What you need to know
- The Surface Earbuds have a new firmware update.
- The update brings the ability to turn the aptX codec on or off.
- When the aptX codec is off, the Surface Earbuds use the SBC codec.
Microsoft's Surface Earbuds have a new update that brings just a single change. Following the update to version 220.127.116.11, the Surface Earbuds now let you turn the aptX codec on or off.
Microsoft's support page (opens in new tab) for the Surface Earbuds outlines the change, which can also be found below.
|Firmware version||Update info|
|18.104.22.168||Enables an option within the Surface Audio app that allows the ability to turn on or off using the aptX codec. When turned off, Surface Earbuds will use the SBC codec.|
If you turn the aptX codec off on the Surface Earbuds, the buds will use the SBC codec instead.
The update for the Surface Earbuds should be available now.
Microsoft's super smart earbuds
Surface Earbuds have an excellent, albeit unique, design that is comfortable for all-day wear. However, incredibly good audio and exceptional battery life may not be enough to justify $200 compared to more affordable options.
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
But, why though?
Maybe SBC gives you better battery life?
the battery life for the Surface Earbuds are among the best so there's no real need to turn off aptX.
probably less susceptible to dropouts, due to lower data usage. Bluetooth sucks as it shares bandwidth with 2.4ghz wifi. I frequently get dropouts using LDAC with my Sony wi-1000x, with a phone only a couple of feet away... using my 5ghz wifi helps some, but it still struggles
Is that good? Thanks, I think.
first off, I love love love my Surface Earbuds. I've owned them since they were released. But I'd like to give a warning to potential buyers. Now, I'm a pretty abusive owner. I drop EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. I've dropped the Surface Buds so many times that a cookie jar would be full. And they work still great. HOWEVER, I've also dropped the Surface Earbuds charging case many many times too. And this case is responsible for turning off and on the Surface Earbuds. So what i've noticed now is that my Surface Earbuds will wake up while still in the charging case. And when it wakes up, it connects to my phone. And unfortunately, at times when I don't want to use them (to the point where sometimes I turn off Bluetooth to prevent them from connecting). So the solution is to open case and then snap it shut which will shut down the earbuds. This only happens when I jostle the case like when I'm driving and the case with earbuds are in the car. If it's sitting on a desk, it won't wake. I'm not trying to say that this will happen to you. But try to be nice to your charging case.
I suspect another reason for this is because of the delay introduced with standard aptX. Falling back to SBC would avoid this problem if it's really a problem for the user.
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.