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Review: Sony LinkBuds S

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Sony launched the original LinkBuds wireless earbuds in March 2022 with a unique ring driver design, and the company quickly followed up with the launch of the new LinkBuds S. Unlike the LinkBuds, which focus on allowing ambient sound in, the S model is designed to block out ambient noise with an in-ear fit and active noise cancelling (ANC) system.

These earbuds are also similar in appearance to the Sony WF-1000XM4 but are made of recycled plastic, making them lightweight and comfortable to wear. In terms of sound profile, Sony has moved away from a heavy bass, boomy sound, and towards a more balanced audio experience. Inside the box, you get the Sony LinkBuds S earbuds, four tip sizes, a charging case, the USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and user manuals.

The Sony LinkBuds S come in three colour variants such as Black, White, and Ecru. We tested the Black variant for this review. The design of the LinkBuds S is familiar and easy to use. The earbuds come with four different sizes of ear tips, and their ergonomic shape fits comfortably in my ear.

The sealed fit of the earbuds means that you won’t be able to hear your surroundings as well as the original LinkBuds, but it also means that you can hear the bass in your music more clearly. Additionally, the sealed fit can also help to protect your hearing by reducing the need to crank up the volume during loud environmental noise.

One aspect that carries over from the original LinkBuds WF-L900 is the matte textured plastic of the LinkBuds S and its charging case. On one hand, the texture feels nice, and it’s hard to imagine them ever slipping out of your hand. However, they are also quick to attract dust which actually isn’t a biggie if you are used to regularly cleaning your earbuds.

The LinkBuds S are also IPX4 water-resistant, making them suitable for workouts and commutes. In addition to active noise-cancellation, they also feature an ambient sound or transparency mode that allows you to hear more of your surroundings.

The Sony Headphones Connect app offers 20 levels of adjustment for this feature, providing a significant amount of flexibility. The earbuds come equipped with the same Integrated Processor V1 and DSEE Extreme processor found in the LinkBuds and the WF-1000XM4, allowing it to upscale digital music files to near-high-resolution quality.

The LinkBuds S is easy to control – all the functions can be controlled by tapping on the flat exterior of the earbuds. The controls include toggling between active noise cancelling (ANC) and transparency mode, activating your virtual assistant, controlling volume, and controlling playback.

There is also an awareness mode, which you can activate by holding the side of an earbud for a quick hit of transparency mode, similar to other Sony audio products like the WH-1000XM5. You can customise the control profile of each earbud in the Sony Headphones Connect app, but you cannot set individual controls – you can’t set the left earbud to control playback and the right earbud to control volume, for instance.

The LinkBuds S features Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and support for LE Audio, in addition to Sony’s high-resolution LDAC codec, SBC and AAC. They also have the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously, thanks to a firmware update that allows for Bluetooth multipoint connectivity.

Sony claims that the LinkBuds S can last up to 6 hours on a single charge, and in testing, we found the earbuds to come close to that claim. With a constant output of real music peaking at 75dB (SPL), the Sony LinkBuds S lasted for 5 hours and 41 minutes on a single charge, which is pretty good. The charging case also provides an additional 14 hours of charge, bringing the total to nearly 20 hours.

The Sony LinkBuds S have outstanding consistency in their frequency response. When you get a good fit and seal, you will experience consistent bass and treble delivery with every use. They also have excellent mid-range accuracy. Their frequency range is fairly neutral, which makes vocals and lead instruments sound clear and detailed.

Additionally, the peaks and dips in the frequency response of the Sony LinkBuds S are excellent. In terms of noise isolation, the LinkBuds S perform excellently as well.

Sony is already well-established in the world of in-ear earbuds, with its WF-1000XM4 being a highly sought-after pair of truly wireless earbuds. The noise cancellation and audio quality on the WF-1000XM4 are superior to the LinkBuds S, making them the top choice if you’re considering Sony earbuds.

However, the Sony LinkBuds S still offer many of the same features at a lower price point, and their more lightweight and compact design may appeal to those who find the XM4 to be too bulky. At their current price of AED 450, they are a solid investment and a marked improvement over the original LinkBuds.

Price: AED 450

Sony LinkBuds S AED 450
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

The LinkBuds S is easy to control – all the functions can be controlled by tapping on the flat exterior of the earbuds. The controls include toggling between active noise cancelling (ANC) and transparency mode, activating your virtual assistant, controlling volume, and controlling playback.

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Accessories

HP Unleashes Latest OMEN and HyperX Gaming Arsenal

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HP ignited the Dubai gaming scene today with a showcase of its latest OMEN and HyperX devices and accessories. The event unveiled a collection of cutting-edge products designed to elevate the gaming experience for all. “HP understands the evolving needs of gamers, creators, and streamers. The OMEN and HyperX lineup caters to this diverse audience, offering a blend of power, performance, and quality. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a casual player, or just starting your PC journey, OMEN and HyperX offer a perfect match for an immersive and seamless experience,” the company said.

