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Sony earlier this week came out with the WH-1000XM5 headphones, which we already checked out, and the LinkBuds S, a set of noise canceling earbuds that are similar to the AirPods Pro. In our latest YouTube video, we pit the AirPods Pro against the LinkBuds S to see how Sony's new earbuds offering measures up.


Priced at $199, the LinkBuds S are $50 cheaper than the AirPods Pro, but it's worth noting that the AirPods Pro are often on sale and can be purchased for $197 from Amazon right now. That puts the LinkBuds S and the AirPods Pro at about the same price point, though it's likely the LinkBuds S will also be available at a discount later this year.

sony-linkbuds-1.jpg

Like the AirPods Pro, the LinkBuds S have a silicone tip that goes in the ear, and you can choose the size that fits best. They're just about as comfortable as the AirPods Pro thanks to the design similarities.

When it comes to sound quality, the AirPods Pro and the LinkBuds S have a lot in common. Both sound similar, but it is nice that the LinkBuds S have EQ adjustments available through the Sony app, something the AirPods Pro don't offer. Out of the box, the AirPods Pro have the better sound profile, but the LinkBuds S can be adjusted to your preferences.

sony-linkbuds-4.jpg

The LinkBuds S are bass heavy at their default settings, but it's fixable, so that gives them a customization edge over the AirPods Pro.

As for noise canceling, both the AirPods Pro and the LinkBuds S are about the same. They're both solid at blocking out ambient noise, and it's hard to say whether one is better than the other. The exception is Transparency mode, because the AirPods Pro have a higher-quality transparency mode so ambient sound is clearer and more natural, but Sony again has customizability in the form of an option to adjust the level of the ambient sound in the app.

sony-linkbuds-3.jpg

The Sony LinkBuds S offer up to six hours of playback plus an additional 14 hours through the charging case, but the AirPods Pro exceed that a bit with up to 24 hours of total listening time.

Both of these are solid earbud options and are equivalent in a lot of ways. If you want more customization, the LinkBuds S have the edge, but in the Apple ecosystem, the AirPods always win out because of features like fast switching and automatic pairing.

sony-linkbuds-5.jpg

Make sure to watch our full AirPods Pro vs. Sony LinkBuds S video up above to get a complete overview of the differences between the two sets of earbuds.

Article Link: Apple's AirPods Pro vs. Sony's LinkBuds S Earbuds
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,147
3,398
I will probably get the Sony over ear headphones. But for small in ear headphones they all sound about the same so I am just choosing the one that says Apple and works with Apple stuff.
 

TheDailyApple

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2019
520
2,304
I wonder how these compare to the Sony WF-1000XM4s. (I've always considered them Sony's version of AirPods Pro.)
 

sigmasirrus

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2022
10
47
Honestly I went back to the wired EarPods that used to come with the iPhone. Wireless doesn’t support lossless. And yeah, it does sound better. The controls on the wire are nice. And no need to ever change anything. To be sure, AirPods are also nice sometimes too.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,147
3,398
Letting customers replace the rechargeable batteries would give these devices a lifespan of a decade or more. It's not part of a rational, modern business plan, even for companies that like to crow about how much they love the environment and the planet.
It would also break the design and make the device impossible. Does anyone offer battery replacements for these devices? One of the trade offs for making them so small was replaceable batteries would not work. And we haven’t even discussed how few people are interested in this.
 
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djcerla

macrumors demi-god
Apr 23, 2015
2,219
11,299
Italy
I have the Pros, and I recently bought the Beats Fit Pro for gym. Much to my surprise, they sounds vastly better than Airpods and noise cancellation is far superior.

I can’t even imagine what the Pros 2 will bring to the table.
 

B4rbelith

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2020
101
275
You can adjust the transparency levels on the AirPods Pro in Headphone Accommodations. In fact there's quite a few things you can do there, including allowing the use of an audiogram to tailor the AirPods for your specific hearing, or Balanced Tone, Vocal Range or Brightness. They also allow for a conversation boost.
 
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ChrisMoBro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2016
723
2,935
Letting customers replace the rechargeable batteries would give these devices a lifespan of a decade or more. It's not part of a rational, modern business plan, even for companies that like to crow about how much they love the environment and the planet.
Some of Sony’s headphones, including the
Letting customers replace the rechargeable batteries would give these devices a lifespan of a decade or more. It's not part of a rational, modern business plan, even for companies that like to crow about how much they love the environment and the planet.
Several models of Sony headphones have user replaceable batteries. Even the tiny WF1000XM3’s can be replaced, extending the lifespan of the products massively.

I have the Airpod Pros and not only are they really buggy but one has stopped working completely and the other lasts about an hour. My only option is to pay another £180 to get them replaced.

Apple doesn’t give a **** about the planet.
 

steve09090

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2008
456
1,064
Slightly off topic, but before the AirPods line, we’re any earbuds coming out with pill box chargers, or is just another copy Apple, and compete with their own design?

To me, it’s really hard to 'dial down' from the ease of transferring devices with the H1 chip. My Sony wh-1000xm4 is so frustrating.
 

PJL500

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
281
172
It would also break the design and make the device impossible. Does anyone offer battery replacements for these devices? One of the trade offs for making them so small was replaceable batteries would not work. And we haven’t even discussed how few people are interested in this.
No can do? Where's the innovation? And, of course, yeah, most of us could care less about the environment. /s
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,147
3,398
Some of Sony’s headphones, including the

Several models of Sony headphones have user replaceable batteries. Even the tiny WF1000XM3’s can be replaced, extending the lifespan of the products massively.

I have the Airpod Pros and not only are they really buggy but one has stopped working completely and the other lasts about an hour. My only option is to pay another £180 to get them replaced.

Apple doesn’t give a **** about the planet.
Those batteries are not lithium. They don’t recharge. That market is tiny. Find a comparable example.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,147
3,398
No can do? Where's the innovation? And, of course, yeah, most of us could care less about the environment. /s
Most people could care less about replaceable batteries. If you choose to interpret that as not caring about the environment that the evidence clearly shows that yes most of us don’t care.
 

MauiPa

macrumors 68030
Apr 18, 2018
2,994
4,378
There are EQsettings in Apple Music, I presume Spotify has them as well, so that point is a big nada. Plus AirPods Pro dynamically adjust. Mine sound great
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,147
3,398
Slightly off topic, but before the AirPods line, we’re any earbuds coming out with pill box chargers, or is just another copy Apple, and compete with their own design?

To me, it’s really hard to 'dial down' from the ease of transferring devices with the H1 chip. My Sony wh-1000xm4 is so frustrating.
A few that cost hundreds of dollars.
 

MauiPa

macrumors 68030
Apr 18, 2018
2,994
4,378
I am curious, the Sony use LDAC as a codec which is not native on the iPhone. Does their app intercept the audio from whatever source and then transmit via LDAC? If not, are they going SBC not AAC which would give them a distinct disadvantage. I’m sure this has been figured out, but I haven’t read it anywhere
 

ChrisMoBro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2016
723
2,935
Those batteries are not lithium. They don’t recharge. That market is tiny. Find a comparable example.
They don’t recharge? Also, the XM3-XM5’s all use lithium batteries that can be replaced by the user and there market share is huge.
 

jav6454

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2007
21,550
5,391
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Letting customers replace the rechargeable batteries would give these devices a lifespan of a decade or more. It's not part of a rational, modern business plan, even for companies that like to crow about how much they love the environment and the planet.
To a degree, and assuming the only thing that breaks is the battery.
 
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