Microsoft pushes Surface Earbuds release back to spring 2020
Surface Earbuds will miss the crucial holiday shopping season for 2019.
What you need to know
- Microsoft's Surface Earbuds won't ship now until spring 2020.
- Two color options will be available.
- Surface Earbuds are expected to now launch in more markets.
Microsoft's October hardware event brought many new devices to market, but it was Surface Earbuds that had an IOU for release. While the original plan was to have at least the white version of the $250 headphones shipping by holiday season with the gray model coming later, those dates have now shifted.
In a tweet from Surface hardware chief Panos Panay, the release for Surface Earbuds have moved to spring 2020 due to some software tweaks and presumably some manufacturing delays. No specific date in spring has been announced with details coming later.
Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on. To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020 #SurfaceProduct-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on. To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020 #Surface— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) November 21, 2019November 21, 2019
If there is any good news about this delay is that both the white and gray versions should be available at the same time versus a staggered release. Likewise, Microsoft says that because of the delay, Surface Earbuds can launch simultaneously in more markets than initially planned.
Still, with Microsoft missing the crucial "holiday season," especially in North American and European markets, it's hard not to see this as a missed opportunity. Apple has been able to get its new AirPods Pro to stores in just days after its announcement. On the other hand, Google's new $180 Pixel Buds 2 – announced in October – also won't be coming to market until spring 2020 either.
Microsoft's Surface Earbuds are built from the ground up to deliver excellent sound quality through Omnisonic speakers, unique haptic swipe gestures, dual mic array, and a Type-C charging case that delivers up to 24 hours of playback. In a surprising move, the Surface Earbuds also integrate with Office 365 with gestures, dictation, and translation features.
During our brief sampling period at Microsoft's October event, the Surface Earbuds were very comfortable to wear, and the sound quality was quite impressive. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a bit longer to try them out in the real world.
Microsoft's super smart earbuds
The Surface Earbuds will undoubtedly turn some heads when you're out wearing them, but you'll be able to make use of gesture support on Surface and Android hardware.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.