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Sony announces LinkBuds WFL-900 for an 'always on' sound experience

Imagine having earbuds that create the impression of a stereo playing in the background all the time.
By
February 15, 2022
TL;DR
  • Sony today announced the Sony LinkBuds WFL-900 earbuds.
  • The earbuds have a hole to let outside sound in, resulting in an “always-on” listening experience.
  • The LinkBuds will cost $179 and are available now.

With earbuds and other sets of headphones, the whole point is to turn the outside world off. You want to turn off sounds from the outside so you can hear your music, podcast, or phone call as clearly as possible.

However, in our hyper-connected world, multi-tasking is a central aspect of our day. This could make turning the world off less ideal. That’s where the unique new Sony LinkBuds WFL-900 earbuds step in. They represent a new category of “always-on” earbuds designed for you to wear all day. A hole in the earpiece lets outside sound in while a circular speaker around the hole pumps in sound from your phone.

Sony LinkBuds: Always-on

Why would you want this? Sony thinks it would be useful for a variety of situations:

  • Listening to music while working in an office, so you can hear your music but also easily have conversations with co-workers.
  • Chatting with someone on a phone call while driving so you can still hear the sounds of traffic.
  • Playing AR games like Pokémon Go and hearing game sounds in line with real-world sounds.

The Sony LinkBuds WFL-900 automatically change volume as you switch environments. While walking outside in the city, the volume would go way up. While working at your quiet desk at home, the volume would go way down. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support is included so you can have quick access to your preferred digital assistant.

Because of their lightweight design, Sony claims you can wear these earbuds all day comfortably. They are IPX4-rated, so you can work out with them on, too.

Sony partnered with Spotify to deliver Spotify Tap. This feature allows you to tap the outside of your ear (not the bud itself) to start or stop Spotify playback. Sony claims you can get 90 minutes of playback from 10 minutes of charging the earbuds and that you can 17.5 hours of playback with multiple charges from the case.

The LinkBuds cost you $179, which is a bit less than the company’s flagship earbuds, the WF-1000XM4. You can buy them starting today.