Sony has launched its newest pair of TWS in India which joins the lineup of top of the line LinkBuds series. The new device which has the designation Sony WF-LS900N or LinkBuds S is touted as the lightest pair of TWS from the company yet.
It has been launched in India at a price of Rs 13,990 which includes a Rs 3,000 cashback and is available in three colour options that include Black, White and Beige. The new pair of TWS will be available for purchase from November 25. Sony sent over a pair for review a while back and have been testing it. Here’s our review of the Sony LinkBuds S WF-LS900N.
Sony LinkBuds S WF-LS900N: Design and Ergonomics
Before we start off speaking about the design of the device itself, we must mention that the design of the boxing itself was rather innovative with the box being designed as a chest of drawers with compartments for the different contents with labels. And straight out of the box the Sony LinkBuds S are an impressive pair of earphones. The case has a rubbery matte finish that with a long LED indicator light for the different states of charging and battery status. The earbuds have the same texture as the case with the rubbery matte finish and this seems to help it hold its position when places in the ear canal.
The earbuds themselves are placed with the back exposed which can be easily extracted from the case without much fumbling (since we all know what happens if the user happens to fumble with earbuds on streets). Like Sony’s claims the earbuds are extremely light and its smallest yet and when they are placed on the ear canal it hardly feels like they are there. The Sony LinkBuds S comes with four in-ear rubber bud size options for users with either large or smaller ear canals, but the regular one fit me well. The Sony LinkBuds S features noise cancellation hence these are intrusive in-ear buds.
The Sony LinkBuds S are round and have a snug fit in the ear cavity as well as the canal. I did not face any issues of discomfort while using these. In fact, the buds sat in place so well, I didn’t even need to adjust their position while I run on the treadmill. For an extra punch of bass the earbuds come with a special outlet for bass behind the mail audio canal which is covered in a mesh.
The Sony LinkBuds S punches much higher than its weight class when it comes to audio. It features 5mm audio drivers along with a Integrated Processor V1 which improves the audio quality as well as ANC. The earbuds comes with all the codecs that the premium lineup of Sony earbuds and headphones feature including AAC and DSEE Extreme.
AAC or Advanced Audio Coding is an audio coding standard digital audio compression for regular music (not lossless). AAC ensures that audio quality for regular music is heightened. While DSEE Extreme is a technology for upscaling compressed sound sources by using artificial intelligence technology.
These along with the codecs ensure that the best quality can be squeezed out of the most regular quality of audio. And that shines through in the use of the Sony LinkBuds S. We listened to a wide range of music on the TWS and was impressed by the audio reproduction.
This is probably one of the most balanced devices in this price range when it comes to bass, treble and vocals. The extra bass outlet definitely does the job, and there is a noticeable thump with tracks that offer them. Indian Classical Khayals from Ustaad Rashid Khan which focus on the vocals was a test that the Sony LinkBuds S passed with flying colours. The tempered trebles shined through in the tracks from The Weeknd and even some Pink Floyd tracks.
ANC and Other Features
The first thing one notices when putting on the Sony LinkBuds S earbuds is the active noise cancellation. It blocks out about 90% of the ambient noise and only some sharp sounds get through. My house is right next to a very active street which means a lot of vehicles. And vehicle horns seem to permeate the ANC quite frequently, though this is definitely not a fault of the device, since car horns are something that most ANC techs are programmed to let through.
But besides the phenomenal ANC the Adaptive Sound Control changes the quality of the audio to match the environment you are in. This means that audio output in the streets and at home are different. This becomes especially important on calls when you are out on the loud streets. There’s also the Precise Voice Pickup Technology which improves the quality of the voice of someone speaking to you in a loud environment. The Speak-to-Chat feature pauses the music playing automatically when the Sony LinkBuds S user is spoken to or the person themselves speak. This also turns on the Precise Voice Pickup Technology.
The Sony Headphones app is rather intuitive and gives quick access to the user to access all the features. It also helps optimize the earbuds with an equilizer and helps setup the 360 Reality Audio feature although there are few apps supported by it at the moment. The app also helps perform a Spatial Sound Optimization which helps the earbuds better determine the music based on the current environment. There’s also the feature to Analyze Ear Shape which is a report sent to Sony that might make future earbuds fit better. But this feature has some tricky camera work and needs time to complete. The software does provide audio cue to help the user though.
The battery life of the Sony LinkBuds S comes pretty close to what has been advertised by Sony. The buds on the fully charged Sony LinkBuds S lasts about 3.5 hours before they run out of juice. And the case recharges the earbuds about 4 times and some spare before running out of juice which means that the device lasts for about a total of around 16 hours before it needs recharging.
This is pretty impressive since I was constantly running the device with all the ANC and Active Sound Control features turned on. It got me through almost two whole work days which is rather efficient.
Sony LinkBuds S: Final Word
The Sony LinkBuds S is an impressive device that is remarkable for the technology that the company has managed to fit despite being so small and light. It is much more comfortable than some of the other invasive earbuds out there and which create issues for wearer what with being heavy and all.
The suite of features that the Sony LinkBuds S is offer at a price point of Rs 13,990 seems definitely worth it. This is especially so considering that the device comes with all the codecs that the premium earphones from Sony feature. The device is also rated at IPX4 which means that exercise sessions with it are no issues at at with the sweat and even some light rain. This is a recommended product at this price range.