Hot News


Header Ads Widget

Sony LinkBuds vs. AirPods 3 Full Detailed Review Which one Should you buy

If you want a pair of open wireless EarBuds, two of the most popular options are the Sony Link Buds and the Apple Airpods third generation, so how do you choose between them? Let's find out

These two sets of EarBuds let you hear your Music and your surroundings at the same time, they're the same price at 180 US dollars. They have many of the same features but their designs, well they're completely different.


In this post, I'm going to cover everything between these two EarBuds. From comfort and fit through to sound and call quality to battery life as well as all the extra bells and whistles on board. Now both of these work with Android and IOS with some slight differences in functionality that we'll get into in the rest of the post.

Let's get into it. Now the fit of wireless EarBuds is so highly personal and everybody's ears are completely different. So it's hard to give general guidance that is going to apply exactly to your ears in your situation. But hopefully some of this will be helpful in deciding which one is the best fit for you.

How comfortable are the Sony Link Buds?

Let's start with the Link Buds. Now this design is totally wild as you've probably seen from all of the photos, other reviews out there because these have a ring based design and they sit in your ear. Nothing actually seats in your ear canal like traditional wireless EarBuds. They have interchangeable fins on them and these range in size from extra small through to extra large and I love how Sony provides lots of different options in the box, so you can find the best fit and the idea is that these wrap around the Link Buds and it actually hooks in underneath that part of your ear to keep them in super snugly. But for smaller ears, I have definitely found that these do give me a little bit more ear fatigue than I'm used to, especially when compared to the Airpods third generation. But that said everybody's ears are different and I've heard from a lot of different people with more regular sized ears that the Link Buds are one of the most comfortable sets of EarBuds they have ever tried.

How comfortable are the Apple Airpods 3rd Gen?

The Airpods 3 have a totally different design with a stem that sticks down slightly from your ears as well as the earbud itself which just rests in your ear. Again no part of this enters your ear canal but there are no tips or anything like that to adjust the fit to your liking. If you do want to do something like getting extra interchangeable tips, you'll have to look at third-party options. With all wireless EarBuds, I do like to do the headbang test and Airpods on one side falls out the Link Buds stayed in securely thanks to those fins. So if you're wanting to do something more active like running or going to the gym, the Link Buds might be a better bet.

Controls comparison of Sony Link Buds vs Apple Airpods 3

Now I normally wouldn't spend much time talking about the controls on EarBuds but the Link Buds are actually kind of Wack and I mean that in a really good way because it is again just so different from any other earbud that I've tried. So on top of being able to tap the earbud to change tracks, control say calls for example and even adjust the volume; you're able to also turn on wide area tap. Now this actually lets you tap this area just underneath the ring on your jaw, kind of like sideburns area to do the same things. I found that I use this so much and it's very natural after the first couple of tries doing it when I realized how simple it was, I'm addicted. These also have automatic volume control which is great in theory because when it's really loud surrounds you want to be able to hear your Music better and have the volume cranked up without you necessarily needing to like reach into your bag or pocket to adjust it from your phone.


The only thing is that it is kind of sensitive on the Link Buds and I definitely found that when I was walking outside, say alongside a busy road, you know the volume was going up and down and up and down all the time. It just felt like I was seeing a nightclub on the side of the road which was just weird.

The Airpods have stem controls, this is clickable so you can interact with the Airpods just by double, triple or single clicking this stem and you can do pretty much everything you can do on the Link Buds. Like advanced tracks, play and pause Music as well as accept and reject calls, very standard stuff however you are not able to adjust the volume from the Airpods itself using physical controls. If you want that, that's only available on the Link Buds. Instead if you want to change the volume on the Airpods, you are going to be either using your phone to change the volume or the device you're connected to an Apple Watch if you have one of those or using your voice with Apple's voice assistant which I am not going to say to not accidentally invoke yours.

Sound Quality comparison of Sony Link Buds vs Apple Airpods 3

Now of course the fit is going to play a part into how good or how not good they sound (good English there I know) and I've been listening to a range of different tracks over different genres and different streaming services and of course on IOS and Android. To hear the differences over the past month, This as a bit of a surprise when I say this but I'm genuinely shocked and I am really gravitating towards choosing the Airpods as my go-to daily drivers for listening to Music over the Link Buds and there are a couple of different reasons behind that.

The Airpods have more of a pronounced Bass response, it's more rounded and more full especially listening to tracks, that do have quite a bit of heavy Bass in them. They also feel like the sound stage is a little bit more open and wide. It feels like instrumentation has more room to breathe and vocals are a little bit more crisp.

Also Read: Dyson Zone Air-Purifying Headphones | Air Filter that youcan wear on the go!

Now that said the Link Buds sound really really good, they do not sound bad by any means. But their sound stage is not as expansive as that from the Airpods to my ears. The Link cards do have an extra trick up their sleeve that the Airpods do not and that's a user adjustable equalizer that's universal in the Headphones Connect App on IOS and Android. You're able to choose from a number of different presets or select options yourself. The Airpods don't have that on a universal level although you can go into say like a Spotify or a Title or even the Apple Music settings and change it from there. But it is using an adaptive equalizer which is doing pretty much all the work behind the scenes for you which is changing the sound profile based on variables like how they fit in your ears and also the Music you're listening to.


