be taken for fun or for very specific purposes.


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