Microsoft Delays Surface Earbuds to Spring 2020

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Music + Videos with 18 Comments

Microsoft revealed today that Surface Earbuds won’t ship until Spring 2020. The good news? They’re adding a white color option too.

“Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay tweeted. “To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020.”

Microsoft announced Surface Earbuds at its October hardware event. At the time, it said that it would ship the in-ear headphones this holiday season, and that they would cost $250. They are very much the product I said that Microsoft should make back in January, when it was only offering the large, over-the-ear Surface Headphones.

Unfortunately, they will not arrive in time.

Now, Surface Earbuds will ship in Spring 2020—so possibly as late as June—and they will come in both the originally announced gray color and in white. I assume the price hasn’t changed.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Microsoft Delays Surface Earbuds to Spring 2020”

  1. legend

    Thanks Paul! What about the black color? ?

  2. SenorGravy

    It seems Microsoft is missing an opportunity not putting their Logo on that big blank space.

  3. jamesthompson2004

    I tried them at Ignite. Interesting concept, not a huge fan of what I saw/heard.


    Keeping in mind they were pre-release devices:


    Pros:

    Feels more secure than Air Pods. It still has that little “sticky-in” nubs, but the backs push a bit against your ear, sort of filling the ear space (what is that area of your ear called?) to lock them in place better.


    Sound was decent with the demo music they had playing on the demo Surfaces using Spotify.


    Cons:

    Bluetooth was very artifacty. It sounded like too much musical JPG, but with moments of clarity.


    It’s still that “kind of sticks in your ear” nub like Air Pods. Realizing it’s 100% personal preference, I can’t stand that kind of ear bud. They really should be true in-ears like Air Pods Pro.


    No noise canceling. Inexcusable for a $250 pair of ear buds.

  4. nbplopes

    Do you guys believe that they would not have a clue if the thing would get to the shops a month before?


    This was never delayed in my opinion . It was planned for spring all the time. The only reason I can see why they told it would be here for Christmas is to manipulate you towards interest and expectation considering the announcements of contenders. If you actually sum up the Panos Panay presentation with the exception of Surface Laptop 2 he had nothing to show for. Nothing, zilch nada. The Christmas vaporware!!!!


    You will understand this as time passes by Yes probably all will come ... some day.


    The same old MS strategy. And people fall for it over and over.



  5. robotraccoon

    I got to try a set of these out for about 30 seconds. The swiping touch controls on the ...surface... didn't work so great. They sounded okay-good, and they weighed a lot less than I thought they would.

  6. bbold

    I figured this would happen, since the shipping date has been greyed out ever since they were announced. Wasn't there a black option also coming? Are all three being released at once? I'd planned on buying a pair but I really want the black buds. MS... late to the game as usual. Maybe Panos is taking the extra time to make the buds smaller, since many have complained in the media that they are way too large to be aesthetically pleasing?

  7. MachineGunJohn

    Yeah missing noise cancellation in 2020 in a premium priced bud is a non-starter and that was clear over a year ago. Some serious personnel changes need to take place on the surface hardware teams, at least at the decision making level. Massive bezels, no fast charging over usbc or 5g, ridiculously low memory limits on laptops, etc. These are no longer the example flagships we want other vendors to emulate, much less tech leaders to aspire to. And no news about moving production out of China, inexcusable. Much more of what was previewed should have been delayed for redesign. Looking to you Panos to step up leadership and put the surface brand back in front. Relying on emotional presentations and marketing in an attempt to distract from the technical shortcomings is not a good look for the brand or ms as a whole. If you let it happen again it may prove unrecoverable.

  8. james_rainey

    Unless they bring something superior to the table, I fail to see the point. Best Sound? Best Noise Reduction? Best Call Quality (focus here, Microsoft, Plantronics 5200 level, please).

  9. tboggs13

    Doesn't make sense to me considering the gray ones look very white to me. Making it bright white would seem to be going the wrong direction. I think they really need to release sticker packs with these. I know it's targeted at "office" workers, but I am thinking the type of office workers that are about trends. Being able to personalize them could make them a surprise hit within certain markets.

  10. Cory Spencer

    Interesting, same time frame as Google's Pixel Buds. Wonder if there is a play to make them more feature rich with Android.

  11. Rob_Wade

    I'm pretty confident these will fail. No matter the color.

    • jwpear

      In reply to Rob_Wade:

      Despite the down votes, I tend to agree. They’re massive and ugly. I can’t see anyone but an irrational Microsoft/Surface fan buying these. There are better wireless buds. I hope they tweak the design to make them more attractive. I certainly want to see them succeed.

  12. ngc224

    Weren’t the white earbuds going to be released first, then the black (gray) ones later?

  13. ghostrider

    Did the Surface headphones sell enough to warrant something like this, or is MS just playing the 'me too' game? I don't think products like this are about anything else than brand awareness. MS have almost zero audio heritage, so audiophiles aren't going to be lining up, and MS don't have a mobile platform to match them to. I guess it's down to Surface owners to stump up a (very high) amount of cash then, so they can have buds to match their overpriced 2-in-1's.

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