Wireless earbuds are some of the hottest phone accessories around right now. And pretty much every major tech company has a foot in the game: Apple, Google, Amazon…and even Microsoft. Microsoft’s version of wireless earbuds is called Surface Earbuds and is named after the company’s hybrid line of devices.

Quick Overview:

Of course, the wireless earbuds craze was kicked off by Apple thanks to its AirPods, which have been wildly successful. But given that Microsoft and Apple are historic competitors, how do the two earbuds stack up against each other? Let’s find out…

Apple’s AirPods vs Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds

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  • AirPods – Apple’s AirPods are made to be as tiny and fashion-conscious as possible. It’s a minimalist device that doesn’t even have any physical buttons. And their white body is virtually iconic by now.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds feature a radically different design. They can be likened to a cork stop with a broad fly surface on top. You basically look like you’re wearing a flat white coin in your ears.

Winner? AirPods – Their design is more beautiful and practical than the Surface Earbuds. They’re tiny works of art.

Audio & Connectivity

  • AirPods – The AirPods include dual beam-forming microphones, dual optical sensors, a motion-detecting accelerometer, and a speech-detecting accelerometer. They also connect over both Bluetooth and Apple’s H1 chip, which makes connecting them to an iPhone effortless.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds feature dual microphones and connect over Bluetooth, too.

Winner? AirPods – They’ve just got more tech packed into each bud, which together makes for better listening and wearing experience.

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Battery & Charging

  • AirPods – The AirPods come in a wired charging case and wireless charging case option. One charge gets you five hours of use and a full case charge gets you over 24 hours of use.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds get you 8 hours of use and their case gets you 24 hours in total. However, the Surface Earbuds only offer a wired charging case.

Winner? Surface Earbuds – 8 hours of usage on a single charge is pretty impressive.

Voice Assistant

  • AirPods – The AirPods support hands-free “Hey Siri” commands as well as giving you full access to all of Siri’s capabilities.
  • Surface Earbuds – The Surface Earbuds offer app-specific assistant features. For example, you can reply to emails in Outlook on some smartphones and use the touch controls to advance PowerPoint slides on others.

Winner? AirPods – Siri is more useful than app-specific features.




The one thing that really stands out about the Surface Earbuds is their 8 hours of battery life on a single charge. However, that aside, they really don’t have much to offer over Apple’s AirPods. Matter of fact, the AirPods beat the Surface Earbuds on virtually every other metric.

And when it comes to cost, considering the Surface Earbuds will cost you $199 flat, and for that price you can get Apple’s AirPods with a wireless charging case, there’s no argument to be made that the Surface Earbuds are the way to go (unless you are a big Microsoft fan and use their Surface devices and software on a daily basis).

But what about other wireless earbuds? Want to see how Apple’s AirPods compare to Amazon’s Echo Buds? Check out our Apple’s AirPods vs Amazon’s Echo Buds here!

Apple’s AirPods (2019) vs Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds (2020): Full Specs

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Here are the specs for the AirPods:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, H1 chip
  • Wireless charging: Optional
  • Battery Life: 5 hours AirPod use, 24+ hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Dual beam-forming microphones, Dual optical sensors, Motion-detecting accelerometer, Speech-detecting accelerometer
  • Voice assistant support: Siri
  • Noise Isolation: No
  • Sweat-resistant: No

And here are the specs for the Surface Earbuds:

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Wireless charging: No
  • Battery Life: 8 hours Surface Earbuds use, 24 hours with charging case
  • Sensors: Dual microphones, Touch
  • Voice assistant support: App-specific
  • Noise Cancellation: No
  • Sweat and water-resistant: Yes

Don’t forget to check out our Apple’s AirPods Pro vs Amazon’s Echo Buds comparison!