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Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Review

Jabra brand is synonymous with premium handsfree solution for mobile devices. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Jabra is offering the HALO2 at a special price of S$125 (usual $148) till 14 Feb 2012. I received a review unit last week, which allows me to try the device and share my experience here.

The HALO2 experience is radically different from most bluetooth headsets out there. Here are 3 things that are unique:

1. Foldable
There is no on/off switch. Just fold the HALO2 to switch off, and unfold it to switch on. HALO2 immediately connects to all paired devices and you are ready to enjoy wirelessly.

2. Touch Volume
To adjust volume, slide your fingers up and down the volume bar. The touch sensitivity is good so volume adjustments are responsive. You can skip tracks by double-tapping the “+” or “-” icons, though in my experience it’s a hit-and-miss because you can’t feel where the icons are. Jabra should have build little bumps so that we know exactly where to touch.

3. Wired Audio
The HALO2 is the first wireless headset I know of that comes with a wired option. Plug the adapter cable directly into your 3.5mm audio device and the HALO2 goes into dedicated audio mode. The bluetooth mode is turned off and so you will not be able to answer calls wirelessly. You also cannot adjust volume or skip tracks on the touch panel. If you want to revert the bluetooth mode, you need to switch off HALO2 and back on again.

Design
The HALO2 is very slim and looks like an oversized hairband. Though the headset can be extended, the ear-fit might vary for different people because the curvature is fixed. The open backed design means the sound will leak and people around you will hear it, so be mindful about the volume.

Audio Quality
For my review unit, the treble frequency is lacking, but the bass is natural. Equalizer adjustment is imperative in order to achieve a good audio balance. The AM3D Virtual Surround Sound enhances the audio experience.

Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the equalizer for mobile call audio. The result is a rather muffled sound of the other party, while other party commented that the HALO2 user’s voice sounded distant. Since there is no extended mic coming out from the HALO2, there is no way to improve the pick up.

Specifications:

  • Bluetooth 3.0 EDR+eSCO wireless technology, up to 10m
  • A2DP for music streaming
  • AM3D Virtual Surround Sound 2.0 and PowerBass
  • AVRCP for remote controls (skip track, pause, etc.)
  • Noise Blackout technology with dual microphones
  • Foldable headband and carrying pouch
  • Talk time – 8 hours
  • Wireless Music time – 8 hours
  • Standby time – 13 days
  • Micro USB charger
  • Dimensions: 45mm (D) x 165-190mm (H) x 136mm (W)
  • Weight – 80 g

Summary Thoughts
The Jabra HALO2 is primarily a music headset, with the convenience of a handsfree solution. The audio sounded rather impressive, but only after running through an audio equalizer. I liked the slim profile of  HALO2 when worn and the responsive volume adjustment via touch. The price is rather reasonable as a gift for your loved ones who enjoy music as much as being on the phone.

Jabra Valentine’s Day promotion is valid from 1 Feb to 14 Feb 2012, exclusively at all Infinite Apple Premium Sellers and Apple Shops at Best Denki.

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