Surface Headphones Availability Starting In November

Posted on October 8, 2018 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 27 Comments

Last week in NYC, Microsoft announced the newest peripheral to the Surface family, Headphones. At that time, the company didn’t announce the availability date but this morning, the company revealed that they will start shipping in November.

If you are willing to pay $349, you can pre-order the headphones starting on November 15th, according to the Microsoft store, with the shipping date being only four days later on the 19th. Considering how close this date was announced after the official unveiling, I’m a bit curious why they didn’t share this information last week.

In my very limited time with the headphones at the NYC event, they were quite comfortable on my head and the noise cancellation technology worked well too. What we don’t have a good sense of yet is if they get hot on your head during extended listening sessions and the audio quality as well.

Microsoft clearly is hoping to up-sell these headphones to anyone who has Surface hardware as they do match the line of PCs perfectly. But, with Bluetooth connectivity, they will work with any PC, Mac, or smartphone.

The premium audio space is crowded and with Microsoft entering the party a bit late, I’ll be curious to see how these headphones sell once they become available.

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Surface Headphones Availability Starting In November”

  1. Avatar

    sevenacids

    One word? Ugly. They look as if they were designed back in the ATARI days, or like some hospital equipment of the 70s. I don't get the point of these: there are established, serious companies for this kind of stuff that can deliver a better product (in all aspects) and more value for the same price. So, why headphones from a cloud company?

  2. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    Now that the embargo is off I've started seeing them in local Starbucks and they look pretty good.

  3. Avatar

    rupertholmes

    A new Windows Phones would sell better than these.

  4. Avatar

    derylmccarty

    dumb question 468.3. Brad, when you had the headset on and were fiddling with the noise cancelling features, I am told that you could chose to emphasize ambient or broadcast sound. Ok, however, I am told that the headphones don't work (yet) with Xbox, but as an interim could you dial the headphone to maximally emphasize the ambient noise - meaning the TV/Xbox movie sound track - and have no internally broadcast sound so that in effect you have a comfortable "hearing aid" for listening to BBC mysteries that speak Cockney, Welsh, Irish or Scottish brogue that seem to be spoken without vowels? Or am I just too damned old? (be careful in answering that last comment, I am a paying customer. Paul, OTOH, is not far behind me and has more latitude.)

  5. Avatar

    PanamaVet

    Do they use a proprietary technology that will stop working when Microsoft decides to stop producing them?

    • Avatar

      mestiphal

      In reply to PanamaVet:

      the last Microsoft peripheral I bought after a couple SideWinders was a cordless phone, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Cordless_Phone_System a few months later I upgraded to WIndows XP and the phone's software was no longer compatible...


      I don't understand the down vote to PanamaVet, it's well known Microsoft only supports a produce while being sold, and will soon cut ties with support and firmware upgrades, they simply expect you to move on and buy something else

  6. Avatar

    waethorn

    I think I used a pair of headphones that looked like that when listening to a cassette deck in the library of my elementary school.

  7. Avatar

    EZAB

    I think the main selling point for these Head (Phones) is Cortana and Skype calls? 4 Microphones? Will it work with a Lumia 950?

  8. Avatar

    Raphaël Nomeron

    Brad, Paul, any hindsight about the reasoning behind these headphones at MS?

  9. Avatar

    marshalltm

    I think this has very little to do with music. I think this is part of the hololens development in public that Brad has talked about.


    I assume that Cortana is the voice interaction with Microsoft productivity functions.


    Using these headphones with a workstation.


    "Cortana center text and increase font size to 24" to create a title on a word document.


    These types of voice commands are critical for Hololens, but will be useful for workstations too. Obviously computers already have microphones and speakers, but the noise of ten people having conversations with their computers in a cubicle farm is a problem. Hence the volume and active noise canceling controls.


    $350 is a lot of money, but not as much in comparison to a SfB or teams phone handset and adds the hololens capabilities of voice communication to an existing desktop.

  10. Avatar

    jaredthegeek

    So its true that they do not work with the Xbox. What a misstep. They put out their own premium headphones and do not make them work with the largest group who would be interested in them. Why would I spend $300 on headphones with Cortana integration in them that will work great with my computer and be regular headphones with my phone.

  11. Avatar

    Bats

    This headset is great for a Surface user, who wants to be seen using an expensive Surface Studio or Pro/Go/Laptop/Book. It has that "I am ALL IN with Microsoft look" and makes the user feel geeky. 


    These are the problems, that I have with these headphones:


    1) Plain looking. When someone puts something on their body for a significant time period, that person wants to achieve a certain look. Of couse, this is a subjective feeling, but after looking at those headphones.....nah, not for me. As a working professional, I wouldn't be caught with those. I would rather be caught wearing overrated Bose, than that.


    2) Expensive. In addition to #1 (above), it costs too much. See #3..


    3) It's by Microsoft. For that price and With Microsoft's problem with Qaulity Assurance and Standards,....no, just no.


    3a) It's by Microsoft. If this thing doesn't sell, Microsoft will abandon it. At the current asking price, I wouldn't dream of buying it. If Microsoft wants to get into the headphone business, they should've developed one for a selling price of $100. Start small and then go big.


    To paraphrase Paul Thurrott, "Why $349 headphone? You're just Microsoft." I say this knowing that I am not going to buy these headphones, unlike Thurrott who said that for the Pixel, but he had plans to buy it.


    Look, I am sure these headphones sound great. However, I don't need to spend $349 for that. Cortana built-in is a "nothing" feature that is meaningless. I believe Bose sells a headphone set that has the Google Assistant and I have heard nothing about it. It's not important. Moreso, with Cortana built-in because the virtual assistant is useless anyway.


    For anyone wanting to buy these headphones, I would just wait till the price drops significantly. Perhaps down to $50 to $100, which then I would recommend to strike. For that price, people should just buy a premium audiophile real headphones.

  12. Avatar

    prjman

    I prefer my headphones to come from - headphone manufacturers. Having a windows logo on your equipment is the equivalent of having an AOL email address nowadays. Not exactly a badge of honor.

  13. Avatar

    jbinaz

    These will be a great buy when they end up getting price slashed to $175 the way the Harmon Kardon Invoke did.

  14. Avatar

    North of 49th

    Brad, if you do get a review unit I would be curious how well the microphone works. While it's true that a lot of good quality headphones exist in this space, finding a noise canceling wireless headset with good call quality challenges most manufacturers.


  15. Avatar

    mrdrwest

    When's the product's cancellation date...after the marketing test...w/o adverstisements?

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