Best answer: Microsoft Surface Earbuds don’t support active noise cancellation (ANC). For truly wireless audio with onboard ANC, Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are an ideal alternative.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds with noise cancellation

Microsoft recent debuted Surface Earbuds, expanding its flagship hardware line via truly wireless in-ear audio. Positioned with premium sound and accompanying productivity features, they join the existing Microsoft Surface Headphones with added portability for mobile and PC. Boasting “all-day comfort” and up to 24 hours of battery life, Surface Earbuds set out as a daily companion for work and entertainment.

Microsoft Surface Earbuds don’t support active noise cancellation, distanced from the isolative capabilities of earlier Surface Headphones. However, given low adoption from rivals in the wireless earbud space, its absence is far from surprising. Beyond pure implementation, bringing ANC will compromise battery life and raise the already premium price. Microsoft does tout “noise reduction,” although only to clear up your speech over the dual-microphone setup.

While ANC doesn’t ship with Surface Earbuds, it doesn’t mean you’re not getting an exceptional audio experience. Our initial time with Surface Earbuds this October demonstrated considerable comfort, offering a snug insert-and-twist fit. It helps the Surface Earbuds sit effortlessly in-ear while avoiding full isolation from the outside world.

Surface Earbuds are on track to launch “later this year,” expected to debut at $249 in the U.S. Preorders are yet to go live.

Best Surface Earbud alternatives with active noise cancellation

Amid a push to cut down headphone jacks, truly wireless earbuds are on the rise. Convenience comes with cutting the cable, ideal for use on both mobile and PC. Wireless audio can now pack a ton of features into a compact package, making ANC a valuable tool for travelers. If the Surface Earbuds don’t cut it, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds are among the leaders in 2019.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 boasts impressive audio with an in-ear design, aided by noise cancellation. They’ll cut the background noise and elevate your listening experience, even if falling short of bulky over-ear alternatives. Pair that with a streamlined look, comfort, and features primed for audiophiles – you’ve got some of the best earbuds to buy.

While among the high-end, the Sony WF-1000XM3 retails below the Microsoft Surface Earbuds launch price. You’ll miss out on some signature cloud-backed productivity, but gain capable ANC.

Big Earbuds, Bigger Sound

Sony WF-1000XM3 True Wireless Earbuds

Sony’s new ANC earbuds are a revelation.

If you’re a commuter, a traveler, or just a fan of big sound from little headphones, the Sony WF-1000XM3s are an incredible value.

Staying within the same hardware family, the Surface Headphones are Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds alternative. The weighty over-ear design cuts out the world and keeps you focused, although sacrificing portability in the process. They offer average ANC but stand out with 13 different ambient sound levels, adjustable via a dial on the left ear. That flexibility is especially valuable when phasing in and out activities.

The Surface Headphones don’t slack in performance, with first-rate soundscapes and comfort, onboard Cortana digital assistant integration, and touch gestures. If it’s a style for you, give them a try.

Hearing is believing

Microsoft Surface Headphones

High-quality audio, Surface design.

The Surface Headphones bring outstanding sound to your PC or smartphone with some intelligent features that separate them from the competition. While noise cancellation is average, they’re still excellent immersive pickup.

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