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Microsoft unveils Surface Earbuds for productivity and comfort

Microsoft's first Earbuds have Office 365 integration. No, really

Alongside a brand new pair of Surface Laptops and the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft has also found time this autumn to stick a Surface in your ears. Say hello to the Surface Earbuds: a product Microsoft promises will offer comfort, great sound and – get this – productivity.
It’s a true-wireless design like Apple’s AirPods and a thousand imitators. That means there are no wires and each earbud sticks straight into your ear. Microsoft’s Robin Seiler says they’ve worked hard at providing all-day comfort and stability and with the additional charging case you can get a full 24 hours of battery life.
As well as having touch-sensitive swipe controls for answering calls and controlling your music the Surface Earbuds have a dual-microphone array for voice controls. “You never have to take out your phone,” Seiler says, explaining how you can start music for the moment via Spotify just by using the touch controls. This, she says, is advantageous as it’s very easy to get lost in work distractions if you have to get your phone out every time.

Weirdly, after highlighting the Surface Earbuds’ ability to prevent you working too hard, Seiler detoured into explaining how these are earphones that improve your working productivity. “How do you make earbuds more productive?” she asks. “You add Office.”
Yes, the Surface Earbuds have Office 365 integration and Seiler showed two examples of how this could work in the real world. First off, transcription: as she spoke, the words appeared on-screen in real-time in a quite impressive show of the Earbuds’ microphone pickup.
More impressively, however, the Surface Earbuds have taken a leaf out of the Google Pixel Buds’ book by offering the same ability in over 60 languages, translating your words on the fly in PowerPoint.

All very impressive, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Assuming the sound quality and comfort is there, the Surface Earbuds will certainly be an interesting alternative to regular true wireless earbuds, but will they live up to their $249 price tag? We’ll find out later this year when they launch.

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