In the realm of wireless earbuds and noise-canceling headphones, major companies are vying for attention. Microsoft, being a prominent player, presents the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 – a product that combines both wireless convenience and effective noise cancellation. We extensively used these headphones over a two-week period to uncover their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately determining if they are worth considering.

Design and Comfort

The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 showcase an alluring design, featuring rotating rings that not only add to the aesthetics but also serve practical purposes. Despite the appealing design, the absence of folding hinges and the material choice for the headband’s bottom might pose some inconveniences. Nevertheless, these headphones are remarkably comfortable for prolonged wear, although the limited breathability of the ear cups might be an issue in humid climates.

Features and Control

The headphones come with touch-sensitive ear cups that incorporate rotating rings for versatile control. While the touchpad functionality is a handy feature, it can sometimes inadvertently pause playback. The Surface Headphones 2 offer 13 levels of noise canceling, ranging from complete cancellation to an ambient mode that utilizes built-in microphones to capture external sounds. The Surface Audio app further enhances the headphones’ usability, allowing for customization and firmware updates.

Connectivity Options

The Surface Headphones 2 excel in connectivity, supporting Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX for improved audio quality. Multipoint connectivity is a standout feature, seamlessly switching between devices. The headphones prioritize user experience, particularly for Windows 10 users, though compatibility with other systems might be something to consider.

Battery Life

Battery life is a notable improvement in the Surface Headphones 2 compared to their predecessor, offering up to 20 hours of playback with active noise canceling enabled. Our testing yielded around 17 hours and 47 minutes, which is commendable. USB-C charging ensures convenient recharging.

Sound Quality

The headphones deliver a consumer-friendly sound profile with amplified bass notes, enhancing the listening experience for most users. The emphasis on low frequencies is apparent, which might be appealing to those who enjoy bass-heavy music. While the overall sound quality is good, the headphones might not satisfy audiophiles seeking perfect neutrality.

Microphone Performance

The integrated microphone performs well, allowing for clear phone calls and conference calls. The presence of a mic mute switch on the headphone itself is a practical feature, enhancing convenience during calls.


Compared to competitors like the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4, the Surface Headphones 2 offer a compelling package at a more affordable price point. While they might not surpass the absolute best in terms of noise cancellation and sound quality, they still provide excellent performance in these areas.


The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 stand out as a cost-effective choice for individuals seeking a combination of impressive features and competitive pricing. With their elegant design, comfortable fit, and commendable sound quality, they make a strong case for consideration. While not the absolute pinnacle in noise cancellation and sound accuracy, these headphones offer a well-rounded package that caters to a broad audience.

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