Microsoft just introduced the followup to its good Surface headphones — and get this, they’re designed specifically to work with Office. Priced at a lofty $249, the wireless earbuds have a number of onboard productivity features, including PowerPoint slide forwarding, voice transcription and live translation (in 60 languages).
The earbuds are, in a word, huge. They look big in the sizzle reel and downright huge when demoed onstage. You can’t say Microsoft didn’t at least try something new — while the charging case looks almost identical to Samsung’s earbuds, the Surface Earbuds are big and perfectly round.
Like other first-party earbuds, there’s easy one-click pairing with Microsoft devices. Along with productivity features, they also work with your standard music streaming apps, including, most notably, Spotify. The headphones will be available this holiday.
It’s… interesting. And in a space that’s been flooded by the likes of Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony and a million others, at the very least, you can’t say Microsoft isn’t trying something different. The company is also playing to its strengths. Without its own mobile devices and not much of a creative assistant to speak of, Microsoft is going back to it roots by offering something that plays nicely with its own productivity offerings.