earphones

March 13, 2017

It’s no surprise that now even earphones have become “smart”. The Dash is Bragi’s newly launched wireless “smart earphones”. It does more than connect to your music player by Bluetooth; it has a built-in drive that you can store music on (meaning you can take it anywhere without lugging a phone or music player around); it has a fitness tracker that responds by voice feedback and records heart rate, steps, duration, calories and distance; and can be fully controlled and customised through an app that’s available on the App Store, Google Play and Microsoft.

In all fairness, for this review, I did not have the opportunity to give the fitness functions a go. So here’s my 10 minutes with The Dash at my desk:

review by Adele Chan

 

SOUND
— The mids are clear and vocals come out beautifully.
— The lows are a bit muddy.
— Overall sound is balanced. It’s not as good as the sound you’ll get from B&O’s, but it’s definitely better than anything from an Apple or Samsung.

 

PROS
— There’s a 4GB in-built drive in the in-ear units, so you can actually store music to play direct from the earphones. That’s about 800 songs without the need for a smartphone or MP3 player!
— You can check the battery level by shaking the earphones and seeing what colour it shows (red is low, blue is full).
— The earphones fit comfortably in the ears. I can shake and shake my head and they do not fall out.
— The Dash detects immediately when the right unit is pulled out of the ear and stops the music. Music resumes when the right unit is put back in.
— It’s waterproof. Wow!
— It offers decent noise isolation.

 

CONS

— The sound on the left earphone kept going in and out. I think it was due to the angle I put it in my ear. It’s annoying and I needed to adjust the angle or touch the left unit to get the sound going again on that side.
— The tapping sequence to get from one command to the next takes getting used to. It’s not intuitive; you need to study the manual if you don’t want to end up frustrated.
— The maximum volume could go higher. I can’t imagine using this in an airplane; everything will sound so soft.
— The whole unit with the charger and sleeve is heavy and a tad bulky. I wouldn’t be able to slip it into a clutch bag, much less the pockets of my skinny jeans.

 

VERDICT

I’d be very happy if I received these as a gift. They’re fancy. The earphones feel solid and well-built. The price though… I wouldn’t buy these myself; the price doesn’t quite justify the quality of the audio. I need good audio when I listen to music, and would rather put my money towards the wireless B&O earphones — though they don’t fit in the ears as well as these Bragi’s, and have a wire to connect the left and right earbuds. BUT, if you’re not an audiophile and don’t expect top-of-the-line audio quality, the $428 price tag will make you the envy of your friends because these earphones look slick, and you can take them swimming!

 

The Dash by Bragi, $428, available at truewireless.sg and most leading audio and consumer electronics retail stores in Singapore now.