Game Freak's line of weird decisions seems to have no end. After the odd mass removal of moves, Pokemon Sword & Shield will apparently require players to get earbuds from an NPC in order to get access to sound options.
Having basic sound options available in video games is the standard and not having them is unexpected and inexplicable these days. However, Pokemon games have a tradition of lacking sound controls but that is hardly an excuse for Pokemon Sword and Shield to lock these options behind a barely mentioned NPC.
Fans have already been riled up with Game Freak's weird decisions in the days leading up to Pokemon Sword & Shield's release. There is the mass purge of moves that were previously available, but locking the sound options seems to have been the straw that broke the camel's back to a group of fans discussing the topic on Reddit.
The provided screenshots clearly picture the NPC that has the earbuds and some of the options granted by them. Sound control NPC is located in Motostoke, which is already much more info than what Game Freak provided the players with.
Fans are questioning the potential reason behind the decision, with the most plausible theory being that Game Freak wanted to improve immersion, as having Hi-tech Earbuds that control what and to what degree you can hear sounds like a neat little immersion element.
While the intention may have been good, it certainly seems to have missed the mark as it only served to fan the already bright flames. There were three days left until release on 15 November 2019 at the time of writing and the fans seem to be none too happy about it.