Sony has just unveiled its ambitious Ear Duo at the Mobile World Congress. This new earbud is said to offer a different approach compared to other headphones in the market. Basically, the Ear Duo represents the evolved Sony Xperia Ear Open Style Concept Bluetooth earbuds which were reported widely but never came into the market. These earbuds look quite conventional and uncommon in comparison to many headphones in the market. The buds have been designed with an inner hollow to allow outside noise which offers quite a different approach.
What’s unique about it?
The prime focus of the new Sony earbuds is to deliver a blend of environmental sounds around you with the music you are hearing instead of just blocking every other sound to allow clarity of music sound. This actually helps you stay connected with your surrounding and getting notifications even while listening music. The Ear Duo intelligently adjusts the music volume or the noise that’s coming through the hollow to deliver you a more balanced sound output. This will make the Ear Duo compensate the lost sound when you walk on a busy street and go through a marketplace.
This will also allow you to continue with a conversation while the music continues to play in your eardrums. But honestly, any ear buds with active noise cancellation will give you a far better sound output. But when it is about practical uses with simultaneous music listening and engaging with other sounds in the surroundings, this earbud comes as effective.
The value addition that makes it stand out
The principal value addition to this new Sony earphone is the “Spatial Acoustic Conductor,” which according to the company will allow the surrounding sound directly into the ear of the user. This feature will help the user staying tuned to the music while not being completely out of contact with the surrounding environmental sound. This is something referred to the company as a Dual Listening feature.
The only down point is obviously the absence of any toggle switch or function to stop this intrusion of surrounding sound. But you don’t need to worry about the sound of music being hazed by surrounding sound. This new pair of earbuds will automatically adjust the volume of the music through to ensure clarity.
Multiple gesture controls
If the unique sound output with a blend of surrounding sound and music is a major selling point, the multiple gesture-based controls also play an important role to ensure optimum ease of use. The multiple gesture-based controls are similar to the ones offered with Apple’s AirPods. Thanks to the gesture controls offered by Xperia Ear Duo users can easily control music playback with simple finger taps and gestures. Apart from the finger taps one can also control the earbuds with simple head movement, head nods and shakes for actions like accepting or declining incoming calls.
Android and iOS support
The Xperia Ear Duo offer support for both iOS and Android smartphones. It also offers extensive support for voice-based commands of digital assistant apps such as Google Assistant and Apple Siri. Just a single tap will make bring in both assistants on the active state to make voice commands. These assistants through the EarPods will also be able to read out alerts, email and app notifications.
What about the sports-friendly features?
Sony isn’t keen on marketing the Ear Duo as the wearable earphone for fitness freaks. But reviewers pointed out some use cases of the earbud for runners and bicyclists who cannot prevent all surrounding sound while listening music during a workout. It is not completely water resistant, but the Ear Duo comes with an IPX2 rating that makes it fairly splash proof.
It is intelligent to serve relevant information
Apart from playing music loud in the ear, the Ear Duo offers a Daily Assist feature to announce and voice out most important information on the basis of user contexts. This will help you get important alerts and notifications that really matters to you. For instance, when you arrive at the office, you are notified of your next meeting. By simply nodding your head you can accept or reject calls as well.
Powerful battery and charging
Ear Duo can take several times of charge from its case alone. The earphone lasts four hours with a single charge, and it takes only 12 minutes to take a charge that will last for another 2 hours of listening.
Pricing and availability
The Ear Duo comes at a price of $279, and it will be shipped from May this year in the US market.
It is one of the most versatile earpod with a rich set of features and extreme ease of use. The blend of sound output with music and surrounding sound makes a unique approach for the earbuds.