Sony Electronics Announces the New LinkBuds S "Earth Blue" Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Headphones, Made from Water Dispenser Bottles¹ and New Model "LinkBuds UC for Microsoft Teams"
Multi-point connection is also being brought to the LinkBuds series for seamless connection between devices2
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics Inc. today announced that it will release LinkBuds S noise canceling truly wireless headphones in a new color variation. Following the white, black, and ecru color versions that have been available since May 2022, a new stylish color, "Earth Blue," has been added to the line-up, created using recycled water bottle materials. Multi-point connection is also being brought to LinkBuds and LinkBuds S for seamless connection between devices will be available.2 3 Additionally, a new model "LinkBuds UC for Microsoft Teams" will be released with new features that are compatible with Microsoft Teams.
LinkBuds S New Color: "Earth Blue"
The comfortable LinkBuds S will be available in the new "Earth Blue" color. 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. It was originally developed by Sony in pursuit of a new design expression with the aim of expanding the potential use of recycled materials.
In addition to the "Earth Blue" model, the entire LinkBuds series also comes with plastic-free packaging (excluding coating and adhesive materials) and the headphones are made with recycled materials from automobile parts, reflecting Sony's commitment to help reduce the environmental impact of its products3.
LinkBuds S "Earth Blue" is an initiative in support of Sony Group's "Road to Zero." Sony Group's long-term environmental plan "Road to Zero" aims to reduce our environmental footprint to zero by 2050. As part of this, Sony established the "Green Management 2025" environmental medium-term targets that took effect in the fiscal year 2021 and will run through the end of the fiscal year 2025. It aims to accelerate efforts such as the introduction of recycled plastics, the reduction of product power consumption, the elimination of plastic from the packaging of newly designed small products, and the introduction of renewable energy.
Donation Program to Support Ocean Conservation Activities
The annual production of plastic has increased approximately 20 times over the past 50 years, while the amount of plastic recycled has remained at approximately 9 percent4. At the time of LinkBuds S "Earth Blue" launch, Sony will become a proud partner and donate $500,000 to Conservation International (CI), an international NGO that has worked across 70 countries to date since 1987 to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and global biodiversity for the well-being of humanity.
"In nature, nothing happens in a vacuum – pollution in one place can impact the entire ocean," said Anastasia Khoo, Chief Marketing Officer at Conservation International. "Plastics pollution is a problem in its own right but it also plays a role in exacerbating other stresses the ocean faces, from climate change to overfishing. Humans depend on a healthy ocean and efforts like this campaign help drive needed funding and raise awareness and engagement with consumers."
Multipoint Connection Software Update
All models in the LinkBuds series (excluding LinkBuds UC for Teams) will also receive a software update by November of 2022 to enable the multipoint connection function, which allows users to connect to two devices at the same time, along with 2. In addition to LinkBuds, the award-winning WF-1000XM4 headphones will also benefit from the more convenient Bluetooth function this winter. For example, if a consumer is playing music on their PC and their smartphone receives a phone call, it will automatically switch to the smartphone for a hands-free call without having to switch connections.
Additionally, with the Auto Play app, featuring automatic music playback according to user's activity benefits from the multipoint connection function. Once users are done with a call, or finished with work and close their PC, music will automatically play from their smartphone 5 6.
LinkBuds Headphones Now Certified for Microsoft Teams5
Sony is also launching a model certified for Microsoft Teams for the first generation LinkBuds – LinkBuds UC for Microsoft Teams. This product adds features to improve convenience of participating in online meetings with truly wireless LinkBuds headphones. The ring driver unit features an open central diaphragm for audio transparency and is available when participating in Microsoft Teams meetings so discussing with colleagues in the office and connecting to surroundings is easy6.
Features related to Microsoft Teams can be easily operated via headphones
Calls can be easily operated by tapping the headphones. For instance, to mute the microphone, tap the right earbud three times or utilize wide area tap. This useful feature enhances hybrid working efficiency – for example when one steps away from their PC during a meeting to have a side conversation. The LinkBuds also feature all Microsoft Teams specific features like receiving calls, and raising hands for meetings in Microsoft Teams – all configurable in the Headphones Connect App7.
Seamless exchange between PC and other devices
By connecting to a PC through the included USB transceiver and mobile phone via Bluetooth, users can seamlessly switch between their PC and phone to ensure they don't miss anything said. For instance, users can switch their Microsoft Teams meeting from their phone to their PC without having to reconnect their LinkBuds.
"It's clear that the future of work will involve a combination of working in the office as well as remotely." Albert Kooiman, Senior Director of Microsoft Teams Devices Partner Engineering and Certification. A device that allows users to participate in Teams meetings anytime and anywhere with high-quality audio is becoming increasingly important. We are excited for the LinkBuds to be Certified for Microsoft Teams, allowing users to take advantage of the powerful collaborative functionality of Teams in conjunction with the flexibility provided with the LinkBuds' open ring design enables users to hear to their call and their direct surroundings, which is ideal for multi-tasking and on-the-go work."
LinkBuds S: A New Frontier for Headphones
LinkBuds S allows to experience the best of both the digital and physical worlds. They are perfect to stay connected to online and offline experiences all-day long, thanks to their ultra-small and lightweight design with natural ambient sound. They combine innovative ambient sound technology that lets users interact with the world around them, with high-quality noise canceling technology, allowing to the ability to focus on the content and nothing else.
The headphones integrate Adaptive Sound Control, a smart feature that adjusts ambient sound settings depending on where the user is located, creating the ideal listening experience. Ways of interacting with sound are diversifying and evolving.
Pricing and availability
The LinkBuds S Earth Blue version will be priced at MSRP $199.99 and will be available in the United States at the end of October 2022 at Sony Electronics, Amazon, and other Sony authorized retailers.
The LinkBuds UC will be priced at MSRP $249.99 and will be available at Sony Electronics and Sony authorized retailers in Winter 2022.
About Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit http://www.sony.com/news for more information.
1 Parts of the body and case of LinkBuds S in Earth Blue are made from recycled water bottle materials to create a marble pattern.
2 Including LinkBuds, LinkBuds S. Not including: LinkBuds UC for Microsoft Teams
3 Recycled plastic is used in multiple parts of the headphone body and the case, which is subject to change.
4 Geyer, Roland, Jambeck, Jenna, & Lavender Law, Kara L. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
5 Users can use the headset to perform Microsoft Teams-related operations only when using the desktop apps of the plans below:
Microsoft Teams Essentials (only when purchased through the Microsoft Certified Partners)
Microsoft 365 Business series
6 Spotify and Endel can be linked to Auto Play for automatic music playback.
New features utilizing multipoint connection function will be available with Auto Play Ver.1.5 or later.
Auto Play is compatible with LinkBuds series, but not with WF-1000XM4.
7 Download app at Google Play and the App Store. Network services, content, and operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require fees, registration and credit card information.
SOURCE Sony Electronics, Inc.
For further information: Sony Contact: Bonnie Paresa, Public Relations Manager, Sony North America, Bonnie.Paresa@sony.com