Sony LinkBuds S are official: World's smallest and lightest true wireless earbuds

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Sony LinkBuds S are official: World's smallest and lightest true wireless earbuds
After recently announcing its new WH-1000XM5 over-ear headphones, successor to the popular XM4s, now Sony is also unveiling a new pair of earbuds – the Sony LinkBuds S, to be sold alongside the earlier LinkBuds.

What makes these true wireless earbuds with active noise canceling extra interesting is Sony's claim that they're the "world's smallest and lightest, noise canceling, Hi-Res truly wireless headphones."

Sony LinkBuds S

True Wireless Noise Canceling Earbuds

The world's smallest and lightest noise canceling, Hi-Res, truly wireless headphones

As we previously suspected thanks to a recent leak, the LinkBuds S are indeed impressively light. And in fact, according to Sony, they're the smallest and lightest true wireless earbuds in the world right now.

The LinkBuds S weigh about 4.8 grams, and in terms of design, Sony says making them comfortable was a main priority. So they feature an ergonomic form factor to match the ear without causing irritation, while also retaining a stable, secure fit. Meaning they won't fly off the ears during an intense workout, but also shouldn't start feeling uncomfortable after wearing them for hours. Thanks to their size, we can reasonably expect those promises to be true, but stay tuned – we'll review them soon and let you know for sure.

In terms of design, the earbuds drop the "open ring driver" design of the earlier Sony LinkBuds, and their charging case is now vertical, more akin to an AirPods one, as opposed to a wedding ring-like case design. The LinkBuds S do still have rubber ear tips, though, and the same touch controls.

Sony prepares for the future by introducing a new AR gaming sound experience

Sony has collaborated with partner company Niantic, known for making the popular Pokémon Go mobile game, in the development of another AR game called Ingress.

More specifically, the game can and will utilize these earbuds' spatial sound technology to "enable players to enjoy a new experience in which sound is delivered according to the direction they are facing."

Sony's Precise Voice Pickup Technology helps clear your voice in calls

The Sony LinkBuds S feature the same Voice Pickup Technology found in the new Sony WH-1000XM5, which the company claims should help clear your voice during calls, even on a noisy street or during windy weather.

These LinkBuds also have a mesh structure around the microphones, which should provide some wind isolation.

The LinkBuds S promise "immersive sound, authentic music"

This is what Sony has to say in regards to the LinkBuds S sound quality:

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Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility, Speak-to-Chat

Just like the newly-announced XM5s, these LinkBuds S also have support for both the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants.

So if the user sports an Android phone, they can summon Google Assistant with the familiar "Okay Google" phrase.

It's also noteworthy that music will automatically pause when the user is speaking with someone ("Speak-to-Chat"), even if that someone is a virtual assistant.

The usual touch controls

As we often see in earbuds by Sony, Samsung, and many other manufacturers these days, the LinkBuds S feature touch controls as opposed to any physical buttons. So we can expect a familiar touch sensor experience – tapping it to play, pause, switching between ANC and ambient sound, and so on.

Official Sony LinkBuds S battery life claims

According to the Japanese company, the Sony LinkBuds S offer full-day battery life. More precisely – about 6 hours of playback with noise canceling on, but before you ask – that's merely just the earbuds' battery life. Their case holds another 14 hours of battery charge, so indeed – we can expect a solid performance out of these small, light earbuds.

Also, a 5-minute quick charge is said to deliver up to an hour of extra playback, so for anyone who's often in a rush – Sony's got you covered.

Sony LinkBuds S price and release date

The Sony LinkBuds S will be available starting Friday, May 20, 2022, with pre-orders opening today – May 18.

You'll be able to buy them in either Black or White, for a suggested price of $200, which makes them slightly more expensive than the earlier LinkBuds ($180).

According to Sony, the LinkBuds S will be sold on both its own website, as well as the usual retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. A third, exclusive color option called Ecru will only be available at Best Buy.

What do you think?

Stay tuned for our full review of the Sony LinkBuds S, coming soon! Meanwhile, let us know what you think about these so far. Are you in the market for new wireless earbuds? Would you consider them a better buy over the $180 Apple AirPods 3 and $150 Samsung Galaxy Buds 2?

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