Apparently not, at least in terms of hardware choice.

It seems Sony Ericsson and thus Sony have moved away from the OMTP standard it was using for mobile phones, opting for the CTIA standard instead.

One of the issues users of Xperia phones faced was incompatibility with certain headsets/headphones. If you tried to plug a CTIA headset into an Xperia phone it may have had reduced functionality or it may not even have worked at all. This is as the 3.5mm plug is wired differently in both standards.

The new 2012 Xperia models will have a 3.5mm jack that uses the CTIA standard and not the OMTP standard which was used earlier. The CTIA standard is more common and is the one adopted by Apple iOS devices. So, you can connect almost all the foreign headsets to your 2012 smartphone and enjoy your favourite music or movie.

However, the flip side to this ‘progression’, is older headsets that can currently be used with 2010/2011 Xperia devices will not be compatible with 2012 Xperia phones…

…Older headsets like…the LiveSound headphones. Released just last autumn by Sony Ericsson, with a retail price of up to £69.99. To be honest, I think this completely sucks for all those that bought those earphones, especially as they’re still knocking about on Amazon for close to £45!

It’s disappointing, especially given the development time of handsets. Someone, somewhere should’ve realised they’d be defunct in six months…flashback to the X10 conundrum, anyone? Sony offer the EC250 adaptor to change CTIA signal to OMTP, meaning you can use the 2012 SmartHeadset with 2011 Xperia phones, but there doesn’t appear to be anything to reverse the flow to use OMTP headphones with CTIA.

In short, if you really like your 2011 LiveSound earphones, best to stick with a 2011 phone until an adaptor can be sourced. Or cough up £60-£70 for the SmartHeadset.


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