Sony launches rival to Apple AirPods headphones

Key Points
  • Sony unveils wireless earbud-like headphones.
  • They rival Apple's wireless AirPods.
  • Sony has been doubling down on its strong areas, including gaming and high-end audio.
Kazuo Hirai, CEO of Sony.
Justin Solomon | CNBC

Sony unveiled wireless earbud-like headphones on Thursday as it expands its focus on high-end audio products.

The WF-1000X are two small earphones that connect to a device via Bluetooth.

Sony will put the headphones on sale in September, initially in Europe and then in Asia and the U.S. at a later date. The WF-1000X will cost 220 euros ($264.71).

The Japanese electronic giant's latest product pits it against the likes of Apple, which launched its AirPods last year.

Sony has been focusing recently on high-end audio products. It's part of the company's strategy under CEO Kazuo Hirai to double down on Sony's strengths such as gaming.

The headphones have Sony's proprietary noise cancelling technology built in. It allows a user to raise their hand to the headphone, which turns off the noise cancelling feature, allowing them to hear the outside world. It was introduced last year in one of Sony's other headphone products.