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Sony Announces Cool-Looking LinkBuds

Sony has announced a rather oddly designed pair of earbuds, which the company says draws upon user research from as far back as 1982.

The LinkBuds are designed in a “unique” ring style that allows the user to interact with the world around them.

Like Apple’s AirPods, they sport an “open” design, rather than the silcone tipped ones that wedge into your ears. Sony promises that you’ll “barely notice” these, and at just 4g a bud, we’re betting they are right.

These buds will retail for approximately $249, so they are perfect option for people who like the brand but bristled at the WF-1000XM4‘s $389 price tag. They are made from recycled plastic materials, and come in plastic-free packaging, too, following Sony’s pledge last year to operate greener.

The Wide Area Tap function allows the user to tap the area in front of your ears to control the buds — a weird function that will no doubt prove useful — while Speak-to-Chat automatically pauses audio when you start speaking to someone, and restarts when you stop.

Google’s Fast Pair and Microsoft’s Swift Pair with automatically pair with Android and Windows devices, and Alexa and Google voice assistants can be used.

They come in dark grey and white, which is a bit disappointing for such an innovative design, but that’s a minor bugbear.

As is built into their functionality, these don’t have active noise cancellation, and the 5.5 hours of battery life isn’t really amazing (with another 12 from the case), but for $249, these come cheaper than AirPods 3, and, knowing Sony, will be a quality product. Plus, they are rated IPX4.

No word yet on when these will hit Australia – we’ll update this story once we know.



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