Bragi The Headphone review: This new AirPods competitor fits and works well but doesn’t sound great – CNET

bragi could be said to have been the first standard bearer of the nascent category. The German startup had a very successful Kickstarter for its first fully wireless “smart” headset called the Dash which shipped in early 2016. The $300 (about £225 or Au$395) Dash was also loaded with sensors, so could function as a usable gym. got off to a rocky start, earning some critical reviews, but has gotten better with subsequent software updates.

The company is back with a second headset that it simply calls “the headset.” (ok, so) it’s also completely wireless, consisting of two wireless earbuds and a charging case. it’s much more affordable than the dash, with a list price of $149 (about £110 or au$195).

Reading: The headphone bragi review

what you get in the box.

The headset is essentially a stripped down version of the $300 dashboard, both in terms of features and materials. Gone are the dash fitness tracking features, built-in mp3 player, and waterproofing. the earbuds are all plastic and the included charging case is made of plastic rather than metal. It also doesn’t have a built-in battery to recharge the earphones, which is a bit of a problem.

But let’s start with the positives. the earbuds work, and by that I mean the two earbuds maintain a constant connection and also paired and re-paired with my phones with no problem. (I use an iphone 6s and a samsung galaxy s7 edge in my tests). they are light and fit well in my ears and stayed there.

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I also thought the built-in microphone worked pretty well for making calls, at least in quieter environments.

the right button has three small buttons that control playback/volume and let you use siri or google now.

With the control board, which has upgradable firmware and touch controls, there is an app to control a set of advanced features, but this wireless headphone does not have an app and its firmware cannot be updated.

There are three small control buttons on the right ear cup to control volume, track forward and backward. holding down the universal control button gives you access to siri (on iphone) and google now (android) for voice commands and holding that button down a bit longer activates a hear-all mode that allows ambient sound to filter in for so you can hear the outside world (it also helps to turn down the volume on your music, of course).

Battery life is “up to 6 hours”, which is decent for this type of headphone, but you won’t get it if you play your music at a higher volume. It charges the earbuds in the case, but, again, the lack of a battery in the case means it has to be plugged into a wall outlet while you’re juicing.

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the case doesn’t have a built-in battery to recharge, but you do get a lanyard.

Ultimately, the biggest problem I have with the earbuds is that they don’t sound as good, which seems to be the case with similarly styled wireless earbuds in the same “more affordable” price range. the sol republic amps air, for example, also sounds mediocre.

The sound from the headphones is a bit sunken, the treble is a bit harsh, and it’s not that nice to listen to a bluetooth headset, especially when you’re throwing heavy bass or more complicated music at it. you can find $15-$20 wired headphones that sound as good or better.

It’s a shame, because there are many things I like about the headphones. But as it stands, you’re probably better off with Apple’s AirPods, which cost a bit more.

Here’s a look at the headset’s key features, according to Bragi.

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  • can connect to any bluetooth device.
  • users can toggle between listening to music tracks, taking phone calls, turning on audio transparency (allows ambient noise in), and giving voice commands, all without having to look at a second device.
  • Three different sized fitting tips are included to help achieve a tight, secure seal.
  • Just over 6 hours of wireless battery life per charge

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