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Sony LinkBuds – Seamlessly merging the online and offline worlds

Sony Corporation now presents in-ear headphones with a very special task with the new Sony LinkBuds. According to the Japanese consumer electronics company, these are designed to seamlessly merge the online and offline worlds.

Sony LinkBuds, presented by the Japanese consumer electronics company Sony Corporation, are new true wireless in-ear headphones. The company is pursuing a special strategy here, as this solution is supposed to be characterized by particularly flexible application options. The Sony LinkBuds open completely new possibilities for users to hear their favorite music and at the same time remain in contact with their environment, so the company describes these new in-ear headphones.

According to the manufacturer, the range of applications extends far beyond simple music enjoyment on the go. In addition to relaxed music listening, the Sony LinkBuds can also be used in the home office, as a solution for AR games and sound AR navigation.

To achieve this, the new Sony LinkBuds in-ear headphones feature a range of sensor and spatial sound technologies from Sony Corporation, and the group is working with a number of industry partners.

Sony LinkBuds – For excellent sound

The new Sony LinkBuds use a newly developed ring-shaped driver unit, the manufacturer claims, with an opening in the center of the 12mm diaphragm so that users can clearly hear sounds from their surroundings. This is to ensure that one can, for example, converse with friends without taking the headphones out of the ear. In addition, this solution is ideal for use in the home office, but also for gaming and even on the road, since the environment can be perceived without problems even during music playback.

The signal processing of the Sony LinkBuds, which are controlled via Bluetooth, is DSP-based and is supposed to enable particularly accurate results, for example with Sony DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine). By the way, the heart of this signal processing is a Sony V1 processor, which, according to the manufacturer, makes all musical subtleties audible without distortions and with high dynamics.

Immerse yourself in sound – Sony 360 Reality Audio

Sony LinkBuds are equipped with Sony 360 Reality Audio. Sony 360 Reality Audio makes music sound as if the user were in the front row of a live concert or in the recording studio with their favorite artists, according to Sony Corporation.

Adaptive volume control

One feature enabled by this processor is adaptive volume control, which automatically adjusts the volume to suit the environment. This allows users to listen to music at a comfortable volume in a wide variety of environments, according to the manufacturer’s promise.

Crystal clear voice transmission

Another feature is Sony Precise Voice Pickup technology, which Sony Corporation implemented in the new Sony LinkBuds. This is a special noise minimization algorithm from Sony Corporation based on machine learning and more than 500 million voice samples. By suppressing ambient noise and filtering the voice, this should ensure that phone calls or video calls with the new Sony LinkBuds are possible in the best quality.

Online and offline world seamlessly connected

It is a bit surprising that a manufacturer advertises in-ear headphones in such a way. After all, one might think that the intended use of such a solution is actually quite clear. But not so with the new Sony LinkBuds. As described, the development focused on the use in various scenarios, so they were equipped with a number of exciting features.

These include the control via Wide Area Tap, where various control functions can be accessed by double or triple tapping in front of the ear without touching the earbuds themselves.

The Speak-to-Chat feature automatically pauses music playback as soon as you start a conversation and resumes it when the call is over.

Of course, the Sony LinkBuds also respond to the classic code words of the voice control systems from Apple and Google, i.e. Apple Siri in Apple iOS or Google Assistant in Google Android, furthermore also to Amazon Alexa.

With the quick access function, the Sony LinkBuds can be configured to continue Spotify playback with just a few case touches – all without touching the smartphone.

“At Spotify, we are committed to always providing the best and most seamless listening experience. We are excited to partner with Sony to introduce Spotify Tap on the new LinkBuds. This allows Spotify users to instantly pick up where they left off or switch to a new track – all with the simple tap of a finger.”

Sten Garmark, VP of Consumer Experience, Spotify

The Sony LinkBuds also offer advanced features in conjunction with Microsoft Soundscape. Thanks to their open design, users can hear sound signals (audio beacons) and cues about buildings or intersections along with natural ambient sounds. Compass and gyro sensors in the earbuds detect which direction the head is turned, so users can hear sounds from a destination without having to hold the smartphone.

“Microsoft Soundscape is an innovative audio-based technology that underscores our goal of bringing new possibilities to everyone. In working with Sony to integrate Soundscape into the LinkBuds, we found that the thoughtful design of these earbuds enhances the Soundscape experience. Users get a better awareness of their surroundings and can move around more easily while receiving important information and speaking freely. This is just the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to work with Sony to enrich personal and professional lives through our complementary technologies.”

Peter Lee, CVP, Microsoft Research & Incubations

But the sensors integrated with Sony LinkBuds may also be of interest to gamers, as they also allow them to interact directly with gameplay, especially with innovative concepts such as those based on augmented reality.

“Our products – Ingress, Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom – use augmented reality and real-world gameplay to entertain and amaze our community. Sounds are an important part of any entertainment experience, especially when users are out exploring. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Sony on the launch of LinkBuds to bring immersive audio experiences to our community in the real world.”

Archit Bhargava, director of product marketing, Niantic Inc.

Easy Bluetooth pairing thanks to Google Fast Pair and Microsoft Swift Pair

The Sony LinkBuds support Google’s handy new Fast Pair feature, making it easy to pair with Google Android devices. Those who have misplaced their earphones can also quickly find them again with Fast Pair. Microsoft Swift Pair, on the other hand, allows Sony LinkBuds to pair quickly and easily with Microsoft Windows 11 or Microsoft Windows 10 notebooks, desktop PCs or tablets.

Sony Corporation also cites as a special extra that the new Sony LinkBuds are the first headphones to automatically pop-up when the earbuds are removed from the case. This is said to ensure that the connection can always be made in a jiffy.

Comfortable to use, robust design

Thanks to the new, extremely small and ergonomic design, Sony LinkBuds can be worn continuously. Weighing in at around four grams, the manufacturer says they are nothing short of a miniaturization marvel. Unlike conventional in-ear headphones, the protective surface over the speaker diaphragm is integrated into the housing to save space. The overall shape was developed based on extensive ear shape data collected by Sony Corporation since the introduction of the world’s first in-ear headphones in 1982. The manufacturer’s promise is that users will hardly notice the Sony LinkBuds when wearing them.

It should also be mentioned in this context that these in-ear headphones are IPX4 certified and thus resistant to sweat and splashing water.

Sufficiently long battery life

According to the manufacturer, the new Sony LinkBuds have a battery life of up to five and a half hours for extensive music listening, and a charge in the elegant, compact charging case provides another twelve hours. It is also worth mentioning that thanks to the quick-charge function, just ten minutes of charging are enough for up to 90 minutes of playback time.

  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds
  • Foto © Sony Corporation | Sony LinkBuds

Prices and availability

The new Sony LinkBuds should be available in stores within the next few days. The customer can choose between a white and an anthracite version. In both versions, one has to estimate € 179,- as the recommended retail price for the new True Wireless in-ear headphones from Sony Corporation.

Getting to the point

Long gone are the days when headphones were only used for listening to music in the best possible quality. Nowadays, they have to offer a wide range of functions, as the new Sony LinkBuds prove. According to Sony Corporation, these True Wireless In-ear headphones are designed to seamlessly connect the online and offline world. The headphones are thus equipped for a variety of tasks and should be able to adapt optimally to the respective situation.

Price€ 179,-
ManufacturerSony Corporation
DistributionSony Corporation
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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