15 April 2021
At the event where Microsoft unveiled the Surface Laptop 4, it also announced a bunch of accessories. The main highlight is the new Surface Headphones 2+ for Business wireless headphones. It further launched a couple of other headphones, a portable speaker, and a webcam to help users with work from home scenarios.
Starting with the Surface Headphones 2+ for Business, it is a minor upgrade over the Surface Headphones 2 launched last year. These are identical in looks and features for the most part. The major difference is that it now has a dedicated Microsoft Teams button and a USB dongle for improved connectivity between your headphones and the PC. The dongle has an LED light that blinks when there is an incoming call or when you are on mute during an ongoing call.
Other important features include innovative earcup dials, 13-levels of active noise cancellation, an 8-microphone system for better voice quality, and a long-lasting battery life. Microsoft is claiming 15 hours of battery life for voice calling and 18.5 hours of life for music listening experience. The Surface Headphones 2+ for Business will cost you $299.99 but can only be purchased by business and education customers from select markets.
The other two headphones revealed by Microsoft are called Microsoft Modern Wireless and Modern USB headsets. There are no prizes for guessing which of these is a wireless headphone and which one comes with a USB port. Both of these come with a dedicated Microsoft Teams button for quickly controlling ongoing Teams sessions. It also has a Mute button along with an LED to confirm that you are actually on mute.
The USB variant has been priced at $49.99 but the pricing of the wireless model is currently a mystery. These will start shipping in select markets from June 2021.
The remaining accessories include Modern USB-C Speaker and Modern Webcam. The first one is a portable speaker with a USB Type-C port for connectivity purposes. It is specifically meant for delivering good quality audio while you are in a virtual meeting or an audio call. Since it is essentially a speaker, it can also be used for casual music listening but do not expect anything at an audiophile level. It also has a dedicated Microsoft Teams button along with other meeting control buttons. It is priced at $99.99 and will go on sale starting June 2021.
Lastly, the Modern Webcam is a webcam that can be connected to a laptop or attached to a tripod. It supports up to 1080p video recording with HDR support and a 78-degree field-of-view. There is a feature called True Look which offers auto white balance, auto retouch, and auto light adjustment. It has an LED indicator to let you known when the webcam is in use and also has a privacy shutter to cover it when not in use. It will cost you $69.99 with availability starting June.