Sony just released earphones that look like hearing aids

Among the new phones that Sony revealed this MWC in Barcelona, are the Xperia Ear Duo, a wireless headset that looks like a hearing aid but allows you to use it to its full potential without taking your attention off your surroundings.

Hewn from stainless steel and soft rubber, the Xperia Ear Duo is one of Sony’s more eccentric-looking devices. Aside from looking like a hearing aid, it is IPX2 splash proof and actually sits under your ear to avoid getting in the way of your glasses. It’s got up to four hours of use on a single charge too, and it’s compact case also doubles as a charger when it’s stowed away in transit.

The main feature for the Xperia Ear Duo is the Dual Listening technology. It allows you to listen to music and pick up notifications like your usual headset, also allows you to listen to environmental sound, conversation and other ambient noises without being too disruptive. This is thanks to the unit’s Spatial Acoustic Conductor, developed in-house by Sony’s Future Lab Program to allow sound generated behind the ear by the unit to be piped directly into the ear.

The volume also intelligently adjusts based on your surroundings, thanks to Sony’s Clear Phase audio tech, and it even responds to head gestures. So you can literally answer or decline a call by shaking or nodding your head. As for volume/music control, it’s a more bog-standard tap and scroll. If you’re the sort to use personal assistants, the device will happily patch you through to Google Assistant or Siri, or simply use the inbuilt Daily Assist feature to help keep you on track for the day.

The device is expected to hit the market in Spring 2018, in Gold and Black; with the companion app free to download from Google Play or the App Store.

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