Microsoft is globally recognized for its software, but in the last few years has turned its attention to the hardware side of things.
The 2-in-1 laptop tablet surface was a slow success for the company, and now Microsoft is making the first headspace in the headphones – with the headphones.
But with Apple's Beats and countless others packing years of experience, does Microsoft have to take the fist to stand out in a tight crowd or is it too late too?
Design and comfort
The first thing you will notice about the surface headphones is that it looks very nice, following a simple but elegant gray color, similar to the main surface machines, with a discreet Windows mirror above each box.
Memory Foam Cushions provide a delicious comfort level to wrap around your ear. Microsoft says the material is the same thing that sumo fighters used, offering comfort and perspiration resistance – after hours of non-stop use, there was no need to adjust because of burning ears, a good sign though it would be well, you can still test a flight over long distances.
The support strip along the tip has a bouncy plastic surface coating to maintain a good feeling, although the steel used to keep everything in place feels a bit bruised.
You can extend the length by about 3 cms on each side, offering plenty of room head and leaving a decent space for canned to stand on your throat when you do not use them.
At 290 grams, headphones also feel very light, so they will not weigh your head down or the bag.
A handy travel case is included, which is a pleasant touch, but it's not something that most people will probably need in reality.
An emergency issue you will not have to worry about when using Surface Headphones is a connectivity issue. It's very easy to connect your device to Bluetooth and headphones quickly detect them, so you do not have to run on your phone asking if there was a problem – to make things easier, headphones always start with battery level and name of the device you are connected to, so you know everything is in progress and working.
Touch sensitive containers act as control buttons, reacting quickly and accurately by detecting the touches you make for the first time. There are five touch gestures to select, a press to play or a pause, two buttons for the next track, three buttons for the previous track, and when you receive a call you can make two tapes to answer or end a call and a single hold long to reject a call.
The important question and the main point that everyone wants to know is the sound – does it offer it?
Microsoft has certainly packed a lot of volumes, but the best way to evaluate sound is to try different types of songs.
Trying Rihanna's work, the bass is perfectly overwhelming without drowning your voice – and it does not vibrate your head.
A ballad like the Power of Love from Celine Dion keeps strong voices and instrumental instruments.
And down the rock path, Papa Roach's last resort allows the instruments to properly dominate the voices.
Overall, the sound quality is good – but it is in line with many other headphones on the market.
That being said, noise cancellation is where Surface Headphones excel, making an excellent job, excluding external sounds. Microsoft uses a left dial that can control the noise cancellation level with 13 notches – when you rotate the dial it feels more like a simple ignition / stop without real progression among the 13 levels but it still excludes and includes enough noise.
A notable problem on the sound front is that excessive movement causes the loudspeaker place to distort the sound, which is annoying when cyclists are among the audience. Microsoft places Surface Headphones with Noise Canceling Technology.
The battery is one of the faults on the surface headphones, providing only 15 hours of active noise playback, while many cheaper players like Sony offer up to 20 hours.
At the top, USB-C charging means you can recharge pretty quickly, getting enough juice for an hour's playing time in just five minutes.
Microsoft's first attempt at headphones is a good start, but it needs some work in the battery department to match at least rivals – as well as something to give the sound more oomph and really distinguish it from a very crowded market. As we have seen with Surface tablets, Microsoft is capable of learning and improving, so there is hope for the Surface Headphones to become a distinct product, but it's not yet there.
Designed and comfortable, these headphones black out, just like canceling noise.
Finally, everything is reduced in price, and at 329 pounds, Microsoft is demanding a lot when it's the new kid on the block in terms of headphones – and there are plenty of other wireless headphones that work just as well at a cheaper price point.
– Click on the Association