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Sony has been developing and refining a personal assistant concept dubbed Xperia Ear for a couple of years now, and the Japanese company is proud to announce at MWC 2018 today an evolved version of the “reimagined” wireless headset will be launching globally this spring.

Based on groundbreaking proprietary Spatial Acoustic Conductor technology, the Sony Xperia Ear Duo basically welcomes outside noise rather than canceling it for an isolated music-listening experience.

That sounds a little counter-intuitive, but the way Sony sees it, you should be able to remain in contact with your surroundings while playing your favorite tunes. Don’t worry, the volume is intelligently adjusted depending on background noise, with Clear Phase audio technology in charge of eliminating sound dispersion for “crystal clear listening.”

The “best of both worlds” is thus brought to your ear for true audio multitasking. You can enjoy music, make calls, even get news alerts, various notifications for upcoming events or meetings, all freely, easily and wirelessly while also hearing environmental sounds and conversations.

The Xperia Ear Duo works with both Android and iOS devices, assisting you with everyday tasks, offering relevant contextual information with time and location recognition, and yes, supporting both Google Assistant and Siri voice control.

Four built-in microphones with beam-forming technology will make sure external noise doesn’t interfere with your voice commands, and “advanced sensors” can also recognize a series of head gestures for hands-free call answering and music skipping.

Lightweight but robust, with a stainless steel and soft rubber body, the Xperia Ear Duo sits discreetly under the ear, resisting splashes and lasting up to four hours between charges with continuous music playing. Up for pre-order today at $280, the “open-ear” wireless stereo headset will start shipping in May.

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