Use Cortana with your Surface Headphones

Applies to: Surface Headphones

Use Cortana with your Surface Headphones to play music, make calls, and more, hands-free. 

Get started


To use Cortana with your Surface Headphones, the headphones need to be connected to your Cortana-enabled Windows 10 PC, iOS device, or Android device, and you'll need to set them up with Cortana on that device. For more info about setting things up, see Set up your Surface Headphones with Cortana

Note that if you've connected Surface Headphones to a Windows 10 PC running the May 2020 Update or later versions, certain functions, such as making a call or listening to music, will no longer be available with Cortana. You can set up your headphones on a mobile device to use those functions with Cortana.

If you connect your headphones to a device that doesn't have Cortana turned on, or on which you haven't set up the headphones to work with Cortana, Cortana won't be available. 

How and when you use Cortana is up to you. If you don’t want Cortana to listen or respond, you can turn off “Cortana” mode. For more info, see Manage Surface Headphone settings in Cortana

Use Cortana


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. 

Here are some things you can do with Cortana on your Surface Headphones. 

Listen to music

To Say
Play or pause music "... play rock music."
Skip to the next track "... next track."
Go back to the previous track "... previous track." 
Play music by a certain artist "... play [artist's name] on [music service name]."
Increase the volume "... turn up the volume."
Decrease the volume  "... turn down the volume."


Make calls and send texts

To Say
Call a contact "... call [name]."
Text someone "...text [name]," then say what you want to include your text message.


Get productive

To Say
Check your calendar "... what's on my calendar today?"
Check for new email "... do I have any new emails?"
Join a Skype or Teams meeting "... join my next meeting."
Email a contact

"... email [name]."

After that, give it a subject, say what you want in the message, and then send it.

Set a reminder "... remind me to call [name]"
Set a timer "... set a timer for [amount of time]"


Find answers

To Say
Check traffic "... how long will it take to drive to work?"
Get the weather forecast "... what's the weather like tomorrow?"
Get sports scores

"... what was the score for the [team name] game?"

(Not all leagues are supported and experience may vary by country/region.)