Over the years, Apple perfected the art of the surprise hardware reveal with Steve Jobs adding “one more thing”. At Microsoft's Surface event in New York City today, the company had its own one more thing moment. While hardly a blockbuster reveal, the newly announced Surface Headphones were a surprise.
For the most part, no-one predicted new headphones from Microsoft. The company has shown little interest in audio hardware, even outsourcing its smart speaker aspirations to Harman Kardon.
Still, the Surface Headphones boast some solid specifications, although we are unsure whether its enough. It seems Microsoft has entered the market too late and with technology that is becoming standard.
The new headphones have 13 levels of noise cancelling and 40mm drivers. Again, this is impressive enough, but other companies are further along. Sony, for example, has all but perfected noise cancelling in its own headphones.
Admittedly, Cortana support is a nice touch, but again other headphones have smart capabilities.
Microsoft's Surface Headphone may be amazing when we get our hands on them, but it feels like another hardware area where the company has been too slow to react.
Much may depend on how much the headphones cost. Microsoft has yet to confirm a price, but a competitive price could entice consumers. One thing is for certain, we will be paying close attention to reviews when the Surface Headphones launch.
Speaking of which, Microsoft did not say when they will be available. We guess a holiday season launch is likely.