After initially becoming available for pre-order in the U.S. at the beginning of May, Sony's Xperia Ear Duo headphones are now available in several other key world markets. For those that may not recall, those are the company's headphones built to buck the trend of noise canceling in the industry and first announced at MWC 2018. Specifically, instead of locking out sounds from a wearer's surroundings, they allow it through alongside whatever high-quality audio happens to be playing. While that's typically avoided with high-end headphones, Sony's $280 earpieces are arguably safer for the wearer as a result. That's because that should not only prevent eardrums from being overwhelmed but it also helps users remain aware of their surroundings. Beyond that, they're designed to allow for music playback or calls alongside notifications or other compatible sounds for true dual-listening. As of this writing, the Xperia Ear Duo headphones are now also available in the UK, Ireland, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Belgium.
Looking past that base feature, Sony's newest headphones bring at least one other very unique feature to the table. That's because they can also be synced together as a way to augment conversation when that would otherwise be difficult to accomplish. Sony calls that "Anytime Talk" and it allows for up to 5 Sony Xperia Ear Duo devices to be linked at once. The general idea is that, at the press of a button, users who are taking part in group activities such as hiking, cycling, or jogging can stay in contact with as little fuss as possible. In those situations, it's often hard to hear others and conversation is definitely not a possibility but now it can be.
The only real caveat to Sony's Xperia Ear Duo is that they require a handset running Android 5.0 or newer and has Bluetooth capabilities. iOS support is there as well but there's no support for the iPad. That covers a massive swath of available devices though, so there shouldn't be too much worry about compatibility despite the Xperia branding. Moreover, they're only said to be available via the official Sony online store. However, the innovative new technology will be cropping up at regional retailers, other online markets, and other regions over the coming months.