Sony is launching a custom pair of its LinkBuds S headphones designed in collaboration with pop star Olivia Rodrigo. And the partnership goes beyond style: this pair of LinkBuds S will include two custom EQ modes optimized for each of Rodrigo’s albums. Sour and Viscera.
These profiles were fine-tuned by both Rodrigo and his producer Daniel Nigro and will be available in Sony’s Headphones Connect app when you pair the exclusive LinkBuds S via Bluetooth. There’s nothing stopping you from using custom EQ profiles with other content, but it would probably be wiser to stick with Sony’s other presets when doing so.
As for the exterior design, both earbuds feature a purple marble exterior (again, Sony claims, designed by Rodrigo herself) and an accompanying charging case. The marbled pattern is due to a variation in the recycled materials used to produce the hardware, which “means no two pairs of LinkBuds S x Olivia Rodrigo are the same,” Sony says.
Outside of the unique casing, these are the same LinkBuds S as the other colors that Sony already sells today. They are still among the most comfortable wireless headphones you can find. Active noise cancellation and sound quality are a couple of notches below the company’s flagship WF-1000XM5 headphones, but they’re pretty good on their own.
It’s easy to make a case for the LinkBuds if you’re more concerned about a lightweight fit (and a lower price). And you still get Sony’s higher bitrate Bluetooth LDAC codec. That said, it’s also worth mentioning that the company has been dealing with a uneven battery drain problem throughout their line of headphones that may emerge after prolonged use.
Sony is planning a marketing campaign to give these exclusive headphones more exposure. There’s a marketing video that ‘exists in the same world as the official ‘bad idea,’ right?’ music video and is faithful to the artist’s vision and the creativity of the album,” according to the company. Sony will also feature the exclusive LinkBuds S on Times Square billboards and a handful of media activations on Hulu, Spotify and an ad in Thursday night football.
Technically, I’m late, as these LinkBuds S were first announced at a fan meetup hosted by Sony in Tokyo, which marked Rodrigo’s first event in the city. His enormous popularity (more than 63.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify) would probably move many units even without the big advertising push.
You can pre-order Sony’s exclusive Olivia Rodrigo LinkBuds S starting today from their website, Sony.com, Amazon, or Best Buy, and luckily for fans, there’s no upcharge for this model compared to standard earbuds.
Your move, Apple. Long after the U2 iPod, the time has come for some exclusive Taylor Swift AirPods Pro.