Tech

Microsoft delays its AirPods competitor to spring

Key Points
  • Surface Earbuds will now launch in spring 2020 instead of before the holidays as originally planned.
  • The Surface Earbuds were announced in October with a price of $250.
  • They were uncomfortable, felt cheap and lacked features in similarly priced products from Amazon and Apple such as noise-cancellation.
Microsoft Surface Earbuds
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay said on Twitter that the company's AirPods competitor, called Surface Earbuds, are delayed until the spring. The $249 headphones were initially announced in October as part of Microsoft's holiday lineup, though the company had never provided a precise date for launch.

That means they'll miss the holiday season where they had a chance to compete against Amazon's Echo Buds, Apple AirPods and Apple's new AirPods Pro.

I had a chance to try the Surface Earbuds in October, and they weren't very good. For $250, they lack features other competitors offer in that price range, including noise-cancellation, which is included in Apple's $249 AirPods Pro. Amazon's Echo Buds also offer noise reduction.

Microsoft's Surface Earbuds weren't very comfortable, felt cheap and didn't always register when I tried tapping for controls. Most earbuds look weird, but these look particularly strange, like a set of the old toy pogs were placed in my ears.

Panay didn't add any additional comment to his tweet, but I hope Microsoft considers adding some missing features or redesigning them entirely.

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