Surface Earbuds available May 12 in 24 markets with lower $199 price

Surface Earbuds Hero Box
Surface Earbuds Hero Box (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Surface Earbuds go on sale May 12 in Microsoft's online stores in 24 markets.
  • The price has been reduced from $249 to $199
  • Earbuds provide up to 8 hours of usage, and 24 hours with the charging case.

After being delayed in November to spring the Microsoft Surface Earbuds are finally coming to market. As expected, the earbuds will be available globally in 24 markets through Microsoft's online store. The price has also dropped from $249 to a more reasonable $199 as a likely response to the competition.

The Microsoft Surface Earbuds are for a specific demographic with some unique differentiators. While there is no noise canceling (active or passive) with Surface Earbuds, that is by design. Microsoft sees these headphones as an accessory for the working professional who an all-day work experience with music, calls, and even presentations in the office.

Surface Earbuds Box Case

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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.

Some of the gestures were already revealed in a recent FCC filing. Those gestures include tap, touch, and swipe. Users can swipe up or down to change the volume. Swipe back or forward to change tracks and double-tap to pause music and make calls.

A new triple-tap on either earbud automatically launches Spotify on Android phones. And on iOS, users can use the new Play My Emails in the Outlook mobile app (US only), a feature that is coming to Android phones soon.

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CategorySurface Earbuds
DimensionsEach earbud: 0.98" (25 mm) x 0.78" (19.9 mm)
Charging case2.96" (75 mm) x 1.31" (33.2 mm) x 0.98" (25 mm)
Weight Each earbud7.2g with ear tip
Charging case40g without earbuds
Exterior ColorGlacier
Frequency response20 –20 kHz
MicrophoneTwo microphones per earbud
Speaker13.6mm driver
Battery lifeUp to 24 hours battery with included charging caseUp to eight hours of continuous listening per chargeA 10-minute charge provides up to one hour of battery life
CordUSB-A to USB-C cord (1 meter)
Audio codecsSBC and aptX
Waterproof ratingIPX4
CompatibilityWindows 10, Android 4.4, iPhone 5, iOS9, Bluetooth 4.1/4.2
ControlsTouch, tap, swipe, voice
WarrantyOne-year limited hardware warranty

In a surprising move, the Surface Earbuds also integrate with Office 365 with gestures, dictation, and translation features.

Pairing is also effortless with support for Swift Pair in Windows 10 and Fast Pair with Android phones. The feature lets users connect the Surface Earbuds with one tap by merely placing the charging case near a Surface PC or phone.

Surface Earbuds Case

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft has a lot of competition in this space, especially with Google just launching its well-received Google Pixel Buds 2020, which are $20 cheaper. But those buds also have three-hour less battery life and may not be as comfortable as the new Surface Earbuds.

Surface Earbuds go on sale May 12 in Microsoft's online stores in 24 markets. Although they are launching in "glacier" white initially, the darker gray versions are expected to come at a later date.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.