Neither of these Buds have active noise cancellation, I hope you know that by now otherwise I'm really sorry if you've made it this far in the post and you're just finding that out. But if you do want to have something that has a little bit more noise blocking, I would say at least in my ears the actual Link Buds do a bit better of a job of kind of blocking out more external sounds just because of how snug they sit in my ears. I feel like I'm more easily able to have a conversation with no Music playing on the Airpods than I am on the Link Buds.

Just a quick note on codex both of these use AAC on IOS and Android whereas the Link Buds also add the option to toggle on DSEE which is the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine that I find adds a little bit of extra oomph that helps provide a little bit of extra emphasis and sound quality to lossy streaming tracks. I always end up turning this on even though it does affect battery life a little bit.

Apps & Features comparison of Sony Link Buds vs Airpods 3rd Gen

Let's run through some of the other features on board. Now both of these let you use them independently so one can remain in the case and charge while you use the other to listen to Music or take calls which is great if you find that one is draining a little bit more than the other one. You can always balance them out and top them off, when you take one out of your ear both of them will also pause the Music. The Airpods let you adjust any settings through the IOS settings app or through the control centre. There is no standalone app like there is with the Link Buds on IOS and Android.

And if you pair the Airpods with an Android device, you are just stuck with the default settings unless you download a third-party app to make adjustments. You also lose out on things like Spatial Audio. Now Spatial Audio and Dynamic Head Tracking on IOS likes the sound like it's coming from all around you and it is available on supported Movies, Music and Television shows in certain apps.

Also Read: Mojo Vision Lens Full Review Price and Release Date | ThisLens will turn you into Ironman

The Link buttons have something similar, it's called 360 Reality Audio. The setup is a little bit more intensive than the Plug and Play operation on the Airpods. Essentially you'll need to take photos of your ears and it will create scans and map it accordingly.The Link Buds also support Google's Fast Pair when you're on Android and Windows and the ability to use the Google Assistant if you would like to control, say Music playback or if you want to make calls, listen to messages and so on. The Airpods have hands-free, you get things like messages read aloud in your ability to make calls and send messages and change playback things like that. The Airpods also tap into Apple's find my network for separation alerts and location tracking and the ability to quick switch between different Apple devices signed into the same Apple id.


Now unfortunately the Link Buds do not support anything similar, there's no multi-point Bluetooth, even though quick switch is not technically a multi-point Bluetooth but if you want to connect these to multiple devices at once, like more expensive EarBuds. You can't, you have to manually switch them over. But I guess there's one extra feature that might make up for it. They have a speak to chat feature that you might have seen on other Sony EarBuds and headphones. So if you start talking and all of a sudden the Music will Duck and Pause so you can have a conversation without taking these out of your ear and then it will automatically resume 15 seconds later.

Battery life and Durability comparison of Sony Link Buds vs Airpods 3rd Gen

Finally we are getting IPX4 from both of these, that means they are splash resistant. A sweaty gym session or a light amount of water or rain will be totally fine for both of these. The Airpods I usually get around five and a half to six hours and that's with spatial audio turned off and the Link Buds between five and five and a half hours without DSEE active.

The cases also contain a little bit of extra charge as well. The Airpods have a 30 hour total charge from the case and the Link Buds go to 17 and a half hours.

Also Read: Comparison of Snapchat Spectacles 3 vs Latest GoPro Hero 9 |Which one to buy?

What about wireless charging? Now the Airpods has it on the case but  the Link pods does not unfortunately. The Airpods also has Magsafe wireless charging too if you're interested in that and lightning versus USBC and Just quickly a note on the cases, i've definitely found the Link Buds case has been super compact and really nice. I love this speckled finish on it. It's made from recycled materials and I do have to applaud Sony on the lack of plastic that was used in all of the packaging. I really appreciate that. The one thing about the design of the Link Buds case is it's kind of difficult to open one-handed. So for accessibility reasons, it's not probably the best when it comes to that. I definitely do feel like I need to have two hands to open this effectively. Also because it's so small, you have really big hands so it might be a little difficult getting this open. Please report back if you have had that happen or if I'm just making this up and the Airpods case is a little easier to open one hand you can just snap it open

Conclusion: Should you buy the Sony Link Buds or Apple Airpods?

It's time to make your choice Link Buds or Airpods. Now more so than many other comparisons that I do, I really think this one comes down to the fit. Because if one of these pairs is either uncomfortable or doesn't stay in your ears, do try the other one and see if it provides a better alternative. But generally speaking I think the Link Buds will provide a more secure fit for people that have normal or regular sized ears. For smaller ears, they might not fit comfortably. So really do try before you buy.


As for my choice, well if that matters to you, I am choosing the Airpods third generation and that's purely because they are more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time than the Link Buds. But I really have to commend Sony for what they've done with these EarBuds. I really like the design and I really hope they keep iterating and going through different versions to really see if they can customize the fit for all ear sizes as well as going even further with those kind of augmented reality experiences. Honestly that wide area tap is mind-blowing once you try it and I'm really going to miss that when I go back to any other EarBuds without it. Thanks as always for reading,  if you have extra questions about the EarBuds please feel free to leave me a comment. Let us know which pair is the one that you're gravitating towards and don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family.

Post a Comment