Microsoft enters the high-end audio market with the $350 'Surface Headphones'

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Microsoft's Surface event is underway, and we've already covered a few of Microsoft's more predictable product announcements. As you'd expect, the company has already unveiled updated versions of its Surface Book, Surface Pro, and Surface Studio devices, each with their own hardware and design improvements.

However, Microsoft had a bit of a trick up its sleeve: the "Surface Headphones."

As the relatively-straightforward name implies, the Surface Headphones are a pair of Microsoft-branded headphones with a simple, all-white aesthetic. This design lends credence to Microsoft's claim that the Headphones are ideal for just about anything, whether it's working in a more subdued office environment, traveling on the plane or train, or quietly sitting at home listening to music.

Without trying the device for myself, I can't comment on how comfortable it may be. However, based on the video and images we've seen so far, the Surface Headphones seem to have some pretty well-cushioned earcups.

Design aside, the Surface Headphones boast active and passive noise cancellation; up to 3dB for the former and up to 4dB for the latter. According to Microsoft, the headphones are very lightweight, coming in at about 0.64lb. The Headphones are also entirely wireless, with 15 hours of battery life. Though that number isn't quite as high as some other wireless headsets on the market, Microsoft's device can reach its full charge in "less than" 2 hours via a USB-C charging cable.

Microsoft wants to make its Surface Headphones stand out with a few interesting features. For starters, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation the device offers by simply rotating a dial on the headphones' exterior. Additionally, pausing or playing audio is as easy as taking the headphones off your head or putting them on; it seems they'll automatically detect the movement.

Furthermore, the device will feature built-in Cortana support. Just say "Hey Cortana," and the virtual assistant will begin speaking directly into your ears. In other words, your dreams of becoming Master Chief can finally become a reality.

If Microsoft's foray into high-end headphones sounds like your cup of tea, the Surface Headphones will be available to US residents later this year for $350. Microsoft isn't taking pre-orders for the devices yet, but future buyers can sign up to be notified via email when they go on sale. The Surface Headphones will ship with a USB-C charging cable and a dedicated carrying case.

Image courtesy Cnet

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p51d007

TS Evangelist
Expensive headphones...they MUST be good or they wouldn't charge that much for them. LOL
You want good headphones, just skip all the junk and buy a moderate price one.
Considering the garbage on the air today, it's not like you are listening to quit passages of Mozart or anything like that.
 

onestepforward

TS Booster
From what I am reading elsewhere, this seems to be the current situation, though further info is required:
1. It is unclear whether or not the new Surface devices have a headphone jack.
2. Surface devices do not have USB-C.
3. Surface headphones only have USB-C (and BlueTooth).
4. There is no dongle to connect from USB-C on the headphones to the headphone jack or proprietary connector of a Surface.

Wow!
 
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cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
The price is certainly high end. If they are anything like the MS mouse, they are $70 in quality. That would be a $7 mouse with a $35 price tag.
 
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The Truth

TS Rookie
Think Zune, think Windows Phone, think RT, think Xbox camera, etc., etc. I do not trust MS to commit to anything hardware. I personally would purchase the Sony 1000XM3, which blow these away and is supported. And, they are not UGLY.
 

Panda218

TS Evangelist
I don't understand why everyone is saying these are UGLY. They look like nearly every other headphone on the market, but grey. The controls look really badass, but I'll stick to my Sony 1000XM2's for now.

I think they look great!
 
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Nitrotoxin

TS Addict
From what I am reading elsewhere, this seems to be the current situation, though further info is required:
1. It is unclear whether or not the new Surface devices have a headphone jack.
2. Surface devices do not have USB-C.
3. Surface headphones only have USB-C (and BlueTooth).
4. There is no dongle to connect from USB-C on the headphones to the headphone jack or proprietary connector of a Surface.

Wow!
Blue Tooth then, I wonder how they sound.
 

EClyde

TS Evangelist
I have had more headphone then I can count over the last 50+ years. The ones I have now are $50 jobs, comfortable, sound is to my liking and came with useless(almost) software. Corsair HS60. They was free and I prefer them to my free $300 jobs
 

Nitrotoxin

TS Addict
I have had more headphone then I can count over the last 50+ years. The ones I have now are $50 jobs, comfortable, sound is to my liking and came with useless(almost) software. Corsair HS60. They was free and I prefer them to my free $300 jobs
I use the HS70's they sound really good!
 

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