BRAGI THE HEADPHONE
Bragi’s very first offering – The Dash – was waterproof, could do activity tracking, and ran all controls via touch, but sometimes suffered from connection issues. Fast forward just under a year and Bragi is back with their second product – a stripped-down version simply called ‘The Headphone’ that does nothing but its core promise – play music wirelessly.
Unlike any of the other headphones in this shootout (or even The Dash), the carrying case for The Headphone doesn’t act as a spare power source. It simply keeps the unit safe. That may be because The Headphone gives a solid six hours of playback on a single charge, almost twice the battery life of the competition.
And there are no touch controls here either, only three simple buttons for volume control and power on/off on the right headset. Pairing is a simple easy affair, simply hold down the power button to put the headphones in pairing mode and connect with your phone. We personally found the control buttons a bit awkward to use as pressing down on any button means you’re effectively pressing the ear bud deeper into your ear; sometimes uncomfortably so. That said, we must say The Headphone gives pretty good passive noise isolation because of the tight fit.
In terms of audio, we were pleasantly surprised to hear the range of audio produced. While most of the sets in this shootout promised a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, none of the other headphones produced bass with body like the Bragi did, so that certainly made it stand out. For example, Rebecca Pidgeon’s Spanish Harlem starts off with an inviting bass line that draws the listener in to the track. On all the other headphones this is barely audible at best, leaving you feel wanting, but with The Headphone, this not only has weight, it also has enough decay to make it sound more natural.
That’s probably why it performed best on Hotel California by The Eagles on our formal testing. The track is led by a steady bass beat, and gives the headphones a chance to show off their musicality, as it features a multitude of musical instruments that The Headphone renders with aplomb.
Best audio overall with coverage over the entire audio range. Least features compared to the other headphones.
Unlike the others, the Bragi’s case doesn’t act as a spare battery.