While we expected the most of the hardware Microsoft announced today, the company still had a couple of surprises up its sleeve. The first was a follow-up to the Surface Studio, but the second was even more unexpected. As it turns out, Microsoft is making a pair of headphones. These aren’t just any headphones, however; they’re smart headphones.
These headphones come with Cortana built-in, but if you were expecting earbuds like Apple’s Earpods or Google’s Pixel Buds, you’re in for another surprise. As you can see from the image above, these are actually over-the-ear headphones. That means they’ll be shipping with some impressive features, such as noise cancellation that can be adjusted on-the-fly by spinning one of the on-ear dials.
The Surface Headphones will automatically pause when they’re taken off and resume playback when they’re put back on. As you probably expected, they come with built-in microphones that allow for hands-free calling and talking with Cortana. Microsoft says that they feature “13 levels of ambient noise control,” that uses four beam-forming mics and four active noise cancelling mics – two of each for each ear.
They sound like an impressive pair of headphones, so we can probably expect them to cost a pretty penny, right? That’s apparently news for a later date, as Microsoft didn’t announce a price for these headphones today. With its feature list in mind, though, we probably shouldn’t count on them being cheap.
Also unknown is when these headphones will launch. Microsoft didn’t give a specific release date for the Surface Headphones either, and unlike the other Surface-branded products announced today, these aren’t available for pre-order yet. Microsoft says that the Surface Headphones will be here in time for the holidays, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more. Stay tuned.