Sony has announced the next product in its LinkBuds line, the LinkBuds S which the company states is set to be the world’s smallest and lightest, noise-cancelling, Hi-Res Truly wireless headphones yet.
The latest model in Sony’s series of headphones is described as empowering “a new sound experience through Sony’s sensing technology” which is done thanks in collaboration with Sony’s strategic partners – Niantic, Spotify, and Endel. Sony’s newest headphones retain its “Never Off” wearing experience, so wearers of the device are staying connected to the online and offline worlds.
Thanks to the sensor and spatial sound technology, the LinkBuds S are able to deliver new and immersive sound to AR games such as Niantic’s game Ingress. The Pokémon GO game company is Sony’s collaborator in the area of audio AR by developing an AR game that can be enjoyed both visually and audibly. When playing Ingress, the sensor and spatial sound technology in the LinkBuds S will “enable players to enjoy a new experience with sound delivered according to the direction they are facing.” The newly added LinkBuds S feature for Ingress has no set date, but it is aiming for release before summer.
“Niantic has a vision of a ‘Real World Metaverse,’ which means adding the AR digital layers onto the real world. Currently, the AR layers are visual layers, however, we believe that adding a sound layer will create a richer AR experience, and it makes the real world more enjoyable and convenient. Sony’s LinkBuds series adds the sound layer without compromising the visual and audio information of the real world,” Niantic director of product marketing at Niantic, Archit Bhargava said in a press release.
“When it is used with the various games offered by Niantic, they can create a richer, more enjoyable gaming experience. Ingress, which is celebrating its tenth milestone this year, is going to have a new feature before the summer. We hope players will enjoy the feature with the LinkBuds series. Also, please stay tuned for the AR experience by the combination of LinkBuds series and our Lightship platform, which is the foundation of Niantic’s game titles, which shall be available soon.”
For non-AR game players, that technology is utilized in other experiences, like making it easier to listen to music than ever before. This is done through the Auto Play feature which detects the user’s environment and plays their music automatically according to their activities, this can be enabled through the Auto Play app on your smart device. Sony says LinkBuds S users can enjoy “music, video, or social media content just as the creator intended” through the company’s “highly acclaimed noise-cancelling technology and high-resolution capability.”
The LinkBuds S will allow users to crystal clear calls as a headset on mobile devices through Sony´s Precise Voice Pickup Technology. This allows users to optimally control the microphones on both earbuds and with the use of a mesh structure around the microphones. The headphones will also feature effortless hands-free controls, easy Bluetooth pairing, and next-generation Bluetooth audio. The battery of the LinkBuds S will last a full six hours after a full day of charging. Even a 5-minute charge can give users a single hour of battery for anyone in a rush. In addition, the headphones’ charging case stores up to an additional 14 hours to expand its charge while you’re out on the go.
The LinkBuds S will cost $199.99 USD at retail and will be available for purchase in black and white colour options starting on May 20th at Sony.com, Amazon and other authorized dealers. A third colour option, Ecru, will be available exclusively at Best Buy.