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Itâs a big day for Microsoft. Not only has the company releasedÂ the Surface Book 3 and the Surface Go 2, itâs thrown its hat into the audio ring too.
As you can probably guess from the names, these are a pair of earbuds (the Surface Earbuds) and a pair of headphones (the Surface Headphones 2). Weâll have some more in-depth hands-on and review pieces coming soon, but before then, letâs give you all the information you need.
This is Microsoftâs first bet into the true wireless market â and youâre going to pay $199 for the privilege.Â The company first announced these back in October 2019, but now theyâre officially available for purchase. Woo.
These strange-looking buds â which my colleague Napier called âdinner plates sticking out of your earsâ in his hands-on â can be touched in order to control music or take calls.
Sound-wise, these buds feature custom-designed 13.6 mm drivers with what Microsoft calls âSurface OmnisonicâÂ sound tuning. The company claimed this was inspired by concerts, but weâll have to wait and seeÂ what kind of gigs theyâre talking about.
Effectively, this lets you listen to, reply to, and delete email through Outlookâs iOS app, all without looking at your phone. If you host a lot of presentations, you can getÂ live captions, and subtitles on-screen, including translation in more than 60 languages.Â
The company says you can get eight hours of continuous listening with a single full charge and 24 hours of usage with charging through the case. Plus, you only need to charge them for just 10 minutes to get an hour of listening.
The earbuds are probably the biggest news, but that doesnât mean we should overlook Microsoftâs sequel to the Surface Headphones: the, uh, Surface Headphones 2.
Not too much has changed this time round. Thereâs still a dial on the ear cup that allows you to select 13 levels of active noise-cancelation (ANC). They still haveÂ 40mm âFree Edgeâ drivers. And you can still tap the sides of the headphones to control audio.
One interesting addition to the ANC is a mode designed to filter out the human voice, something thatâs a bane of my existence. I canât wait to try this out, but I have my doubts.
First up is the color. You can now get the Surface Headphones 2 in black, which is good news for people who hate that weird grey color Microsoft seems unduly fond of.
Aside from that, we have a lot of iterative upgrades. The Surface Headphones 2 have Bluetooth 5.0 and now supportÂ aptX â it was a fucking travesty they didnât have this latter codec in the original version to be quite honest.
The battery life has also seen a bump from 15 to 20 hours when using ANC. Thereâs also a quick-charge feature that promises close to an hour of playback from five minutes charging. Weâll have to take Microsoftâs word for both these points.
Another thing thatâsÂ slightly fresher with theÂ Surface Headphones 2 also includes rotatable ear cups. Effectively, you can now wear them around your neck more comfortably. Again â how wasnât this a feature before?
Anyway, make sure you stay tuned to Plugged for all the information you need about the Surface Earbuds and the Surface Headphones 2. Thereâll be more sweet content coming for you soon.
For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on
Published May 6, 2020 — 14:52 UTC
May 6, 2020 — 14:52 UTC
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World news – US – Microsoft launches its Surface Earbuds and Surface Headphones 2