In what could be a response to Apple's AirPods, Microsoft has launched its own product named the Surface Earbuds, a recent addition to the Surface Headphone series. The new product was unveiled during the company’s October 2019 event keynote.
Microsoft went all out in the creation of the wireless earbuds, which can be seen in its sturdy look and the addition of more features, all in a bid to relegate the AirPod to the background. Of course, these upgrades don't come for free; users will feel their effect on their pricing.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Surface Earbuds are expected to hit the stores before the end of 2019, and they will cost $249.
Included in its pack are two Surface Earbuds, silicon ear tips, which come in three sizes and a charger.
In a side by side comparison with another market force, the Apple AirPods, the price of the Surface Earbuds is 25% higher than AirPods that have a wireless charger and over 36% more expensive than AirPods that come with a regular charger.
The Appearance and Feel of The Surface Earbuds
The makers of the Surface Earbuds really put a lot of thought into its design, knowing fully well that everybody has a different taste as to how an earpiece should feel in their ears. With this in mind, the Surface Earbuds comes with three different ear tip sizes, namely small, medium, and large, so that each customer can get a comfortable fit for their ears.
With that out of the way, there is another aspect to the Earbuds that cannot be ignored, and that is its size. They are big for an average earpiece, but are they really average? Perhaps that's why they had to come in such a scale to pass a clear message. No one really knows what went on during the brainstorming sessions.
Another observation is the size of its charger; it also joins the 'big league.' Unlike that of AirPods that can easily fit into your pocket, the Earbud's charger should be kept in a bag for the comfort of everyone involved.
The weight of the Surface Earbuds is a bit more compared to the AirPods, but with the customizable fit, it can be somewhat lessened. Also, the earbud doesn't make its way too deep into your ear canal to hurt you; rather, it stays in place just fine for your enjoyment.
The Overall Performance
There are two microphones in each of the Earbuds which act as noise cancelation agents during phone calls or the usual conversation with any digital assistant. The Earbuds cannot exceed 108 decibels even when it is at the highest volume, a safety measure put in place by Microsoft to prevent all potential ear damage to users.
The more you explore the Earbuds, the more you get to see more of its features and trust me, you can't help but love it. The caps on the Earbuds are sensitive to touch, which means that the user can tap and swipe it to perform various functions.
If you wish to lower or raise the volume, simply swipe up or down, and each swipe has the capacity to cause a volume change by about seven points. At the same time, wiping forward skips ahead while swiping backward skips to the previous tracks. When you double-tap the surface, you'll either pause or play the audio, and last but not the least, a finger held to either of the Earbuds calls up your chosen digital assistant.
In case you're wondering if the Surface Earbuds will be selective in the devices, it will support, then put your fear to rest because the Earbuds support the major platforms in existence. They include Windows 10, Android devices with both the new versions and old ones like version 4.4, Apple devices with iOS 9 and above, and Bluetooth 4.1 or 4.2.
Microsoft has also disclosed that a Surface Earbuds app will be launched for both the Android and iPhone operating systems to manage the long-press function on their devices, which summons Google Assistant and Siri, respectively.
The gestures are not challenging to figure out; even a manual is not all that necessary. Yes, it's that easy. Users may only need a few minutes to get used to their functions, and then it is fun time all the way.
How Long Can The Surface Earbuds Battery Last?
The Surface Earbuds have the capacity to work throughout the day, a full 24 hours battery life but eight hours at a time. This means there will be more than enough playtime for users without constant breaks in between to recharge due to low battery.
In comparison, not only does the Apple AirPods have lesser gesture control, in the sense that they only have tap functions, they also fall short in playtime, offering only five hours of play at a time, though having the same 24 hours of battery life like the Surface Earbuds.
Microsoft knows that the only way to succeed in this market is to bring out a product that can either beat the Apple AirPods or compete equally with it, and with the Surface Earbuds, it did just that. Not only can the Earbuds be used on several devices, but they are also bigger, stronger, longer-lasting, and have more features than AirPods.
Anyway, it is not all glamour with the Surface Earbuds as there are issues that people have complained about like its weight and its tendency to be very noticeable, even more than AirPods. Also, the price tag on the device is on the high side, and it is generally less portable compared to Apple AirPods.