The company that crammed tons of fitness trackers into the most revolutionary cord-free earbuds this year, just dumped all that tech to give us a no-nonsense version. It may be the smartest thing they’ve done, just in time for Apple’s Keynote address, and Christmas. They call it The Headphone. Yup, no pluralization, just The Headphone, and it’s a steal.
These are not to be confused with the IQbuds. Nuheara, the company that’s making IQBuds is up against some stiff competition with The Headphone.
The Headphone doesn’t do all the fancy stuff as The Dash, but that may be a good thing for Bragi. The Dash may have been a bit too much too soon, but the Headphone could get Bragi’s foot in the door of consumers.
Maybe they’ve figured out what Hollywood already knew: you make cheap products that sell in volume to the masses so you can fund more robust products to appeal the elites.
We spoke about Bragi earlier this year, in our article 8 Completely Wireless Earbuds to Revolutionize Workouts.
At the time, Bragi introduced something different: headphones that not only streamed your music without a single wire, answered calls and notified you, but also tracked your fitness data.
They called them The Dash, labeled more as a microcomputer than a pair of earbuds. The Dash packed 150 micro components, 27 sensors and a 32-bit processor about the size of your fingertip. They were revolutionary.
Sadly, they were not perfect. Early reviews cited problems with the technology. Bragi insisted those challenges were software, but the jury is still out.
The Headphone could make Bragi a buzzword again.
They will play your music, streaming it to your ears from your smart device. You can advance track, go back and adjust the volume all from the right bud. They facilitate calls, even in windy conditions.
The audio in the Headphone is Bluetooth 4.0, which tells you where Bragi’s head was at designing these. Bluetooth 4.2 is the hottest thing in Bluetooth, but probably more costly. Bluetooth 4.0 does the job.
Similar to the IQbuds, The Headphone allows ambient sound to pass through the speakers, so you are not cut off completely from the outside world.
The fit is customizable; their site shows a man doing a handstand, which means they must stay in. The battery is six hours, charged in less than two. That is impressive. You could run a marathon wearing these.
The juiciest rumor this week about the future of smartphones is nearly confirmed. Apple’s keynote address, days away, will reveal the answer to the question, is the headphone jack dead?
The writing is on the wall, even if Apple doesn’t write it there. We’re destined to be wire free.
Bragi seems well-timed to put marketable solutions in the heads of their would-be buyers. The competition is heating up, with cord-free headphones coming out our ears.
An affordable solution at $119 (the IQbuds are $300), Bragi knows what they’re doing.
For most people the $300 price tag on The Dash was too steep to even consider, health metrics be damned. Worthwhile Bluetooth headphones come in around the $200 mark, so, we may see The Headphone in a few ear canals come Christmas.
BTW: I know two pieces micro-real-estate where The Headphone would look great, in case you have me on your Christmas list.