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dockgaze

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2022
91
112
The chief advantage of the Airpod series earphones is their deep integration with Apple products. Nothing else comes close in terms of fast and simple connection, switching between devices and convenience (such as voice SIRI commands). You put them in and they just work.

With that said, I have used Sony WF and WH series (currently XM4 for both buds and over-the-ear) whenever sound quality and/or NC takes the front seat, such as long flights, watching movies, or critical music listening. Sony’s NC is far, far superior to APP, the battery life is better and firmware updates are both completely controllable and transparent.

The Sony ‘house sound’ is highly adjustable with the Sony iPhone app, and overall much better than anything from Apple.

So, for NC/SQ, the Sony is miles ahead- but for convenience, Apple has done a fantastic job. Both have their place in terms of my workflow and travel/leisure use.

If I worked in an office environment, this newest Sony would certainly have a place in the toolbox.

However, if I could only choose one single device, Airpods pro offer the best all-around experience with Apple devices. Great at device integration, adequate at SQ, the only place they really fall short is NC in noisy environments, where Sony WH and WF units blow them away.
And don’t forget to add Beats Fit Pro to the Apple stable mix. I consider then a more recent iteration of my former APP’s - all the Apple advantages with a (for me) more comfortable fit AND improved sound. ANC + transparency mode caps the experience. Don’t rule them out, they are not the Beats buds of yesteryear.
 

Toratek

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2019
515
1,075
I see a lawsuit soon for these from Loop earplugs. This brand only makes earplugs to dampen sound levels based on the inner cone placement. It looks identical to Loop minus the earbud part. I am sure some Industrial Design was taken from them. Loop's Website: https://us.loopearplugs.com/

You’re comparing oranges and steamships here.

Big stretch to compare a fashion-oriented passive earplug (that has a tip that goes in the ear) to an actual electronic device that delivers the sound through the ring.

You might as well call out Sony for ripping off eargage wearers.
 

jazz1

Contributor
Aug 19, 2002
4,601
18,863
Mid-West USA
And.....you can use ear swabs while you listen to music :p Actually, these look pretty neat for those that need to keep aware of their surroundings. I like that the vol. adjusts to the noise of the actual environment. I do hope that is adjustable though. I'm kind of intrigued by these! If I still worked in a peopled office environment these would be great!
 

Moonlight

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2002
1,131
2,356
Los Angeles
I will buy ANY desktop or laptop that is NOT apple branded... Thank you for posting this... Apple will get my buck when they give us the SCSI ports. Until then... NEVER!!!!
 
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gbc204

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2011
360
388
I was fortunate enough to test these and to be perfectly honest I wasn't expecting too much but was more than pleasantly surprised. After just 5 minutes I completely forgot I was wearing them and was shocked by how good the audio was and how the external environment sounds hardly any different to when not using earbuds. The design is very clever and I'd suggest giving them a test run if you think you'd find them useful in your activity. WAY WAY better than bone conduction or similar.
How was the response when tapping near the ear? One thing I liked about the regular Airpod 2 over the Pros was that you can just tap them to skip tracks. I was shocked when I found out you have to pinch the Pros to do that. Much easier when running to just tap. Couple that with the transparency, and I might have to give these Sonys a serious look.
 

iamasmith

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2015
840
417
Cheshire, UK
Interesting Sony have IIRC some proprietary codec they build into their headphones and devices to give higher audio quality (sorry no citation, just going off mentions from a friend) so it's interesting to hear how they work with a more standard profile with an iPhone,
 

zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
2,552
6,879
These are EXACTLY what I need. When I want to listen to music for enjoyment at home I put on my full size headphones. When I'm away from home and want max audio quality I use my IEMs (a bit clunky though). Outside of those scenarios my most used set of earphones are AirPods Pro by far. Most of my usage is when I'm at my desk or on my computer somewhere in an environment where I want to retain a complete connection to the world around me. In essence, I want the experience of having a small set of speakers in front of me without broadcasting the audio to everyone around me. I never use them for music because they sound like absolute garbage (seriously, even when I forget my IEMs I'd rather not listen to music than subject myself to the mess of AirPods sound quality), but they get the job done for everything else.

I've always found transparency mode on AirPods to be super artificial and disconcerting, on top of that the sealed nature of AirPods Pro cause a great deal of pressure build up so instead of transparency I just put one unit in my ear and leave the other to charge. Neither transparency mode nor keeping one bud out of my ear gets the job done fully.

A wireless set of AirPods style earbuds that retain a complete, DIRECT (i.e non-simulated like transparency mode) connection to the outside world are a dream come true.

Ordered. My only concern is they won't fit my ears properly.
 
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zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
2,552
6,879
LMAO oh wait we totally forgot something ... Sony ACTUALLY used a name for an audio product, a name NOT some complex code! Whomever at Sony came up with such a name SHOULD get a huge bonus!

