Surface Headphones Hands-On: Dial It Louder

NEW YORK - The least expected announcement at Microsoft's event today was a pair of headphones. But the Surface team is coming for Bose and other luxury headphone makers with its new pair of cans. The headphones are $349, but release dates were not announced.

In my short time with the Surface Headphones, I found them to be immensely comfortable. The ear cushions felt soft and luxurious, and the 0.6-pound headset felt light on my head. Music streaming from Spotify on a nearby Surface Pro 6 was loud and clear through the 40mm speaker, though the bass could have been slightly more distinct (I look forward to trying the headset when not in an intensely crowded room). My only big issue with the design at first glance is that it only comes in platinum color, like the Surface Pro. I wish it came in the same new black color as the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6.

Each cup has a dial; on the right you can adjust the volume, while the left side lets you change the noise cancellation level (up to 30dB for active noise-cancellation, up to 40dB for passive). The ear cups are touch sensitive, and you can use them to invoke Cortana.

Additionally, the headset uses four beam-forming microphones for calls (Microsoft says the Surface Headphones are designed for Skype), and for invoking Cortana, though that didn't work well in the loud press room.

Microsoft is claiming up to 15 hours of battery life on the Surface Headphones. It charges over USB Type-C and uses fast-charging to get an hour of music playback after just five minutes plugged in.

And while the Surface Headphones are designed for Windows 10, it also pairs via Bluetooth with iOS, Android and macOS devices. In the box, there's an attractive gray carrying case and an audio cable for when you want to listen over a wired connection.

9 comments
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  • Lucky_SLS
    We can get a gaming mice, mechanical keyboard and a 7.1 headset for 350 bucks! No thanks ms
  • g-unit1111
    Seriously? I paid $799 for my Surface! $350 for headphones is literally half of the cost of the unit itself. No thanks.
  • rbarone69
    I hate how everyone complains about the price. Why bother posting? You clearly have never tried these headphones to even comment on the $350 tag.

    These headphones seem to be aimed at competing with the Sony 1000XM2 and Bose QuietComfort 35. If the cancellation works nearly as well as the Sony headphones (which I own) and are as comfortable as the Bose, they'll have a place.
  • Lucky_SLS
    ^ when u can get a sennheiser 58X from massdrop for 150 bucks, would you still go for a 350 buck alternative?
  • rbarone69
    If price is a big concern and not needing ANC, then I would not go for the cheaper one. It would be ignorant of me to comment on "if it's worth it" without trying them both out :)
  • g-unit1111
    83715 said:
    If price is a big concern and not needing ANC, then I would not go for the cheaper one. It would be ignorant of me to comment on "if it's worth it" without trying them both out :)


    It's worth it!!!!! Buy it!!!! Because who cares about having a savings account? YOLO!!!! :lol:
  • anort3
    2381310 said:
    ^ when u can get a sennheiser 58X from massdrop for 150 bucks, would you still go for a 350 buck alternative?


    Because the 58X don't have noise cancelling nor are they even close to the last word in sound quality. ;)
  • g-unit1111
    83715 said:
    I hate how everyone complains about the price. Why bother posting? You clearly have never tried these headphones to even comment on the $350 tag. These headphones seem to be aimed at competing with the Sony 1000XM2 and Bose QuietComfort 35. If the cancellation works nearly as well as the Sony headphones (which I own) and are as comfortable as the Bose, they'll have a place.


    Well there's arguments both for and against the high price tag. And we've seen that argument made with a lot of the higher priced goods that have been coming around lately, like the RTX 2080TI and the iPhone Xr. Sure, there's reasons why you would want a $1400 phone or a $1,000 GPU and there's reasons why you wouldn't.

    The thing I don't get is, feature wise, they really don't bring anything new to the table. And if it's branding they're going for (which to me it seems like the case here) then there's also far more reputable audio brands out there with headphones that are comparably priced that have better quality and are much more practical to own.

    Obviously Microsoft is trying to compete with Apple and their Beats line. But even the most high end top of the line Beats models are currently retailing for around the $200 mark. Which one do you think is going to sell more?
  • anort3
    537231 said:
    83715 said:
    I hate how everyone complains about the price. Why bother posting? You clearly have never tried these headphones to even comment on the $350 tag. These headphones seem to be aimed at competing with the Sony 1000XM2 and Bose QuietComfort 35. If the cancellation works nearly as well as the Sony headphones (which I own) and are as comfortable as the Bose, they'll have a place.
    Well there's arguments both for and against the high price tag. And we've seen that argument made with a lot of the higher priced goods that have been coming around lately, like the RTX 2080TI and the iPhone Xr. Sure, there's reasons why you would want a $1400 phone or a $1,000 GPU and there's reasons why you wouldn't. The thing I don't get is, feature wise, they really don't bring anything new to the table. And if it's branding they're going for (which to me it seems like the case here) then there's also far more reputable audio brands out there with headphones that are comparably priced that have better quality and are much more practical to own. Obviously Microsoft is trying to compete with Apple and their Beats line. But even the most high end top of the line Beats models are currently retailing for around the $200 mark. Which one do you think is going to sell more?


    As said above these are most likely aimed at the Sony 1000XM2 and Bose QC 35 both of which deliver near audiophile sound as well as having noise cancelling technology. People that buy Beats either 1) Don't know any better or 2) Buy for the fashion statement.