Sony LinkBuds: Open-back earbuds presented with superior call quality than the WF-1000XM4
Sony has unveiled the LinkBuds, also referred to as the LinkBuds WF-L900. As leaks had already shown, the LinkBuds have an open-back design, commonplace for headphones and headsets but not so for earbuds. Effectively, the LinkBuds allow you to listen to music while still letting environmental noise in.
In comparison, Sony's WF-1000XM4 earbuds have a transparency mode that brings background noise in on request. Additionally, the LinkBuds weigh 4.1 g per earbud, are IPX4 certified, support Bluetooth 5.2, DSEE and AAC or SBC codecs. For some reason, Sony's LDAC codec that the WF-1000XM4 support is missing here.
Also, the LinkBuds should last up to 5:30 hours of continuous music playback, 2:30 hours of talk time and 11 hours of standby. Supposedly, the bundled charging case will deliver up to 12 hours of battery life to the earbuds as well. Moreover, Sony includes a few accessories in the box, pictured below.
Incidentally, initial reviews have been surprisingly positive, considering their unusual design. Not only do earlier reviewers think that the LinkBuds are comfy, they also deliver decent audio quality, albeit not always on par with the more expensive WF-1000XM4. On the other hand, the LinkBuds are said to offer superior call quality compared to the WF-1000XM4. Presumably, Sony has equipped the latter with newer microphone and noise cancellation technology.
However, the LinkBuds do not support active noise cancellation (ANC) by design. The LinkBuds are now orderable in Grey and White, both for US$178. The earbuds are available in other markets too, such as the Eurozone and the UK, where they retail for €179.99 and £149 respectively. Sony will begin shipping the LinkBuds on February 22.