I ordered The Headphone from Bragi in November, and I finally received it last week. Here’s a review of the wireless earbuds after one week of using it.
Bragi’s The Headphone is a truly wireless earbud, meaning these are just earbuds, and no cable between them, similar to Apple’s AirPods or EARIN. Unlike Bragi’s previous model, The Dash, The Headphone does not have:
- Internal storage and music player
- Charging carry case
- Fitness tracker
- Touch sensor
but it has a longer battery life, said 6 hours, and in half of the price ($150).
It is very important to have a comfortable and solid fit to the ear, so that I would not drop and lose the earbuds. The Headphone comes with 2 sizes of ear tips (S/M) and slightly bigger foam. I tested both the foam and M-size ear tips, and they both fit to ears comfortably.
The foam piece would be better if your ear is bigger and/or you prefer a tight fit and strong bass from the music. For me, M-size ear tips worked great even with longer hours of wearing.
Turning on and off the headphone could be a little easier. Turning on requires long-pressing the button on the right side for 1 second. It would be nice if it automatically turns on when I take it out from the charger, like Apple AirPods do.
Turning off is done either by long-pressing the same button for 3 seconds, or putting the earbuds to the case and connecting to the charging cable. The latter is a much easier action when I get home, but it is still annoying that putting back the earbud to the case alone is not enough to turn off the device.
Apparently it can automatically go into a sleep mode when no audio has been playing for 10 minutes, but that did not work for me when paired with my Google Pixel phone.
I’ve used Anker IE-20 for about a year and the nice thing about it is that it automatically powers on/off with the magnet. It means that it powers on when I wear it, and powers off when I do not.Anker SoundBuds Sport IE20 In-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds, Smart Magnetic Wireless Headphones with aptx.
Once it’s paired, the connection is solid. I’ve used many Bluetooth headsets like Anker’s IE-20 and Sony’s SBH-20 before, and have always experienced some audio drops in busy areas — I’ve never experienced any drops with The Headphone yet.
The sound is decent, and once you get a tight fit of the ear tips (see above for the fitting), you get a good bass sound as well.
When you listen to audio source with a bit of silence in-between, like podcasts, you might constantly hear a slight static noise getting in and out, on the left side of the earbud. The noise is very subtle, and is hard to notice when you’re in a loud environment, or when you listen to regular music without much silence, though.
One of the complaints I hear most from Apple’s AirPods users is that it does not have audio controls for volumes and playbacks.
The Headphone has three buttons on the right side, and it provides these features, to control the volume, pause and skip the songs. While it is really nice to have them on the device, it is very uncomfortable to click these buttons while you wear it. You either have to pinpoint the button and click it with a nail, or just push hard the earbud to register the clicks.
I imagine that the touch sensor on The Dash would have been much easier to use.
Honestly, the case is a bit too bulky just for a carrying case. For the last couple of days, I just leave the case plugged all the time on my desk, and carry the earbuds in a much smaller pouch in my pocket. This way I can just remove the earbuds and drop them on the charger when I’m home. Obviously, the downside of this setup is I cannot charge the earbuds when it runs out of the juice, after 6 hours of use.