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Surface Earbuds and Headphones 2 review: Comfort is king

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Microsoft can’t help but be different. Its Surface computers have all tried to deliver something new in the PC world (well, except for the conventional Surface Laptop). So it wasn’t a huge surprise that the Surface Headphones brought a few new ideas to the premium audio world two years ago. It had rotating dials for adjusting volume and noise-canceling levels. Now with the Surface Earbuds ($200) and Headphones 2 ($250), Microsoft is once again aiming to stand out with a focus on comfort, ease of use and quality. And in their own ways, they’re each a success.

Gallery: Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds | 12 Photos

Let’s start with what’s good: The Surface Earbuds are some of the strangest wireless buds I’ve come across. While you’re wearing them, they resemble gauge earrings more than any tech product. But it’s clear that plenty of thought went into their design. Their rubber tips are curved to rest against your inner ear, but they don’t actually form a seal like typical in-ear headphones. Instead, they sit just outside your ear canal, allowing external sound to come through while also delivering their own rich audio. 

Engadget Score

Poor

Uninspiring

Good

Excellent

Key

Pros
  • Great sound
  • Flexible noise canceling
  • Comfortable design
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Other wireless headphones offer better sound quality

Summary

Microsoft’s latest premium cans feature great sound and customizable noise canceling. And they’re comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. Best of all, they’re $100 cheaper than before.

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