Sony is bringing multipoint connectivity to its entire current lineup of premium wireless earbuds this fall. Just as with other headphones and earbuds, the feature will let you 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 answer and switch over to it seamlessly. Sony plans to add multipoint to the LinkBuds and LinkBuds S “by November of 2022.” In a somewhat surprising turn, even the WF-1000XM4s will gain multipoint this winter.
Those have been on the market for well over a year, and Sony never so much as hinted that multipoint was in the cards. Once the update is released, you’ll need to update the firmware for your earbuds through the Headphones Connect app to gain 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 that are certified for Microsoft Teams — complete with a USB dongle that lets you map Teams actions (like muting or raising a hand) to the earbud controls. The “LinkBuds UC for Teams” will cost $249.99, so those added video conferencing tricks come at a premium compared to the $179.99 of the regular model.
Next up is a new version of the LinkBuds S that Sony claims are made from “recycled water bottles materials.” Priced at $199.99 — there’s no markup on these — they’ll be available at the end of this month. “Parts of the body and case of LinkBuds S in Earth Blue are made from recycled water bottle materials which creates a unique, one-of-a-kind marble pattern,” the company said in its press release. Each set will have a slightly different pattern and outer finish.
I asked Sony exactly how much of the LinkBuds S hardware uses this material, as companies can often exaggerate these environment-friendly efforts. Unfortunately, it’s not sharing much in the way of specifics. “We don’t disclose this information,” said Hiroaki Shimo, manager of vision and sound at Sony Electronics.
Thanks to their small size and lightweight design, the LinkBuds S are some of the most comfortable wireless earbuds on the market right now, and the regular hole-in-the-middle LinkBuds are a standout when it comes to voice call quality. So the Teams push for that product makes a lot of sense. But I’m definitely most excited for multipoint coming to the whole lineup. It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by tech companies every once in a while.