 

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OMEN Transcend 14
The star of the show was the highly anticipated OMEN Transcend 14. This lightweight 14-inch powerhouse is built for those who demand both gaming excellence and creative freedom. Featuring a stunning 2.8K 120Hz OLED display and powered by the latest Intel Core Ultra Processor, the OMEN Transcend 14 seamlessly blends portability with premium performance. This allows users to transition between gaming and creative tasks on-the-go, without sacrificing processing power.

Beyond the Transcend 14, the showcase also featured:

  1. A broad selection of other OMEN laptops boasting impressive performance and design.
  2. An array of HyperX gaming gear, including mice, headsets, backpacks, and the world’s most customizable mechanical keyboard.

HyperX Alloy Rise

“With PC gamers numbered 1.1 billion and an expected growth to 1.85 billion this year, gaming is not just a pastime; it’s a dynamic and evolving culture that connects people worldwide,” said Peter Oganesean, Managing Director of HP Middle East. “Our Gaming Showcase in Dubai underscores our dedication to providing gamers with the latest advancements in technology, empowering them to reach new heights of performance and enjoyment.”

HyperX QuadCast

HP’s Dubai Gaming Showcase wasn’t just about unveiling new products, it was a strategic move aligning with the region’s thriving gaming scene. Gaming in the Middle East is no longer a solitary activity; it’s a social phenomenon fostering vibrant communities. With the UAE gaming market expected to grow steadily at 5.40% annually from 2024 to 2027, OMEN and HyperX are stepping up to meet this growing demand.

HyperX Pulsefire Mat RGB

HP’s latest offerings prioritize personalized experiences, delivering top-notch performance, sleek designs, and extensive customization options to cater to the diverse needs of Middle Eastern gamers. Attendees at the showcase weren’t just passive observers. Interactive demos and expert insights allowed them to experience firsthand the power and versatility of the OMEN and HyperX lineup. The message was clear: from competitive esports to immersive storytelling, these products offer limitless possibilities for gamers to explore and excel.

HyperX Cloud III

The showcase also highlighted HP’s commitment to a sustainable future. Eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient designs were incorporated into the showcased gaming devices and accessories, demonstrating that responsible practices can go hand-in-hand with high-performance gaming gear. By aligning with the Middle East’s burgeoning gaming community and prioritizing personalization, performance, and sustainability, HP positions itself as a leader in the region’s ever-evolving gaming landscape.

HP’s Dubai Gaming Showcase wasn’t just about announcements, it was an exhibition of cutting-edge technology for passionate gamers. Here’s a closer look at some of the key highlights:

OMEN Transcend 14: This ultra-light champion weighs in at only 1637g, defying expectations for a portable powerhouse. Featuring a stunning 2.8K 120Hz OLED display and the latest Intel Core Ultra Processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs, it allows seamless switching between gaming and creative endeavors, anywhere, anytime.

OMEN Transcend 16: This desktop replacement boasts a stunning 240Hz, 16:10 display with vivid colours and high refresh rates. Powered by the latest 14th-generation Intel processors and up to a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070, it empowers creators and gamers alike.

HyperX QuadCast

HyperX Cloud III Wireless Headset Black: This evolution of the legendary Cloud II Wireless incorporates next-gen technology and a sleek design, delivering exceptional audio for the most dedicated players.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2 Mini Wireless Black Mouse: Weighing less than 60 grams, this ultra-light, wireless mouse offers precision control in a compact form factor.

HyperX Pulsefire Mousepad: Engineered for durability and precision tracking, this mousepad features an optimized surface and anti-fray stitching for enhanced comfort and control during intense gameplay.

HyperX Pulsefire Haste 2 Mini Wireless

HyperX Alloy Rise 75 Gaming Keyboard: The “world’s most customizable” toolless mechanical keyboard, the Alloy Rise takes personalization to a whole new level. Hot-swappable key switches, magnetic top plates, badges, and more let you tailor your keyboard to your exact needs.

HyperX QuadCast S Black Microphone: This condenser microphone delivers both broadcast-quality audio and stunning aesthetics. Customizable RGB lighting adds a touch of style to any stream setup.

HyperX Knight and Delta Backpacks: These durable, weather-resistant backpacks offer secure storage for your gaming essentials, with classic HyperX colours and airline carry-on compliance for ultimate portability.

OMEN 17: OMEN recently announced the upcoming launch of the OMEN 17 Gaming Laptop. Designed for the multi-faceted gamer who dabbles in content creation and esports, this laptop boasts increased performance, larger screens, and captivating visuals. It caters to a growing segment of gamers who demand versatility from their machines.

