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Sony's LinkBuds S are more similar to the company's traditional ANC earbuds than they are the original Sony LinkBuds. Unlike the first pair that had an unusual, open design, the S model is essentially a stripped-back version of the high-end Sony WF-1000XM4. They're a bit smaller and a lot less expensive, especially today: in advance of Black Friday 2022, the white LinkBuds S are way down from their $198 MSRP to just $128.

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The LinkBuds S may ditch the first LinkBuds' specialized open design in favor of a more traditional form factor, but we think they're all the better for that choice. Compared to some of the best earbuds — that, in trying to cram in all the best features and all-day battery, can be quite bulky — the LinkBuds S are considerably more lightweight, and are very comfortable to wear for long stretches of time. They can only make it about six hours with ANC on, but that's actually pretty admirable for how small they are. They also miss out on other high-end trappings like wireless charging, but again, the white model is $128 here.

Sony Linkbuds S
Sony Linkbuds S white BG
Source: Sony

Though the Sony Linkbuds S share their name with the Linkbuds (no S), you should think of them as smaller, more stripped-down versions of the WF-1000XM4. And, as the unofficial little brother, they also come with great (though not as great) active noise cancellation. At just $128 today, they're less expensive than ever.

This deal comes just as another killer Sony bargain — the WF-1000XM4 for $178 — has ended. While the LinkBuds S can't match the XM4s on audio quality, ANC, or battery life, they're actually not too far off on any of those fronts, and they're much lighter and more comfortable than the higher-end Sony buds. Plus, the LinkBuds S are slated to get multipoint connectivity this month via a software update — before the XM4s get it this winter. Hit the link above to grab a pair.