Speaker 1: 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
Speaker 1: 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 video. I’m gonna cover everything between [00:00:30] these two earbuds, from comfort and fit through to sound and cool 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 video, in the description, I have links to some latest pricing and availability, but all that said, let’s get into it.
Speaker 1: Now the fit of wireless earbuds is so highly personal [00:01:00] and everybody’s are completely different. So it’s hard to give general guidance that is gonna apply exactly to your ears and your situation. But hopefully some of this will be helpful in deciding which one is the best fit for you. 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, these have a ring based design and they sit in your ear, nothing actually seats in your ear canal like traditional wireless earbuds. [00:01:30] 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 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 airports third generation, [00:02:00] but that said everybody’s ears are different.
Speaker 1: And I’ve heard from a lot of different people with more regular sized ears, that the link Budds are one of the most comfortable sets of earbuds they have ever tried. The pods three, have a totally different design with a stand 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 wanna do something [00:02:30] like getting extra interchangeable tips, you’ll have to look at third party options with all wireless ear buds. I do like to do the head bang test and you’ll notice in this comparison side by side, that the airports on one side did fall 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.
Speaker 1: Now I normally wouldn’t spend [00:03:00] much time talking about the controls on earbuds, but the link buds are actually kind of whack. 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 call for example, and even adjust the volume. You are able to also turn on wide area tap. Now this actually lets you tap this area just underneath here, [00:03:30] 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.
Speaker 1: The only thing is that it, it is [00:04:00] 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 in a nightclub on the side of the road, which was just weird. The airports have stem controls. This is clickable. So you and interact with the pods just by double, triple or single clicking this stem and you can do pretty much everything you can do on the link buds like [00:04:30] advanced tracks, playing and pause music as well as accept and reject calls, very standard stuff. However, you are not able to adjust the volume from ads itself using physical controls. If you want that, that’s only available on the link buds. Instead, if you wanna change the volume on the AirPods, you are gonna 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 apples voice assistant, which I am not gonna say [00:05:00] to not act accidentally invoke yours.
Speaker 1: Okay. Sound quality time. 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. Um, 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, if you know me, this is going to come as a bit of a surprise, uh, when I say this, but I’m genuinely [00:05:30] shocked, shook as the kids say. Um, and I am really gravitating towards choosing the airports 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 airports have more of a pronounced base response. It’s more rounded and more full, especially listening to tracks that do have quite a bit of heavy base in them.
Speaker 1: 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 [00:06:00] are a little bit more crisp. 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 air pods to my ears, the link Budds do have an extra trick up their sleeve that the air pods 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 airports don’t have that on a universal level. [00:06:30] 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 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.
Speaker 1: And also the music you’re listening to now, 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 video and you’re just finding that out. But if you do want to have something that [00:07:00] 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 that they sit in my ears. I feel like I’m more easily able to have a conversation with no music playing on the AirPods. Then I am on the link buds. And 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 D S E [00:07:30] E, which is the digital sound enhancement engine that I find adds a little bit of extra ooph. Yes, that’s kind of the technical term. I’ll go with it in anyway, uh, 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, all right. Time to listen to some microphone samples. And I have brought my friend and alter ego slash nemesis to help us test it out.
Speaker 2: Okay. I’m wearing the link buds and your hearing, the sound recorded [00:08:00] through the microphones from them via iOS stop Lexi long time. No, see dude, you can’t be serious. You brought me back for this and I’m using the AirPods like clearly I’m on Android. I actually found it didn’t really matter what platform I was using. You know, call is remarked that my voice sounded a little bit it more close and present when I was using the AirPods. But then there was like almost no background noise at all. When I was calling on the link buds, the noise reduction was actually fantastic. [00:08:30] You know, I really wish they did a better job of blocking background noise and your voice. Now that would be innovation. You know, there’s no phone in that case, right?
Speaker 1: 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 [00:09:00] them out and top them off. When you take one out of your ear, both of them will also pause the music, the airports, let you adjust any settings through the iOS settings app or through the control center. There is no standalone app. Like there is with the link buds on iOS and an Android. And quickly, if you pair the airports 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.
Speaker 1: Now, spatial audio and dynamic head tracking [00:09:30] on iOS likes the sound sound like it’s coming from all around you. And it is available on supported movies, music and TV shows in certain apps. The link buds 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. It’s a little bit creepy. I’m not gonna lie, but I guess photos of my ears are out there on the internet. So [00:10:00] I shouldn’t really worry that much. 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 listen to messages. And so on, the airports have hands free.
Speaker 1: You get things like messages, read aloud in your ear ability to make calls and send messages and change playback, things like that. The airports also tap [00:10:30] into apples, find by network for separation alerts and location tracking, and the ability to quick swing between different apple devices signed into the same apple ID. Now, unfortunately the link buds do not support anything similar. There’s no multipoint Bluetooth, even though quick switch is not technically multipoint Bluetooth, but if you wanna connect these to multiple devices at once, like more expensive earbuds, you can’t, you have to manually switch them over, but it guess there’s one extra feature that might make up for it. They have a speak [00:11:00] to chat feature that you might have seen on other Sony, earbuds and headphones. So if you start talking and all of a sudden, uh, 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,
Speaker 3: The
Speaker 1: Okay, battery life and durability. Finally, we are getting I P X four 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, [00:11:30] the airports. 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 and a half hours without D S E 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 and wireless charging. Now the air pods has it on the case, the link pods does not. Unfortunately, um, the airport [00:12:00] also has the mag safe 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 Budds case has been super impact and really nice.
Speaker 1: I love this speckled finish on, 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 Budds case is it’s kind [00:12:30] of difficult to open one handed. So for accessibility reason, 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, cuz 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 airport’s case is a little easier to open. One hand can see you can just snap it open. Like so
Speaker 1: It’s time to make your [00:13:00] 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, 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 like mine. They might not fit [00:13:30] comfortably. So really do try before you buy and as for my choice, well, if that matters to you, I am choosing the AirPods, the 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 [00:14:00] with those kind of augmented reality experiences. Honestly, that wide area tap is mind blowing once you try it. And I’m really gonna miss that when I go back to any other earbuds without it. Thanks as always for watching. If you have extra questions about the earbuds, please feel free to leave me a comment. Let me know which pair is the one that you are gravitating towards. And you can also find me on your favorite social media platforms until next time. I’ll see you later.