Staying true to its innovative spirit, OMEN will integrate a dedicated Copilot key for quick AI accessibility. This intriguing feature remains shrouded in a bit of mystery, but it hints at AI-powered functionalities to streamline the gaming experience. Additionally, an AI-driven OMEN camera and voice enhancer will elevate your audio and video quality, ensuring seamless communication with teammates or viewers.

The showcase also highlighted HP’s recent partnership with Riot Games, the powerhouse behind popular titles like League of Legends (LoL Esports), VALORANT (VCT), and Teamfight Tactics (TFT Esports). This groundbreaking global collaboration will reshape the gaming and esports experience for players worldwide. As the official Riot Games Technology partner, OMEN and HyperX gain access to Riot’s massive player base. This collaboration empowers them to provide top-tier hardware and technological solutions that will fuel various aspects of the Riot Games ecosystem, from powering the experiences of millions of players to supporting record-breaking esports events.

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Accessories

GameSir Launches Nova Series of Gaming Controllers

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GameSir has announced the official worldwide release of its newest controller series – the highly anticipated Nova Series featuring the GameSir Nova and GameSir Nova Lite. Two next-generation devices with cutting-edge capabilities and a raft of key features, the GameSir Nova and Nova Lite promise to empower users during gameplay and take gaming exploits to the next level.

Billed as ‘the ultimate multi-platform gaming controller’, the GameSir Nova offers unrestricted gaming experiences with its cross-platform adaptability. Compatible with Android, Switch, Steam, PC, and iOS devices, this fabulous controller enables users to conquer their games with style, precision, and incredible performance. The GameSir Hall Effect anti-drift sticks are engineered for increased consistency and smoothness during gameplay with specially optimized algorithms, stylish RGB circles come with personalized lighting effects for unique gaming experiences, and tri-mode connectivity makes for unparalleled hassle-free flexibility with three connectivity options (Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, and Wired).

Additionally, the GameSir Nova supports Switch, Dinput, Xinput, Arcade, and MFi as a truly versatile controller, holding the keys to ultimate gaming experiences with less latency, motion control, programmable macro back buttons, and dual actuators for strong and subtle vibrations. The controller is also available in retro white and neon teal. Much like its fellow Nova Series device, the GameSir Nova Lite promises to deliver next-level gaming experiences – empowering users throughout gameplay conquests. Exactly like the GameSir Nova, this innovation comes with the same multi-platform compatibility, GameSir Hall Effect anti-drift sticks for maximized performance, and tri-mode connectivity with Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, and Wired.

Another standout component is the turbo function for faster response. The Nova Lite features a 20Hz Turbo function with customizable buttons, meaning gamers have a convenient way to enhance immersive gameplay. Additionally, greater control is assured thanks to the multi-function M button that enables users to seamlessly adjust such as vibration intensity, switch modes, stick’s dead zone and interchange key values in various settings. Gamers also have the option to choose between two colours – Stellar White or Space Purple – with the device catering to every gaming requirement at a super-affordable price.

Commenting on the global launch, Betta Core, CEO, GameSir, said, “After many months of behind-the-scenes planning and preparation, we’re thrilled to officially release the Nova Series across international markets. A series sure to be embraced and enjoyed by gaming enthusiasts far and wide, we’re particularly excited because the GameSir Nova and Nova Lite perfectly complement our vision to empower every individual during gameplay and expand the boundary of joy. With the Nova Series now available, we can’t wait to see the reaction and reception from the worldwide gaming community. For sure, these innovations will meet every expectation.”

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Accessories

Ugreen Debuts Robot-Shaped Nexode RG 65W GaN Charger

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Tech accessory maker Ugreen has launched a unique addition to the fast charger market – the Nexode RG 65W. This charger stands out not just for its powerful performance, but also for its playful design resembling a small robot.

The Nexode RG boasts a compact size made possible by Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology. This allows it to deliver a powerful 65W output, enough to rapidly charge laptops in about 30 minutes. Additionally, it features two USB-C ports and a single USB-A port, enabling users to charge three devices simultaneously.

The Nexode RG also boasts functional extras. Removable “boots” offer a playful touch while doubling as a stand and a protective cover for the prongs during travel. For user safety, the charger features a built-in temperature monitor to prevent overheating, short circuits, and overvoltage. Ugreen goes a step further by constructing the Nexode RG with flame-retardant materials, providing additional peace of mind.

Key Features of the Ugreen Nexode RG 65W Charger:

  1. 65W Fast Charging: Power up devices such as laptops and smartphones rapidly with GaN technology.
  2. Triple Port Charging: Charge up to three devices simultaneously with two USB-C ports and one USB-A port.
  3. Compact Design: GaN technology allows for a small and portable form factor.
  4. Robot Design: A playful design with different facial expressions and removable stand “boots.”
  5. Safety Features: Built-in safeguards for overcharging, overheating, and short circuits.

The Ugreen Nexode RG 65W charger is now available for AED 189.

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