Microsoft launches Surface Headphones 2 with ANC, improved battery life
Shubham Verma May 7, 2020
Microsoft dropped several products on Wednesday, including the much-rumoured Surface Go 2 tablet and Surface Book 3 laptop. But there were more products that have also been in the pipeline. Microsoft has announced the Surface Headphones 2 with better features but the same design. The latest headphones from Microsoft are, in some way, an answer to Apple's Beats range of headphones. The second-generation Surface Headphones cost $249.99 and bring very little as improvements over the predecessor.
The Surface Headphones 2 feature active-noise cancellation, much like the prequel, where you can adjust the level of ANC between 1 and 13. The ear cups support gesture-based volume control and media playback. There is a power button, a mute button, volume dial on the right ear cup, and the noise cancellation dial on the left ear cup. The headphones have fingertip controls to adjust the ANC level. The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 come in Light Grey and a new Matte Black colour option, which is the only major change from the last generation's headphones design-wise.
Much like the previous version, the new Surface Headphones are claimed to deliver Omnisonic sound. The frequency response on the Surface Headphones 2 is between 20Hz and 20kHz on the 40mm Free Edge driver. The Active Noise Cancellation is supported up to 30dB while the passive noise cancellation goes a little higher at up to 40dB. There is a USB connector and a 3.5mm audio connector on the Surface Headphones 2, as well. Microsoft's Surface Headphones 2 are supported on Windows 10, iOS, Android, and macOS platforms, but connection seamless will, of course, be better on Windows 10.
Microsoft is touting a battery life of up to 20 hours with noise cancellation turned on when music is played over Bluetooth. Of course, the headphones can be used to take calls. It has said you can get about an hour of music playback with a five-minute charge.
The Surface Headphones have been upgraded to support Qualcomm's aptX codec on the second-generation models. Previously, the headphones only supported the standard SBC codec, which is not efficient to play out various intricacies in music. Microsoft is also touting Office integration on the Surface Headphones 2, depending on the availability of an active Microsoft 365 subscription. The Surface Headphones 2 can take dictation from you for Office apps, in addition to summoning the digital assistant (Cortana) on Windows 10 laptops.