Why it matters: The true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds market is currently oversaturated with options at all price points. However, Sony's new LinkBuds S might stand out as they focus on being as comfortable and lightweight as possible without sacrificing features you'd expect at their $200 price point, such as active noise cancelation (ANC).
Sony just announced the new LinkBuds S, a set of TWS earbuds designed to be as comfortable as possible while still featuring ANC and high-quality audio.
Unlike the open-design LinkBuds released earlier this year, the LinkBuds S have a more conventional design reminiscent of Sony's flagship, the WF-1000XM4. However, the LinkBuds S are much smaller and lighter at just 4.8 grams each.
The earbuds feature 5mm drivers and Sony's Integrated Processor V1, allowing high-resolution audio streaming via the proprietary LDAC codec and DSEE Extreme upscaling. The company is also planning to add a low-latency mode for gaming, although it isn't available at launch.
The LinkBuds S feature ANC, although Sony claims it isn't as good as on the WF-1000XM4. There is also a transparency mode for letting in more ambient sound. Users can toggle between them with a simple tap on the left bud. Additionally, Sony includes Adaptive Sound Control, configuring ambient sound settings based on your activity or location, and Speak to Chat, which automatically pauses the audio and activates transparency mode when it senses you're talking.
Battery life runs about 6 hours with ANC enabled, while the case can add another 14 hours of use. Juicing up for just five minutes will give you an hour of use, but it doesn't support wireless charging. The buds are also IPX4 rated, making them sweat-resistant.
Sony LinkBuds S come in black and white color options and hit Amazon and other retailers starting May 20 for $200. Best Buy will have an exclusive beige color for sale for those who prefer a more inconspicuous flesh tone.