? yep, next generation they'll get a branding update: Sony LNK2000KO3 (Grey) [Alexa Version]
 

TTTedP

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2017
337
357
The design is optimal for people who talk on the phone a lot or are in video conferences a lot. All previous headphones lead to high humidity in the ear. This can promote inflammation. It is important to ventilate the ears. I will definitely test the Sony headphones.
wow, I always wondered why my ears started hurting after a couple of hours even on good fitting buds. Thanks for this!
 

Chrjy

macrumors 65816
May 19, 2010
1,102
2,119
UK
Ordered. My only concern is they won't fit my ears properly.
Based on my experience, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The one's I tested came with varying loop sizes and I literally forgot I was wearing them. The fit is unlike any earbuds I have experienced in the past. Obviously all ears are different, horses for courses I guess!
 

MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,850
599
Los Angeles
I would say yes. I appreciate we all have different ear shapes but the way these hook into the flap at the top of the ear worked really well for me. I was using them for around 2 hours in a town centre but because it was all very secretive I did have people following me! Once we got back to the meeting room to provide feedback, I went to leave and completely forgot they were still in my ears!
I knew someone else who was also testing them and spoke to them the next day as I was interested in their experience, they felt the same as myself....very positive.
How loud are they? Do they get as loud as the WF-1000Xm4? Airpods Pro?
 

Chrjy

macrumors 65816
May 19, 2010
1,102
2,119
UK
How loud are they? Do they get as loud as the WF-1000Xm4? Airpods Pro?
Not used the WF-1000Xm4 but in terms of APP they probably do go as loud but due the open design the volume may feel a little lower but not by much.
 

zakarhino

Contributor
Sep 13, 2014
2,552
6,879
Based on my experience, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The one's I tested came with varying loop sizes and I literally forgot I was wearing them. The fit is unlike any earbuds I have experienced in the past. Obviously all ears are different, horses for courses I guess!

Just got mine and they're great and fit well (surprisingly). Thought I would end up returning them but they're great and do exactly what I want them to. Wireless charging of the case would be a bonus but it's not a dealbreaker. These things are cool.
 

Marshall73

macrumors 68030
Apr 20, 2015
2,689
2,817
Got a pair coming tomorrow. I love my AirPods Pro and Max but I get irritation due to sweaty ears when I use them for more than a couple of hours, less so the max than the Pro's.

Im hoping the open design of these will allow all day usage without that irritation causing sweaty itchy ear canals. I never got on with hard earphones like the original apple headphones or the AirPods, they always caused painful ears, hoping these don't place too much pressure to cause pain like the other hard buds. Will report back once I get them.
 
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adrianlondon

macrumors 603
Nov 28, 2013
5,282
7,962
Switzerland
I'm still debating between these and the Bose Sport Open (for cycling/running). I'm waiting for some user reviews to come out. I believe the Linkbuds are being officially released tomorrow (Tuesday).
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,812
2,174
IIRC, Techmoan’s review of these mentioned some audio quality issues he had.

Now, I honestly don’t mind the active Transparency mode of the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. But legally, there may be issues with the use of active audio passthrough (safety and or workplace requirements, driving) where passive passthroughs like this (that leave your ears open to ambient noise) may be required. I have an set of AirPods Max, but I’d totally buy these for one of those situations over bone conducting headphones. (Of course, if you need hearing protection, bone conducting headphones plus proper industrial hearing protections may be your only option.)
 

Marshall73

macrumors 68030
Apr 20, 2015
2,689
2,817
Got them today. Hmm. They really don’t sound good, tried then for 2 hours so far with everything from Toto to Metallica. There’s a proper tinny sound to them which is really annoying as they don’t aggravate my ears or make them itchy. They would like you are listening to one of those cheap DAB single speaker radios. Also at much more the 50% volume you get buzing in the high frequencies. I have played around with the app and tried different EQ’s and DSEE on and off etc.
As the sound about as good as a pair of wired AirPods I’m thinking these will be getting returned :(

image.jpg
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,812
2,174
Got them today. Hmm. They really don’t sound good, tried then for 2 hours so far with everything from Toto to Metallica. There’s a proper tinny sound to them which is really annoying as they don’t aggravate my ears or make them itchy. They would like you are listening to one of those cheap DAB single speaker radios. Also at much more the 50% volume you get buzing in the high frequencies. I have played around with the app and tried different EQ’s and DSEE on and off etc.
As the sound about as good as a pair of wired AirPods I’m thinking these will be getting returned :(

View attachment 1963141
I wonder if you got a bum example. Maybe return for another pair, see if a second pair works better for you.
 

Jeffgtx

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2015
44
39
Haven’t experienced any of those audio problems. There was once that it wasn’t set in my ear correctly and I didn’t realize it because it did t feel odd. But adjusted the eq to my liking and put in the correct EarPod things and they just provide nice soundtrack as you go about your day. I like them.
 
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