I recently bought a pair of Bragi Dash Pro custom headphones. This product was developed through a joint partnership between high end German tech/audio company, Bragi, and the hearing aid manufacturer Starkey. To put it simply, The Bragi Dash Pro by Starkey is the pretty much the highest end pair of wireless ear buds on the market. They cost more and do more than any other comparable product. They will set you back 500 smackaroos. But, before you decide you wouldn’t pay that much for a pair of headphones, wait until you hear all they can do. Below I’ll describe the product offering and give you an honest review of the good and bad from my own experience with the Bragi Dash Pro by Starkey.
The Bragi Dash Pro by Starkey product consists of two entirely wireless custom ear buds, and a charging dock. The custom fit is probably the most important feature of these head phones. It is made possible by having an audiologist take a mold of your ear to be used in the fabrication of each unique ear bud.
Besides the custom fit, these headphones are jam packed with technology. Here is a list of all the features these tiny little ear computers offer:
Music: The headphones can not only stream music through Bluetooth, but they have storage capacity on them so you can load your music right on to headphones themselves. This means that you can use the Bragi’s without even needing to carry a phone with you. This is great for exercising and listening to music, especially if you swim. That’s right, these head phones are also entirely waterproof! You can slowly sink to the bottom of the deep end while listening to Simon and Garfunkel in high fidelity…or maybe just swim laps.
Fitness: The headphones can work as fitness trackers, complete with a phone app for viewing your historical activity. They track your heart rate and have an accelerometer built-in, which is used for gathering data on different types of exercise like running, biking, and swimming.
Translation: The headphones can work as a translating device. When set to work with the built-in iTranslate software they can listen in one language and then translate directly in your ear. Full disclaimer, I have not tried this feature yet and am a bit skeptical of it. I’m not sure my brain could even handle this, let alone headphone software. Nonetheless it is a “touted” feature.
Battery Life: The Bragi Dash Pro boasts great battery life for a pair of wireless headphones allowing for 5 hours of continuous playtime. Additionally, the dock will fully recharge the ear buds 5 times, before you need an external power source. In my experience if you are wearing ear buds without interruption for more than 5 hours straight, you might benefit from some human interaction.
Audio Transparency: This is a unique and really great feature that allows you to listen to music while still hearing the natural sounds around you. For instance, you can listen to music while you jog and still hear the sounds of the gravel beneath you. For me it came in handy for hearing fellow athletes yell, “On your left!” as they maneuvered around me power walking to Led Zeppelin. In all seriousness though, it is actually quite a cool experience.
The Good & The Bad
My experience with the Bragi Dash Pro by Starkey has been great. They have quickly become my favorite pair of headphones, and I have quite a few pairs being married to an audiologist. Here’s my honest thoughts on the good and bad about these headphones after using them for roughly 6 months.
The fit: The custom fit can’t be understated in terms of what a difference it makes when compared to regular earbuds. The earbuds look awesome for starters. The are sleek and futuristic looking. You can barely see them when looking straight on at my face due to their sleek in-ear design, but from the side they pulse different colors of light to indicate battery status.
The also have tiny touch screens on them so you can tap them and perform gestures for controlling the ear buds without a phone. The buds fit perfectly. They never fall out, they don’t make my ears sore after prolonged use, and they can be worn underwater. I absolutely love the way they feel and look to say the least. I’d go as far as to say I feel cool wearing them… a little like I'm from the future.
Sound quality and transparency:
The sound quality in the Bragi Dash Pro by Starkey is outstanding. My next most favorite pair of headphones, The Jaybirds, don’t even compare in sound quality. The Bragi’s simply put are the highest fidelity ear buds I’ve ever listened to. The fact that they are custom fit allows them to fully block your ear canal and block other outside noise from entering your ears. You hear the music perfectly clearly to say the least. This is also great for taking phone calls, and in my experience just zoning out and getting really into your music.
The audio transparency was a really awesome feature for me too. Being able to allow some sound through my ear buds while I was enjoying my music allowed me to wear my headphones longer and more safely. The device also has a lot of other custom sound feature that allow you to customize what you hear. Another great feature of the transparency is that it has a wind shield mode which will filter out wind noise. This is key for runners, bikers, human cannonballs, or anyone wearing ear buds and moving quickly. Wind can make a lot of noise, drowning out your music without this feature.
The battery life has been great on these little buds. I love the fact that I can just keep charging them from the dock I store them in (up to 5 times) without having to charge the dock itself. 5 hours of continuous play time is longer than I’ve ever needed to wear them.
The bad is simple. They are not necessarily simple to use. Setting them up for the first time, pairing them with bluetooth, dealing with bluetooth connectivity issues, understanding hand gestures, apps, software updates, charging docks, etc. - these are all tasks you need to be comfortable with to use these headphones well. Needless to say they aren’t for the “technologically impaired”.
The Bragi Dash Pro is a great gift for the right person. It is on the high end as far as the price tag goes. Your kids are going to love it and all it’s awesome features and sleek look. You might love it too. If you are “technologically uninclined”, you might go for something that plugs in. However, if you are the right consumer though, like me, then you’ll love these headphones.