If Microsoft’s dinner-plate-shaped wireless earbuds were on your holiday wishlist this year, you might want to cross them off.
The company is delaying its $249 wireless earbuds — originally slated to go on sale this year — until next spring, Microsoft’s chief product officer Panos Panay announced.
“Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on,” Panay said in a tweet. “To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020.”
Panay didn’t give a reason for the delay or a more specific date for eventual launch.
Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on. To ensure we deliver the best possible experience for you, our fans & customers, Surface Earbuds will now launch worldwide in Spring 2020
The company first showed off its wireless earbuds at an event last month, positioning them as a productivity-focused accessory. Surface Earbuds are optimized for Android phones and Windows products like Microsoft Office. The earbuds come with touch controls, are integrated with Microsoft’s office 365 software, and have real-time transcription capabilities.
Mashable’s Alex Perry tried them out at Microsoft’s Surface launch last month and reported that he saw no major bugs during his brief demo, though he did have concerns about the price, and lack of noise cancellation.
The delay is somewhat of a setback for Microsoft, as the company will now miss the crucial holiday shopping window. It also comes as the wireless earbud market is becoming increasingly crowded. Last month, Apple released its $249 AirPods Pro; Amazon’s Echo Buds went on sale; and Google showed off a new set of wireless earbuds of its own with the revamped Pixel Buds (also slated to go on sale next spring).
Some are speculating that Microsoft may use the delay to tweak the actual design of the Surface Earbuds, which have been criticized for their huge, disc-like shape. It’s not clear how much credence there is to these rumors, though The Verge now reports Microsoft plans to offer them in an additional white color.
We just may have to wait another six months to find out.