Microsoft is reportedly developing a pair of wireless earbuds to compete with Apple’s AirPods.
The upcoming earbuds are currently codenamed “Morrison,” according to tech site Thurrott.com, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the company’s plans.
Last November, Microsoft surprised audiophiles with the release of the Surface Headphones (pictured), a pair of premium over-the-ear cans that retail for $349. So it’s hardly a surprise the company may be working on a smaller earbuds-version.
According to Thurrott, Microsoft engineers are toying with the idea of branding the upcoming product the Surface Buds, but the company may decide on a different name. It also isn’t clear what kind of features the product will offer over competing wireless earbuds or when it’ll even arrive. However, the company’s Surface Headphones feature integration with Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant, in addition to noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, and premium audio quality. (They also work with Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.)
Microsoft won’t be alone in trying to compete against the AirPods. Amazon is also reportedly developing a pair of wireless earbuds that’ll feature integration with the company’s voice assistant, Alexa—just like Apple’s newest AirPods tap into Siri.According to Bloomberg, Amazon’s take on wireless earphones will arrive in the second half of 2019.
Still, it probably won’t be easy to outcompete Apple. According to one estimate, the AirPods had a 60 percent share of the wireless earbud market in last year’s fourth quarter. Headphone maker Jabra came in a far-off second place.