Here we go again. You’ve seen the review of the Motorola S305, which is one of my favorite Bluetooth accessories. I'll also confessed to a personal A2DP addiction with the Samsung SBH600 (review pending).
If you pay close attention on this site, you probably saw the announcement for Jabra’s HALO Bluetooth headset. The stylish, lightweight headset is a Best Buy exclusive; but we thought we’d put it through the ringer to see if it’s worth the $129.99 that it will set you back.
Hit the link to see our thoughts after we get up close and personal.
There’s no doubt that the HALO is comfortable. Weighing in at around 3 ounces, you will not have any trouble with comfort. The inside of the headphones is covered with a velvety cloth which gives enough padding to be comfortable while still flowing with the futuristic look.
One thing that the Samsung SBH600 had going for it was amazing sound quality due to the fact that the earpieces formed a seal over each ear; keeping the bass in while sealing any noise out. Jabra designed the HALO to fit over the ear, making this a more comfortable option without achieving quite the same level of sound.
I’m not implying that the HALO doesn’t produce good sound, because it does. I would just point out that it’s not quite as good as it could be if it formed a good seal.
Ease of Use
Jabra really excels when it comes to their product designs is creating an intuitive method of controlling the device. The HALO features a touch sensitive volume control on the right ear piece. A swipe of your finger up will raise the volume, while a downward swipe will reduce it. A single button also resides on the right side, and acts as both the play/pause control as well as the answer/end call button.
Powering the headphones on and off is as simple as unfolding and folding the headphones. When folded, the headphones fit snugly into the included carrying pouch.
My biggest concern with these headphones is that they really feel like they’re going to break. They don’t really feel fragile, just not really strong either.
Like the SBH600, the Jabra HALO supports both Bluetooth and a wired interface in order to use the headset with devices that lack Bluetooth support. The only port on the headphones is a single microUSB connector, which both charges the headset and allows you to use them with any device supporting a 3.5mm headphone jack. The downside is that though this is a standard port the only cable that is included for charging is a USB cable, and the included audio cable is a 3.5mm audio to microUSB cable. These are hardly standard implementations of microUSB.
Jabra really knows how to make a nice piece of hardware. The HALO is comfortable, produces impressive sound, and features impressive battery life for its weight. The biggest downside to me is the weirdness with the microUSB cables, which only becomes an issue if the original cables become lost or damaged. The other thing that still makes me nervous is the perceived flimsiness of the headphones. I really would have liked to see a hard case included in order to really protect this purchase.
Is the HALO worth $129.99? Without a doubt, yes. I would evaluate your priorities first though. If your primary desire is for the best sound quality possible I would point you in the direction of the SBH600. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of sound for the sleek, lightweight design of the HALO; the choice is an easy one.