By now, we’ve all seen “truly wireless earbuds.” Some people like them. Others don’t. Regardless of your feelings for them, fact remains that they’re only going to get more ubiquitous in the future. As such, we’re going to see more and more novel designs for the technology come out. The Sony Xperia Ear Duo is one of those innovations.
Like similar products in the market, the ear buds pipe music straight to your ears without having to deal with wires that are either tethered to your phone or wrapped behind your neck. Unlike them, it’s designed to let you stay aware of your surroundings, so you can hear the car coming behind you, your friends calling out to you, and the rest of the noises from the world at large.
The Sony Xperia Ear Duo uses a unique open-ear design that doesn’t block the ear canal, allowing ambient sounds to pass through even as you listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. We know, some of you probably pop in earphones to tune out the world. This pair, however, is aimed at those who prefer to be conscious of what’s happening around them, all while being able to listen to their favorite songs. That way, you can still chat with friends while listening to a high-energy playlist in the gym, as well as listen to the lecture in class while playing relaxing music in the background.
According to Sony, the unique design that leaves the passageway to the ear partially clear also allows it to be more comfortable than your typical in-ears, while a support ring near the tip anchors it to your ear to ensure it stays in place no matter how much you move. That ring, by the way, is detachable and comes in three sizes, so you can play around to find which one fits your ear shape best.
The Sony Xperia Ear Duo uses a technology called the Spatial Acoustic Conductor, which allows the sound generated on the driver situated behind the ear to be transmitted directly to the ear, leaving the ear canal open to take in environmental sounds. The same unit behind the ear has a touch-sensitive surface that you can tap for one-touch access to Siri or Google Assistant, so you can control playback, ask queries, and do a whole load of other things over voice commands. Picking up those voice commands are a quad-microphone arrangement, with two mics equipped in each of the earpieces, while beamforming noise suppression, adaptive volume control, and noise cancellation ensures it picks up your voice loud and clear every time.
According to the outfit, it’s fitted with Head Gesture capability, which, we’re guessing is a way of controlling playback using head movement. There are no details on how that works, though, so it’s probably not that ready for primetime. Other features include IPX2 water protection, so it should shed off sweat and moisture without any trouble, and a battery that lasts for four hours of listening time (the case houses another 12 hours’ worth of battery).
Want one? The Sony Xperia Ear Duo launches in May, priced at $280.