(Pocket-lint) - A year after showing off a prototype model, Sony Mobile has officially unveiled the Xperia Ear Duo at Mobile World Congress 2018. The Xperia Ear Duo is an intuitive wireless stereo headset that allows you to not only listen to music and hear notifications from your phone, but also lets you hear the world around you at the same time.
It's all thanks to Sony's very own spatial acoustic conductor technology, developed by Sony's Future Lab Program. The main driver unit is housed in the larger module that sits behind your ear and sound produced from it is channeled directly into the ear thanks to the acoustic conductor. A specially designed ring supporter then surrounds the ear canal so you not only hear your music, but ambient sounds around you as well.
The Xperia Ear Duo is constantly listening to the noises around you and will adjust the volume of the earpieces accordingly, while a "Daily Assist" function will recognise what time of day it is and where you are and give you contextual information. It can recognise when you get to work for example and give you a rundown of the day's agenda.
Sensors built into the Ear Duo can recognise head gestures, which you can use to answer or reject calls by either shaking or nodding, or you can skip music tracks by shaking your head left and right. If you'd rather not receive some odd looks while walking down the street, you can tap and scroll on the Ear Duo to control playback.
Alternatively, you can control the Xperia Ear Duo using voice commands and because it works with both Android and iOS devices, works with Google Assistant and Siri.
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The design hasn't changed too much from the prototype model we saw at MWC 2017, meaning it's certainly head turning. It features IPX2 splash proofing and three sizes of open-ring supporters. The built-in rechargeable battery is good for four hours of playback on a single charge, but the supplied charging case lets you recharge them another three times. The Sony Xperia Ear Duo will be available from May in black or gold, for $280.