Microsoft Surface Earbuds won’t challenge AirPods until 2020

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Surface Earbuds
Perhaps some extra time will let Microsoft rethink the design of the Surface Earbuds.
Photo: Microsoft

Making a serious rival to AirPods is harder than Microsoft thought. It just pushed back the release of Surface Earbuds until well past the holiday shopping season.

The news came from Panos Panay, the chief product officer of the Microsoft Devices group. He said “the relentless pursuit to get all the details right” sometimes takes longer than expected. Panay then admitted these in-ear headphones wouldn’t be out until “Spring 2020.”

Previously, this rival for AirPods was scheduled to debut sometime before the end of this year.

Changes for Surface Earbuds?

Nothing Panay said indicated that Microsoft was considering redesigning these products, despite their look drawing criticism.

And there was also no mention of adding active noise cancellation. As it stands now, they won‘t have it, which could make them a tough sell when compared to Apple’s new AirPods Pro. Especially as Microsoft Surface Earbuds will cost $249, the same price as Apple’s latest top-tier hearables.

Microsoft isn’t alone in trying to enter this market. Just this year we’ve seen new Samsung Galaxy Buds, and don’t forget Amazon Echo Buds. It’s not surprising — AirPods have been a huge win.