Multipoint audio support – which lets earbuds remain connected to two different Bluetooth devices simultaneously – is coming to the Sony LinkBuds, LinkBuds S and WF-1000XM4 earbuds in the next few months (H/T Engadget).
Sony says the feature will become available through a new firmware update heading to its LinkBuds models in November, while the WF-1000XM4 will get the same update some time between December and January.
This is a big deal for Sony’s wireless earbuds, because it brings them in line – or rather makes them even more useful – than Apple’s AirPods and AirPods Pro models. The latter devices have boasted easy-switching audio support since their respective launches, but the feature only works for Apple-branded products.
In contrast, Sony’s LinkBuds, LinkBuds S and WF-1000XM4 earbuds will soon be able to function simultaneously with any Bluetooth-enabled devices, regardless of manufacturer. If you’re watching Netflix on your Dell laptop, for instance, you’ll be able to remain aware of notifications pinging away on your Samsung phone.
For multipoint audio support to function, earbuds must necessarily support both A2DP and HFP/HSP connections for audio streaming and talking, respectively. Some devices can only support two simultaneous phone connections (which is pretty impractical, anyway), while others can handle simultaneous phone and computer connections.
Sony’s LinkBuds, LinkBuds S and WF-1000XM4 earbuds will soon be capable of the latter, though the brand’s budget wireless models – like the Sony WF-C500 – will miss out on the free upgrade.
Three great earbuds are getting even better
The Sony LinkBuds, LinkBuds S and WF-1000XM4 are three already-great wireless earbuds in their own right, so it’s a welcome surprise to see Sony handing out a pretty significant upgrade – for free, no less – to each of them.
The WF-1000XM4, in particular, are our current pick for the best true wireless earbuds money can buy, so the imminent addition of multipoint audio support will only strengthen their claim to that title in the face of competition from rival manufacturers.
What’s more, we recently proclaimed the LinkBuds S to be some of the best-fitting earbuds for small ears we’ve ever tested – their support of multipoint audio will, unsurprisingly, make them even better from a practical point of view (for those with tiny ears or otherwise).
If you haven’t bought either pair and are thinking of investing in Sony’s wireless audio lineup, check out our Sony LinkBuds vs Sony WF-1000XM4 feature, as well as our report on why Sennheiser’s new true wireless earbuds put the pressure on Sony’s flagship model.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.