The True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds market has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few quarters in India, courtesy of launches in the budget segment (Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000). TWS earbuds are also becoming popular as they are convenient to use. Homegrown companies in India have also played a key role in boosting the popularity of TWS earbuds. It’s almost become difficult to buy a bad pair of wireless buds these days, thanks to the rich audio output, noise cancellation and long battery life. However, premium TWS buds offer a better and rich experience than the budget options and of course, cost more.
Sony LinkBuds S (WF-LS900N) is the successor to the Sony LinkBuds (WF-1000XM4), which was a premium true wireless headset. However, the LinkBuds S has been launched at a lower price point as its placed below the flagship LinkBuds earbuds. While the Sony LinkBuds is very unique and one of a kind, both the TWS earbuds are targeted at different consumer groups. The LinkBuds S has been touted as an offering with a “wear-all-day” functionality. Here’s how the Sony LinkBuds S fared in our review.
Sony LinkBuds S Design, Looks, Display And Build
The Sony LinkBuds S is being marketed to be worn all the time and it kind of lives up to the claim. The buds weigh 4.8 grams and come with a compact form factor and are super comfortable for prolonged use. The LinkBuds S can be worn easily for 5-6 hours at a stretch, but may not be suitable for all-day wear, as Sony suggests. I wore the headset during my almost two-hour commute to the office and did not experience any discomfort.
The packaging of the Sony LinkBuds S needs a special mention as it was made of 100 per cent eco-friendly materials. The TWS earbuds themselves are made out of recyclable plastic. The sales package also contained a USB Type-C charging cable as well as four pairs of silicone ear tips, to get the perfect fit.
Explaining more about the look and feel of the device, the earphones are available in three colourways: Black, Ecru and White. The white review unit had a matte finish and a nice feel. However, I strongly feel that the Ecru variant stands out and it is also one of the best-looking colour options for TWS headsets out there. This is also a good reminder for other TWS earbuds manufacturers to experiment with new colour options.
The charging case of the Sony LinkBuds S is compact in size and also sports an indicator light, which is housed under the lid. The rear side of the charging case house a USB Type-C port for charging and a pairing button. The charging case itself is small enough to be easily slipped into the pocket. Even though the case (with the TWS headset) is lightweight, it does not look flimsy or cheap. The matte finish renders a premium look and feel to the case and the buds. The buds are IPX4 rated for water resistance.
Sony LinkBuds S And Sony Headphones Connect App
The Sony Headphones Connect app is available on both the Google Play Store as well as the App Store and it works well with the Sony LinkBuds S wireless headset, one can access a lot of advanced functionalities via Sony Headphones Connect app, such as several menus and toggles to control different features of the earbuds.
In terms of battery life, the LinkBuds lasted 4-5 hours with ANC on, during my review, which is slightly short of what the company has claimed. The buds can also provide 2 hours of music playback on a 5-minute charge.
Sony LinkBuds S Sound Output
The sound output may not be like that of the Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, but the features LinkBuds S is offering at this price point hits the sweet spot. Prospective buyers can also keep an eye out for the deals on e-commerce sites to make the deal even better.
The LinkBuds S earbuds produce a balanced and warm sound. The vocals were clear and there was good audio separation among instruments. It is safe to say that the sound output of the LinkBuds S is richer than other TWS options at this price point. Each waterproof earbud has 5mm dynamic drivers, which are smaller than the ones used in the WF-1000XM4. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.2 as well as support for the LDAC, SBC and AAC codecs.
Sony LinkBuds S Final Verdict
The Sony LinkBuds S are perhaps the best TWS earbuds available at this mid-range price point with many high points. This pair of earbuds is ahead of competition in terms of size, comfort and sound quality. However, those looking to experience a better Samsung or Apple ecosystem may opt for the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and the Apple AirPods 2 Pro.