It’s unofficially official. The Microsoft Surface Earbuds are on their way to the open market.
According to German site WinFuture, Microsoft’s new, $250 true wireless earbuds are set to launch May 6, 2020 across many European countries. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed this release date, but it falls in line with an announcement from Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay that the buds were to be delayed until spring 2020.
The Surface Earbuds were originally unveiled at the company’s annual October Surface hardware event in 2019, and we spent some time testing them out. Beyond what they can do as traditional earbuds, the Surface Earbuds had some interesting capabilities when paired with a Windows laptop.
Dual, directional microphones in the earbuds can record your voice and upload it into the cloud, with the ability to translate the audio into 60 different languages. If it works as proposed, a presentation in a foreign country could be narrated so foreign speakers could understand it.
The buds have several other features, including a responsive touch surface that allows you to skip tracks, adjust volume, or make phone calls among other things. Microsoft says they’ll pack eight hours of run time in a single charge, with three additional charges in the included case to total an entire day’s worth of listening.
The Surface Earbuds will have an IPX4 waterproof rating, giving them protection against splashes and sweat. They support audio codecs SBC and aptX, and in our limited time listening to them, we noted that they sounded surprisingly good.
The buds will come with their own charging case, three pairs of silicone ear tips, a USB-C charging cable, and the standard quick start guide and warranty documents. Speaking of which, Microsoft says they’ll come with a 1-year limited hardware warranty.