Sony has just launched an upgrade for its earbuds (WF-1000XM3) that make an already great device even better. The upgrade includes 3 new functions: on-board volume controls, support for Alexa, and the capability of seeing the level of battery in the Sony Headphones Connect app for the charging case.

While support for Alexa is the new function that will be new for most people, the limelight of the update here is the inclusion of on-device controls for volume. When people reviewed them earlier this summer, they claimed that their main gripe with the device was that they could not regulate the volume on the device themselves. Every time they needed to do that, they had to open their handset to do so.

Just remember that the touch surface on the device can only be devoted to a single feature. You have to give up quick access to one of the devices’ other functions—be that the digital assistant summon, noise cancellation toggle, or playback controls—so as to simply regulate the volume. A single click elevates the volume, while a long press reduces it. So the implementation by Sony here is not ideal, but at least the alternative is there where it was not before.

You can get the firmware upgrade via the Headphones Connect app by Sony, accessible on iOS and Android.

On a related note, over the past 2 years, noise-cancelling devices have not only turned out to be actually good, but they have turned out to be more available as well. With Black Friday on the edge, now is a good time to take benefit of all the enhancements firms such as Sony have made in the sector. Amazon has slashed prices for two of the firm’s most well-liked models, the XB900N and WH-1000XM3.