I’ve generally given very positive reviews of Sony’s latest headphones, which include those from 2022, and last year’s buds, which won a CNET Editors’ Choice award. But one thing I noted in the “bad” sections of these reviews is that they didn’t have multipoint Bluetooth pairing. This feature allows you to pair the headphones to two devices simultaneously – a smartphone and a computer, for example – and easily switch between devices if a call comes in on one while you’re listening to music on the other.
Now, Sony says this feature will be available on these headphone models via a firmware update in November. However, the entry levelwill not get the upgrade.
Multipoint Bluetooth pairing should not be confused with multilink Bluetooth, which allows you to pair multiple devices (often up to seven or eight) to your headphones and have the headphones remember the device for easy repair. However, without true multipoint Bluetooth pairing, a given pair of headphones can only be actively paired to one device at a time – you have to manually switch to another device if you want to access it as an audio source. Alas, multipoint Bluetooth pairing isn’t so easy to implement reliably with true wireless headphones, which might be why Sony delayed adding the feature, but the latest Bluetooth chips make it easier things.
Sony slipped the multipoint Bluetooth ad during the presentation of the new, “parts of which are made from recycled water bottle materials, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind marble pattern.” It’s unclear how many of the buds and housings are made from recycled materials, but the buds do indeed have a unique look that somehow resembles our home planet. (I just received a sample — see image above.)
Sony also announced the, a Microsoft Teams-certified version of its open-ear LinkBuds that includes a USB dongle for direct wireless connection to your computer. Teams-certified LinkBuds are $250, which is $70 more than standard LinkBuds.
The LinkBuds S in Earth Blue are available now for $200, while the LinkBuds UC will ship this winter. Just a few weeks ago, theand we expect to see them back on sale as we head into the holiday shopping season.