Sony’s ‘open-ear’ Xperia Ear Duo buds ship in the US May 25th

The earbuds let you hear music and your surroundings simultaneously.

Sony's Xperia Ear Duo "open-ear" buds will debut on May 25th in the US. Sony had already opened pre-orders at Amazon, and now you can place an advance order via brick-and-mortar gadget retailer b8ta. They'll set you back $280, with a choice of black or gold designs.

The Xperia Ear Duo is designed to let you hear music (or podcasts or notifications) and your surroundings at the same time. The earbuds are compatible with iPhone and Android, as well as their respective voice assistants. The buds automatically adjust the volume depending on the ambient noise levels, and you can skip tracks and answer calls with head gestures -- as long as you're not already headbanging to metal, we assume.

The Xperia Ear Duo emerged after a similar concept faced public scrutiny in a beta test under Sony's Future Lab wing, where volunteers tried out the system for around a year. That guided Sony in removing the concept device's camera and turning a neckband into earbuds.