Microsoft enters the high-end audio market with the $350 'Surface Headphones'
The Headphones will launch later this year for US residentsBy Cohen Coberly 21 comments
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