Bragi Headphone Review – A Great, Affordable True Wireless Experience

In 2014, Bragi turned heads with the launch of the sleek, sexy and futuristic-looking Bragi Dash true wireless earphones. Although The Dash boasted a laundry list of smart features and had a great audio experience, it was really expensive and had terrible Bluetooth connectivity which made streaming from phones outdoors near impossible. Although the company wasn’t able to solve all of these issues three years on, the Bragi has returned to the market with a set of newer, streamlined True Wireless earphones called The Bragi Headphone, in an effort to recapture the hearts and minds of wireless audiophiles.

Key Features

Refined Wireless Audio

Completely no wires. Very well balanced audio over Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP AAC SBC), better range than the Bragi Dash.

Good Fit & Lightweight

Comes with a variety of ear tips for an excellent fit. Comply foam tips included in the box. Feels lighter and smaller than most true wireless earphones out there.

6 Hours of Standalone Battery Life

The Headphone lasts the longest in the True Wireless category. Even though it doesn’t come with a battery case, users can still charge this on the go with a power bank. 


In The Box

Bragi Headphones

1 x Bragi Headphone with Carrying/Charging case, 1 x lanyard, 1 x MicroUSB Cable, Silicone Eartips, Comply Foam Eartips

A special thank you to Leader Radio Technologies for loaning us one set of The Bragi Headphone for this non-paid review.

Appearance, Design and Build Quality

On first glance, the Bragi Headphone looks like the smaller version of its predecessor, The Bragi Dash. Almost everything about The Headphone takes after its older brother – it inherits the same simple design, sleek form factor, proximity sensors, charging system, and nozzle structure.

The controls are completely different though – Bragi has done away with the futuristic capacitive touch interface and replaced it with a three button system on right earbud. By pressing these buttons, users can control music volume, playback, Bluetooth pairing, and Ambient mode – called “Audio Transparency” by Bragi (reverse noise isolation – lets you listen to ambient noise from the outside).

Bragi Headphones

Although the Bragi Headphone’s physical button controls are much more reliable than the capacitive controls on the Dash (they misbehaved at times), they are a little uncomfortable to use as pressing the buttons pushes the earbuds uncomfortably into the ear. Fortunately, it’s an issue that’s easy to get around – we found that using a fingernail to press the buttons was much less annoying on the ears than using our fingers. It’s simple and mechanical, but reliable – and a step up from touch controls used in many other true wireless headsets.

Bragi has also used a new matte plastic material for the overall construction of The Headphone. Although it is very light in comparison to most true wireless earbuds out there, the housing feels a little cheap to the touch and it lacks waterproofing. However, The Bragi Headphone is still splash proof and sweat resistant, and should be durable enough for everyday use and the occasional workout session.

Bragi Headphones vs Bragi Dash

The Bragi Headphone also comes with a plastic carrying case which is used to store and charge the earbuds. Although there’s no battery in the case, you can still charge The Headphone on the go with a power bank and a MicroUSB cable.

Audio Performance

Picture

The Bragi Headphone has got decent volume for a pair of true wireless earbuds. While the highs and mids come through relatively clearly, the Bass on The Headphone shakes things up quite a bit. It is quite dominant on The Bragi Headphone – songs with an emphasis on thumping bass, such as Feel Good by Gorrilaz and Crazy by Gnarles Barkley, sounded fantastic.
Despite the deep sound, the mids and highs on The Headphone were still present and quite nice to listen to. The overall listening experience is rather pleasant and far more interesting than the neutral, well-balanced sound produced on The Dash.

Fit

The Bragi Headphone has a fantastic fit due to its petite and well designed form. They come with a standard set of silicone fittips (the same ones used on the Dash) which provide good sound isolation, but can be uncomfortable for some individuals.Thankfully, Bragi’s included a pair of Comply memory foam tips which are much more comfortable than the standard ones. These foam tips also take the listening experience up a notch – using them with the Headphone provided fantastic sound isolation and an even more secure fit. It’s a great addition which adds value to The Headphone, and something other True Wireless Earphone manufacturers ought to include in their retail boxes as well.


Audio Transparency

Like its predecessor, The Bragi Headphone comes with an ambient mode called Audio Transparency. Audio Transparency records ambient noise from the outside and plays it back to the user’s ears, enabling them to listen to the world around them even with their favourite tunes playing in their ears. It is a convenience feature intended to help runners and cyclists who listen to music on the road be aware of their surroundings better, and prevent them from getting into accidents.Although Bragi has improved Audio Transparency by reducing its sensitivity to high-pitched noises, such as rustling paper of plastic – there’s no way to control the threshold of what The Headphone picks up or doesn’t. Still, we find Audio Transparency very useful – with the feature on, we felt more aware of our surroundings while moving about, and didn’t have to take out The Headphone to listen to other people talking to us.

