By Andrew Romero & Ben Schoon
Truly wireless earbuds have a variety of use cases, and the Sony LinkBuds go all-in on mixing your music with the surrounding world, and we've been waiting years for these to exist.
There's been a huge focus on active noise cancellation (ANC) in truly wireless earbuds recently, which cuts off the world around you. Let's be clear, the Sony LinkBuds are do not have ANC, because they aren't meant to.
Instead of the traditional design, the LinkBuds go a step further and sit on the edge of your ear canal, which allows the world's audio to come through a sizeable hole in the middle of the earbud. When no music is playing, you can hear the world around you almost completely clear, albeit a tad muffled due to the smaller hole.
When music plays, it feels like two speakers are sitting on your shoulders rather than fully inserted earbuds. Songs don't compete with the world around you, they mix in with it. It's akin wearing open-back headphones but in your ears.
Overall, the audio quality coming out of the LinkBuds is astounding. Songs are crisp and clear, with a respectable amount of volume. Mids and high are certainly the strength, with the lows being a little milder. The LinkBuds still do a good job of replicating the "thump" without sounding hollow.
One of the absolute best features about the Sony LinkBuds is the touch controls. Instead of traditional touch controls that sense when you tap the earbud itself, the Sony LinkBuds look for a tap on your skin. This allows the user to avoid messing with fit and accidentally skipping or pausing music when touching the earbud.
Overall, the LinkBuds from Sony are fantastic for people who want ambient audio, but can also afford more than one pair of earbuds, since these will cost you about $180. They provide great immersion with good sound. Of course, these are just the highlights. You can read the full review at 9to5Google.com.