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Bragi The Dash Review – Don’t Buy Them!

I was really excited for my Bragi The Dash Review. If you haven’t heard of Bragi, it’s a relatively new startup that raised over $3 million on kickstarter (I believe that’s a record). These earphones looked awesome and everything about them sounded so cool. They’re fully wireless, which is the big trend in earphones now. Unfortunately, products often fail to live up to their hype and the Bragi The Dash Earphones are better left on the shelf. Here’s what I discovered.

 

Packaging

Big plus here. The packaging is appealing and useful as the box doubles as a user manual. It gives a feel of a quality product.

box doubles as user manual

Unboxing

The package includes, the earphones, charging pod and cable and different sizes of earpieces that slip on over the earphones. So far, so good.

Updating

There was a sticker on the box that said to update to the newest Bragi OS before using the earphones. What they left out is that updating is a tedious process which will require you to have a paperclip handy, as they didn’t include one in the box. Oh, and once the update starts, don’t put away that paperclip and walk away, thinking it will just update. You will need to use that paperclip and click some buttons again in a few minutes. Annoying, for sure, but I’d be willing to go through that process if the earphones lived up to the hype.

Setup

Connecting the earphones to my iPhone was relatively simple. I did run into a small problem getting the Bragi app to connect though. I quick email to tech support solved the problem. Not the best connection process I’ve seen, but not too bad.

Charging

The earphones come with a little charging box, which connects to a USB cable for charging. It also doubles as a battery, so you can charge the earphones when no power outlets are available. Charging time is decent and the process is straightforward. Perhaps their best working feature.

The Fit

Getting the earphones in properly is extremely easy. Just tilt them forward a bit, insert and rotate backwards. It creates a tight seal on your ear, which I found to be uncomfortable, as it makes it hard to hear what’s going on around you. I felt like the earphones would fall out of my ears if I moved too much. I tried all the different sizes, but none felt quite right. Still, I stuck with it, wearing them all day for a couple of days, hoping that I’d get used to the feel. I didn’t. There is a setting for Audio Transparency that is supposed to make it easier to hear what’s going on around you. It works, but it also makes an annoying static kind of noise when it’s on.

The Look

I was a little worried about how it would look walking around in these all day, and it is noticeable, but surprisingly doesn’t stick out so much. Sorry about my appearance in the picture below, I might’ve missed a few days of shaving. Oops!

Should have shaved that day :)

Sound

Aside from my issues with the ambient noise (or lack thereof if not using audio transparency), the audio was not horrible. I would say it’s about what I’d expect from a $50 pair of Skullcandy earphones. Not nearly the quality that you’d expect from a $170+ pair of earphones. I could tolerate barely passable audio, if all the other features worked perfectly, alas, they did not.

Controls

The earphones are controlled by touching a portion of the earphone in different ways. The right earphone controls the songs, volume and connectivity. The left controls activities. There are three built in activities that can be tracked with the earphones. I found the controls to be incredibly difficult to operate. Even while standing still and tapping the same area of the earphone, sometimes it worked, other times it did not. I got more used to it after using it for a while, to the point that I could get it to do what I wanted about 80% of the time, if I was standing still. While moving, I’d be lucky to get 50%. The idea is cool and other companies are copying it, but when running, I want controls that will work close to 100% of the time and touch controls are not there yet.

Cool New Control Options

Bragi has been working on a couple new ways to control the earphones, presumably because the touch controls are so awful. The first option, is the Virtual 4D control. With this option, you control the earphones by moving your head in different ways. It makes you look like an idiot moving your head all around when trying to pick an option, but who cares, if it works? Not me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work! After reading the manual, watching the videos and practicing over and over, I was able to get it to work a few times, for short periods of times. I think I got whiplash from moving my head so much 🙂

The second new option, allows you to tap on your cheekbone to access SIRI (or other similar assistants). I found this to work more consistently than the Virtual 4D option, but still far from accurate. I had to hit myself rather hard to start it and all it does is activate SIRI. Still, there is hope that Bragi will perfect these two options and salvage this product. In the meantime, I’m left wondering if this was a serious product release, or a practical joke, making me move my head and smack my cheek like a crazy person!

Running With Bragi The Dash

Even though my first couple days with the Dash were disappointing, I decided to continue my review into the area most important to me, running. Unfortunately, that was an even bigger disappointment and the final nail in the coffin. Carrying my iPhone in a running belt, as I always do, I was not able to make it through even one song, while running at a casual pace, without the audio skipping.

The Verdict

For all the promise the Bragi The Dash had, it failed to deliver in every important way. I hope they fix these issues, as the product has real potential, but I’m not sure if it’s salvageable at this point. My prediction is that they’ll sell off the technology and any patents they might have to a bigger earphone company and I hope they do well with that. I wish them well, as they clearly put a lot of time and effort into the product and they seem like great people. I just can’t recommend a product that’s so flawed.

If you are looking for wireless earphones, I’m still recommending the Jaybird Freedom 2 Wireless Earphones $149.99 on Amazon. You can read my review of the earlier version here.

Do you listen to music when you run?

What earphones do you run with?

RunningPilot

5 Comments

  1. Yeah those sound like a total flop of a product to me. I bought a similar pair of Bluetooth earphones and I loved all the features: The fit, the controls, set-up, charging. But, the most important feature was flawed. The audio would skip every couple of seconds and I could not get around that. So I ended up tossing them. I consistently use skullcandy earphones but I don’t know the model name but they fit great, cancel noise and the sound is awesome.

  2. wow how awesome to find technology like these in the modern days who would have known that technology would grow so fast . was just a few years ago and i remember that these didnt come out like this average technology dont stand a chance . as the modern takes over

  3. This is really helpful. I go run and workout all the time. I find it as way to relieve some unwanted stress while staying healthy.
    Just recently, my beats wireless earphones broke and I am in the market for some new ones. I seen these in stores and thought it could be worth it.
    Well I am glad I came across this review before I got them. That would have been a waste of money. Which earphones do you recommend?

  4. Unfortunately, I got suckered in as I saw these on Kickstarter. The fit was great the operation was a little disappointing, the sound was great if I was just sitting on my couch but where these fell short for me was in my physical activity. I am a flair bartender, I make drinks and juggle glass bottles. I do this more for the competition side of things. I do a lot of training and you do get a real work out. First signs of sweat and one side shorted out but the next time I used them it worked again. By the 4th use both sides had shorted out and would not charge anymore. Great call on your review as these are garbage. I have taken your advice and gone with the next generation Jaybird Freedom 2’s. I am now awaiting their delivery and I will let you know after using them if these hold up to the hype. Great website, nice to see unbiased no BS reviews, keep up the great work!!

    • Ouch, that hurts! Hate when things like that happen. Fortunately, I bought mine on Amazon and can return them. I actually got the new Jaybird Freedom 2 delivered today. So far I like them, but I’m not so happy with a couple changes they made. Still the best bluetooth earphones that I’ve tried.

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