Microsoft debuts Surface Earbuds, a pricey AirPods competitor

Microsoft has just announced its competitor to Apple’s AirPods, the widely anticipated Microsoft Surface Earbuds.

Designed for “all-day comfort and stability,” these true wireless earbuds are aimed at the business world rather than the consumer market, featuring Microsoft Office integration, which can be called upon to dictate text in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and dual-array microphones with background noise reduction to make sure instructions are received accurately.

A tap, tap here and a swipe, swipe there

The Earbuds are also decked out with a huge touch surface for convenient navigation, including the option to double-tap to open Spotify for Android, without even having to reach for your smartphone. Plus, you can use this area to swipe to adjust the volume, sift through tracks, and pause and play, as and when needed — regardless of the music platform you’re using.

Microsoft didn’t detail how long the Earbuds will last on a single charge — a rather odd omission. Instead, all we know is the accompanying charging case bundles just enough juice for an entire day’s worth of use (24 hours). We just don’t know how many times you’ll need to remove the bulky buds from your ears and pop them in the case to squeeze that much life out of them.

Eight hours from a single charge? You betcha

Considering the AirPods 2 last for five hours and are around half the size, we’re hoping the Surface Earbuds will last for around double the duration. But this isn’t quite the case, according to one source. Instead, the buds can stretch to eight hours of use if you’re frugal, before having to take a brief a dip in the charging pool. Still, it’s three hours longer than the AirPods.

Of course, they won’t come cheap

The Microsoft Surface Earbuds will cost $249 when they hit the shelves later this year. That’s $50 more than rival Apple charges for its top-of-the-line AirPods with Wireless Charging Case. Whether they’re worth the extra scratch remains to be seen (you’ll need to wait for our full review to find out), but one thing is for sure: The Surface Earbuds bring more to the table.

There’s still no word on an official release date.

The Surface Earbuds weren’t the only thing announced by Microsoft for its Surface product line. Here’s everything the company debuted at its October 2 event.

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