Microsoft drop the successor to their high end, noise cancellation Surface Headphones, with improved internals and a new low price.

Competing with some of the greatest everyday consumer ANC headphones from the likes of Sony, Bose, Sennheiser and Marshall, the updated Surface Headphones hope to offer a comparable experience at a cheaper price.

The headphones design is similar to the preview generation’s. Now coming in two colours, Light Gray and Matte Black, with circular earcups holding soft and comfortable padding. There’s a new mute microphone button, while the two rings surrounding the cups dial volume on the right and give you 13 levels of ANC control on the left. This allows you to quickly let in or block out ambient noise. Tapping the cups will play/pause your music, while a swipe forwards or backwards will skip. These methods of adjustments and controlling music are intuitive and well implemented. The Active Noise Cancellation on this pair are close to the competitors, perhaps just falling short.

Sound quality is similarly up there with the greats in this category, again just shy of Sony and Bose. Microsoft provide a loud and well balanced sound, with EQ adjustments accessible in the Surface app.

The wireless bluetooth headphones also feature improved battery life up to 20 hours, USB-C with fast charging, a headphone jack for wired audio, a microphone for phone calls, built-in Cortana improvements (including battery life announcements when turning on), and multiple device support for quick and easy switching between phone and laptop.

The Surface Headphones are available today on Amazon for $249.99. This is a fantastic starting price and $100 cheaper than the previous generation and most other similar headphones’ RRP. With the fantastic design and controls, this makes Surface one of the best value pairs we’ve seen.

That being said, the Sony’s have been around for a couple of years now, so can be found around the same $250 price. Definitely worth checking out at that price:

Don’t forget to check out the new Surface Earbuds too. These have just been released for $199.99. Worth considering if you’re after something more compact and discreet.