Sony LinkBuds S: LDAC in-ears with ANC will support LE audio

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After the new WH-1000XM5 over-ear ANC headphones, Sony is making another announcement in the headphone range: the LinkBuds S. After the LinkBuds (test) with ring drivers for full transparency, the small, light LinkBuds S rely on a closed design with active noise reduction and transparency mode.

“Never Off” with LDAC and Hi -Res-Audio

According to Sony, the LinkBuds S are the world's smallest and lightest in-ear headphones that support Hi-Res audio and offer active noise cancellation. Each earphone, which is protected against splash water according to IPX4, weighs 4.8 grams. Sony promises “Never Off” wearing comfort, which should enable the LinkBuds S to be worn all day. With the audio codec LDAC offered alongside SBC and AAC, the LinkBuds S also support Hi-Res audio with up to 990 kbps, 24-bit and 96 kHz sampling and an extended frequency response of 20 to 40,000 Hz When using the other codecs, this is limited to 20 to 20,000 Hz.

In addition to ANC, the LinkBuds S also offer a transparency mode and support adaptive noise control, which the WH-1000XM5 also offer. With this function, the settings for ambient noise adapt to the respective location. For the ANC, Sony uses the V1 processor in the earphones, which – but there in combination with the QN1 SoC – is also used in the WH-1000XM5.

Sony LinkBuds S (Image: Sony)

Speak to Chat, DSEE and 360 Reality Audio

They also feature Sony's Speak-to-Chat, which pauses playback when the wearer starts talking and resumes when they stop talking. Sony's already well-known DSEE Extreme, which adjusts music in real time to recover frequencies lost through compression, and 360 Reality Audio are supported by the new LinkBuds S. The new headphones are also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Bluetooth 5.2, Fast Pair and Multipoint

The dynamic drivers in the LinkBuds S are 5mm in diameter. Bluetooth 5.2 is used for wireless transmission from the smartphone or tablet, with Google Fast Pair also being supported. Microsoft Swift Pair is integrated for quick pairing with Windows 10 and 11. In addition, multipoint is again offered so that you can be connected to two end devices at the same time and switch playback seamlessly between them or, for example, be able to accept calls from your smartphone at any time, even if the headphones are connected to another end device.

LE Audio: Next Generation Bluetooth Audio

However, the headphones are also compatible with LE Audio, the next-generation Bluetooth audio technology that enables transmission with lower latencies, making it ideal for gaming. LE Audio features a completely new architecture to support audio applications over Bluetooth. However, in order to be able to use LE Audio, a firmware update is still required, which will be released later this year. In addition, an LE Audio-capable smartphone must be used.

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Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S < /figure>

Sony LinkBuds S

Touch control and carrying recognition

Touch sensors are installed in the outer surfaces for control. The headphones also feature wearing detection, which pauses playback when an earbud is removed from the ear and resumes playback when it is replaced.

6 hours with ANC, 9 without

According to Sony, the battery life of the LinkBuds S is 6 hours with ANC activated and 9 hours without ANC. The charging case adds 14 hours (with ANC) or 21 hours (without ANC) for a total playback time of 20 to 30 hours. The battery in each earphone has a capacity of 51 mAh, in the charging case it is 450 mAh. With a quick charge mode, after 5 minutes of charging there is enough energy for an hour of music playback. It takes two hours to fully charge the earphones, and the charging case is fully charged in three hours via USB-C. The charging case weighs 35 grams and measures 42.8 × 60 × 27.6 mm.

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Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S < /figure>

Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S < /figure>

Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony LinkBuds S

App connection for updates and adjustments

The LinkBuds S support the Headphones Connect app from Sony, adjusted via the settings, firmware updates imported and equalizer presets can be selected and adjusted.

Cooperation with Niantic for AR games

Sony works with the developer studio Niantic in the field of audio AR together to create an AR game that offers not only visual but also audio experiences. When the AR game Ingress is played with the LinkBuds S, the sound adapts to the direction the player is facing.

Price and availability

Sony LinkBuds S will be available in black, white and ecru from the end of May a recommended retail price of 199.99 euros.

Sony LinkBuds S Sony WF-1000XM4 Sony LinkBuds Apple AirPods Pro Bluetooth standard: 5.2 5.0 Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC SBC, AAC Operation: Touch Battery life of the earphones : 9.0/6.0 (ANC) h 12.0/8.0 (ANC) h 5.5 h 5.0/4.5 (ANC) h Battery life with charging case: 30.0 h 36.0 h 17.5 h 24.0 h Wireless charging: – Yes – Yes ANC: Yes – Yes Single use: Yes IP certification: IPX4 Weight per earphone/charging case only: 4.8/35.0 g 7.3/41.0 g 4.1/34.0 g 5.5/46.0 g USB charging port: USB-C Lightning Charging case dimensions: 42.8 × 60.0 × 27.6 mm 40.0 × 67.0 × 30, 0 mm 31.1 × 48.5 × 41.1 mm 45.2 × 60.6 × 21.7 mm Price: €199.99 from €225 from €130 from €191

ComputerBase has received information about this item from Sony under NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication date.