Far too many true wi-fi earbuds mimic the AirPods, however Microsoft has carved a definite path with its disc-shaped earphones. The Microsoft Floor Earbuds function a daring, putting design that’s positive to immediate dialog, however do the Floor Earbuds provide extra past simply the shock issue? Let’s dive deep and see how Microsoft’s earbuds carry out in the actual world. Are they value your hard-earned cash? Let’s discover out on this Microsoft Floor Earbuds overview.

About this Microsoft Floor Earbuds overview: This overview was written after testing the Floor Earbuds working firmware model and Microsoft Floor Audio app model 2.21.600.0. It comes from the audio specialists at our sister website SoundGuys. Try their in-depth tackle the Floor Earbuds.

Who ought to get the Microsoft Floor Earbuds?

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless earbuds woman wears 1

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

  • Home windows 10 PC homeowners ought to get these earbuds as a result of they assist Swift Pair and Microsoft 365 integration.
  • Anybody drawn to an open-fit design ought to actually decide up the Floor Earbuds: the rubberized ear ideas preserve the ‘buds in place, even throughout train.

What’s it like to make use of the Microsoft Floor Earbuds?

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless earbuds open case watch

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

The Floor Earbuds are straightforward to make use of, and the round panels are extra than simply for present. You possibly can apply a handful of faucets and swipes to them to be able to management your media and reply calls. Every panel offers loads of space to your fingers, and the sensors register imprecise touches precisely.

Moderately than utilizing a static open-fit design, Microsoft contains three pairs of ear ideas that don’t seal to the ear. Practically all different true wi-fi earbuds with this design fail to take a seat securely within the ear as a result of they both don’t embrace any form of wing tip or it’s not substantial sufficient. These earbuds are extraordinarily snug, and provides the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds a run for his or her cash.

Begin right here: Headphone shopping for information

The stout case matches the colour of the earbuds, and has a single Bluetooth pairing button on the underside panel. Whenever you open the skinny lid, a lone LED communicates the case’s remaining battery. When the sunshine glows white, there’s ample battery left and when it’s crimson, you might want to discover the included USB-C cable to cost it. A magnet retains the case shut, however its power isn’t very sturdy. If you happen to drop the case, the lid will open and the earbuds will eject.

Microsoft didn’t engineer any form of divot so that you can slot your fingernail into when eradicating the earbuds. Anybody with bigger fingers might have bother eradicating the superbly flush earphones from the case.

Do you have to get the Microsoft Floor Audio app?

Microsoft Surface Audio desktop app

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

The Microsoft Floor app is sparse on options, but it surely contains the requirements. You possibly can replace the Floor Earbuds firmware, equalize the sound, and toggle aptX streaming, but it surely doesn’t provide far more. If you happen to use the Home windows desktop app, you will have a number of extra choices akin to Microsoft 365 integration settings and updating the case’s firmware.

How do you utilize Microsoft 365?

You should utilize the Floor Earbuds as a microphone to dictate paperwork and emails by way of numerous Microsoft functions like Outlook. This can be a good function in case you spend a lot of your day bouncing from one productiveness app to a different, as its transcription is kind of correct. Microsoft 365 integration additionally permits issues like real-time captions throughout a PowerPoint presentation. Oddly sufficient, iOS is the one system that may assist electronic mail playback within the cellular Outlook app; that is akin to how Apple’s voicemail transcription service works.

Do the Microsoft Floor Earbuds keep linked?

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless case travel portable

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

Connection stability is dependable whether or not you utilize the Floor Earbuds in an condominium or at a park, which may’t be stated for all true wi-fi headsets. The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and assist two Bluetooth codecs: SBC and aptX. As with every high-quality codec, streaming over aptX eats away at battery life sooner than the default SBC possibility.

Study extra: Bluetooth codecs 101: All the things you might want to know

Microsoft made a shocking transfer when it selected to omit Bluetooth multipoint from these earbuds. You possibly can’t join to 2 gadgets directly, one thing the noise-cancelling Microsoft Floor Headphones 2 can carry out. So as to swap gadgets, you might want to manually disconnect the Floor Earbuds from the present machine earlier than connecting them to the specified machine. It takes only a second, however feels outdated particularly for earbuds of this value.

In case you have a Floor or Home windows 10 PC, you need to use Swift Pair which actually simply hastens the preliminary pairing course of. Equally, any machine working Android 9 or later helps Quick Pair for the Floor Earbuds.

Do the earbuds assist mono mode?

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless earbuds open case iphone 12 mini

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

Technically you need to use the Microsoft Floor Earbuds in mono mode, but it surely’s not a real mono mode because you want the proper earbud to be close by (even when it’s within the case). This quirk is fairly irritating. It is best to have the ability to use both earbud in full mono mode with out taking the opposite with you for a experience in your pocket.

How lengthy does the battery final?

