(Pocket-lint) - The second-gen Microsoft Surface Headphones have been rumoured for some time - and now these over-ears are official, bringing bigger battery life (up to 20 hours per charge) and improved sound over the original version.

As it's May that means it's Microsoft Build time of year - this year it will be an online-only event from 19 May - which would usually be the showground for the company's new products, including Surface Headphones 2. The Surface Book 3 was also announced.

But back to the headphones. We really liked the original set of over-ears, largely thanks to the rotating earcup design to cycle between the active noise-cancelling (ANC) technology. The second-gen Surface Headphones 2 follow the same principle, with the ability to select between 13 levels of ANC.

The sound quality has been improved for round two, too, with (we believe - based on earlier leaks) aptX on board for high-resolution wireless sound transmission. It's also possible to tune human voices either into or out of the mix, Microsoft says.

An updated design also brings the ability to rotate the earcups by 180 degrees - said to make for greater comfort when wearing these cans around your neck.

The Surface Headphones 2 will be available from 12 May, priced $249 (direct conversion: £200/€230) - which is a full hundred bucks less than the original version. More features for less cash? Can't say better than that!

Writing by Mike Lowe.