Last week Microsoft opened (after initially announcing back in November 2019) the availability of their new Surface EarBuds.
My Earbuds arrived today and I’m already really impressed (ok I love the Surface brand) – and I hope this blog will gives you a good summary and justifies why I’d recommend you go and grab a pair
Spoiler…. They work with any device, feature gesture controls not buttons, have fantastic battery life and work with any digital assistant…
I managed to pick there up direct from the Microsoft Store for £179 including delivery (Microsoft are currently offering a discount of 10% for teachers, parents, NHS and armed forces)!
Look and Feel
Microsoft’s new Surface Earbuds look quite big on first look (compared to say Apple’s) but I love the them.. They look very pretty “Surface”.
The charging case is sleek and protects them when not in use as well as keeping the charge topped up.
In Ear Feel
So they do look a little big when you first get them out the box and pop them in (I’m used to wearing Platronics 8200 headset so the buds are bigger than what I am used too). After 4 hours though, I had forgotten I was wearing them at all. – They fit really well but Microsoft also supply removable tips in three sizes: small, medium and large. The medium ones were fine for me.
Pairing is simple and can be done like pairing any other Bluetooth device but you can also use the new Surface Audio app which is available across all the 3 app stores.
Pairing is initiated using the pairing button on the bottom of the case and really is oneclick. If you are using the latest Windows10 built the Bluetooth quick pair works seemlessly.
As soon as mine were connected the Surface Audio app popped up and told me there was a firmware update to install which took about 5 mins.
OK, so 4 hours in… Good. Really good.. but a little more bass would have been nice..
With some random #spotify lockdown songs playing, sound was good. Immersive, good mix of bass, mids and treble (if fact bass was better than I expected), though a little bit more bass would have been nice..
Being on COVID-19 lockdown, I don’t get much background noise at the moment. It’s worth pointing out that Surface earbuds do not have active noise cancellation, but I found that because the Surface Earbuds fit snug into my ear I don’t imagine this will be too much of a problem.
The EarBuds have dual microphones per bud and seem to be really good at only picking up the sound you want them too (me). On a Teams call earlier today, my attendees said said they could hear me clearly.
Controls and gestures:
One of the coolest features of the Surface Earbuds is its extensive app integration (not just Cortana). With a triple tap, you can open Spotify and then you can tap or swipe to increase the volume, skip tracks or summon your preferred digital assistant with a 5 second press. These controls also work with other apps… Netflix, Disney Plus..etc
The smooth, flat surface of the Surface Earbuds has perfect senstivity, so even a light tap works. Once I had practices a few times my success rate of using gestures to perform tasks was almost 100%.
Personally, I love that Microsoft opted for gestures rather than buttons, which I think would have ruined the feel and pleasure in using these buds… No one likes pressing a large plastic gadget into ones ears!
Microsoft 365 Integration
Being Surface, these are supported by Microsoft 365 apps and can be used transcribe text in Word use live translation in PowerPoint as your present. You can also use these to read your emails in in Outlook on iOS and soon Android too.
That said… I can’t see anything that you can’t do with any other headsets….
According to Microsoft, Surface Earbuds will last 8 hours on a charge, which is among the longest battery life of any wireless earbuds currently available.
The charging case also holds another 24 hours worth of charge, or three full charges.
Mine have been playing to themselves for 5 hrs so far and have just over 30% battery left.
Out and about (test drive)
No strange looks at least.. Certainly different from the apple pods but I really like them. Comfy and don’t feel like they will fall out anytime soon. Sound was good and battery lasted all day..
Couple of days in but love them. Some may criticise the larger pod design when compared to apple for example but it works really well and is needed for guesture control which is really nice and unique. These really feel premium and what I what expect from a device carry the Surface brand.
- Intuitive gesture controls
- Great feel in your ears
- Crisp, sharp and loud sound
- Excellent battery life.
- Microsoft 365 integration. (but not unique to Surface devices)
Keen to know your experience..
Thanks for reading.