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Sony LinkBuds are wireless earbuds with a major design twist

Sony LinkBuds WF-L900
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's doughnut-shaped LinkBuds are finally official (as is our LinkBuds review). As predicted, the quirky WF-L900 wireless earbuds feature a hole in the middle of the earpiece to allow ambient sound in. 

The idea behind this "unique design" is that you can leave the LinkBuds in all day, whilst working, gaming and socialising with friends. Wearing them on a date? That might be pushing it.

There's no active noise-cancelling. Instead, the LinkBuds use AI machine learning to filter out noise during calls. The 'open air' experience is further enhanced by Adaptive Volume Control tech, which automatically increases/decreases the volume based on ambient noise.

How comfortable can a pair of tiny plastic doughnuts be? Very, according to Sony. The company says the LinkBuds weigh just 4g each and are designed in line with four decades of ear data, collected since Sony introduced its first in-ear headphones in 1982. 

The controls are as unusual as the buds themselves. There are no physical buttons, but you can adjust playback by double or triple tapping in front of either of your ears. Of course, you can also touch the LinkBuds themselves.

Sony LinkBuds WF-L900

(Image credit: Sony)

IPX4 water resistance means splashes and sweat won’t stop you from running in the rain. Battery life is a distinctly average 5.5 hours from the buds themselves, plus an additional 12 hours from the case. A 10-minute quick charge provides up to 90 minutes of play time. 

Other specs include support for Sony's immersive 360 Reality Audio format and the same distortion-busting V1 chip as the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Sony WF-1000XM4. Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) should squeeze the best performance out of compressed file formats.

Google Fast and Swift Pair let users connect the buds to Android devices devices with a quick tap on a notification. In some scenarios, you can just take the earbuds out of their case and a pop-up will appear automatically. Nice.

The LinkBuds support Spotify Tap, so you can quickly resume your music/podcast without any faff, and Microsoft Soundscape. The latter is a 3D audio technology that helps people who are visually impaired find their way.

Like the idea of 'never off' earbuds? The Sony LinkBuds WF-L900 will be available in grey and white from February 2022, priced at £150 / $180 / AU$300.

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.