Sony is bringing multipoint connectivity to its entire current lineup of premium wireless earbuds this fall. As with other headphones and earbuds, this feature allows you to connect to two Bluetooth audio sources at the same time. So if you’re listening to music on your laptop and a call comes in on your phone, you can seamlessly answer and switch to it. Sony plans to add multipoint to the LinkBuds and LinkBuds S by November 2022. In a slightly surprising twist, even the WF-1000XM4s will gain multipoint this winter.
Those have been on the market for over a year, and Sony has never hinted that multipoint was in play. Once the update is released, you will need to update the firmware for your earbuds via the Headphones Connect app to get the new functionality.
The company also announced new offshoots of its LinkBuds and LinkBuds S earbuds today. This winter, the company will release a version of the LinkBuds certified for Microsoft Teams – complete with a USB dongle that will allow you to assign Teams actions (like mute or raise a hand) to the earbuds. The “LinkBuds UC for Teams” costs $249.99, so those added video conferencing tricks are more expensive compared to the regular model’s $179.99.
Next up is a new version of the LinkBuds S that Sony claims is made from “recycled water bottle materials.” Priced at $199.99 – there is no price increase for them – they will be available at the end of this month. “Parts of the LinkBuds S body and housing in Earth Blue are made from recycled water bottle materials, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind marble pattern,” the company said in its press release. Each set has a slightly different pattern and exterior finish.
I asked Sony exactly how much of the LinkBuds S hardware uses this material, as companies can often exaggerate these eco-friendly efforts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t share a lot of details. “We are not disclosing this information,” said Hiroaki Shimo, Sony Electronics’ sound and vision manager.
Thanks to their small size and lightweight design, the LinkBuds S are some of the most comfortable wireless earbuds on the market today, and the regular, hole-in-the-middle LinkBuds are a standout when it comes to voice call quality. So the teams pushing for that product make sense. But I’m definitely most excited that multipoint is coming to the whole lineup. It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by tech companies every now and then.