Microsoft has finally lifted the lid on its long-rumored Surface Earbuds and Surface Headphones 2. The true wireless headphones will take on the likes of Apple's AirPods Pro and Google's new Pixel Buds for 2020. The Surface Headphones 2 come in a new matte black finish.
Microsoft has gone for a disc-design for its first entry into the true wireless earbuds market, rather than the stem design made popular by Apple's AirPods. The size of the earbuds is quite striking and in stark contrast to the small 'mentos' style we've seen from Google this year. The Surface Headphones 2 have internal upgrades and come in a new finish that very much on-trend. Here are all the details.
Surface Headphones 2
When Microsoft launched the Surface Headphones a year ago, we liked the design and the innovative wheels for adjusting the ANC and volume. Now, the brand is back with a second generation. The New Surface Headphones 2 look largely the same on the (excuse the pun) surface, but they now come in Matte Black as well as the old Light Gray option.
New on the Microsoft Surface headphones for 2020, is something called enhanced Omnisonic sound. Combined with 13 levels of adjustable noise cancellation, music and calls are supposed to sound better than ever.
There's lots of PowerPoint integration here, with live captions and subtitles on screen, including translation into one of 60+ languages (Windows 10 required). You can also swipe to advance slides. There's also some email productivity stuff, including the ability listen to, delete, and reply to emails on the go —all with touch and voice using Play My Emails in the Outlook mobile app for iOS (in the USA only). You can touch and hold to activate the Cortana digital voice assistant.
Battery life comes in at 20-hours and there is fast-charging that gives you an hour of music with just a five-minute charge. You can connect the Surface Headphones 2 to your Windows 10 PC out of the box when you enable Swift Pair.
The price in the USA is $250, cheaper than the first Surface Headphones. The price is €279.99 in Europe. In the UK, the price is £239.99. You can see the full technical specifications below.
Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds technical specs
|Surface Headphones 2||Surface Earbuds|
|Weight||0.64 lbs (290.3 g)||
each earbud: 7.2g
Charging case: 40g without earbuds
|Frequency Response||20–20k Hz||20–20k Hz|
Up to 30 dB for active noise cancellation
Up to 40 dB for passive noise cancellation
|Speaker||40mm Free Edge speaker||13.6mm driver|
|Charging / Battery life||Full charge in less than 2 hours / up to 20 hours battery life||Up to 24hours battery life (8 hours in the earbuds)|
|Compatibility||Windows 10, iOS, Android, MacOS||Windows 10, Android 4.4, iPhone 5, iOS9, Bluetooth 4.1/4.2|
The SurfaceEarbuds are Microsoft's premium true wireless earbuds. The company says it has focused on an 'ultra-comfortable and secure design' with touch controls for music and calls. You can swipe, touch, and tap to adjust volume, make calls, get assistance, manage your calendar, reply to emails on iOS with the Outlook Mobile app, create to-do's, and control presentations in Windows 10 with PowerPoint. You can swipe up or down to change volume, swipe back or forward to change tracks, or double-tap to pause music and make calls. The size of the earbuds, and that flat design, should make gestures more comfortable on the Surface Earbuds, but the style will not be to everyone's taste.
The PowerPoint integration from the Surface Headphones 2 is also on board here, and seems to fit much better to the true wireless earbuds than the larger, over-ear headphones. All-day battery life is claimed here via the included wireless charging case. You get eight hours on a single charge, with additional charges in the case. There is no active noise canceling on the Surface Earbuds. The Surface Earbuds costs $249.99 in the USA and £199.99 in the UK.