Microsoft announced the Surface Headphones 2 and the Surface Earbuds in conjunction with the Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3, all of which are available for pre-order today.
The new Surface Earbuds mark Microsoft’s entrance into true wireless earbuds, and they’ve been a long time coming. The Surface Earbuds were first unveiled at the company’s annual October Surface hardware event in 2019, and we got some time to check them out then. They were subsequently delayed until spring 2020, and here we are.
Microsoft’s press release said the Surface Earbuds feature an “ultra-comfortable and stable fit,” as well as intuitive touch controls that will let you make a phone call without using your phone. The earbuds are said to be outfitted with “Immersive Omnisonic” sound and will be able to instantly play Spotify from an Android phone by triple tapping on either bud.
The Surface Earbuds are supposed to work effortlessly with Microsoft 365, allowing you to check emails or dictate in word, Outlook, or PowerPoint. They have a Swift Pair feature for connecting to a Surface PC, and eight hours of battery life in a single charge with three additional charges, plus a quick-charge option than provides an hour of playback with 10 minutes of charge.
Other features in the Surface Earbuds include support for audio codecs SBC and aptX, an IPX4 water resistance rating, two microphones per earbud to aid calls, and 13.6mm speaker drivers. That’s fairly large for earbuds, which should mean the Surface Earbuds will be capable in terms of replicating low end in music and movies.
Surface Headphones 2
According to Microsoft, the Surface Headphones 2 are designed to slip comfortably over your ears and “surround you with spectacular sound quality.” The second-generation cans will have improved battery life, up to 20 hours from the 15 of the originals, and will have a quick-charging feature that gives you an hour of playback after plugging in for just five minutes. The new headphones will also have adjustable active noise cancellation, as well as an updated ear cup design that can rotate 180 degrees, presumably for improved comfort.
The biggest factor, though, is the price of the new headphones. We thought the original Surface Headphones were vastly overpriced at $350 for what they were. Accordingly, the Surface Headphones 2 have dropped $100 while seemingly maintaining — and even improving on — some of the first generation’s core features. That’s a big move by Microsoft, and not one typically seen moving from one edition to the next.
Price and availability
The Surface Headphones 2 are priced at $249 and will be released on May 12. The Surface Earbuds, meanwhile, will cost $199 and be available on the same date.