Many customers choose to leave their earbuds in ambient mode and go about their daily lives. That appears to be the major focus with the Sony Link Buds.
The Link Buds are a pleasant surprise for a brand that is known for its straightforward product names. Furthermore, the Link Buds aren’t even close to being true wireless earphones.
The Link Buds, like Sony’s V1 Integrated Processor, include a ring-style driver and an offset chamber housing internals, rather than a closed earbud design. The Link Buds don’t use Sony’s LDAC technology for converting Bluetooth signals to Hi-Res Audio, but they are designed to reproduce audio clearly and blend it with real life, hence the open design. This is accomplished using DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) technology, which unpacks and restores the music to its original quality after it has been compressed and transmitted via Bluetooth. The Link Buds don’t have noise cancellation or any type of ANC using this approach because they aren’t designed to.
The way of input is possibly one of the coolest aspects the Link Buds have to offer. Link Buds employ something Sony calls “Wide Area Tap,” which detects when you tap the skin in front of your ear for input rather than relying on touch controls, which get in the way while adjusting your earbuds. If this technology performs as expected, it could be a viable alternative to touch controls on current earbuds. Even better, Sony has included automatic volume control with the Link Buds, which might be a terrific addition (depending on how well it works).
The Sony Link Buds also employ Google Fast Pair, which allows for easy setup and the ability to track them down if they go missing. In addition, Google Assistant is available as a virtual assistant. On a single charge, the Link Buds may last roughly 5.5 hours, or up to 17.5 hours with the case. All of this is packed inside the stylish new open-ring design, which costs $179.99 on Sony’s website and $179.99 on Amazon and Best Buy.