December 10, 2022

I never realized what a large sub-section of earphone-wearers don’t like wearing in-ear earbuds. It does seem like a relatively small amount, but given the option, a lot of us would just prefer something that rests comfortably on your ears without entering the ear canal. The reasons aren’t just comfort – some people have different-sized canals that don’t fit conventional buds, others don’t like the idea of dirty earbuds entering their ears, and perhaps the mot valid one, they block out external noises. Sure, most earbuds today come with their own ‘transparency modes’, but nothing beats actually being able to hear the world around you – a feature that the Sony LinkBuds embrace wholly.

The Open-Ear-Design TWS Earbuds fix that problem by clipping onto your ear instead of sitting inside them. The earbuds’ unique design allows it to attach to your ‘pinna’, or the external part of your ear that’s mostly cartilage. This shape and format keep the earbuds attached to your ear, and has the audio driver facing your ear but not sitting inside it. The result is comfortable listening without blocking your ear canal, so you can also hear stuff around you. The earbuds themselves are made from hard plastic on the outside, but employ soft silicone padding on the inside that grips most ears comfortably. When not worn, they snap rather wonderfully onto their charging case, using a magnetic mechanism to ensure they never fall off and accidentally get lost.

The Open-Air-Design TWS Earbuds are a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2022.

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Designers: Chen Chaohou, Li Yuze, Nie Dong, Peng Ziheng, Shi Yu, Yang Jin, Zheng Yuzhou