Review: Bragi's 'The Headphone' Wireless Buds Are Neat, but Lack the Finesse of AirPods

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bragi announced its Dash earphones at CES way back in 2015, when wireless Bluetooth headsets were still relatively niche. Since then we've seen Apple, Samsung, and a host of other companies launch their own "truly wireless" headphones, prompting Bragi to give the market another pop with "The Headphone" ($149), a less expensive, more awkwardly named variant of its original cord-free buds.


    Announced last September two days before the Apple iPhone 7 event, The Headphone only began shipping in January, so Bragi has had plenty of time to iron out any last-minute kinks. Not that there should be any. The Headphone buds are a lot less ambitious than the Dash.

    They don't have touch-sensitive controls, for one. Bragi has also done away with the internal music player, heart-rate monitoring and fitness tracking features found in the company's original wireless buds. Are they susceptible to the same connection problems that initially befell the Dash? And how do they compare against Apple's AirPods? Let's find out.

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    Article Link: Review: Bragi's 'The Headphone' Wireless Buds Are Neat, but Lack the Finesse of AirPods
  2. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    Bought the AirPods and would have kept them, but was deeply disappointed by the EXTREME hissing sound as soon as the microphone kicks in while doing phone calls etc. Not talking about normal Bluetooth basic hissing I guess/hope, but really, really bad. A pity as I would have loved to keep the AirPods.
  3. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    I wouldn't cope without the back up charge that offers the Airpod case. I think the only thing Bragis the Headphone have that airpod lacks is the black colour. Very happy with the Airpods.
  4. naeS1Sean, Mar 6, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017

    naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Scranton, PA
    Perhaps they were a bad pair…?
  5. michaelant macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2006
    So the Bragis are easier to 'hide or disguise' than the AirPods, just because they're black? They look comparable in size, smaller, but not by a lot. Maybe because they don't have the stem?
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I have used both. The main advantages of the Headphone are noise isolation (with optional passthrough via the "transparency" feature) and controls to start/stop/skip songs and adjust the volume. They have different strengths. The Airpods are almost useless in noisy environments such as airplanes, but they are more comfortable and "airy" when it's reasonably quiet around you. The Airpods are also very good for phone calls. The lack of an easy way to adjust the volume on the Airpods is a serious drawback IMO. The Headphone has a more secure fit when doing vigorous exercising or similar.
  7. Szarky macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2010
    Review needs pic of these things in your ear. Side profile shot of head.
  8. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I feel like I made the right choice then. The headphone made me hesitate to get the AirPods but I'm happy with my choice. I'm always filled with the fear that they will fall out though and haven't gotten used to that yet. My left ear is a bit differently shaped that my right and it seems to eject the AirPod after a while.
  9. nick42983 macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2009
    The AirPod in my right ear seems a tad looser than in the right, but I haven't had them fall out on their own at any point. I thought about the Bragi's for a moment after months of frustrating AirPod delays, but the charging case (which is also smaller), longer battery life and superior microphones made them clearly superior. I wish they'd block out outside noise (even my $25 Bluetooth earbuds do this much better), but the "earplug" design is something Apple saved for the Beats X, and probably has less mass appeal than the AirPod/EarPod feel millions of people are used to.
  10. BvizioN macrumors 601


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    The volume controls and skip/play dies not bother me at all because i use Apple watch and much better /easier in my opinion but for someone who does not have AW it can be an issue. Also the noise reduction is not an issue for me. I don't like to have my hearing totally isolated from outside when I am listening music.
  11. EMT123 macrumors regular


    May 9, 2008
    Under the Big Sky, USA
    I used the Bragi Headphone for about a week. I was excited and loved them at first because of the newness of it all. Once that wore off, it's hard to justify the $150 price tag. I sent them back. They feel cheap. Sound cheap. The Headphone should be priced around $50.
  12. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    After having to return the airpods due to a bad fit, I was eyeing these for a while.... I ended up picking up a pair of the Jabra Elite Sports for $70 under the retail price and I absolutely love them, the fit is great, the case offers 2 extra full charges and they sound really good. i never would have gotten them at $249 because I won't use any of the fitness features (use apple watch) but for $180 I gave it a shot and I'm really happy I did. I think I would have picked up these Bragi headphones had the case been a charging case, that's what gave me pause.
  13. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2016
    This "article" doesn't appear biased at all... :rolleyes:
  14. jhfenton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It sounds like you had a defective pair. There is no hissing on phone calls with my AirPods.
  15. Chuck Kostalnick macrumors regular

