Plastic may be the typical choice of materials for every pair of headphones, but where does it come from? In a new style from Sony, we know exactly where.
While gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, there are generally some obvious consistencies you can work out for yourself, typically in how they’re made: plastic.
Plastic is arguably one of the most common materials used in technology, and while there’s more of a push than ever for sustainable materials, plastic is largely still king. There’s just so much plastic in use in our gadgets, and good luck telling where most of it comes from. Much of it is likely virgin plastic, as in created specifically for that purpose, rather than recycled from something else and used again.
Some companies have gone to lengths to recycle materials for use in their products, with Apple having gone to lengths to create robots that can strip down hardware for the purpose of recycling, but not every brand is playing with sustainability in quite the same way.
In fact, there’s a good chance that the next gadget you buy hasn’t thought about sustainability in the end product. It’s just a part of life right now.
However, not so with the latest pair of earphones from Sony.
In mid-November, Sony is releasing a new variant of its LinkBuds S, a pair of truly wireless noise cancelling earphones that don’t quite rival the high-end WF-1000XM4, but instead provide a mid-range take on the tech, and in this new style, also think about sustainability.
In the “Earth Blue” LinkBuds S, Sony is trying something different, repurposing the plastic from water bottles to create parts of the earphone body and case, and essentially delivering a slightly more environmentally friendly take on a pair of truly wireless earphones.
Like its regular LinkBuds S sibling, the earphones will skip out on the ring-shaped donut driver of their similarly named LinkBuds cousins, offering instead a closed sound using the V1 chip and Sony’s DSEE Extreme enhancement engine for sound reproduction and upscaling, alongside some noise cancellation and transparency mode technology.
They’ll also come with a variation of spatial audio in an augmented reality app on phones, and be otherwise just like the regular LinkBuds S, but with a design that comes more from sustainability. In fact, it’s one that Sony says came from the aim of expanding the use of recycled materials from big water bottles, which in turn has created a kind of marble pattern that makes each pair a one-of-a-kind.
Sony says the approach is just one part of a long-term environmental plan, that aims to cut the company’s environmental footprint to zero by 2050. Granted, it has close to 30 years to get this going, but this is one step in that direction, and one you’ll be able to find on store shelves soon enough.
Sony’s LinkBuds S Earth Blue edition looks set for arrival in Australia in November, priced the same as its regular plastic-laden entry, coming in at $349 locally.