Bluetooth Connectivity – average but better than the Dash

Thankfully, the Bragi Headphone has much better Bluetooth range than its predecessor – the Dash had terrible, terrible connectivity issues and wasn’t able to stream music when the phone was in pocket. We were able to listen to music no problem with the phone in our right pocket, but unfortunately, we experienced occasional interruptions the moment our device was put in the left pocket. We’re glad that music can now be streamed reliably on a Bragi device, but the company really needs to work on improving the Bluetooth connectivity even more – Apple’s Airpods and Bragi’s competitors have done a much better job in this area.


Microphone
The Bragi Headphone uses the same bone conduction microphone technology used by the Bragi Dash, which picks up on sound waves produced by the user while speaking through his/her cheekbones. It sounds high tech, but produces average, passable audio quality during calls. Don’t count on it for extended conversations on the go though – some people we called using the Dash’s microphone felt we were very ‘distant’ and soft, and preferred us using our phone microphone instead.

Bragi Dash vs The Competition

Apple Airpods vs Bragi Headphone

Bragi Headphones vs Apple Earpods

Apple’s Airpods (S$238) are the tech giant’s take on the True Wireless experience. The Bragi Headphone (S$248) has a very secure feeling fit in the ear, especially with the Comply foam tips on. They stay well within the ear even while engaged in strenuous activity and exercise – in comparison, the Airpods fall out of the ear quite easily.

Sound Isolation is also much better on The Bragi Headphone – lots of background noise could be heard while using the Airpods. The Headphone also has slightly better standalone battery life than the Airpods (6hrs vs 5 hrs) – beating them by one hour.

What the Airpods do better than The Headphone is Bluetooth range and connectivity. Due to a unique Apple W1 Bluetooth chip on board, the Airpods establish a really strong Bluetooth connection with the user’s iOS device, and can automatically power on, off, and pair with Apple Products once out of the case – something The Bragi Headphone can’t do. The Airpods also come with a battery casethat provides an additional 24 hours worth of listening time.

Bottom Line

The Headphone has better sound quality, noise isolation, fit and standalone battery life. The Airpods have better Bluetooth connectivity and can automatically pair with Apple devices. They also come with a battery case, giving them an effective battery life of more than a day.


Bragi Dash vs Bragi Headphone

Bragi Headphones vs Bragi Dash

The Bragi Dash (S$428) was the Bragi’s first product and one of the first true wireless earphones to be sold to consumers.

The Bragi Headphone has better Bluetooth connectivity, better fit, and has more than double the standalone battery life of the Bragi Dash (6hrs vs 2.5-3hrs). Although the Headphone and Dash use the same microphone and audio transparency technologies, the listening experience is a little different – the Dash has a more balanced sound signature while the Headphone sounds warmer and bassier in comparison.

However, the Bragi Headphone lacks the smart fitness features, touch control and total waterproofing of the Dash. The Dash also comes with a battery case which gives it an additional 15 hours of battery life  – 3 + 15 hours vs 6 hours on the headphone.

Bottom Line

The Dash has much more smart features and longer effective battery life than the Headphone. The Bragi Headphone has less features and battery life but has much better Bluetooth range, better fit, and warmer, bassier sound.


Bragi Headphone vs Jabra Elite Sport

Bragi Headphones vs Jabra Elite Sport

Compared to the Bragi Headphone, the Jabra Elite Sport has fitness tracking which measures VO2max and endurance levels. It can even estimate if the user is pushing him/herself too hard. Noise isolation and audio transparency seems similar, but the Bragi Headphone produces a better sound and has a much easier and better fit. However, the Elite Sport is more expensive than the Headphone (S$331 vs S$248), has worse battery life (3 hours + 5.5 hours) and has a difficult fit. It can be quite uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

Bottom Line

The Bragi headphone has longer battery life, a more comfortable, secure fit and a better listening experience. The Jabra Elite Sport has fitness tracking.


Samsung Gear Icon X vs Bragi Headphone

Bragi Headphones vs Samsung Gear

Compared to the Bragi Headphone, the Samsung Gear Icon X has fitness tracking and a built-in fitness coach with tells the user to up their game or slow down while working out. Although they both share comparable sound quality, the Icon X’s are unfortunately more expensive at $298 (vs S$248) and falls flat on its face is compatibility and battery life. It can only work with select Android Phones and doesn’t work well with iOS, and it lasts only 1.5 hours standalone battery with 9 hours additional time on the battery case.

Bottom Line
The Headphone has longer battery life and can work with iOS better. Similar audio quality. Samsung has fitness tracking that works very well with Samsung Phones.

Price & Availability

Available in Singapore for a price of S$248, the Bragi Headphones comes with a one-year limited warranty. It is distributed by LRT Singapore and you can purchase them online at third party retailers such as Lazada, and Mobyshop.

One again, a very special thank you for LRT Singapore for loaning us the Bragi Dash for this non-paid review. If you’re looking to purchase Bragi products or other True Wireless Earphones to buy, head over to their website at truewireless.sg. They have a good range of true wireless products for sale.