Sony announced the LinkBuds back in February for a reasonable $179.99 price tag. It was unveiled with a new unique design, and it had a physical hole in the middle to improve, or should I say, include natural ambient sound without a filter. A new render leaked recently, confirming that the upcoming Sony LinkBuds S will come with a more traditional earbuds design. It looks like a cheaper version of the premium Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds.
SnoopyTech shared the high-quality renders on Twitter, and showed off the allegedly upcoming Sony LinkBuds S wireless earbuds. The new earbuds will carry a model number of WF-LSN900, which is similar to the official LinkBuds that carry the WF-L900 model number.
The Sony LinkBuds S does not have a hole in the middle; instead, it will reportedly feature an Ambient mode that will attempt to do the same thing as a physical hole. The ambient mode feature can be found on most earbuds above the $120 mark, and it uses the microphones to filter in the sound around you to make you more aware of your surroundings. These usually do the trick, but they’re not as good as the real thing, and some of the sounds, especially voices, can be a bit muffled.
The LinkBuds S will reportedly have an Ambient Mode that will be able to get triggered automatically, and the buds will also learn user behavior over time to switch between Ambient and ANC noise-canceling modes. The transition will reportedly be seamless, like on most expensive earbuds. Speaking of ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), the LinkBuds S is expected to provide a similar experience to the more costly WF-1000XM4 Sony flagships.
The leak didn’t reveal the pricing for the LinkBuds S, but we know that the Sony WF-1000XM4 costs $280, and the original LinkBuds go for $180, and we expect the upcoming LinkBuds S to be somewhere in the middle. There’s also no word whether the case will finally support wireless charging. The LinkBuds S will be available in three colors, including Black, White, and Gold variants.
Ambient Mode is underrated
Most of my friends and family want ANC in headphones and earbuds, but achieving such noise-canceling features in a form factor is very challenging, and it’s usually not as good as over-the-ear headphones. Because of that, I believe that ambient mode makes a lot more sense on TWS earbuds, but I do see the appeal of noise-canceling in a more portable form factor, and by all means, I’m all for it.
But that begs the question, are you actually someone who takes these onto an airplane when traveling? I’ve tried it, and when my original Galaxy Buds fell out, I had to quickly reach down to the floor and grab it, as we were still in the taking-off phase. The right earbud was inches away from getting lost forever. Since then, I decided that even if TWS earbuds are more comfortable and more my thing, I’ll only carry over-the-ear headphones that can’t fall out and cancel noise more efficiently.
I’m also not claustrophobic, but the idea of not being able to hear my surrounding area makes me uncomfortable, and I can never enjoy content when out and about. I need to hear some of the environment to feel safe, and know that a cyclist is about to overtake me on the right side. I appreciate ANC, but I think it’s best suitable for commuting and traveling, or when you have some time alone and want to enjoy content without getting distracted.
Automatic switching between Ambient and Noise-cancelling
Having ambient mode enabled on a windy day is everything but comfortable. The microphone can easily pick on the blow, and no one wants to hear the whistling wind come through while trying to enjoy the Pocketnow Podcast. Switching between ANC and ambient mode is usually as easy as long pressing either side of the earbuds on most wireless headphones, but it’s still a manual task, and sometimes our hands may be full of grocery bags.
Having a product that can automatically pick up on loud surroundings, toggling on ANC to block out the wind, could make the listening experience not only more pleasant, but also far more enjoyable. It’s such a basic feature, and it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been implemented yet in more devices. There are headphones such as the Google Pixel Buds that can pick up on dogs barking, sirens, and Samsung’s earbuds are excellent at detecting voices.
Now, let’s just hope that the Sony LinkBuds S does not sacrifice on some essential features such as wireless charging – the Sony LinkBuds didn’t have it – and it might have just found itself a new customer.
Do you prefer Active Noise Cancelling or Ambient Sound? Do you switch between the two modes based on your routine and environment? Let us know in the comments below!
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