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Review: Bragi the Headphone Faces Stiff Competition

 

Bragi The Headphone is similar to its more sophisticated cousin (The Dash) in some ways, but focuses on the bare essentials. After all, not everyone need the Dash’s smarts, but everyone still wants a pair that kicks!

Build Quality and Design

The Headphone flaunts many of the same design elements from the Dash. The same small form, the same shape, and  even the charging case looks the same. However, the case has a plastic sleeve instead of a metal one. The LED indicator is a simple blinking white light instead of the more elegant ‘breathing’ one you get on the Dash. And the most important difference is the lack of touch controls. Instead, you get three little buttons on the right earbud that operate your music and volume controls. They are a little too stiff (and small) for my liking and a little less intuitive than swiping.

The ear tips attach to the nozzle directly and are quite easy to swap. You get an extra Comply tip plus a small standard silicon tip.

Performance and Features

Features

The Headphone is skinnier on the features but it’s still attractive for its price. It hassimple controls for your music and volume, and can also work with Siri and Google Now voice assistants. You’ll also get the (very useful) Transparency Mode which you activate with a long press on the volume+ button.

If you’re getting the Headphone, do note that you’ll be missing out on stuff like an App, fitness tracking and water-resistance – not to mention the touch controls.

Sound Quality

With its skinnier bass and lower mids, the Headphone may not express energetic rock albums with as much verve as the Dash. But, There’s much more to like about its sound. The Headphone does have slightly better overall clarity when enjoying vocals tracks and instrumentals. Winds and percussions heard on the Headphone feel more relaxed and airy, while the same tracks sounded a little more restrained in the Dash.

The Headphone’s overall sound signature is balanced and lively – in short, a treat to listen to.

Comfort

The Earbuds are pretty lightweight, even lighter than the Dash. So it made it more comfortable for wear for longer. I used the regular tips often but the Comply Tips stay better in my ears during my evening jog.

Bluetooth

It uses Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless connectivity and it was very reliable within its 10 meter range – even more reliable than the Dash! On public transport, the Headphone had close to no signal dropouts. Audio and video is synced up perfectly, whether I’m watching from my phone or from my computer.

Battery Life

The volume was pretty soft at 50% volume so I had to jack it up to about 70%. And at that volume level, the Headphone squeezed out 3.5 hours of battery life.

To be frank, the Headphone’s battery life is not as impressive as I had hoped. Further, unlike the Dash (and other earbuds) the Headphone’s case did not supply extra charges. I wish it did have that, so at least I didn’t have to use my power-bank for it.

Also, there isn’t an obvious battery indicator on the earbuds so if you need to check on the battery, you have to look at the small indicator on your phone screen.

Price

At S$248, Bragi the Headphone is almost half the price of the Dash. However, it is the same price or higher than other industry heavyweights such as the Bose SoundSport In-Ear (S$249) and the Jaybird X3 (S$229). Both are not wireless between the buds, but have comparable sound quality, equivalent battery life and water resistance too.

Conclusion

The Headphone faces stiff competition at this price point from brands like Bose, Jaybird and Plantronics. If you’re an iPhone user, you’d probably consider the Apple AirPods as well. But if you’re looking for something really small, fits better and with clear, full sound, the Headphone from Bragi is a compelling choice.

Build Quality and Design (Wireless Earphones)

  • Pros: Small and sturdy form. Sturdy charging case with protective plastic sleeve and lanyard. Clear and bright LED indicator. Three-button control scheme on right earbud. Easily swap existing tips with a set of Comply ear tips and a smaller silicon tip.
  • Cons: Button controls are stiff and less intuitive to operate than the Dash’s swipe controls.

Score: 5/6 (27.75%)

Performance and Features

  • Pros: Lightweight and comfortable to wear. Simple controls. Transparency mode lets you hear outside the earbuds. Works with Siri and Google Now voice assistants. More reliable Bluetooth connection to your phone, as compared to the Dash. Clear, balanced and airy sound quality that’s great for active vocals and instrumental music.
  • Cons: Missing many popular features from the Dash like an App, fitness tracking, touch controls and water-resistance. Battery life did not impress. Charging case does not come with additional charges.

Score: 6/9 (22.2%)

Price

Score: 2/5 (13.32%)

Final Score: 6.3/10

Aaron. T.
Aaron's dream is to meet the celestial man in the sky who blessed him with huge ears, and shake his hand with a big smile. His typical day is split between getting Rekt on Battlefield 1 and making exciting YouTube reviews at www.youtube.com/loudwirelesssingapore

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