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Sony WF-L900 LinkBuds review

True wireless headphones. In ear. Priced at $249.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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CHOICE Expert Rating

This is the product's overall performance score based on key tests conducted by our industry experts.

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Type of fit View more details.

In-ear headphones are often called "buds". On-ear headphones, which sit against your ear, and over-ear headphones, which surround your ear, are often called "cans".

In ear
Wired or wireless View more details.

Wired headphones connect to your device or stereo via a cable. Wireless headphones connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but have a band or cable connecting each can/bud. True wireless headphones connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and do not have a cable connecting each earbud (such as the Apple AirPods).

True wireless
Active noise cancellation (ANC) View more details.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) uses microphones and audio software to actively capture and cancel out environmental noise. This is better than passive noise cancellation which relies on the headphones' fit to try and block incoming noise. Models without active noise cancellation may still offer some degree of passive cancellation.

No
Recommended View more details.

We recommend headphones with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 75% or more.

CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

The CHOICE Expert Rating, our overall score that determines which products we recommend, is made up of scores for sound quality (55%), comfort (20%), battery life (10%), ease of use (10%) and durability (5%) for headphones without active noise cancellation. For headphones with active noise cancellation, the CHOICE Expert Rating is made up of sound quality (40%), comfort (20%), active noise cancellation (15%), battery life (10%), ease of use (10%) and durability (5%). Microphone quality and cleaning scores are listed but don't contribute to the CHOICE Expert Rating. 

Sound quality score View more details.

A panel of five experts assess sound quality by listening to classical, jazz, pop and a podcast. If the headphones support Bluetooth and a cabled connection, they are primarily tested with a Bluetooth connection. Active Noise Cancellation is on during the assessment if available and tested in environments with varying levels of noise. Technical assessments are also conducted.

Comfort score View more details.

A panel of five experts assesses how the headphones feel when putting them on and taking them off, wearing them at room temperature for 30 minutes, and wearing them in motion. They also assess fit and adjustments.

Active noise cancellation score View more details.

A technical test assesses active noise cancellation performance in five environments: continuous noise (air conditioning, aircraft noise), cyclical noise (passing cars), a restaurant where people are talking, a silent location and other typical environments as determined by the expert tester. Sound isolation is also tested.

Battery life score View more details.

Two charging and discharging cycles are carried out. The total discharge time is recorded and the score is calculated based on expected runtimes. These are: in-ear: 110 – 660 minutes, on/over-ear: 180 – 3000 minutes.

Comfort while wearing glasses score View more details.

An assessment of feel and fit while wearing glasses. This test result forms part of the comfort score.

Ease of use score View more details.

A panel of three experts assesses the set-up process, daily use, audio leakage and interference (such as touching noises when activating controls) and whether visual/audio indicators are useful during charging and discharging.

Cleaning score View more details.

How easy is it to clean the headphones as per the instructions? Cleaning is conducted with a water damp cloth and a cleaning or hygiene cloth. This score does not contribute to the CHOICE Expert Rating.

Durability score View more details.

A simple build quality assessment. Headphones are judged for look and feel. Models that feel solid score better.

Microphone quality score View more details.

Speech intelligibility is tested by three test persons when using a smartphone handsfree. The test is assessed with and without ambient noise. This score does not contribute to the CHOICE Expert Rating.

Measured battery life – hh:mm View more details.

Total tested operating time from a single charge.

Battery life after a 15-minute charge – hh:mm View more details.

Tested operating time after 15 minutes of charging from a completely dead battery.

Number of headphone charges from case battery View more details.

Measured number of times the charging case can recharge the headphones from 0% before its battery is completely depleted. This only applies to models that include a charging case.

Price View more details.

Recommended retail price at the time of testing.

$249
Shop Ethical rating View more details.

Shop Ethical rates the environmental and social impact of the company (not the product) using independent sources. This rating is not included in our CHOICE Expert Rating. The rating ranks from A (highest) to F (lowest); N/A means there is no rating for that company.

D
Weight (g) View more details.

Weight of the headphones in grams.

8
USB-C charging
Yes
Lightning port View more details.

Proprietary Apple port used for fast-charging and connecting to some Apple devices.

No
Silicon tip sizes View more details.

Many earbuds let you swap the silicon tips to suit different sized ear canals for a better fit. This lists the number of available replacements. A higher number means a broader range of sizes.

5
Onboard controls View more details.

Do the headphones have onboard controls such as play/pause, skip, increase/decrease volume? Additional controls may be present in associated apps but are not listed here.

Call accept/end, Play/pause, Skip back, Skip forward, Voice assistant, Volume
Control type View more details.

Whether the onboard controls are buttons, touch/swipe commands or a combination of both. Some models only have a small selection of onboard controls with more available via voice commands or an associated app.

Touch
Bluetooth version
5.2
Website
store.sony.com.au
Designed for sports (claimed) View more details.

This refers to a fit designed to keep headphones in place during rigorous activity, and water/sweat resistance.

No
Voice assistant support View more details.

Do the headphones have built-in support for a digital assistant such as Google Assistant or Alexa? Some models use their microphones to activate the assistant on your phone but this is not the same as having the assistant built into the headphones. Models without this feature get a red cross. This data is a recent addition to the test which is why older models are listed as "Not tested".

Yes
Bluetooth support
Yes
Bluetooth multi-pairing View more details.

Can the headphones pair with more than one Bluetooth device at the same time? This feature makes it quick and easy to switch between devices, such as a smartphone and laptop.

No
Number of simultaneous multi-paired devices View more details.

The number of Bluetooth devices that the headphones can simultaneously pair with, if multi-pairing is supported. Headphones that don't support this feature can only connect to one device at a time and are listed as N/A.

1
Audio pauses when headphones are removed View more details.

Whether the music pauses when the headphones are removed from the wearer's head and resumes when put back on.

Yes
Waterproof or water-resistant claims View more details.

Most headphones use an IP rating to denote water resistance, displayed as IPX and a number. The higher the number, the greater the resistance - e.g. IPX4 denotes splash resistance.

IPX4
Detachable audio cable View more details.

Some wireless headphones also give you the option to plug in a cable for wired connectivity. This can be plugged in and removed as required.

N/A
Cable length (cm)
N/A
Plane adaptor included View more details.

Planes use a special plug to connect to in-flight audio and entertainment. Some headphones include a compatible converter in the box.

No
Carry bag included View more details.

Whether a travel case is included. This does not refer to the charging case that is included as standard with truly wireless earbuds.

No
Foldable View more details.

We note any over-ear and on-ear headphones that can be folded in any way to help reduce their bulk when travelling. All in-ear headphones are considered portable.

N/A
GPS tracking View more details.

Used to locate missing headphones via the official app.

No
Left/right inscription View more details.

Whether the headphones include a left/right inscription to let you know which way to put them on.

Yes
Braille left/right inscription View more details.

Whether the headphones include an accessible left/right Braille inscription to let you know which way to put them on.

Yes
App available View more details.

Accompanying apps offer additional settings such as an audio equaliser, Active Noise Cancellation adjustments and GPS tagging to find missing headphones.

Android, iOS
Additional Bluetooth codecs View more details.

Any additional Bluetooth codecs supported by the headphones, such as high resolution protocols.

AAC
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