Sony has announced a new version of its LinkBuds S earbuds with an environmentally-friendly twist.
The company has introduced a new “Earth Blue” version of the buds that use factory-recovered plastic and reclaimed water bottles for their construction, which give them a unique blue and white swirl design (very reminiscent of a top-down shot of Earth’s sky). I have a pair myself and I can say that they look very cool, plus it’s nice to know they’re using recycled materials. The packaging they come in is also completely recyclable and plastic-free (as is the packaging for every pair of LinkBuds S).
A new feature Sony is introducing with the Earth Blue LinkBuds S is multi-device pairing. Now, you’ll be able to pair your buds with up to two devices at once, which makes switching between your laptop and phone a lot easier. Existing LinkBuds S customers will get the feature in a firmware update next month, according to Sony.
Other than the new design, nothing else is changing about the buds, which have developed a reputation for being very well-rounded. They offer a comfortable design that sits almost flush with your ear, IPX4 water resistance, Hi-Res audio quality, active noise cancellation, Adaptive Sound Control, and ambient sound (a.k.a. transparency mode). Sony also includes Fast Pair on Android and Windows computers, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration, quick controls, and instant play/pause when you remove a bud.
The LinkBuds S last up to six hours on a charge, plus an additional 14 hours with the case. If there’s one minor inconvenience here, it’s the lack of wireless charging.
In addition to the Earth Blue LinkBuds S, Sony is also launching a new LinkBuds UC edition which sports the original LinkBuds’ open-back design and a USB receiver for easy connection to a Windows PC. They’re designed to integrate with Microsoft Teams specifically, with special gestures to answer phone calls or mute your microphone. They also sport multi-device pairing since the USB portion can connect to a PC, while the Bluetooth connection could be tied to your phone. If you’re a heavy Teams user, you might want to check these out.
The Earth Blue LinkBuds S go on sale today for the same $199.99 as before. They’re available directly from Sony’s website, Amazon, and other Sony-authorized retailers. Meanwhile, the LinkBuds UC will be priced at $249.99 and launch later this winter.