Sony today has unveiled its new LinkBuds TWS earbuds (or headphones, as the company calls them) via its official YouTube channel. As you may recall from our previous reports, tipsters had leaked details and images of the device a week prior to the official launch – revealing its unique look, which the Japanese giant officially refers to as an “open ring design.”
As speculated, this particular design choice is indeed to allow users to hear ambient sounds at all times, even when tuning in to their favourite tracks. This is intended for them to be aware of their surroundings – a peculiar yet bold move from Sony, as current trends are favouring audio devices equipped with active noise cancelling (ANC), especially in the premium headphones and earbuds market.
Speaking of which, the company confirmed that the new LinkBuds will not feature ANC, although it does come with the ability to filter out external noise from the user’s voice for hands-free calls purposes. Meanwhile, featured onboard each earbud are 12mm ring-shaped audio drivers that are powered by Sony’s V1 processor, which is also used on last year’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds. While it lacks support for the company’s proprietary LDAC format, the buds does offer DSEE technology for audio upscaling and enhancement.
Another leaked detail that turned out to be accurate is how users interact with the device. Unlike Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds or WH-1000XM4 headphones, the new LinkBuds does not come with touch-based controls. Instead, users can skip tracks, adjust playback volume, answer calls and so on by simply tapping the skin in front of their ears, which is an uncommon yet interesting approach.
Battery-wise, Sony claims that the LinkBuds offer 5.5 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, with an additional 12 hours via the included charging case. In addition, it also features quick charging support that allows for 90 minutes of playback after a 10-minute top-up. Lastly, the new earbuds feature an IPX4 rating for water resistance, Fast Pair support for Android devices, and Swift Pair support for Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
The Sony LinkBuds is offered in Dark Gray and White colour options, and is now available in certain markets at a recommended retail price of US$180 (~RM753). Unfortunately, it is not known whether Sony plans to release its new TWS earbuds in Malaysia at this time.
(Source / Additional images: Sony [official YouTube channel])