Surface Headphones 2 get new black color, better battery life, and Bluetooth 5

Surface Headphones 2 Black
Surface Headphones 2 Black (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced the Surface Headphones 2 today.
  • The successor to the original Surface Headphones brings Bluetooth 5, a black color option, aptX support, and more.
  • Surface Headphones go up for preorder today for $250 and will become available on May 12.

After months of rumors, Microsoft's new Surface Headphones 2 are finally here. The company unveiled the followup to the original Surface Headphones alongside a number of new Surface devices today, including the new Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2.

The Surface Headphones 2 look very much like the original Surface Headphones, but Microsoft has made a number of improvements that make them a more attractive buy. Most notably, there's now a matte black color option, which joins the original light gray color. This has been a major request from Surface fans for a while, particularly as Microsoft has adopted matte black across the rest of the Surface lineup.

Beyond the new color option, Microsoft has amped up just about every other aspect of the original Surface Headphones. The company says you'll now get up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, and you'll be able to get a full charge in under two hours. The Surface Headphones 2 can also give you nearly an hour of playback with just five minutes of charging.

The noise cancellation, which Microsoft has tuned to work especially well for office settings by focusing on blocking human voices, is back. It's adjustable as well, with 13 levels of noise cancellation that can be tweaked, along with the volume, by the adjustable on-ear dials.

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CategorySurface Headphones 2
Frequency response20–20kHz
Noise cancellationUp to 30 dB for active noise cancellationUp to 40 dB for passive noise cancellation
Speaker40mm Free Edge speaker
Sound pressure level outputUp to 115 dB (1kHz, 1Vrms via cable connector with power on)Up to 115 dB (1kHz, 0dBFS over Bluetooth connection)
ChargingFull charge in less than 2 hours
BatteryUp to 20 hours (with music playback over Bluetooth, ANC on)
InputsUSB-C connector3.5mm audio connector
Buttons / ControlsPower button, Mute button, Volume dial (right ear), Noise Cancellation dial (left ear), Touch interface on both ear cups
CompatibilityWindows 10, iOS, Android, MacOS
ColorsLight GrayMatte Black
AvailableMay 6 (preorder), May 12 (in stores)

There are touch controls on the side, allowing you to skip tracks, answer and end calls, and access your digital assistant with a tap. Music will also pause when the headphones sense that you've taken them off, and will resume once you put them back on. Surface Headphones 2 also support dictation in Office apps, live captions and subtitles (with translation) in PowerPoint, and the "Play My Emails" feature in the Outlook mobile app on iOS.

Surface Headphones 2 Black

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

Lastly, Microsoft included some important updates in terms of connectivity. Bluetooth 5 should allow the headphones to obtain a stronger and quicker connection to other devices, particularly when you use Swift Pair on Windows 10. Additionally, support for the aptX protocol can reduce latency and give a boost to sound quality.

Surface Headphones 2 also come with a new, lower price: $250 compared to the $350 that the original Surface Headphones launched at. Surface Headphones 2 are available to preorder today, and are expected to become available on May 12 in the U.S. and Canada with other markets to follow.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl