If Microsoft’s new Surface Earbuds were on your Christmas wishlist, you’ll have to settle for something else this year. According to a tweet by Microsoft’s Panos Panay, the company has delayed the launch of its wireless earbuds until next spring.
Unveiled at Microsoft’s Surface event in early October, the Surface Earbuds were originally expected to arrive sometime later in 2019 for $249, presumably aiming for initial availability over the holidays. However, Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay says the earbuds will now launch worldwide sometime in the spring of 2020. That extra time will be used to “get all the details right” and ensure a quality user experience.
Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on. To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020 #Surface
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) November 21, 2019
As you might recall, the Surface Earbuds are voice-enabled with two-directional mics per ear and they feature support for touch gestures on the flat exterior to navigate music and calls without touching your phone. You can pair the earbuds with Android in a single click, and then you can open Spotify in a few taps and control the music playback with assorted touches on the outside of the earbud. Controls include play, pause, skip, and volume.
Many of those features are to be somewhat expected of wireless earbuds, but the Surface Earbuds take things to another level by supporting integrations for other Microsoft products. For instance, Office 365 integrations can be used for dictation, advancing PowerPoint slides, and the ability to provide real-time captions and translations in 60 languages courtesy of Azure cognitive services.
Microsoft emphasized how comfortable the earbuds are during its presentation back in October. The company said that it was aiming for all-day comfort by balancing the earbud against two points in your ear. We were hoping to see how the Surface Earbuds stacked up against newly released competitors such as the AirPods Pro and Echo Buds, but we’ll have to wait until next year. Perhaps we’ll be testing the Surface Earbuds around the same time as Google’s upcoming Pixel Buds.