Audio freedom is what most people look for in a pair of wireless earphones. They want to be able to pick it up, put it on, and go anywhere, do anything without worrying it will fall out – or get in the way of a workout. The Jabra Halo Free wireless earphones aim to hit this sweet spot.
What Is It?
The Jabra Halo Free are wireless Bluetooth earphones that has Google Now and Siri integration, which is a unique feature for earphones. At RM299, they are designed for the fitness enthusiast, offering three wearing styles; the earphones are also water resistant.
Are They Any Good?
The most important thing about earphones is comfort – the Jabra Halo Free fulfills that criteria. Even after long hours of use, the Halo Free feels comfortable in the ear and does not incur any pain or discomfort.
The Jabra Halo Free may be a little big and bulky, but that also allowed the company to pack a battery that lasts 5 hours and 45 minutes. Charging it is simple as it uses a standard micro USB port. However, the charging port’s protective flap to ensure dust and water resistance is pretty hard to open.
With its flat cables, the Jabra Halo Free are tangle-free, and even after sweaty workouts the cables don’t stick to the skin. Since the strap is merely resting on your neck, it helps alleviate the weight put on the earphones. The earpieces also have a good fit and stayed in my ears in both the gym and when I ran with it.
Not only that, the Jabra Halo Free also comes with three different types of eartips for different occasions. Changing eartips can be quite the hassle, but it helps you keep the earphones in place. When I’m on the move, I usually use the EarHooks. And If I’m at the gym, I’ll switch to the EarWings. It also helps that the Jabra Halo Free is dust and water resistant, so I had no problems with it being covered in sweat.
The Bad Stuff. Tell me.
Connecting the Jabra Halo Free to Apple and Android devices were seamless, since they are using standard Bluetooth connections. But during my time using it, there was constant audio stuttering regardless where I am to my phone; updating the earphones did not remedy the situation.
Another thing I found odd: anytime you move about 2m away from your phone, the Bluetooth connection drops – that should never be the case for Bluetooth connections.
Perhaps it was designed that way, but I found that there was just too much bass when playing music on these earphones. That’s not a good thing, because I love bass-heavy music; too much for me usually means way too much bass for normal people. Lowering the volume helps, but I’ll still end up with deep bass.
I mentioned earlier that the Jabra Halo Free are a comfortable pair of earphones. But, it proved to be a hassle to actually put on. It usually takes me a good 5 to 10 seconds to fit the earphones in place. It doesn’t sound like much, but putting on a pair of earphones should not be something that takes that long.
Jabra’s integration of Google Now and Siri in the Halo Free are useful, but the button for it could use a lot of retooling. This same button registers a short press as play/pause, and a long press for activating Google Now or Siri. During my time using the earphones, long pressing the button yields three possible results: activating play or pause, activating Google Now or Siri, or very rarely, nothing at all.
Besides that, the earphones also have audio prompts that tells you the status of the earphones, such as a low battery indicator. The feature may be useful but I’ve turned it off as it is absurdly loud and there is no setting to change it.
Should I Buy It?
The Jabra Halo Free has the right ideas for a pair of sports-oriented wireless earphones, but they suffer from poor execution. While they are comfortable and have good battery life, these plus points are marred by connection issues and poor controls. They may be on the low end of the scale at RM299, but at that price I would expect a little bit more.