    Chuck Kostalnick

    Jun 2, 2015
    San Fransisco, California
    Mine do the same thing - it's especially bad on Mac. I'm not sure why, but whenever my 2015 rMBP tries to use the Mic on the AirPods, the audio quality is absolute garbage.
  16. radus macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2009
    I bought the first version of Bragi s earphone and what should I say ... never again.
    They didn't fit, I lost one -- no replacement available ... . I will avoid this company like a plaque.
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Agreed. The Airpods are a success. I use mine for weightlifting all the time. As far as a black color, that's guaranteed to happen with Apple exoanding The line.

    Otherwise, if someone really wanted to pay a premium, they could have their AirPods painted by Colorware (Macrumors had an article on this weeks ago.)
  18. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    i like that you can change the volume, i wish the AirPods could do that without having to go to the phone.
  19. Vanilla35 macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    I have owned both. Returned AirPods, because I was never a big fan of them to begin with, never planned on keeping them, and mostly like the Bragi for the "audio transparency" feature, which is the only reason I was willing to spend more than $100 on ***** bluetooth headphones to begin with.

    Audio transparency is a BIG feature that should be found on every fully wireless earbud. I also think the Bragi's are way more secure, and sound isolation is true. Don't have a problem with Airpod's design choice, but I prefer Bragi.

    Both headphones sound like *****. They're equivalent to a $15-20 set or wired earbuds. Connectivity is great on both though.
  20. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    Say wut? Not aware of hissing on mine?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 6, 2017 ---
    "in 2015, when wireless Bluetooth headsets were still relatively niche."

    Um, BT headsets have been mainstream for a dozen years.
  21. RF9 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2008
    Yeah, I don't know what's up with that complaint of hissing. My wife and I both have them and call each other over Verizon HD voice or facetime audio which both sound remarkably clear with the Airpods. I can hardly tell if she's on the airpods or using the phone mic.

    As far as color, I would like them to be non-white. I have a cheap single earbud BT earpieces ($19) in beige. Between it fitting all the way in the ear and the color, you can hardly tell when I'm wearing it (because it's similar to my skin tone.) I don't expect Apple to do this but it shows how far color can go to improve the appearance.

    I put one of these SlickWraps ($10) on my Airpods and made them matte black. They have some patterns that kind of match your skin color and blend in nicely. It's not perfect but it does a remarkable job making them look better and more subtle.
  22. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    That's probably an undocumented feature:)

    Just starting with wireless head phones, but as expected all the known drawbacks . Got some free plantronics, used them twice and can't hold a charge.
    With a cable I wouldn't have to worry. Headphones are always ready.

    Oh well, I'll keep on trying.
  23. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I do enjoy the AirPods. I'm glad I have an Apple Watch so I can control volume and skip songs, without the watch it's annoying and I find double tapping to activate Siri not a consistently responsive experience.
  24. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Thank you, yes, I would not want to tap etc. Siri so far has been useless for me. Never understands what I want done.

    I'll wait until they come out in black and maybe they figure out a way to get rid of that tooth brush look.
    Hope there is somebody with clip on ear hooks. I don't like anything too tight in my ears.

    Never buy Version A of anything Apple.
  25. clifgriffin macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Strange. The only time I've ever heard hissing is when the AirPods are silent, and even then it is very subtle.

    My guess is you had a bad pair, or you have super hearing :)
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2017 ---
    I hate noise blocking. Makes me feel like I'm in an isolation chamber and it's especially bad when running because of the tendency for the suction to cause sound distortion. (Though the The Headphone may be light enough to avoid this)

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