The Xperia Ear is Sony’s Bluetooth earpiece with voice assistant integrated, aimed at anyone who wants to keep their hands free.
Smartphones can do so many things for us these days, but as a result, it means we often lock our eyes on it even when it’s dangerous or rude to, like when talking to a friend.
Sony Xperia Ear Design Review
The Xperia Ear is very simple to use and once connected or paired up with your Android smartphone (no iOS support yet), you can listen to turn by turn directions, take calls, listen to music (if you really want to) and more.
Out of the box, it comes with the usual; you get some instruction manuals, a micro USB charging cable, the earpiece itself and a charging case.
The case has a micro USB port on the back with a tiny indicator light when it’s charging and on top or the lid that you slide forward to open, there’s another indicator light to show the power status of the Xperia Ear.
To get the in the case, you simply slide it back with your thumb and the lid flicks up to reveal the Xperia Ear. Take the Ear out and you’ll notice two pins inside which charges the Ear when it comes in contact.
The Ear itself is designed to provide a snug fit in ear, although I’d recommend swapping between the left and ride side as it gets uncomfortable over time.
There’s a rubber earbud cover and a removable clip to help it stay secure if you want to use it for sporting activities like running or like me, on my skateboard. The clip can be easily removed by sliding it out.
Finished in graphite black, the Ear is really small and lightweight. Its longest part is 29.3mm in length and 24.3mm high if you stand it up by the earbud. It weighs just 6.8g and 39g with charging case.
It’s no ordinary Bluetooth earpiece, it has a voice assistant integrated and can be activated using the button on the surface, where there’s also an indicator light for showing connectivity status.
It feels durable enough and it’s IPX2 rated in terms of water resistance. All in all, the Xperia Ear is smart looking and even in-ear it doesn’t look bad at all. It does stick out a little, but I have no problem with that – I like people to know I’m not just talking to myself.
Sony Xperia Ear Performance Review
The setup process is pretty straight forward; you can quickly pair it using NFC as most Android smartphones have that, or do it the old fashion way via Bluetooth settings. You also need to download the accompanying Sony app to personalise your Ear.
Once you have it all setup, you can use the app to set up which apps can tell you notifications via Ear, change what information you want to be told when you insert it in your ear.
The Xperia Ear has an integrated proximity sensor, gyroscope and accelerometer, and what that means is it knows when you have it in your ear and with a head gesture, you can even nod to dismiss things.
As a voice assistant, it’s almost like having Amazon Alexa in your ears, except not as good. Sony could have done a lot more here beyond the basic reading of notifications, asking it to send messages and ask for directions.
Having said that, the turn by turn direction is very handy if you’re a cyclist, you simply have it in your ear and get directions from Google Maps on your phone.
For a better experience, I’d recommend switching to Google Now so you can do more. With Google Now, you can have a better conversation like “What’s my schedule like today” followed by “What time is my first appointment?” without having to keep starting with Ok Google for example.
Battery life is also very good, it lasted more than a day with my moderate use, although putting it back in its case means you never have to worry about battery life really.
Even though you can use it to listen to music, it’s not intended for that purpose in my opinion. Listening to music in one ear is not comfortable at all and sound quality is nothing compared to a proper pair of headphones.
Is the Xperia Ear worth buying?
If you’re still on the fence about it, I would recommend it to those on the go a lot, for example, cyclists. It works well when used with Google Now, and you can do more than reading notifications.
It’s not that comfortable to wear all day long, so keep swapping between your ears. With Google Now also offering more, it poses the question of why do you need this device and not just use your current earphones with Google Now?
Elsewhere, the design is fantastic, solid build quality and great battery life. We’d like to see it work with iOS too.
Pricing and Availability
You can get your hands on them from places like Amazon for around £179.99.
I write about all things tech!