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LIfewire / Yoona Wagener
Pleasantly balanced sound
Comes with carrying pouch
Very long cord
Buttons are hard to access
Difficult to find a close fit
The Linklike Classic 2 isn’t a flashy product, but they combine the traditional sensibility of wired earbuds with technology that offers a well-balanced listening experience overall.
There are many types of earbuds to choose from, but if you’re looking for a classic half in-ear build, similar to the earbuds that come with iOS devices like iPhones and iPods, check out the Linklike Classic 2.
These in-ear earbuds support the adage that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. They’re wired earbuds that don’t offer many or any obvious flourishes. But it turns out these unassuming and inexpensive earbuds deliver a surprising amount of nuanced sound quality, which could please self-described audiophiles and even the most budget-conscious. I used the Classic 2 for short stints over the course of a few days and enjoyed the easygoing user experience of these wired earbuds.
The Classic 2 lives up to its name in aesthetics. They’re what you’d expect from a basic pair of earbuds, but with a couple of subtle upgrades. These earbuds are simply designed and somewhat resemble the shape of Apple Earpods with a half in-ear build. But unlike the similarly priced Apple earbuds (or more costly Airpods), they also come with silicone tips and a leather carrying pouch with a drawstring closure.
The nearly 4-foot long cable is made of durable Kevlar and TPE, which work together to prevent too much tangling. At nearly 4 feet, the cord is longer than you’ll find on a typical pair of earbuds—but not long enough to comfortably reach from the couch to the entertainment center. The manufacturer does say that these earbuds are up for gaming. If you have a gaming controller with a headphone jack, these could offer the right amount of length you need while you play.
One area where the overall design falls short is the inline button panel. While the cylindrical shape of the panel is low-profile, the three buttons are too small and not raised enough for easy access. The middle button is responsible for more functions, but because it’s smaller than the other two, it often just blends into the other two buttons. That sometimes left me fumbling to figure out which button I was actually pressing unless I looked.
If you like that very close fit deep in your ear, you may not be able to achieve that with the Linklike Classic 2. These earbuds have a floating feeling and sometimes feel they’re on the verge of slipping out, yet they stay in. Out of the box, they’re free of any sort of earbud covering or tip. The manufacturer provides one set each of silicone earbud tips and fins in a single size for the customer to experiment with, which I did.
If you like that very close fit deep in your ear, you may not be able to achieve that with the Linklike Classic 2.
Unfortunately, neither set worked and just underscored the precarious feeling of the earbuds in my ears. In fact, they exaggerated the feeling because both alternatives were just a bit too big for my ears. Shoppers with larger ear openings could find a secure fit without a problem. On the flip side, because of the looser fit, these earbuds are comfortable for extended wear. They’re very lightweight and sometimes felt like they’re barely there. This could be the case even for buyers who choose one of the earbud fittings.
The manufacturer does supply a link on the Amazon product page for help on fit or quality issues. This opens up the possibility of finding a better custom fit if you reach out to the manufacturer directly.
There’s no doubt about it: the Linklike Classic 2 delivers solid sound. It was an unexpected surprise to enjoy very bassy hip hop songs and orchestral arrangements in equal measure with these earbuds. The manufacturer says that the Classic 2 excels on the entire sound level spectrum, and I tend to agree. Vocals in mid-range tones were relatively warm, deep bass frequencies were sufficiently rich and layered, and high frequencies from instruments like saxophones came across as crisp with some depth—and without sounding prickly or harsh.
All of this well-rounded sound quality stems from the 14.1-millimeter drive, which falls in the typical range of 8 millimeters to 15 millimeters for in-ear earbuds. Each earbud contains two of everything: dynamic drivers, tweeters, and woofers. There’s also an innovative sound-absorbing hole placed on the outside of each earbud. This feature is supposed to reduce outside noise but also bring down the sound of whatever you’re listening to in a way that helps reduce the likelihood of tired ears. At the same time, your ears are primed for a more full-bodied and nuanced listening experience.
At the heart of the impressive sound quality is the quad diaphragm technology. Since the Classic 2 offers very few bells and whistles, it’s satisfying that the manufacturer delivers on this important hardware promise.
The driver inside of earbuds refers to the mix of wire coils and magnets that transform a power current into sound waves we register in our ears. Dynamic drivers are generally known for creating great bass transmission, but the one used in the Classic 2 is made of carbon fiber mycelium diaphragms. They’re supposed to punch up bass frequencies even more along with brightening high sounds. In a nutshell, this driver technology is working to provide the most natural audio experience possible.
There’s no doubt about it: the Linklike Classic 2 delivers solid sound.
People tend to temper their expectations for budget earbuds under $50 or maybe even $100 depending on how much of an audio expert you are, but these Linklike earbuds provide a refreshing departure from the rule of thumb that the best earbuds reflect their quality with a higher price tag. These earbuds retail for under for just about $30, which is quite a steal. It’s true that there aren’t many out-of-the-box earbud fitting options, and if you use an iPhone 8 or newer, the 3.5-millimeter jack could precipitate the need to purchase a lightning adapter. But that could cost you $10 or less.
The DEIVVOX D-2018 Wired Earbuds (see on Amazon) are another pair of in-ear earbuds in the same price bracket of just around $30. Unlike the Classic 2, the DO218 earbud design is a full inner-ear fit. This product also offers a few extra flourishes such as three sets of memory foam ear tips and three sets of silicone tips, which are stored in a stylish gift-box-like case with compartments for each set. The aluminum DEIVVOX earbuds also come with a carrying pouch and a noise-isolating design that the manufacturer says reduces 90 percent of ambient noise.
Like the Classic 2, these competing earbuds are also bass-driven, but the driver is smaller at 10 millimeters, and there’s no quad driver technology in play. DEIVVOX also stresses the ruggedness of the cable—60 percent more durable than other headphone cables supposedly—so if you’re tough on cables and accessories, this could be a plus.
A great pair of earbuds for the minimalist.
The Linklike Classic 2 wired in-ear earbuds aren’t remarkable or over the top, but they’re surprisingly capable of delivering near high-fidelity sound. If you are a minimalist at heart who also enjoys understated but high-quality equipment, these earbuds could offer just the kind of gentle option you want for your budget and your ears.