Sony's new AirPods rivals are like nothing you've seen or heard before

Bored by the endless stream of wireless earbuds that arrive on store shelves on a weekly basis? Sony might have the answer as the Japanese firm has just launched some new in-ear music makers that look and sound very different from everything else on the market.

The Sony LinkBuds feature a very unique ring design – a bit like a doughnut – that allows them to blast music into your ears while still allowing you to hear the ambient noise that surrounds you.

This is a very different concept as most of Sony’s rivals, including the popular AirPods Pro from Apple, actively seek to block out background noise, via active noise cancellation, rather than letting the outside world flood in unchecked.

However, Sony says it has taken this opposite approach in a bid to allow these ‘buds to be worn all day without worrying that you’ll miss your name being called in the office, or details about your flight announced over the tannoy at an airport. You can even have a full conversation with friends whilst still wearing them and listening to music at the same time.

The technology company is confident it can create this very different experience without compromising on sound quality. That’s all thanks to a specially designed 12mm ring driver which should provide rich, well-balanced audio.

There’s also DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) technology which helps boost the music back to a high-quality format plus Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 reproduces all the detail in your music with minimal distortion.

Other features include Adaptive Volume Control, which automatically optimises volume based on where you are.

This means in a quiet library the volume is reduced but in a busy cafe, things are pumped back up to 11 without you touching your smartphone.

You’ll also get over 5 hours of playback on a single charge and there are a further 12 hours from the eco-friendly battery case which is made from recycled plastic.

The LinkBuds are fully compatible with the Google and Alexa assistants and they also connected seamlessly to Android via Google’s Fast Pair feature.

Finally, if you want to wear them in the gym they should survive a sweaty workout thanks to IPX4 water resistance. Sony says the LinkBuds will be available in Grey and White from February 2022 and priced at approximately £150.