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!

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.