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Microsoft launches the Surface Earbuds, its official AirPods competitor

Features Microsoft Office integration

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Microsoft has launched its official Apple AirPods competitors and it’s… uh, something. Announced along with a flurry of new products, the Surface Earbuds is Microsoft’s alternative to the controversial wireless earphones industry.

Most notably, the Surface Earbuds have a peculiar design. Unlike the AirPods’ dangling form factor, the Earbuds are perfectly circular and pearly white. The design stands out a lot more than the AirPods. According to Microsoft, the design — albeit loud — offers “all-day comfort.” Apparently, the buds touch your ears in only two places, whatever that means. Regardless, the Earbud’s design will be a point of contention for both AirPod fans and detractors.

As expected, the Earbuds come with a microphone and app integration. The large touch surface allows functionality with every press and swipe, allowing users to control playback through touch.

It can access Spotify with just the touch surface, rather than going through a screen. Besides music playback, they also integrate with the Microsoft Office suite of apps. It can take dictation from your voice. It can also control PowerPoint slides with its touch surface.

On their own, the Earbuds can last up to 8 hours of playtime. Like the AirPods, they come with a charging case with two full charges. Together, the Earbuds and charging case can last a full day.

The Microsoft Surface Earbuds will launch later this year at an undisclosed date. They will retail for US$ 249.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft launches a new generation of Surface devices

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New Google Pixel Buds coming in 2020

Gotta wait a while longer

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The new Google Pixel Buds have officially been unveiled but we won’t get our hands on them until Spring 2020.

Google says the Pixel Buds were designed with the user in mind. It is truly wireless and promises rich sound, clear calls, and a comfortable fit. The company notes how it’s great hardware made exceptional by having Google deeply embedded into it. For instance, it should help you in your out-of-the-country trips with Google Translate built in.

The new Pixel Buds are supposed to last for five hours of continuous playback and extend that to 24 hours through the wireless charging case. The headphones will retail for US$ 179.

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This is an official Pokédex iPhone case

For your iPhone X or iPhone XS

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Your dreams of carrying an actual Pokédex is still just a dream. This iPhone case by Premium Bandai is the next best thing.

It’s officially called the Pokédex Smartphone Case, but it’s only really made for the iPhone X and iPhone XS. You should be able to fit the iPhone 6, 7, and 8 in here but it will cover mic and the flashlight. Unfortunately, this won’t fit the iPhone 11 at all.

The case costs US$ 69.99 and will launch on March 2020 in Japan. It’s open for international pre-orders. Check here to secure one.

SEE MORE: The average American needs 5.8 days to save up for an iPhone 11 Pro

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LG Tone+ Free wireless earbuds launched in South Korea

LG joins the wireless earbuds party

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Most companies today are throwing their weight behind wireless earbuds. They are compact and versatile for everyday listening needs of the average user. Not to be left behind, LG has launched a new pair of wireless earbuds: the LG Tone+ Free.

LG opted for a compact design that resembles the Samsung Galaxy Earbuds instead of the Apple Airpods. The design also ensures a secure fit so users can wear it for hours.

What differentiates it from the current crop of wireless earbuds is its charging case. It’s equipped with UVNano function that uses ultraviolet rays to kill harmful components, keeping the earbuds clean and sanitized after every use.

LG Tone+ Free

LG partnered with Meridian Audio to provide the earbuds with rich bass, clear mid and high sounds, and three-dimensional sound to its wireless earbuds. The earbuds’ signal processing technology also reduces digital noise, minimizing distortion while listening.

LG also equipped the earbuds with voice and noise-cancelling microphones that works in tandem to ensure clearer call quality. Both earbuds have touchpads that enable various functions such as call, play, or pause music. Holding the touchpad summons the Assistant app.

Sweat and rain is not an issue with the earbuds since it has IPX4 waterproofing certification.

Fully charging the earbuds lets users listen to music for six hours. Since it supports fast charging, users can listen to music for up to one hour with just five minutes of charging.

Pricing and availability

LG Tone+ Free is available in two colors, black and white. They will be available in South Korea this October for KRW 259,999 (US$ 215). Global availability is yet to be announced.

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