I suppose if you really hate in-ears but want something that doesn't easily fall off, the Sony LinkBuds are exactly that. Not only do they stick on your ears like glue (not literally, please), they sound good too. The unique design also lets in ambient sound, so you can be more aware of your surroundings.
- Supports 360 Reality Audio
- Quick charge 10 minutes for 90 minutes use
- Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance
The LinkBuds look nothing like any normal pair of earphones. The design features a donut ring for a speaker, and a round dome where the battery and electronics are. Unlike in-ears that stick into your ear canal to hold it in place, the LinkBuds stay in the hollow of your ear. You put it in, and give it a slight twist to keep it in place. It comes with a silicon hook that helps to add a bit more friction to hold it in place. The earphones are super secure, and won't fall out even if you're jumping up and down. In comparison, the Apple AirPods will drop out, as the shape of my ears don't work well with the design.
While the LinkBuds are somewhat squished at the sides of your ears, they aren't uncomfortable. Sure, there's some slight pressure to hold it in place, but you won't feel it. While you can, you don't have to tap on the earphones to control it. You can do the same thing by tapping on the area around your ear. A double tap pauses or plays, a triple skips to the next track. You can also change it to increase or decrease the volume, or activate a voice assistant. These options can be customised via the Sony Headphones app. I also like the detection feature that pauses music when you start talking.
Audio quality is good. Highs and mids are clear, but some tiny details are lost. If the ambient noise around you is loud, then expect to lose even more. Max volume isn't very loud and feels like normal volume for other headsets. Bass doesn't quite feel impactful, but it's there. You can adjust the EQ, but the bass won't increase significantly. While there's not much sound isolation, I do like that I can wear this around and talk to people without having to remove it to hear better. Battery life is rated at 5.5 hours, but I only got 3hr 19min at max volume in my tests.
At S$269, the Sony LinkBuds is Sony's alternative to the AirPods 3. While it does stay in my ear a lot better, I think the AirPods still have a slight leg up in sound quality. The unique design and tapping your face to control playback make the LinkBuds really cool though. Get it from Sony, or third-party retailers on Shopee at a crazy markup.
Note: Review unit provided by Sony.
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