The rumors were true, Microsoft has just announced new Surface headphones that integrate with Cortana, the company’s digital assistant. This is a first time we’re seeing headphones with Cortana built-in, and the digital assistant will be able to help you get through your day with reminders, hands-free calling and more. The headphones will also be able to automatically pause music and videos when you remove them from your ears, which seems pretty handy.
The Surface headphones are wireless and come with 4 Beam forming mics and 4 Active noise cancelling mics. Microsoft says that all these mics provide 13 levels of noise cancelling, which should hopefully make Surface headphones great to use in noisy environnments. Like most high-end wireless headphones these days, the Surface headphones will apparently use an USB-C port for charging, so it's really too bad that the Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2 won't have a similar port.
The Surface headphones will be available later this year, "in time for the holidays in the US and UK" and priced at $349, which is quite expensive. The overall design isn't that different from what you can already find in the market, but hopefully the Cortana integration and noise cancelling technology will be enough to make a difference in the market.