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Microsoft Audio Dock debuts

Add ports, a woofer and tweeters to your VC rig

Microsoft Audio Dock speakers

With the launch of the Microsoft Audio Dock, Microsoft has made a clear choice to offer audio over ports. As part of its Surface event today, the company announced the USB-C docking station, which can be your computer’s speakers and microphone (Windows and macOS compatible). There’s no Thunderbolt4 or USB4, but there is USB-C power delivery and a dedicated Microsoft Teams button, along with a woofer, tweeters, and a microphone.

Microsoft Audio Dock ports

Microsoft describes the Audio Dock as an “all-in-one speakerphone.” It can connect to and charge PCs over USB-C (3.2 Gen 2) with up to 60 W. There are other docks that deliver up to 100 W over USB-C, but Microsoft has chosen its priorities. The port selection includes two more USB-C (3.1 Gen 2) ports. Both support 7.5 W charging, but one of them also supports DisplayPort over Alt Mode. You can also connect a monitor to the dock via its HDMI 2.0 port for up to 4K resolution at a 60 Hz refresh rate.

As Ars Technica points out, you can get docks with greater throughput and port selection. But where audio matters,  the Microsoft Audio Dock carries the company’s Omnisonic branded speakers. There’s 15 W woofer measuring 2.13 inches long, 1.92 inches wide, 1.63 inches tall, and 5 W tweeters measuring 1.02×0.46 inches, for a claimed output up to 90 dB, which is comparable with some soundbars, and a frequency response of up to 70-20,000 Hz, which Microsoft warns will drop to 200-8000 Hz on conference calls. While it’s obviously Teams ready, the Microsoft Audio Dock is also guaranteed to work with Zoom and Google Meet.

Microsoft Audio Dock controlsThe two microphones in the Microsoft Audio Dock are described as forward-facing, noise-reducing, and omnidirectional. Controls include play/pause and volume control. There’s also a mute button with a light, so you can quickly see if you’re muted or not.

The dock will be available on October 25 for $250.

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