Several years ago, my dad introduced me to the world of music. We went to a Hi-Fi show near Manchester where we experienced a whole host of different systems including: NAIM, Kudos and many others. There were some amazing speakers such as the Kudos Titans where you could hear the true dynamics behind every song that was played. For someone new to this world it was amazing, so I had to get some, this is where I ran into my first hurdle. For an entry level system such as the NAIM Mu-So you’re looking at around £750 and if I wanted anything better such as the Titans, I’m looking at £3500 upwards. I thought to myself how do I get something that has a premium feel and still has amazing playback. A friend of mine recommend I look at a brand called Audio Technica. They specialise in Studio sound equipment and are really well known for their M series headphones.
For around a year I used the M30X headphones by Audio Technica, they start off around £40. They had a great feel, a great dynamic range and more importantly they were an affordable way to listen to my music. As time went on, I wanted an upgrade and went for the next rank up in the series the M50X headphones. These are by far one of the best pair of headphones I’ve ever had. They have such a great dynamic range, reproducing audio in a near lossless fashion. The build of these headphones is second to none and would recommend these to an entry level audio enthusiast. Plus, they are less than £150. So great, at this point I have some great headphones. I’m listening to excellent music really life couldn’t get much better.
Then… Microsoft release the Surface Headphones which was strange, very strange. Why was Microsoft entering the audio market with headphones at roughly £300? They have no historic routes in this market and have only recently jumped onto the product waggon. None the less I’m a Microsoft fanboy and thought why not? Let’s give them a go and see how they feel. At a similar time, Audio Technica released the M50X BT headphones which were essentially a Bluetooth version of the M50X. I now have a predicament, do I go for the brand I know and love or do I take a leap with Microsoft knowing I’d be taking a risk?
I did my research and found the following. The new Surface Headphones had almost no negative reviews and many Youtubers were praising them as being at the cutting edge of headphone design. Marques Brownlee a well-known tech reviewer had also championed these headphones against the M50Xs. In conclusion I purchased these new headphones and gave them a go, probably one of the best decision of 2018.
These headphones are phenomenal, I’ve been using them now for roughly a month and haven’t picked up my M50Xs since. Although the dynamic range could be better in places the other features of them overshadow any niggles. For instance, the noise cancellation uses an innovative cup design to help you adjust ambient noise. This noise can be cancelled or amplified depending on your situation. Additionally, they have AI support with Cortana. I’ve linked mine to an android device and now use the google assistant. The gesture controls are great however going forwards I would like these to be contactless. What really impressed me was the pairing between multiple devices. The headphones can switch quickly between my surface book and android phone which is something I didn’t think was possible.
My only really gripe is that the headphones do not support the latest Bluetooth protocols which does hinder audio quality. But this isn’t noticeable in the slightest. I would 100% recommend these headphones to anyone who wants a premium, excellent audio quality product. Hopefully Microsoft will complete the set by bringing out a phone equivalent of the surface. From the sounds of things Microsoft are utilising some of googles technology (chromium in edge) so maybe it could even use the Android OS.