Bragi Dash Impressions: Wireless Earphones Offer Enough Quality Features to Counter Small Battery

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. MacRumors
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    Wireless bluetooth headphones have been gaining traction over the past few years as potentially reliable replacements to the traditional wired headsets offered in most smartphone boxes. With the announcement of the "Bragi Dash" at CES in 2015 -- and the subsequent year of updates trickling out of the German company -- interest in true wireless earphones that don't even require a wire between the earpieces has begun to increase.

    Interest in these products took another step forward last week when it was reported Apple may be working on a Dash-like product to be sold alongside the so-called "iPhone 7" later this year. The Apple-owned Beats by Dre brand already offers customers a variety of Bluetooth headphones, but none that are as small and undetectable as the Bragi Dash.

    With the first round of Bragi Dash units now shipping to Kickstarter backers, a few sites have been sharing their initial impressions of the new earphones. The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, Engadget, and Wired agree on the Dash's impressive suite of features, especially subtle motion gestures and ambient noise control, but some remain skeptical of their wide appeal due to syncing issues and a short three-hour battery life.


    The Verge commented on the gesture controls, surprised by the amount of subtlety the Dash still managed to pick up. The basic gestures let users nod or shake their heads to accept or reject phone calls, which the site found to work nearly too well, and worried over accidental gestures causing miscommunications with the Dash. Still, The Verge's favorite feature was the ability of the headphones to allow ambient noises to pass through to your ears from their location in a room, even when music is playing.
    Connectivity issues were the main concern of The Wall Street Journal's experience with Bragi's new headphones. The Bluetooth connection between the iPhone and the Dash became unreliable for the site "particularly on outdoor runs," necessitating the purchase of an armband case to bring the iPhone closer to the in-ear headphones. Although Bragi promises an upcoming update will address such problems -- and the Dash's 4GB of internal memory can offset some iPhone connectivity issues -- The Wall Street Journal remained skeptical on the consistency of the feature.
    On the plus side, the site was largely impressed by the Near Field Magnetic Induction used by Bragi to keep the dual earbuds in sync, creating a "bubble around one's head through which the sounds travels from one ear to the other." NFMI was the reason the Dash were delayed in the middle of last year, when the team decided to find a better way for the earbuds to communicate with each other. WSJ also found that each of the Dash's earbuds were reliable in their fit within the ear, never causing concern over whether either piece would fall out during long runs and workouts.

    [​IMG]
    The Bragi Dash inside of its portable charging case, via Engadget


    Engadget was doubly impressed by the use of NFMI as an alternative to Bluetooth connectivity between each piece of the Dash (Bluetooth is still used to communicate with the iPhone). Like most reviews, the site also commented on the usefulness of the Dash's voice assistant that guides users through the initial setup and can also read out data and information back to them on the fly.
    Wired's experience with the Dash most succinctly categorized the headphones apart from everything else that is available on the market, the site calling Bragi's new product "a computer, a platform, an entirely personalized object," separate from competitors like Earins. When testing the basic music functionality of the earphones, Wired found the quality to be "fantastic" and referred to the new product as "remarkable" for what it accomplishes even considering the slim three-hour battery life.
    Read more reviews and impressions of the Bragi Dash online: DC Rainmaker, The Gadgeteer, Wareable, and Reviewed.com.

    Article Link: Bragi Dash Impressions: Wireless Earphones Offer Enough Quality Features to Counter Small Battery
     
  2. Markoth
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    Markoth

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    I've had many problems with Bluetooth headsets over the years. It's still not completely stable. Luckily, I've managed to find workarounds for all the issues I'm having, so I suppose that's progress? I suppose once more wireless devices are using 802.11n and ac's 5GHz band, bluetooth will have a bit more room to breathe. It gets pretty bad in the busier parts of the city.
     
  3. HenryDJP
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    While this is nice innovation....I guess....I'm really confused why the guy didn't even talk about how well they sounded, or if they sounded good at all. Hmm. Guess that was a sign....
     
  4. Scottsoapbox
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    Scottsoapbox

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    I have Earin. They are awesomely tiny and tangle free for listening on the move. However all Bluetooth headphones are going to be lower quality sound than a decent set of wired ones.
     
  5. jmh600cbr
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    jmh600cbr

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  6. myers024
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    $299
     
  7. triton100
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    wow - apple are really going to have to up their game - theses headphones seem amazing, and exactly what I've been searching for for years ! Maybe apple's version will have health monitoring elements too. But I couldn't wait to find out - and preordered these bragis as I really am not a fan of the beats range of headphones.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016

    HobeSoundDarryl
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    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #8
    That's the key... an awful lot of words in an article touting all kinds of things, but nary a word about sound quality. It's like the goal is to try to make "cool" and "wireless" more important than how what is basically ear speakers sound. It's like touting everything about a new TV except the picture... and yet that's the most important part of the product... the part you'll see the most... much like in this case, you'll listen to audio the most... far more than the gimmick of the built-in setup assistant. Yet that got a whole paragraph.

    And is it really going to be steadily beaming magnetic waves directly through our brains every second we are using them so that Left can sync with Right? That's how it appears to read to me.
     
  9. 69Mustang
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    69Mustang

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    Agreed. All the reviews (at least the MR excerpts) seem to be gaga over the ancillary features and pay no attention to the only reason for these to exist: sound. Typical BT sound is inferior to wired. At $299 if they don't sound decent, none of the other bells and whistles will mean a thing.

    Also, I know it's first gen, but that battery life. :eek:
     
  10. navaira
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    navaira

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    #10
    First thought: holy **** future arrived.
    Second thought: I need to own at least two pairs with a three-hour battery life and get some sort of really slick piercings to make sure they don't fall out of my ears, which normal earbuds do every now and then and their lives are saved by the existence of the ancient and redundant technology called a cable.

