With the recent announcement of the LinkBuds S, Sony’s latest wireless earbuds, we are blessed with a delicate mixture of the tech that was borrowed directly from the legendary Sony WF-1000XM4 but in a comparatively lighter body that also happens to cost less!? This gives the AirPods Pro a serious run for their money! So, should you reconsider buying the LinkBuds S instead of the AirPods Pro? Let’s find out!
As an indirect yet bold attempt to break AirPods Pro’s grip on the ear canals of the masses for years, Sony LinkBuds S comes with top-notch tech that directly competes with Apple themselves! In addition, Sony checks a lot of boxes that Apple and other headphone manufacturers seem to have missed. While there are a bunch of AirPods Pro alternatives that provide a longer battery life, better ANC, or even downright superior audio, they often come with some limitations of their own, making them subpar to the AirPods Pro. LinkBuds S on the other hand took lessons from their failure and applied them to their own technology, which resulted in an arguably better alternative than the AirPods Pro.
Design and Form Factor
What made the AirPods Pro a really big deal, to begin with, was their weight, comfort, and compact form factor. The AirPods Pro weighed a meager 5.4 grams per earbud, and when combined with their stick design, there was very little to no chance of falling out of your ear, no matter how much of a headbanger or metalhead you are.
Now, Sony, with their WF-1000XM4, crafted a well-designed all-around earbud that trumped the Airpods Pro in nearly everything except the weight. The buds weighed 7.3 grams each. Yes, we understand; in hindsight, 1.9 grams might not seem like a lot by comparison. But think about it, it’s a full 35% more added weight compared to the AirPods Pro, which had an impact on the overall fit. But, with the Linkbuds S, you’ll be getting the same custom-made V1 sound and noise-canceling processor that Sony packs the XM4s with, the only difference being that the Linkbuds S is 40% smaller and weighs 4.8 grams per bud!
Now, yes, there are some compromises to be made. The Linkbuds S won’t offer as strong noise cancellation as the XM4s, even though they use the same processor. This is due to the Linkbuds’ having a different driver and microphone configuration. But that is something we don’t have any issues with, considering their comparatively affordable price tag. But, even with a slightly less effective ANC, it still owns every other earbud on the market, unless they have “Bose” labeled on them, which is a topic for another time.
With the Linkbuds S, you’ll still be getting the top-notch features Sony is famous for, which include, but are not limited to, the excellent control app and DSEE upscaling, which you know by now adds extra detail back into the compressed audio sent wirelessly. When you want to turn things up a notch, there’s even LDAC support for high-quality wireless transmission. The LinkBuds offer up to 6 hours of battery backup, while the AirPods Pro runs for only a meager 4.5–5 hours at max. We have to give credit to Sony for seeing this opportunity and taking it gracefully.
So, in short, if you’re able to get all the best features that Sony has to offer inside of a pair of earbuds that’s even more comfortable and has more battery life than the AirPods Pro, ask yourself, is there any reason why you should get the AirPods Pro while this beauty exists?
Yes, bet you weren’t expecting this! With the existence of the Sony LinkBuds S, the Apple AirPods Pro seem like an almost obsolete choice right now. I mean, who would’ve thought that Apple would be seeing a hard time regarding earbuds! We live in a wonderful and unpredictable time, where, given our technological prowess so far, almost anything is possible.