In response to Microsoft the earbuds final seven hours on a single cost whenever you stream over SBC at 40{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} quantity, which is effectively above common. Our battery checks are ongoing and we’ll replace this overview when the outcomes are in. Even when real-world checks yield five- or six-hour playtimes, that’s nonetheless above common for the know-how.

Regardless of the way you stream your music — be it over aptX or SBC — it is best to do not forget that true wi-fi earbud batteries aren’t constructed to final. Except you’re actively utilizing the earbuds they’re all the time within the case, which quickens the battery degradation course of. You’ve in all probability seen this along with your smartphone after you’ve had it for a number of years: it simply doesn’t maintain a cost prefer it used to. The identical factor occurs to your true wi-fi earbuds, however at a a lot sooner charge because the battery cells are so small.

Study extra: Let’s discuss true wi-fi earbuds and their battery life

How do the Microsoft Floor Earbuds sound?

For a pair of earbuds that don’t seal to your ear canals, the Floor Earbuds sound fairly good and reproduce correct audio throughout the frequency vary.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds AA frequency response chart

The charts above depict the frequency response below preferrred situations, which you’re unlikely to expertise continually in the actual world. Even after we use the earbuds in a super atmosphere, the sub-bass response is missing, so bassheads be warned. The 13.6mm dynamic drivers do a terrific job of reproducing vocals clearly. As long as you retain your expectations tempered, you’ll get pleasure from how the Floor Earbuds reproduce almost all genres of music.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds AA isolation chart

Isolation is all however non-existent with the Floor Earbuds, and whereas that is dangerous information for sound high quality, it’s a pleasant security function for anybody who lives in an city space or likes to train outdoors. The open-type match enables you to hear each your music and the world round you, making auditory masking inevitable; this phenomenon is when a loud sound makes it laborious to listen to a comparatively quiet sound. Put merely, bass notes will likely be laborious to listen to and really feel as a result of your mind is concurrently processing exterior auditory data.

Are the Microsoft Floor Earbuds good for telephone calls?

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless earbuds open case

Credit score: Lily Katz / Android Authority

Microphone high quality is simply okay with these earbuds. They transmit vocals effectively sufficient for a fast name, however the efficiency isn’t a lot better than any pair of earbuds that value half the worth. Don’t take our phrase for it, examine the pattern beneath.

Microsoft Floor Earbuds microphone demo:


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Microsoft Surface Earbuds vs Apple AirPods

Apple new AirPods 2 outside of the case resting on a book.

Microsoft and Apple take vastly different approaches to the open-fit design, and Microsoft comes out on top with its removable ear tips. Apple’s hard earbud casing balances on your ear with little security, unlike the Surface Earbuds which are bound to fit a greater range of ear types.

Microsoft’s true wireless earphones are more durable than the Apple AirPods too, and merit an IPX4 rating. Apple’s earbuds lack any kind of official water-resistance, which isn’t great if you plan to exercise with them. Another benefit of the Surface Earbuds is that the case uses the universal USB-C input, while Apple uses a Lightning input. Though, Apple has a leg up when it comes to wireless charging, which is available for an extra fee. Microsoft’s case doesn’t support wireless charging, and you don’t have the option to upgrade.

Related: Apple AirPods (2019) review: Simple and convenient

Neither headset sounds particularly great out in the real world, again because of auditory masking. If you had to choose a pair of earbuds based solely on sound quality, get the Surface Earbuds. You can use Microsoft’s five-band EQ module to customize the sound. If you own an iPhone, just save for the AirPods Pro instead of the AirPods.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds review: The verdict

Microsoft Surface Earbuds true wireless earbuds open case hand

Credit: Lily Katz / Android Authority

The Microsoft Surface Earbuds design won’t please everyone, but if you like to make a statement, these are the buds to get.

These earphones separate themselves from the rest of the open-type pack, because they actually stay in place no matter what you do. The compact charging case is easy to pocket and wears the minimalistic design well. If you have money to toss around, and want to try a unique pair of earbuds, go for these. Then again, if you want to put your money to something with more features, better sound quality, and a better mic system, there are plenty of competitively priced options.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds Open-fit earbuds that actually stay in place.

Microsoft’s true wireless earbuds catch the eye, making them a great option for anyone who wants to make a statement. They support aptX Bluetooth streaming and boast a long battery life.

What should you get instead?

For about the same price as the Surface Earbuds, you can get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro which features noise-cancelling, a great microphone system, 360 Audio (Samsung Galaxy devices only), and more. The Galaxy Buds Pro are even more durable than Microsoft’s earbuds and sport an IPX7 rating, so they can be submerged for brief stints without damage. You can freely use either Samsung earbud in mono mode, and you can remap the controls through the Android Galaxy Wearable app.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 10

Credit: Adam Molina / Android Authority

Another great option is the Sennheiser CX 400BT, which includes a USB-C case and handsome earbuds with customizable controls. The sound quality is very good and nearly identical to the pricier, noise-cancelling Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. Unfortunately, the CX 400BT earbuds don’t have an IP rating, so you might not want to exercise with them.

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