The Dash Pro by Bragi Review: Gesture Controls Impress, But Some UI and Design Frustrations Remain

Smart wireless earphones company Bragi has been making waves in the "hearables" market since 2014, when it debuted a Kickstarter for The Dash, the company's original pair of truly wireless intelligent earphones that subsequently launched to the public in early 2016. After numerous Bragi OS updates to The Dash, and the lower-priced, lower-specced launch of The Headphone, this year Bragi revealed the true successor to its original device in The Dash Pro.

Staying true to its predecessor, The Dash Pro ($330) remains a complete platform of its own that connects to your smartphone and provides workout tracking, 4GB of onboard music storage, a battery case that recharges the earphones for up to 30 hours, and a detailed collection of Fit Sleeves and Fit Tips to ensure The Dash Pro fits in any ear. In May, Bragi also announced an ultra-custom hearable available at select audiologists, The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, but this review focuses solely on the mass market device, The Dash Pro.

Design


From the retail packaging to the satisfying snap of the battery case sliding home into the outer aluminum shell, The Dash Pro's premium feel is evident throughout the initial setup experience. The new minimal packaging ties in better with The Dash Pro's barely-there aesthetic, and not much else is lost in terms of the original box's step-by-step instructions on how to get the device up and running.


The Dash Pro earphones are nearly identical to The Dash, so anyone looking for a massive design change from the originals will be disappointed (the only subtle difference I noted were small tweaks made to the size and angle of the in-ear curve of the earphones). I always found the sleek and smooth finish of The Dash to be visually appealing, and that remains true for The Dash Pro and its new silver aluminum charging case.
Continue reading The Dash Pro by Bragi Review: Gesture Controls Impress, But Some UI and Design Frustrations Remain

Bragi Launches ‘The Dash Pro’ With Bigger Battery, Better Bluetooth, and Real-Time Translation

At an event in New York City today, hearable company Bragi announced a trio of updates coming to its line of wireless Bluetooth headphones, including The Dash Pro, The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, and Bragi OS 3. The updates follow the launch of The Headphone device that Bragi debuted earlier this year at a lower cost to The Dash, allowing The Headphone to enter the market as a more direct competitor to Apple's AirPods.

The Dash Pro


The Dash Pro's major updates center around what Bragi described as "professional grade" Bluetooth connectivity that provides audio to users "without interruption," improving on some connection issues that owners of the original Dash faced. Other improvements include a five hour battery life on a single charge (up from three), with a carrying case that can recharge The Dash Pro up to five times, totaling 30 hours of battery life on the go.


All of the advancements represent what Bragi is calling a "powerful ear computer," and not just a normal headphone or hearable device.
The Dash PRO contains more than 150 micro-components, a 32-bit processor, artificial intelligence powered by Dash AI and 27 sensors, all in a package about the size of your fingertip. Those sensors help ignite Bragi’s unique Kinetic User Interface, which enables users to literally turn their body into the device with a tap of the cheek or a nod of the head through the Virtual 4-D menu.
One-touch setup with any Apple, Android, or Windows device takes seconds, according to the company, and the audio transparency feature of The Dash has made it to the new device as well. With it, users can allow external sound to pass through into The Dash Pro, or cancel out any noise they don't want to hear to focus on in-ear audio. Audio quality has been bumped up with a new advanced audio codec with reduced white noise, and all-new foam tips (FitSleeves will be in the box again, too) provide stronger bass thanks to a better in-ear seal.

The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey


Bragi has also partnered with hearing technology company Starkey and will be launching The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, with personally-tailored fitting and more nuanced audio-boosting features at 5,000 audiologists throughout the United States and Canada. The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey is set to benefit users by allowing them to use "Fourth Platform" contextual computing interfaces that enhance their ability to interpret audio while enabling UI interactions through The Dash's motion sensing.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Dash PRO tailored by Starkey Hearing Technologies. As the world’s first custom-made wireless ear computer, this product is going to empower consumers to lead with confidence in everything they do,” said Brandon Sawalich, Senior Vice President, Starkey Hearing Technologies. “Our partnership brings a whole new dimension of personalization and customization to hearable technology to the market.”
Users will be able to purchase the tailor-made device and get a fit that is exactly customized to their ear canal, providing the "best isolation and a perfect fit with an emphasis on clarity, detail, and no loss of bass frequencies." Bragi said that professionals in precision-based fields will see benefits from such a highly personalized in-ear fit, including musicians, content creators, athletes, and more. The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey will also include HearClear replaceable WaxGuards to allow for long-term wear and minimal cleaning.
Continue reading Bragi Launches ‘The Dash Pro’ With Bigger Battery, Better Bluetooth, and Real-Time Translation

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

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.
Continue reading Review: Bragi’s ‘The Headphone’ Wireless Buds Are Neat, but Lack the Finesse of AirPods

Bragi Officially Launches $150 AirPods Competitor ‘The Headphone’

Announced last September two days before the Apple iPhone 7 event, and originally planned to launch in November, Bragi's $149.00 wireless Bluetooth hearable, called "The Headphone," is now available for all users to purchase online. The Headphone includes a number of changes from Bragi's The Dash ($299) in order to make it cheaper, ranging from having physical inputs instead of touch inputs and no activity tracking.

bragi-the-headphone-3
These feature removals have also boosted battery in The Headphone, however, with users able to get up to six hours of music playback on a single charge instead of the four hours that The Dash gets in one life. With the three physical buttons on The Headphone, users can skip through tracks, take calls, make voice commands, activate audio transparency, and more without needing to take out their connected smartphone.

bragi-the-headphone-2
At $150 The Headphone is $10 cheaper than Apple's AirPods, with a few alternative design changes that might make Bragi's device more enticing for some users, like the physical playback buttons and slightly longer battery life than the AirPods' five hours. Bragi itself took to comparing The Dash, The Headphone, and AirPods in a Facebook post last September centering around nine categories that omitted the AirPods' flagship features like Siri, seamless device pairing, and iCloud sync.


Those interested can order The Headphone today from Bragi's website for $149.00, with shipping currently estimated to arrive within the next two weeks. Although The Dash is available in Black and White, The Headphone is only made in Black. A range of other Bragi accessories can also be purchased from the company's online shop, including The Leash to connect The Dash buds together and extra FitSleeves.

Tags: AirPods, Bragi

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