Sony LinkBuds S are the smallest and lightest active noise-cancelling earphones ever

The LinkBuds S are nothing like the original LinkBuds. But they are very small and light, while capable of delivering high-end sound. Intruiged? Here's more...

Sony LinkBuds S in white finish
(Image credit: Sony)

The first time we saw Sony's LinkBuds (WF-L900) they initially baffled for their choice of open ring drivers (meaning you could always hear the outside world). The new LinkBuds S, however, do a total about-turn on that design: offering a closed design and including active noise-cancelling (ANC). 

Not only that, the LinkBuds S have one massive feature to boast about: they're the smallest and lightest earphones featuring ANC in the world. Now that's impressive. And it gives a really good reason to consider Sony's earbuds against, well, pretty much anything else on the market. 

It's that small-and-light finish that also stands the LinkBuds S apart from Sony's top-tier WF-1000XM4 in-ears, which also offer ANC, but in a wholly different package. 

Sony LinkBuds S: Spec to shout about

There are plenty of other reasons to consider the LinkBuds S as your next in-ear noise-cancelling choice. They're coded as WF-LS900N, if that helps you seek them out. 

Principally it's the size and weight, of course, with each 'bud weighing just 4.8g and the charging case a further 35g. All-in that's under 45g, so not much more than a packet of crisps. 

Given their small scale, it's fairly impressive that Sony has enabled the LinkBuds S to deliver 20 hours of battery life (that's 6 hours per charge with an additional 14 hours in the charging case). There's also a 5 minute charge for just 1 hour of playback feature via USB-C (although a full charge of the case plus 'buds is 3 hours).

Sony is also going big on sound quality, with 20Hz-20kHz frequency response and adoption of LDAC for Hi-Res Audio, with Sony's DSEE Extreme upscaling further helping sound quality. All the top-end features you'll find in the WH-1000XM4, then, to ensure quality. 

All of which makes the LinkBuds S sound like a very good Apple AirPods Pro alternative indeed. And priced at £180/$199/AU$349 they even undercut Apple's in-ear wonders by a decent margin!

Tech Editor at T3, Mike handles all things tech – from phones, tablets and laptops, to gaming and computing. He's been working as a consumer technology journalist for the best part of 15 years, previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, and has provided freelance work to publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more over the years. In addition to his tech expertise, Mike is also a bit of a travel fiend, having travelled the globe extensively for both personal and work-related pursuits. You'll always find him setting up a new mobile phone, or critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next get-away.