Non-ANC you say? Exactly. The Sony LinkBuds have been designed differently in almost every way. These unconventional Bluetooth earbuds have features aimed at blending with the environment they were made for – your ears! A choice of 5 different ring sizes molds the earbuds to fit the listener’s ears, and when worn it’s possible to control audio playback with a subtle touch to the skin in front of your tragus. With a move away from the automated technologies synonymous with most earbuds out there, the LinkBuds take a slightly more human and intuitive approach.
So what makes them unique?
Without an active noise canceling system built-in, it means you never lose touch with your surroundings completely. Instead, the music you’re listening to, or the call you’re on becomes a part of your audible environment. This seems consistent throughout the LinkBuds android-like design philosophy. Due to the way the LinkBuds sit within the ear and auricle, they excel for outdoor use and you’ll experience far less noise from wind resistance than most other earbud designs. Although they have no built-in control to mute microphones during a call, the ambient noise detection will still adjust your listening volume in higher sound pressure environments.
Cyborg or not, the design may not offer an immersive enough listening experience for most users, and the way the Sony LinkBuds sit in the ear makes the low-end reproduction a little underwhelming. The aesthetic value is pleasing in both black and white, with the charging case granting up to 17.5 hours of playback and the LinkBuds are optimized for Alexa and Google Assistant. The slightly distant perceived audio performance might throw some, as the mids seem somewhat unfocused. However many will surely fall for the futurist appeal and the touch control features. Now available worldwide for $179.99.
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