The battle for the home office has begun. This is now apparent to almost all electronics manufacturers. Microsoft is no exception. In addition to the Surface Laptop 4, which can probably be used everywhere, the US company has also presented practical PC accessories. In particular, the new Surface Headphones 2+ for Business, which have been specially certified for Microsoft Teams, are supposed to be ideal for video conferences. In addition to the practical headphones, two new headsets are to be introduced that have also been developed specifically for Microsoft Teams. In combination with the presented speaker and the webcam, one should not have to worry about the quality of future video calls. Let’s take a closer look at the new launches.
Surface Headphones 2+ Business: Available from May 11 (not for everyone)
While the new Surface Laptop 4 should already be available from April 27, you have to wait a bit longer for the presented accessories. Thus, the new Surface Headphones 2+ Business should be available for enterprise customers from May 11. On the other hand, we will have to wait until summer for the two headsets and the webcam. The new Surface Headphones 2+ Business do not have their nickname without reason. Microsoft specifically targets business customers here. You have to look for the differences to the classic Surface Headphones 2 with a magnifying glass. The upgrade matches the already available and popular Surface Headphones 2 in terms of sound and design, but the certification for Microsoft Teams is new.
Thus, the wearer still benefits from a powerful active noise cancellation (ANC), which can be regulated in 13 different levels. Microsoft also retains its popular control element with the adjustment dials on the ear cups. Also on board the headphones are eight microphones that not only enable ANC, but should also make for great voice recording during video conferences. The battery runtimes with 15 hours (phone calls) and 18.5 hours (music listening) are quite respectable.
From the certification for Microsoft Teams follows, among other things, the integration of a practical button that enables quick interactions around the topic of video conferencing. For example, you can easily join a conference or answer an incoming call. Besides a practical mute button, there is also an LED that shows you whether you are currently muted or not. This should be able to provide a good overview. The scope of delivery also includes a USB dongle, which is supposed to guarantee even better performance. Microsoft’s custom business headphones are said to launch at an MSRP of 329.99 euros.
Two new headsets
In addition, Microsoft is planning to release the so-called “Modern Headsets”. With these, the US company promises not only maximum privacy, but on top of that, improved concentration while working. Although the two headsets don’t offer ANC, they should still be perfectly suitable for video conferencing.
For this reason, they also offer the Microsoft Teams button as well as a mute button with a corresponding LED. In terms of price, however, Microsoft is targeting customers who don’t want to spend that much money. In the summer, the two headsets are to be launched as a wireless version (Modern Wireless Headset, RRP: 104.49 euros) and a wired variant (Modern USB Headset, RRP: 56.99 euros).
A speaker for headphone haters
In the course of video conferencing, the very few have gotten around the use of suitable headphones. In the process, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that some people absolutely hate wearing over-ear, on-ear or in-ear headphones. Microsoft now wants to offer a suitable alternative for video and telephone conferences with the Modern USB-C Speaker. The functionality is similar to that of the two presented headsets. The speaker also has the most important controls for an online meeting.
Microsoft particularly emphasizes the high audio quality of the small speaker. Thus, it should not only be the optimal alternative for headphone haters. Video conferences, where several people are in one place, could also prove to be a tailor-made application. Two microphones are supposed to ensure that even one’s own words are passed on to the other conference participants in high quality (at least in terms of sound). The compact speaker is also supposed to be launched in the summer of 2021. As UVP Microsoft calls 104.49 euros.
The right webcam
A picture is worth a thousand words? Microsoft has probably also thought of that with its Modern Webcam. This is supposed to provide high-quality transmission of moving images in the context of a video conference. According to Microsoft, the connection is very simple. You simply plug the webcam into the PC or notebook via USB-C and you’re ready to go. With a resolution of 1080p, the compact camera definitely delivers sufficiently sharp pictures for a video conference. On top of that, it also shines with features like HDR and an extended field of view (78 degrees).
Those who are dissatisfied with their notebook camera should get a good upgrade here. Vain individuals will be happy about the “True Look” mode. This not only ensures an automatic white balance for the best possible recognition. It can also compensate for facial irregularities. Microsoft has also thought about privacy here. You can easily cover the camera lens with the help of the practical privacy flap. The LED makes it clear whether you can be seen or not. The Microsoft Modern Webcam will also be launched in summer 2021 at a RRP of 75.99 Euros.