Review: Jabra Halo Bluetooth stereo headphones

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jabra-halo

I love wireless technology and will write-off a lot of its downfalls for the advantages. For instance, it doesn’t bother me that the audio quality of the Jabra Halo is sub-par, because they are wireless and very comfortable. Plus, I can deal with a lot of connection issues if I can eventually get it to connect, but the Jabra Halo headset failed me one too many times.

Here’s what I like:

The Halo headset is super comfy. It’s by far the most comfortable headset of any type I have ever worn. It just slips on your head and stays put. They somewhat feels like ear muffs. I also think most people should be able to wear them while running or biking, and the fact that they can connect to two different devices at the same time could make that convenient.

But that’s it. That’s the only upside to the Halo headset.

Here’s what I don’t like:

The Halo headset is supposed to be one of those devices that are smarter than you. To turn on the headset, simply unfold it, says Jabra. That doesn’t always happen so sometimes you have to keep opening and closing the flimsy hinges to get it to turn on.

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Those hinges make me nervous. I always feel like I’m going to break them. You have to give the arms of the headset a little tug while bending them downward to snap the hinge open. But there isn’t any metal in there and I’m afraid that the mechanism will not hold up. Plus, the fact that you have to do this to turn on the headphones makes it almost self-destructive.

halo-hingThis hinge also controls the Bluetooth connectivity. I had issues syncing it to my Blackberry, Windows 7 notebook and Mac a lot. It never once connected like it was supposed to. Instead I had to go into each device and tell it to look for the Halo headset.

The headset charges off of microUSB – well, sort of. I could get it to charge sometimes. The port is at the bottom of one of the headphones and is recessed deep inside. I had to jam the charger up in there and then slowly let go while praying it stays put.

Then there are other things like the audio being just okay and that sometimes it sounds like AM radio for a bit. Let’s just say that these headphones leave a lot to be desired.

Here’s what you should do:

There are a few other Bluetooth stereo headsets out there and I would steer you towards something other than the $129 Halo if you really want to go wireless. Even if you could deal with the connection issues, the flimsy hinge makes me question how long the headset will last. Maybe if there was a dedicated power/sync button and you didn’t have to unfold the headset to power it on, I could somewhat recommend these. Maybe the Halo 2 (if one’s in the works) will keep the same comfy design but improve on everything else. Until then, look elsewhere.

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