Use Surface Headphones

Applies to: Surface Headphones

Music sounds amazing on Surface Headphones, but there's lots more to explore. Here's how to listen, make calls, get help from Cortana, and more.

Finding your way around Surface Headphones


Use this diagram to find your way around your Surface Headphones. 

Image explaining the different buttons on the Surface Headphones.

  1. Left dial 
  2. Right dial
  3. Power button
  4. Mute button
  5. LED light
  6. USB-C port
  7. 3.5 mm port

Video: Dials and touch controls

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Play music


Play music on your Surface Headphones by using your favorite music app on your Windows 10 PC, iOS device, or Android device.

To play music, you can use either touch gestures or—to control your headphones with your voice—Cortana. For more info, see Use Cortana with your Surface Headphones

Here are the touch gestures you'll use to play music. For the best results, make sure to tap the center of the touchpad on either ear. Touch gestures only work with supported music apps. 

To Do this
Play or pause music Tap the touchpad on either ear.
Play the next track Tap the touchpad on either ear twice.
Play the previous track Tap the touchpad on either ear three times.

Make calls


Make and receive calls on your Surface Headphones when you're connected to your iPhone or Android phone, or use your Surface Headphones for Skype calls when connected to your mobile device or Windows 10 PC.

Here's how to use touch gestures for phone calls.

To Do this
Answer a call Tap the touchpad on either ear twice.
End a call Tap the touchpad on either ear twice during a call. 
Mute a call Press the mute button on the right ear. 
Decline a call Tap and hold the touchpad on either ear when you get a call.

Turn the volume up or down


When you're listening to music or on a call, adjust the volume by turning the dial on the right ear.  

To Do this
Increase the volume Turn the dial on the right forward.
Decrease the volume Turn the dial on the right backward. 

 

You can check the volume anytime you're on your PC or mobile device:

  • On your iOS or Android device, open the Cortana app and select DevicesDevicesSurface Headphones.
  • On your Windows 10 PC, open Cortana, then select Devices  > Surface Headphones.

 

Adjust noise cancellation


Surface Headphones have active noise cancellation, so you can block out external sound to help you focus or relax. For example, you might want to increase noise cancellation when you're listening to music on a plane or bus, and reduce it when you want to have a quick conversation without taking off your headphones. 

To Do this
Increase noise cancellation Turn the dial on the left forward to hear less sound around you.
Decrease noise cancellation

Turn the dial on the left backward. When you turn off noise cancellation, outside sound will be amplified. 

 

You can check the noise cancellation level anytime you're on your Windows 10 PC or mobile device.

  • On your iOS or Android device, open the Cortana app and select Devices > Surface Headphones.
  • On your Windows 10 PC, open Cortana, then select Devices  > Manage my Surface Headphones.

You'll see several levels of noise cancellation in the different apps. Here's a quick summary of the different levels: 

  • High. You should hear little or no surrounding sound. This is the maximum noise cancellation level when it's turned on all the way.
  • Medium. You'll likely hear loud noise or surrounding voices, but might not hear lower surrounding sounds, such as traffic or sound from a crowd.
  • Low. You'll likely hear surrounding sound while listening to music.
  • Ambient sound amplified. Noise cancellation is turned off and surrounding sound will be amplified. You'll likely hear surrounding sound while listening to music. 

 

Go hands free


When you have your headphones connected to your Windows 10 PC or mobile device using Cortana, you can use her to control the volume, make calls, and more with your voice. 

Get Cortana's attention by doing one of the following:

  • Tap and hold the touchpad on either ear until you hear a beep.
  • Say "Hey Cortana" and listen for a beep.

If you haven't already set up Cortana to work with your headphones, see Set up Surface Headphones with Cortana.

To find out about some of the things you can say and do with Cortana and your Surface Headphones, see Use Cortana with your Surface Headphones.

What does the light mean?


The LED light on your Surface Headphones can tell you when to charge the battery and more.

When the light is It means 
Flashing white when your headphones are plugged in Headphones are charging.
Solid white when your headphones are plugged in Headphones are fully charged.
Solid white when your headphones aren't plugged in Headphones are powered on and not on your head. The light will turn off when the headphones are in use and on your head.
Flashing white after you press and hold the power button for 5 seconds Headphones are in pairing mode and you can pair them with your Windows 10 PC or mobile device over Bluetooth.
Solid amber during a call Microphone is muted. Other people can't hear you when you talk. 
Flashing amber

The battery in your headphones is running low. This will start when there's less than 10% of your battery time left.

For more info, see Charge Surface Headphones

Use a wired audio connection


Surface Headphones come with a 3.5 mm audio cable, which you can use to listen to music over a wired audio connection. This lets you listen to music even when the battery in your Surface Headphones isn't charged.

To use the audio cable, plug one end into the 3.5 mm jack on your headphones, then plug the other end into a 3.5 mm audio jack on your phone or PC.