Sony has launched a new line of wireless headphones in the form of Cheerios for people who want to be able to hear the world around them while listening to music or podcasting.
The LinkBuds – available for £149 – took a fresh approach to the challenge, something that often worries riders who fear losing the dreaded biker bell from behind.
Some headphone models, such as Apple’s AirPods, have a transparency mode that amplifies ambient sounds. Others, such as Schocks, use bone conduction to transmit sounds to the wearer through vibrations of the cheeks leaving the ears exposed.
But the LinkBuds use a 12mm ring-shaped driver with a hole in the middle, allowing sounds to pass directly into an obstruction-free ear canal.
“Never Stop” is the advertising slogan the Japanese tech giant chose to work with, given the LinkBud’s 5.5-hour battery life and people’s ability to keep wearing it even during conversations.
The new hardware is available in white and dark gray and is made partly from recycled materials, giving it a noticeably dirty look as if it has collected dust and lint.
Sony, which apparently pioneered the Walkman in 1979, has a wide range of headphones including several that offer full ear coverage.
Some of these other models may be a favorite of committed audiophiles, according to reviews, with many claiming that Cheerios’ style means LinkBuds struggle to deliver as much bass as possible.
Another unusual design feature that Sony has included is recognition of pressure-related challenges in the LinkBud itself.
Alternatively, the wearer can tap in front of the ears to control them, with the gem being able to recognize a series of gestures through vibrations.
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