Product: Bragi the Dash Pro True Wireless Intelligent Earphones
Price: $329 (Best Buy clearance $215)
Features: no cords, Bluetooth, 4gb of internal music storage, waterproof, noise canceling/passive/and windshield modes, entry level activity tracking
In the box we get the headphones in their charging case, _ tips/sleeves to fit a variety of ear sizes and active versus regular fit, and a charging cord. I have pretty small ears so went with the smallest tips. You may have to play around with sizes a bit to find the best ones for you. I noticed right away it’s a bit finicky to get the ear buds on the charging port and the metal box can potentially get scratched and dingy quickly.
The gestures are pretty simple but I highly recommend reading through all of the commands when opening your headphones.
First thing I did when getting these home and charged up was hit the road for a run! First up was playing around with the noise canceling and passive modes. I was very impressed with both. The windshield on the other hand left a lot to be desired. I could still hear a wind muffled noise with windshield and ended up opting for just noise canceling when I was running in very windy conditions.
A few days after getting the Bragi dash pro I went to support a friend to her race in San Luis Obispo. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to test the battery life and all day comfort. The headphones are supposed to last for 5 hours and the charging case can fully recharge the headphones 5 times. I used the headphones for a solid 4 hours before putting them in my pocket. The headphones don’t turn off unless you put them in the charging case so after a few hours in my pocket they were dead as expected. I’m pretty happy with the battery life thus far but not being able to turn them off (because there are no buttons) can be problematic and is something to keep in mind.
One of the main reasons I’ve been eyeing the Bragi dash pro headphones has been for swimming! Yes, that’s right you can swim and listen to music with these bad boys. There are two big hurdles for swimming with music. First is water proof; whatever your listening to has to be water proof for it to work in the water: check. Next is how your getting the music to the headphones in your ears. The problem with Bluetooth headphones, even if they are water proof, is Bluetooth and ant+ signals aren’t strong enough to broadcast through water. This is why the Garmin swim heart rate monitor has to store the heart rate date and transmit it to your watch at the end of your session. Bragi Dash Pro headphones have address this issue by having internal storage. You can load up to 4 GB of music right in the headphones so there is no signal. Voila! Swim music!
First you have to make sure you have music loaded in to the headphones. At this time the Bragi internal storage is not compatible with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. You can get directions from Bragi’s website on how to set up your music. I found it easiest to deactivate Bluetooth on my phone before putting the headphones in so they would go directly to the internal music mode. On an iPhone you can do this by swiping up and clicking on the Bluetooth symbol. (Phone screen shot). If your not connected to Bluetooth and you have music loaded on your headphones all you have to do is tap the right earbud and follow the prompts to start your music.
At first I thought I wanted the headphones to be really secure so I pulled my swim cap super tight over them; turns out that’s not such a good idea. The upward pressure from the swim cap pressing on the headphones hurt my upper ear. I also tried having the headphones uncovered by my swim cap and it was no surprise they fell out. My next attempt at the pool I tried out the sports tips. I anticipated I would be the smallest size but the directions encourage you to test out multiple sizes. I ended up in small tips, instead of xsmall. You want to use the largest size that is comfortable because you want almost a suction cup effect with the headphones. The active tips combined with being more conservative with my swim cap fit made for a very comfortable fit. I also tried swimming without the cap over them again and they stayed in a little better but I could hear a water ripple and swooshing noise. What works for me is to cover about half of the headphones with my swim cap so it feels secure but looser. Noise canceling is the only way to use these headphones in the water or you’ll hear gurgling noises every time you push off the wall.
You can expect your first time using these headphones in the water to be a bit time consuming while fussing with them but after you figure out how you like wearing them they are very easy to operate and use.
Open water swimming
Since these don’t have a cord or clip I wouldn’t trust them in open water or anywhere you couldn’t potentially retrieve them. I need to be able to communicate and hear my surroundings while swimming I open water so I don’t see this as a negative but if your shopping for a water proof system for open water swimming a corded option may be better.
Cycling….this is SUPER controversial. At this point I have not tested them out while cycling and I’m not sure if I will. Safety is the number one concern while out on the road. In general I don’t ride with music because I want to be fully engaged in my surrounding. The passive mode may be a good option for cyclists who do want to listen to music while riding on the road.
As a triathlete I already have a Garmin for activity tracking. If I was new to running or triathlons I think this could be a good entry level tracker. I haven’t tested this feature but it’s an option.
After putting the active tips on it was easier to get the ear buds on the charging port but the charging case is still cumbersome. You have to slide the tight cover off of the charger which takes two hands. This may seem silly but being on the go it’s been difficult to open on numerous occasions. If Bragi came out with a more travel friendly case I would probably buy it but I don’t anticipate this is a priority for them. These headphones are a great solution if you are looking for music while swimming laps, but if you don’t want to swim with them and don’t need internal music storage other brands on the market, like jaybird, might be a better fit. The big detractors for these headphones are the bulky case and extra size for the internal storage. Like any product you have to decide if the trade offs are worth the extra features. For swimming purposes these are definitely worth the discounted price I paid at Best Buy.
*I did not receive a discount on this product and have not received any compensation for writing this review. All statements are my honest opinion.*