Bluetooth headphones provide a welcome relief from all the tangledness and messiness that are almost synonymous with wired headphones. But, it also comes with one major drawback – a hefty price tag! Jabra recently launched their new Halo2 Bluetooth headphones, but do they follow the same norm as the other Bluetooth headphones, or do they break that mould? Let’s find out.
Notification lights are hidden
Design and Build Quality
The Jabra Halo2 headphones are available in a matte black outfit with a silver outline on both the earcups. The Halo2 can easily be mistaken for an oversized hairband, with the minimalistic curved design. That doesn’t mean that they’re any cheap – the design is brilliant, with a smooth exterior and a felt covering the interior. The only button that’s available is on the outside of the right earcup, next to the slide volume bar. The inside of the headset consists of the product information along with notification LEDs for battery and Bluetooth connectivity.
Neatly hidden away from your naked eye is the track change sensor, next to the play/pause button and the microUSB charger at the bottom of the right earcup. In terms of design, the headphones look pretty good, but we weren’t really impressed with the fit. The only adjustment that’s available is that the length can be varied, but there’s no separate panel to make them snugly fit onto your ear. This allows another con to prop up – noise leakage. It looks pretty, but we’d recommend you check the fit as it was more of a design tradeoff for us.
The headphones can be folded and packed away, so the portability feature is there, but in terms of build, the flap wasn’t as sturdy as we’d wanted it to be. Also, the earcups were quite wobbly, which didn’t impress us at all. At 80 grams, they make for a pretty light pair of headphones – because you wouldn’t want to be wearing a rock on your head to listen to music, right?
With the Halo2, Jabra gets full marks in the design department, but the fit and the build quality left a lot to be desired.
The Halo2 come with the Bluetooth 3.0 wireless technology with three profiles. A2DP, obviously, for wireless music streaming. AM3D – for Virtual Surround Sound 2.0 and Power Bass and the last one being AVRCP, allowing you to control your music playback options (track skipping, pausing) from the headphones itself. Also, the headphones support two connected devices at a time, which might come in handy for swapping between your laptop and your smartphone. Along with the device, you get a separate 3.5mm jack cable, so you can use it with your non Bluetooth devices as well. The Halo2 can be operated as headphones using the microUSB data cable as well.
Jabra has put dual microphones into this little hairband and they’ve also got Noise Blackout technology for better audio quality. The headphones come with a talktime and music time of 8 hours and a standby time of 13 days.
We’ve often had hassles during pairing Bluetooth devices and peripherals, but thankfully the Halo2 is an exception. It’s as simple as power ON, find and connect. To disconnect the headphones, you can shut the flaps and voila. Again, the minimalistic design ensures a very pleasing experience, whilst operating your headphone. The super smooth bar, the single button that does-it-all, and the hidden notification lights ensure you’re controlling your music right from the headphones, without having to switch over to your smartphone or laptop. If you’re working on your phone while listening to music, though, the music will skip for that wee millisecond and it becomes an annoyance sometimes.
In our call test, the voice was decently loud, but you can easily notice that you’re on handsfree because there’s no dedicated mic that sits in front of your mouth. It’s pretty clear if your phone is near you (around 10-12 feet), but after that the voice starts skipping and cutting. If you’re wanting to use this device at your home, and you’ve got a lot of walls, you’ll be disappointed to know that the range isn’t that great. Thought it’s important to know that it’s due to the range capabilities of your smartphone as well. For talking on the go, the Halo2 gets the job done.
The volume control
Music quality is loud, but strictly average. Firstly, the noise leakage quite ruined our mood and secondly, we did notice some slight crackling at max volume. With the volume cranked up by 75 percent, you’ll get a decent listening experience, but lack of any kind of isolation (due to the fit) may be a deal breaker for some. Also, the bass lacks that thump that we’ve seen on a lot of much cheaper headphones and overall, the Halo 2 doesn’t impress us too much in the audio quality section.
In our battery test, the headphones took roughly two hours to charge up to the full capacity (when the notifcation light turns green) and after that they played music non-stop for a period of six hours and twenty minutes. Jabra have claimed a music time of 8 hours and the headphones did work for roughly 85 percent of that duration.
Your most expensive hairband..err headphones
The Jabra Halo 2 Bluetooth headphones are available at a price of Rs.5,800 (MOP). If you’re looking for a good music experience, you’re not going to get that with the Halo2. If you’re looking to have a headset that covers your basic wireless functionality, the Halo2 still looks pretty expensive. Moreover, we’d suggest you check out the fit before thinking of purchasing a pair for yourself. However, for us atleast, the Halo 2 didn’t pack that punch we were expecting it to deliver at that price.
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