Sony showed off its new Xperia Ear wireless earphones at the Mobile World Congress on Monday, and it seems the company doesn’t ever want you to take them off. Well, I suppose that’s one way to keep you from losing one or both of the tiny earpieces, which is something Apple users have been struggling with since the AirPods started landing in people’s hands.

xperia ear
Image Source: Sony Xperia (YouTube screen grab)

Sony Xperia Ear is a new take on an old idea

The newest model of wireless earphones from Sony is a departure from the version introduced by the Japanese company last year. It calls the earphones an “open-style concept,” although it’s unclear whether we can expect to see them in a store any time soon. In addition to revealing the earphones at MWC, Sony posted a video on YouTube.

As you can see, most of the video shows a woman being able to hear everything around her while also listening to music on the Xperia Ear devices.

Earphones that sit outside the ear

The Xperia Ear wireless earphones actually sit under the ear instead of inside it. There is a piece that sits inside the ear, but the marketing phrase Sony is using with them is “Hands-free, Eyes-free, Ears-free.” In other words, the earpiece sits outside the ear rather than in it.

The earphones are able to transmit sound into the ear canal directly without blocking ambient noise around the user. Needless to say, those who prefer a noise-canceling and/ or immersive experience will be even less interested in these devices than they are in other models of earphones because they block even less ambient noise.

The Sony Xperia Ear devices allow users to easily access the Sony Agent virtual assistant that’s already available on the original Xperia Ear model, which was revealed at the Mobile World Congress a year ago. It seems like the earpieces are designed to keep the user from having to take them off, except to charge them of course. Sony didn’t say how long the battery life on them might be, but given that this is still just in the concept phase, the company probably doesn’t have any official estimate on this.