It seems like every company with even a toe dipped into the audio world has a pair of AirPod alternatives nowadays. However, it’s not every day that one of Apple’s top competitors unveils a pair that might actually stand up to scrutiny. But that’s exactly what’s happened today with Microsoft’s true wireless Surface Earbuds.
With their large, flat exterior, the Surface Earbuds certainly look a bit strange when compared to the competition. But there’s a reason for the flat disk: it’s actually an intuitive haptic control pad activated by the user’s touch. And while there’s clearly usefulness with music and calls — like being able to switch songs, answer the phone, or change the volume without having to take your smartphone out of your pocket — the greater benefit is that these earbuds have Microsoft Office 365 integration. That means you can also use them to navigate slideshows and PowerPoint presentations, amongst other things, on top of normal audio usage. The brand is also bragging immersive, premium “omnisonic” sound; eight hours of operational time per charge (up from Apple’s five); and a charging case that stretches operational time to 24 hours. The Microsoft Surface Earbuds are priced at $249 with availability coming soon.