If you passed on Microsoft's original Surface Headphones when they were new, they might be worth a second look. Woot is offering the Surface Headphones at an all-time low price of $111 — less than a third of their original $349 sticker, and less than half the cost of the Surface Headphones 2. That could make them an easy pick versus other headphones at that price, or even more directly comparable, active noise cancelling models that still command a premium.
The Surface Headphones deliver a "solid" neutral sound, as we put it in our review. They might not emphasize the beats or cymbal crashes as much as you might like, but you'll rarely find weakness. They're also comfortable for hours-long listening sessions, and the noise cancelling is both effective and adjustable. We found them easy to control, too. These are features you don't always get for $349, let alone at this discounted price.
With that said, there are quirks. The 18 hours of battery life (15 with voice activation enabled) is oddly short when contemporaries like Sony's WH-1000XM3 last for nearly twice as long — not as much of an issue when you're stuck at home during a pandemic, but worth noting when it's safe to travel again. The original Surface Headphones are also clearly the product of Microsoft circa 2018 with an emphasis on Cortana voice commands that weren't that useful at the time, let alone in 2021. At $111, though, you can forgive these eccentricities.
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