Limited global availability for now
This isn’t massively surprising, mostly because of the included Cortana voice assistant, which requires localization, but the U.S. will be the first market to get the Surface Headphones, but the UK has also been confirmed, albeit as yet without a confirmed date on when folks there can order them.
Cortana is built into the headphones
Normally, when you hear about a voice assistant like Cortana being available, your brain might go to ideas about only using Microsoft devices. You’re probably used to seeing assistants like Cortana on your phone, tablet, or PC, but in this case, Cortana is built right into the headphones. It cuts out an extra middleman when trying to connect them with any device, so there’s no need to use Cortana on your iPhone or iPad to make use of these headphones.
The Surface Headphones will still rely on the connection to your phone, tablet, or PC to complete certain actions. How much you can do will depend on where you are, but Cortana will live inside the headphones no matter what device you’re using them with.
That feature, which makes them so appealing to some, is part of why there’s not much global availability at launch. We’ll be sure to update you when more information becomes available.
Microsoft has the best initial availability
Microsoft is always the best place to get a new Surface product if you’re an early adopter and want to grab it as soon as you possibly can. Naturally, the manufacturer will offer everything you want for the day it goes on sale.
In the case of the Surface Headphones, shipping is set to begin on Nov. 19, but Microsoft will be taking pre-orders from Nov. 15, so you can secure your pair ahead of the busy holiday period.
Microsoft physical retail stores in the U.S. should also be selling the Surface Headphones from Nov. 19 if you have one near you. The bonus here is that you’ll be able to give them a test listen before you buy. Plus, you don’t have to wait for shipping.
Pricey but extremely attractive
Microsoft put its Surface design and build quality into a pair of headphones, tossed in Cortana and ANC and made something your ears will love. Albeit only in two countries for now.