    I didn't actually notice that they didn't mention sound quality ;)
     
  11. mazz0
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    mazz0

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    I don't get why the battery life on truly wireless headphones has to be so bad. Jaybirds (which have a wire between the earpieces) have an advertised battery life of eight hours (it's actually been a little more for me). If we imagine that the only drain on the battery is the wireless connectivity (which obviously isn't really the case, since sound is energy) then I could understand having half that battery life since they have twice the wireless traffic to manage. But that's four hours, not three (and like I said, some of the eight hours obviously goes to making the sound, so I shouldn't even be expecting it to halve). Is the missing battery life because of all those extra features they've added, or just inefficiency, or because they've done and Apple and prioritised small size (maybe they found putting bigger batteries in made them fall out)?

    Four hours would be good enough almost all the time, but wouldn't cut it for long journeys. Of course, if you don't care about long journeys (or you don't mind taking an extra battery thing with you to top them up (I'm sure that will be available, actually I don't know how much charge you get out of the case that comes with them, could be enough for a long journey on its own) and taking a break to charge them half way through) then they could be great, I'm certainly not saying I don't see the appeal, I just think I'd sacrifice some of their touted features for battery life closer to four or five hours.
     
  12. Clarky!, Jan 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016

    Clarky!
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    Its not an Ad. They are stating that this kind of product is what Apple will try and rip off, thats why they are going into detail about the functions and how well the technology works in a package this size.

    "With the first round of Bragi Dash units now shipping to Kickstarter backers" - not true. Im a backer and none of us have gotten them yet.

    To address the sound quality questions, I've read a few reviews about this and they say the quality is quite good. In earbud form they already offer a good amount of passive noise cancellation also.

    On battery life, the batteries in these are terribly tiny. I suppose you could get better battery life from a non rechargeable but you couldn't replace it. These are waterproof. They are really made for doing exercise workouts, not wearing all day long. After three-four hours use, you put them back in their case which charges them. The case charges them 5 times before it needs to be charged. Buy a few spare cases for work, the car, whatever.

    I think its a fantastic product, hence why I kick started it. Imagine how cool it will be doing laps in a pool while listing to music?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2016 ---
    These are smart ear buds. The battery isn't just for music on bluetooth, these buds track your fitness, heart rate, oxygen, jawbone microphone, etc. They do a lot, thats why the battery doesn't last longer than a few hours.
     
  13. triton100
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    Dudes he does mention that the sound quality is good - watch the clip again.

    Though I am with you re magnetic waves through the brain - that really is an initial concern - I wonder what kind of health and safety checks have been done. It's crazy we live in a world of smartphone domination and not much is ever said about the ill effects of using phones on our health is - and yet there are lots of cases where cancers are directly linked to phone usage -e.g. a girl who got a breast cancer tumor in exactly the spot where she used to store the phone in her bra all the time.
     
  14. navaira
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    navaira

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    How will they stay stuck in your ears though? I have those rubber earbuds and I lose one sometimes when I make a rapid head movement and I'm not even underwater ;)
     
  15. fyun89
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    Am i the only one concerned about the "magnetic induction" part of the Near Field Magnetic Induction technology in terms of my brain health?

    Wondering how the intensity of this compares with MRI.. I dont want my brain to be exposed to mini MRI every day.
     
  16. Clarky!
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    Same tech as hearing aids so perhaps the safety checks have already been done.
     
  17. dwsolberg
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    Another great product that is hampered by Bluetooth.
     
  18. Clarky!
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    They come with a leash style accessory to address this. It was one of the early kick starter questions. They also come with a few different sleeve sizes in different colours (like fluro green, etc)
     
  19. AbSoluTc
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    AbSoluTc

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    Hmm, I wonder how the EARPHONES SOUND? Especially since the entire video and article is about the tech, setup, design, back story and everything BUT what they are designed to do. Hell, he doesn't even say how long they last on a charge.
     
  20. HobeSoundDarryl
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    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Um Dude, it's a >3 minute review and all he says about sound quality is 6 words: "Not only do these sound great..." to which I would ask, "relative to what?" 2 paper cups connected by a string can sound great relative to cups with no string.

    Go watch non-geek-computer-oriented reporters review headphones for audio publications or websites and they'll spend a LOT of time and dominate their articles and videos on how speakers or headphones sound... even spelling out the details of what they listened to for the review and relative to other headphone products.

    I don't want to rain on this too hard- they may produce audio better than any other headphones in the world for all I know- but I'd think that how they sound should get at least a paragraph in an article about any kind of headphone/earbuds and maybe at least 20% or more of a video review.

    After all, once the setup is over, what is any owner of the product going to use them for the most?
     
  21. earthTOmitchel
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    earthTOmitchel

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    #21
    Had trouble specifically finding tidbits about just that since most of these aren't reviews per se but just CES impressions where they dropped mentions about it sounding pretty good but had no time to fully test it out. I imagine in-depth reviews will be coming soon.
     
  22. Four oF NINE
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    Four oF NINE

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    The write up sounds dreamy.. Sounds great if it's all true.
     
  23. jmmo20
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    that and similar technologies have been used in hearing aids for quite some time now
     
  24. Clarky!
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    Exercise. Thats what these are designed for. Ive heard some 'exercise' ear buds and they usually trade sound quality for waterproofing and design. Lets hope this quality is amazing though.
     
  25. scaramoosh
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    I need 10 hours of battery life, if they cannot do that then they're useless to me.
     

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