Mircosoft has recently revealed its Surface Laptop, but apart for it the company has also announced Surface Headphones which comes at a price of $349 approx.
The Surface Headphones have four active noise cancelling mics, and the feature even has its own mechanical dial allowing you to pick from 13 levels of intensity. At its most powerful, the headphones can attenuate sound up to 40 dB. Turn the dial all the way around, and they actually provide a slight boost to ambient sound to better hear your environment say, if you want to listen to music and still be aware of your surroundings.
Another four beam forming microphones handle your voice during calls Cortana is on board as well while a dial on the opposite earcup controls volume. The cups are also touch sensitive for playback control. As for battery, the headphones are rated for 15 hours with Bluetooth and noise cancelling on. There’s a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm jack should the battery run out.
Hopefully all these fancy features translate to sound worth their price tag. Microsoft is using 40mm drivers ‘Free Edge’ drivers relatively rare in the headphone world – but I’m concerned with the lack of any audiophile oriented Bluetooth codecs. There’s no AptX, AAC, or LDAC, at least one of which I expect standard on $349 headphones.
Microsoft says it’s running a high quality implementation of SBC and can add other codecs in the future through firmware, but it’s still an odd move given this price bracket includes tough competition like Sony’s audiophile-worthy WH-1000XM3.
Now the company hasn’t confirmed when the Headphones will be available but we expect that it will arrive very soon.