Sony Xperia Ear Bluetooth headset review

Sony Xperia Ear Bluetooth headset review

Introduction


It was about six years ago when I wrote my first review. The device I tested was a basic and affordable Bluetooth headset – one that was good for making phone calls, but couldn’t do anything else. Fast-forward to present day, and stacking that against the Sony Xperia Ear would be like comparing a tin can telephone to a last-generation flagship smartphone. Or to put it in other words, Sony’s accessory aims to deliver a lot more beyond crystal-clear phone calls.

The Sony Xperia Ear is designed to be “your personal assistant” – one that knows your schedule, that listens and responds to your queries, that guides you while you walk or drive, that handles your phone calls and relays your text-based communication. With its help, you’ll be spending more time interacting with the world around you while reaching for your smartphone a lot less often. These are the expectations that the Xperia Ear sets, but does it perform well enough to justify its $200 asking price? I used it for a week to find out.

In the box:

  • Sony Xperia Ear headset
  • Battery case for charging and carrying
  • Small, medium, and large eartips
  • Small, medium, and large ear hooks
  • Quick start guide and other papers

Design and comfort


Sony Xperia Ear Bluetooth headset review

The Sony Xperia Ear is small, light, and shaped to follow the natural curves of the earlobe, so it comes as no surprise that it easily stays firmly attached to my ear. It also helps that Sony has included a whole bunch of ear gels and hooks in the set, allowing me to mix and match to find the best possible fit. I used the medium-sized eartip throughout my testing and I never had the headset come loose or fall off by accident. Better yet, the device is discrete and unobtrusive, so I don’t really draw much attention while wearing it.

Sony Xperia Ear Bluetooth headset review
Sony Xperia Ear Bluetooth headset review
However, I didn’t find the Xperia Ear comfortable to use for long periods of time, and its shape or size had nothing to do with that. While worn with the eartip I had chosen, the accessory maintained a tight seal over the ear canal, meaning that I was basically deaf to the outside world with the ear I’m wearing it on. I found this disorienting and annoying, not to mention that the sound of my voice was now resonating inside my ear. The solution was to use a smaller eartip – one that doesn't block the ear canal – but that couldn't maintain the same level of grip as the larger eartips provided in the box. Eventually, I got used to wearing the Xperia Ear for hours throughout the day, although I can't say that I was having a great time. But since everyone's ear shape is different, your experience may differ. Who knows, you might find the device more comfortable to wear than I did.

There’s a single button on the Sony Xperia Ear, and while it’s not clearly visible, it is easy to find by touch thanks to a tiny bump over its location. It is used for interacting with the headset – a single press puts the Assistant feature in listening mode, while a long press can be programmed to perform a specific function, such as triggering Google Now or calling a contact.

Next to the button is placed a single multi-color LED providing some basic status indication. Don’t worry – it does not blink every 5 seconds to distract everyone around you. It glows when the Xperia Ear is in pairing mode or speaking to you, and a green light lets you know when it is done charging.



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15 Comments

5. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

"Occasional connection issues" That makes it deserve a 3? Are you kidding me? Was expecting a laundry list of issues, but nope, just biased PA.

13. Rydsmith unregistered

I think you're looking at the tree in the forest. 1.) It's $200.00 and something like that shouldn't be acceptable at that price point. 2.) There are far better alternatives that make for a better product for a fraction of the cost.

14. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Even with those arguments its still deserve a 6 ouf of 10. 3 is simply ridiculous and yes i read the full review and based on what i read its deserve 6.

6. FlySheikh

Posts: 443; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Wow.. just wow

7. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

Should deserve at least a 7 or above.

10. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Why does it deserve a 7? Justify it?

9. TheNeighbor

Posts: 368; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I could never buy something like this that's only on one ear. It really deserves a 3. Worst than the Samsung IconX that only gives 1.5 hours of streaming audio from your smartphone.

11. Ticklemyfancy

Posts: 214; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

Well , that's phonearena to you

12. -swagfox-

Posts: 45; Member since: Dec 01, 2016

"iPhone owners can also use the headset, but in that case, Sony’s Assistant will be inaccessible. Pressing the button to trigger it will launch Siri instead." Welp. I'm just gonna wait for airpods and save $40.

15. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Well, PA love Sony.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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