Sony’s smallest and lightest true wireless noise-canceling headphones get a unique design made from recycled plastic water bottles. – hardware

(excerpt from the press release)

Berlin, 25 October 2022. Furthermore, the LinkBuds series and WF-1000XM4 headphones will be equipped with a multipoint Bluetooth connection via a software update. This makes it possible to connect two devices to the headphones at the same time and switch seamlessly between them.

LinkBuds S: A new horizon for headphones
LinkBuds S are headphones that enable a new form of use and combine the best of two worlds. Ultra-small, lightweight and equipped with a mode for transparent ambient noise, they offer users ideal conditions to stay in touch with their online and offline worlds all day long. The headphones combine the innovative surround sound technology of LinkBuds, which lets the user interact with their surroundings, with high-quality noise reduction for undisturbed listening pleasure.

The headphones are equipped with an intelligent adaptive noise control that adjusts the ambient noise settings to the respective location to ensure an ideal listening experience. Today’s users interact with audio in new and increasingly diverse ways – from listening to music and games with headphones to participating in conference calls. Therefore, Sony will continue to develop the LinkBuds series and its uses with applications from partner companies to ensure optimal audio experiences that reflect today’s lifestyle.

LinkBuds S in new color: “Earth Blue”
The comfortable LinkBuds S will now be available in the new color “Earth Blue”. Parts of the earphones and the cover are made from recycled granules derived from plastic water bottles.1 Sony developed this material in search of new creative approaches with the aim of expanding the use of recycled water bottle materials and using them to take advantage of adhesive properties. The result is a material that gives the LinkBuds S “Earth Blue” an attractive marble pattern that looks different and unique for each product unit.

Apart from the “Earth Blue” model, all other earphones in the LinkBuds series are also delivered in plastic-free packaging; Recycled materials from car parts2 are used in these headphones. This reflects Sony’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their products.

The Sony Group is implementing its long-term environmental plan “Road to Zero”, which aims to reduce the company’s environmental impact to zero by 2050. As part of this plan, Sony has set the medium-term environmental goals “Green Management 2025” for the period from FY 2021 to FY 2025 including. This aims to drive a number of measures such as the introduction of recycled plastic, reduction of products’ energy consumption, removal of plastic from the packaging of newly developed small products and introduction of renewable energy.

Donation program to support marine conservation activities
Annual plastic production has increased 20-fold over the past 50 years3, while the amount of recycled plastic has stagnated at around 9%4. Sony donates5 a percentage of the sales of all LinkBuds S models to Conservation International (CI), an international NGO active in 70 countries since 1987 to help society take responsible and sustainable care of nature and global biodiversity and thus also to contribute to the welfare of mankind.

$2 from the retail price of each unit sold will be donated to support CI’s ocean conservation efforts. Each purchase protects nearly 600,000 square feet of ocean—an area estimated6 by Conservation International to be equivalent to about 47 Olympic-sized swimming pools7.

“In nature, nothing happens in a vacuum – pollution in one place can affect the whole ocean,” explains Anastasia Khoo, chief marketing officer at Conservation International. “Plastic pollution is a problem in itself, but it also exacerbates other pressures on the ocean, from climate change to overfishing. People depend on healthy oceans, and efforts like this help raise needed funds and increase consumer awareness and engagement.”

Multipoint connections available from November
In addition, all models in the LinkBuds series will receive a software update in November 2022 that will bring support for the multipoint Bluetooth connection feature, which allows the headphones to be connected to two devices at the same time. For example, if users are listening to music on their PC and a call comes in on their smartphone, the LinkBuds will automatically switch to the call. This enables convenient phone calls without having to go through a Bluetooth connection process first.

The award-winning WF-1000XM4 headphones will also benefit from this handy Bluetooth feature from this winter.

Suggested retail price and availability
Sony LinkBuds S “Earth Blue”: 199.99 euros
Availability: from November 2022

1 Parts of the LinkBuds S “Earth Blue” headphone case and case are made from materials derived from recycled plastic water bottle dispensers.
2 Recycled plastic is used in several parts of the headphone body and case, subject to possible changes depending on the time of production.
3 Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2016). “The new plastics economy: rethinking the future of plastics” – World Economic Forum.
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 From 25 October 2022.
6 Conservation International calculates that the average cost of the resources needed to protect one square kilometer of ocean is $34.
7 This fundraising initiative with Conservation International concerns sales in Japan and Europe.

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