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Sony's new LinkBuds S offer a more conventional design with ANC for $200

Sony LinkBuds S gray
(Image credit: Sony)

What you need to know

  • Sony launches its latest "never off" earbuds, the Sony LinkBuds S.
  • The LinkBuds S sport a traditional earbud design but with technology focused on seamless interaction with your environment.
  • Sony says the LinkBuds S are the "smallest and lightest" ANC wireless earbuds, focusing on comfort.
  • The LinkBuds S will retail for $200 and go on sale on May 20.

Sony is back with its second set of earbuds in its new LinkBuds lineup. The Sony LinkBuds S take the company's philosophy for the lineup and puts it in a conventional design that will likely appeal to more users.

Unlike the uniquely-designed Sony LinkBuds with their donut-shaped drivers, the new LinkBuds S look more or less like any of the best wireless earbuds on the market. That's not a bad thing, and Sony says the LinkBuds will still retain the company's "never off" experience despite the absence of a gaping hole.

The earbuds utilize a feature dubbed "Auto Play" to seamlessly auto-resume music playback based on the situation. In a press release, Sony says the LinkBuds S "can automatically play music as soon as the headphones are put on or end a call, auto-triggering music to play based on behavior, such as going on a mood-boosting walk."

This works in tandem with Adaptive Sound Control, which adjusts ambient sound and enables users to interact with their environment, such as ordering coffee and quickly get back to immersing themselves in their music. They will also play audio notifications without lowering your music. This is further enhanced by Sony's Speak-to-Chat feature that automatically pauses music when it detects your voice.

(Image credit: Sony)

Unlike the original LinkBuds, which are designed to let sound in, the new LinkBuds S feature ANC to keep noise out when you need it. Sony also highlights LDAC support for high-quality audio, LE Audio for low-latency Bluetooth audio, and integrations with Spotify and Endel soundscapes. Users also have quick access to Google Assistant and Alexa.

Sony says the LinkBuds S are the "smallest and lightest" ANC wireless earbuds, allowing users long-term comfort. This should come in handy with battery life rated for 6 hours per charge with ANC on and an extra 14 hours from the charging case.

The new LinkBuds S will go on sale on May 20 and retail for $200.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.