Connect with us

Reviews

Sony Xperia Ear Duo Review: the unusual Japanese alternative to AirPods

More and more smartphones are made without the 3.5mm headphone jack and the earphone and accessory manufacturers have done nothing but adapt to this trend. Sony introduces the Xperia Ear Duo, wireless headsets practical, safe and characterized by a unique design.

Not cheap

Sony introduced the Xperia Ear Duo earphones at the Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona and from May 8, 2018 are finally available for purchase. The recommended Sony price is 279 euros. They are available in two colors, black and gold.

Pro

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Perception of the surrounding environment

Cons

  • Unusual design
  • Configuration
  • Absence low
  • Slow touch controls
  • They do not work with videos

Comfortable despite the unusual design

If you think that Apple AirPods have a bizarre design, you’re wrong. When I first saw Sony Xperia Ear Duo earphones at Mobile World Congress, I questioned the Japanese manufacturer’s designer team. After wearing the two wireless headphones with a little ‘delicacy, I was very surprised by the comfort. Since the earphones are not inserted into the ear canal but are positioned above it, no pressure is exerted.

Sony-Xperia-Ear-Duo

The touch command system is slow

Initially it is normal to have some doubts about the fact that the Xperia Ear Duo, which seem to be made upside down, can resist inserted into the ear to a quick walk in the office or a run on a treadmill. Using them, however, it turns out that the Japanese engineers at Sony have done their job best because the Ear Duo remain safely inserted into the ear in any situation.

Sony has installed a touch panel in both earphones.

While four of the five touch controls are defined on the left touchpad, all five earphones on the right can be assigned to actions. However, possible actions are limited and follow the models already known for touch-sensitive headphones.

The control with the help of the head gestures is available but it is very strange when you move the head jerks to the right or left to go to the next or previous song, or to stop the assistant while reading the messages shaking his head. If you do not have a free hand, it is certainly a very practical system, but it can not be used to replace the touch system in everyday life.

Good software that needs support

The Xperia Ear Duo app is self-explanatory,

but my advice is to silence the too much talkative assistant of Sony, immediately.If you do not enter into action you will be bombarded every hour with the news of the moment provided by numerous sources, appointments, weather forecasts and so on. It may be fun at first but the tenth message WhatsApp that the assistant tries to read the emojis, will undoubtedly push you to silence him.

Sony-Xperia_Ear-Duo

You can configure the controls only partially

Anytime Talk: but only with Xperia Ear users

In addition to the more or less usable wizards already introduced last year, Sony integrated another function in the app, which was updated in time for launch: group conversations. This feature is still in beta and will connect up to five Xperia Ear and Ear Duo users via the Internet.

Basically it’s not like a walkie-talkie style voice chat. Simply press the talk key in the app and speak the voice message that will be transmitted to the group participants. Also in this case, it is possible to perform actions with the movements of the head. In the beta, a previously recorded message can be sent by nodding and shaking the head.

Sony-Xperia_Ear-Duo

With Anytime Talk up to 5 Xperia Ear users can chat as in a group.

But why does Sony test this function if it requires a Xperia Ear or the Hardware Duo Ear for all group chat participants? In practice, the application can be used internally in the company, I doubt that my or your circle of friends suddenly decide to buy the Sony wireless headphones to use Anytime Talk.

An Open Ear experience

The Xperia Ear Duo earphones are interesting in everyday life because with their Open Ear design they can always and everywhere perceive the surrounding environment. Even with the volume at 50% you will have the feeling of perceiving well and clearly the surrounding environment and the music that reaches the ears is more than a light background.

When the volume is set to maximum, the music passes in the foreground and the ambient noise in the background. Ambient noises remain perceptible in every situation. Especially when you go cycling or walking in a big city like Berlin, you can hear traffic noise at an early stage and talk easily with colleagues without having to remove the device from your ear. Earphones like the Gear Icon X or the Apple AirPods are much more sealed by their design.

Xperia Ear Duo

The design of the Xperia Ear Duo will not isolate you completely from the outside world.

Without bass and late

If you love strong bass, stop at this point in the review. Also by activating the bass on your smartphone, you will not be able to get a good experience for your ears. Ear Duo does not offer a resonant body to produce bass. For hi-fi lovers, the Xperia Ear Duo are not up to par.

If you love watching videos on your smartphone, you should stay away from the brand’s wireless earphones. The delay is so irritating that after only 5 seconds I stopped watching videos on the smartphone with the connected Ear Duo. The same applies to games.

Fast charging saves the situation

If you have wireless headphones, battery life is an important purchase criterion. With 56 mAh per ear you can get 4 hours of battery life. But the nice thing is that Sony has installed a battery with 740 mAh in the transport box that in 7 minutes of charge offers an hour of autonomy. After 25 minutes in the charging base the Ear Duo are again ready for use for the next four hours.

Sony Xperia Ear Duo earphones

Just 7 minutes of charge to get 1 hour of autonomy.

A good idea with weaknesses

The Sony Xperia Ear Duo earphones are unusual for both the design, the way they are worn and the way the music is conducted inside the ears. For a continuous use of headphones and from the point of view of road safety, Sony’s approach is excellent. The Open Ear structure allows you to always hear ambient noise and to remain in acoustic contact with the environment. You do not need the annoying detachment of traditional in-ear, over-ear or on-ear headphones.

But the strength of the Xperia Ear Duo is also their greatest weakness. The headphones are also used as a means of entertainment and to best enjoy your music, videos and games the Xperia Ear Duo are not suitable. A shame…

Sony Xperia Ear Duo
  • Design
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery
  • Price
3.6

Summary

The Sony Xperia Ear Duo earphones are unusual for both the design, the way they are worn and the way the music is conducted inside the ears. For a continuous use of headphones and from the point of view of road safety, Sony’s approach is excellent. The Open Ear structure allows you to always hear ambient noise and to remain in acoustic contact with the environment. You do not need the annoying detachment of traditional in-ear, over-ear or on-ear headphones. 

But the strength of the Xperia Ear Duo is also their greatest weakness. The headphones are also used as a means of entertainment and to best enjoy your music, videos and games the Xperia Ear Duo are not suitable. A shame…

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in Reviews