Clear sound quality, comfortable fit…Sony has released Link Buds, a ring design wireless earphone that is suitable for video conferencing as well as listening to music. Link Buds produces sound from a donut-shaped ring driver with a hole in the middle. Thanks to its unusual shape, you can naturally hear the surrounding sounds.
‘Now I wont get off the train by mistake because I cant hear the announcement because of earphones’ wanted It was also noticeable that the sound was clearly heard even when the surrounding sound came in. I rented the product and tried it for a few days.
Sony Ring Design Wireless Earphone Link Buds. From left: USB-C type charging cable, case and earbuds, fitting supporters in 5 sizes.
Link Buds consists of a ring design wireless earphone, a case, a fitting supporter in 5 sizes, and a USB-C type charging cable. The design is available in white and black.
Sony Linkbuds Earbuds.
The earbuds are shaped like two circles attached to each other. Each unit weighs 4.1g. The empty circle in the middle is where the sound is made, put it inside the ear, and the convex circle is fixed to the inside of the ear wheel by inserting a rubber fitting supporter.
When using the Link Buds for the first time, the first thing to do was to find the one that fits the shape of your ear out of 5 sizes of fitting supporters. The fitting supporter is a rubber ring that uses friction to prevent the earphones from moving. When I found a fitting supporter that fits my ears, put on the earphones, and shook my head, the product did not fall from my ears. Even on the way to work, I was able to wear earphones and run.
Wearing Sony Linkbuds.
The Link Buds felt very comfortable to wear. When I usually use other companys canal-type wireless earphones, my ears hurt a little after wearing them for about 30 minutes. I felt a sense of alienation when wearing the Link Buds, but I was able to use it for a relatively long time. It was used continuously for up to 4 hours without any problem.
■ Clear sound quality, natural ambient sound
Actually, before using Link Buds, I thought that it would be disturbed by ambient noise. In conclusion, it was a bit of a worry. Link Buds integrates the integrated processor V1 chip to enhance the sound quality of lossy compressed sound sources ‘DSEE’ function is supported. When I listened to music with Link Buds on, I could hear the highs and lows well. I felt like I had added BGM to my daily life as I could hear the surrounding sounds naturally.
If you use the dedicated app ‘Sony Headphone Connect’, you can find a tone that suits your taste with the equalizer function. The equalizer function is a function to correct the tone by giving a weight for each frequency. You can set it manually, or choose from Bright, New, Soft, Comfortable, Vocal, Treble Boost, Bass Boost, and Speech.
Equalizer function in Sonys dedicated app
‘Adaptive volume control’ There is also a function to adjust the volume according to the surrounding situation. The earphones adjust the volume by themselves in quiet places and loud in noisy places. For example, whenever an announcement came out on the subway on the way to work, the product automatically turned up the volume a little.
In addition, Link Buds is Sonys own sound reproduction method ‘360 Reality Audio’ function is supported. A function created by Sony by precisely analyzing sounds, such as voices, instruments, and effects, to provide a rich resonant sound as if you were in a concert hall. If you download the 360 Reality Audio app, you can listen to the sound source of the performance. It felt like my ears were ringing like when I was standing in front of the bands performance stage.
Another feature of using Link Buds is that you dont have to take the earphones out when someone is talking to you. ‘Speak to Chat’ is a function When the user speaks, a beep sounds and the sound pauses. 5-10 seconds after the conversation is over, a beep will sound again and the sound will be played. However, there are times when this function works even if you cough to clear your throat when you are alone.
Sony Ring Design Wireless Earphone Link Buds.
■ An algorithm created by analyzing 500 million voice samples to eliminate noise during calls
When I connected the Link Buds to a smartphone and made a call, the voices coming and going were delivered well. After using it for about a week, there was no disconnection in the middle. I havent heard from the other party that I cant hear well.
There is also an unexpected advantage that occurs during a call as there is a hole in the middle. I can easily tell if my voice is causing discomfort to those around me. When I usually wear canal earphones on a call, my voice sometimes gets louder without realizing it. Its because I cant tell how loud my voice is because it completely covers my ear canal. I did not feel this inconvenience when using Link Buds.
Link Buds uses precision voice selection technology. Sony created a noise reduction algorithm by analyzing more than 500 million voice samples. Link Buds uses this to help eliminate ambient noise and only hear the other partys voice when making a call.
Linkbuds can also be connected to a computer, so I thought it would be suitable for office workers who do a lot of video conferencing and students taking non-face-to-face classes. It can be used through Bluetooth connection with a laptop, desktop PC, or tablet.
Sony Linkbuds earbuds and case.
However, the active noise canceling function is not supported. Those who absolutely need the ANC function will have no choice but to hesitate to use the Link Buds.
The battery can be used continuously for 5.5 hours when fully charged, and can be fully charged two more times when placed in the case. The remaining battery level is displayed in a dedicated Sony app. It has an IPX4 waterproof rating that protects the product from sweat and rain.
The price is 229,000 won based on the Sony Store. It is slightly cheaper than the price of the third-generation Apple AirPods released last year at 249,000 won. Apples AirPods 3rd generation also uses a self-developed amplifier to improve sound quality and filter out noise such as wind noise during calls. It has the same waterproof rating and no ANC function. If you are going to buy earphones, it would be good to consider the functions you need and compare several products.
Link Buds is a product worth considering for those who need to listen to external sounds even while driving or exercising while wearing earphones.