Microsoft’s above-ear sounds-canceling Floor Headphones two were being introduced earlier in 2020, and the greatest transform from their predecessor is the rate: The original Floor Headphones introduced at $350, even though the Headphones two price $250 (£240, AU$four hundred). Like the original, you can find a whole lot to like about this second-gen model. While they’ve lost their fingers-free of charge Cortana voice control feature (a transform no one particular will lament), the mixture of some tiny style and design tweaks, superior battery life, upgraded Bluetooth and the new decreased rate aid bump their rating up and make them a lot more recommendable.

Like

  • Value $one hundred much less than original
  • At ease to wear
  • Excellent sound and efficient sounds canceling
  • Contact controls and on-ear dials that let you to modify the level of sounds canceling and volume
  • Multipoint Bluetooth pairing (join two products at the same time)
  • Enhanced battery life
  • Effortlessly pair with Home windows PCs (also works with Macs)
  • Functions properly for building calls
  • Ear cups now rotate a hundred and eighty degrees

Do not Like

  • Seem good quality is not as excellent as some top quality sounds-canceling headphones.

The headphone retains the same style and design but now arrives in black and light-weight gray.


David Carnoy/CNET

The Floor Headphones two, which arrive in black as properly as the original light-weight gray colour, have not adjusted substantially in terms of style and design. But their ear cups now rotate a hundred and eighty degrees for “increased comfort when donning them close to your neck,” Microsoft suggests. They retain the former model’s contact controls and ring control on the ear cup, which will allow you to cycle by way of 13 ranges of ambient sounds control. That includes an amplified transparency mode that lets ambient sound into the headphones, allowing you to, say, discuss to a flight attendant on a airplane with no getting your headphones off. The sounds canceling is efficient. It can be close to the same level as that of Bose and Sony — while Microsoft’s headphone is a lot more tuned to blocking out voices in an open up place of work natural environment.

The control scheme is one particular of the headphones’ strengths alongside with their comfort level and multipoint Bluetooth pairing — their ability to pair with two products simultaneously, these kinds of as a mobile phone and a Pc. It can be also worth mentioning that when you acquire the headphones off, your music quickly pauses and resumes taking part in when you set them again on. 

The headphones are designed to very easily join to Home windows pcs (they now feature Bluetooth 5. instead of Bluetooth four.two), which can be notoriously finicky when pairing to Bluetooth headphones. With multipoint help, you can very easily swap in between a mobile phone and your pc — yes, they also work with Macs — which a whole lot of men and women presently doing the job from dwelling will appreciate.

These are among the superior headphones for doing the job from dwelling — undoubtedly for Home windows end users. Not only are they comfortable, but they also work properly for building voice calls. There is certainly an adjustable sidetone feature that will allow you to listen to your voice in the headphones — regardless of whether it truly is by way of your pc or your mobile mobile phone. There is certainly also a button on the right ear cup for muting calls and they are designed to enjoy properly with Microsoft’s Place of work 365, supporting dictation in Place of work apps, are living captions and subtitles (with translation) in PowerPoint, and the Enjoy My Emails feature in the iOS Outlook mobile app.

Microsoft indicated that the Floor Headphones two would have improved sound, but I are unable to say I seen a significant big difference (they do now help AptX streaming for suitable products, which involve Samsung’s Galaxy phones). The original Floor Headphones sounded excellent, but fell limited in the sound good quality department compared to other sounds-canceling headphones in the $350 rate assortment these kinds of as the Sony WH-1000XM3 or Bose Sound Cancelling Headphones seven hundred.

They fold flat in their carrying circumstance. 


David Carnoy/CNET

There is certainly a presence raise in the treble alongside with a bass raise to develop that punchy, thrilling sound that’s normal of numerous of present day headphones. The midrange is a tad restrained (missing definition and currently being somewhat recessed) and the headphones usually are not very as open up as one particular might hope. They just absence the wow component in the sound department, even soon after I tweaked the sound in the Floor Audio app (yes, there is an equalizer). That said, like the original model, I identified these headphones pleasurable to hear to. So, even though I did not abruptly want to cue up all my favorite tracks in my music library to listen to what they sounded like by way of the headphones — an urge you get when striving out certain cans — at $one hundred much less than the originals, they do assess favorably to styles in the $two hundred to $250 rate assortment. 

These Microsoft headphones are now rated at 20 hrs battery life (instead of the predecessor’s 15) with Bluetooth and sounds-canceling on. Charging the headphones for 5 minutes (through USB-C) will give you an hour’s worth of juice. That 20 hrs continue to is not as impressive as what you get from competing styles like the Sony, but it truly is respectable. If you flip Bluetooth off and plug in the provided cable, you can get up to 50 hrs of music playback. Nonetheless, I suspect that men and women will mostly reserve wired mode for plugging into a plane’s in-flight leisure system. (The headphones do sound clearer in wired mode, for what it truly is worth.)

In the close, the Floor Headphones two may well not be a significant enhance, but they do present some respectable advancements and price $one hundred much less than the original model. They are undoubtedly a superior value and properly worth looking at, especially for Home windows end users doing the job from dwelling. Possibly with the following version we are going to see a level up in sound good quality.