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Sony Xperia Ear is €200 and coming this November with head motion gestures

Sony’s Xperia Ear hearable is going on sale in November for €200 with a couple of nifty new features.

The mainstream-ish, assistant-focused earbud works with Android and was announced in February, getting another outing at Sony’s IFA 2016 press conference.

The new features include audio alerts for email as well as messages and new head motion gestures so you can nod your head to reply ‘yes’ to a message or shake it to say ‘no’. Clever.

Read this: Inside the Xperia Ear – Sony’s bold plans for its in-ear assistant

It joins Sony’s existing fitness hearable, the Smart B-Trainer, but this new hearable is a much smaller device.

We don’t have the exact dimensions yet but it’s a very similar-looking design to the Moto Hint, one of the first smart earbuds we’ve reviewed. We’ve tried it out for a brief demo and it is very lightweight and comfortable as it’s a soft silicone device “built for continuous wear”.

It connects to your Android phone via NFC or Bluetooth and we’re hoping the connection is a little more reliable than the Motorola earbud.

Sony Xperia Ear: Features

In terms of features, the Xperia Ear uses Sony’s voice technology (probably based on Google Voice) to take voice commands such as asking for navigation directions, taking calls, dictating messages and searching the internet. The companion app lets you set up the single bud to, for instance, give you your day’s schedule, the weather and news in the morning.

Read this: Sony Xperia Ear first look – Sony could make AI earbuds cool

You can also customise app notifications and touch commands, which suggests you’ll be able to tap your er, additional Ear to perhaps take calls or initiate voice commands. It’s not really designed for playing music but it could be a neat accessory for podcast addicts too.

The battery life matches the Motorola bud at an official 3.5 hours of continuous use (voice input, calls and messages) and a further 12 hours of use via the neat charging case.

Sony Xperia Ear: Price and release date

The Sony Xperia Ear will be available this November for €200 – there’s no UK or US pricing yet or any details on what countries it will launch in. If it’s around £200 or $250, that’s a considerably higher price than the $130 Moto Hint.

The fact that Sony is launching a hearable by the end of the year, even if it was delayed, is part of an exciting trend, as we see earbuds going totally wireless.

CCS Insight predicts that 9 million hearables will be sold in 2020, a modest figure compared to wrist-based wearables, but not a category to be ignored. If the Xperia Ear delivers on a reliable experience, it could bring us to a Her-style universe quicker than we expected.

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