Taking on Apple AirPods and Samsung Gear IconX, Sony at its MWC 2018 conference on Monday unveiled the Xperia Ear Duo. The wireless headset is touted to offer music playback and notification alerts simultaneously using a proprietary Dual Listening technology. The Japanese company has also provided a 'Daily Assist' feature and supports head gestures using an array of sensors. The headset in Black and Gold colour options will go on sale in the US next month, while its pre-orders will begin on the Amazon US site starting Monday. Price details are expected to emerge shortly.
Sony has provided a Spatial Acoustic Conductor on the Xperia Ear Duo that is touted to throw the sound generated by the driver directly into the ear. Also, the headset features a ring supporter that surrounds the ear canal. There is Sony's Clear Phase audio technology that is designed to eliminate sound dispersion and adjust the volume based on surroundings and background noise.
The presence of the Dual Listening technology on the Xperia Ear Duo makes it a distinct option and allows you to listen to your favourite tracks as well as receive notifications from your connected smartphone simultaneously. Further, Sony has provided its power-efficient CXD5602 chip as well as a multi-sensor platform that enables the Daily Assist feature. The feature recognises time, location, and activities to offer information such as reminding you what time your next meeting is when you reach a particular place or narrate the latest news headlines throughout the day. There is also support for head gestures that are developed to let you answer or decline incoming calls simply by shaking or nodding your head. You can even change tracks by shaking your head left and right.
If in case you feel it odd to shake or nod your head, the Sony Xperia Ear Duo allows you to control your music and volume by tapping and scrolling on the device. This is similar to how you change music tracks or attend calls on AirPods using a double-tap gesture.
The Xperia Ear Duo includes voice control to let you access Google Assistant or Siri using your voice. The headset has a quad microphone beam-forming setup that helps to recognise your voice by filtering out ambient noise. Similarly, there is an IPX2, splash-resistant, build that is made of stainless steel and soft rubber. The company has also bundled an open-ring support that comes in three different sizes.
Sony claims that the Xperia Ear Duo delivers four hours of music playback on a single charge. Much like the AirPods and Gear IconX, there is a case that doubles as a charge and provides up to three times the power of the Xperia Ear Duo. The case also supports fast charging to offer one hour of listening with just seven minutes of charging time.
We spoke about all the big launches of MWC 2018 on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.