You can tell that from the moment you look at its minimalist design, that the Jabra Halo is not your typical stereo bluetooth A2DP headset. The HALO sports touchscreen controls on its right hand earpiece and it also features AVRCP which lets you play and pause music tracks, as well as skip backward and forward on music tracks.
The headphones weigh just 80g and are very easy to carry around. On top of that, they fold for easy storage in your bag, or even in a larger sized pocket. The headset is lined with a velor like material so that it sits comfortably on your head, and we found it comfortable to wear, even when wearing it for long periods of time. On the underside of the headset there is a battery indicator light and a bluetooth status light.
The Halo’s earpieces also conveniently extend out by pulling them down so that the headphones cane a perfect fit for any head-size. On the right earcup there are touch controls for volume up down, skip ahead, and back, and there is also an answer and end button in the center. The answer and end button also double as the play/pause button.
To increase the volume you swipe upwards along the controls, to lower the volume, you swipe downwards. To skip forward or backward, you tap on the + or – on the volume slider. We found that sometimes it took a few tries to successfully get the skip forward/skip back to work.
What’s in the box:
In the box you get a a USB wall charger, and a black rigid neoprene case to protect the headset when you’re traveling. A 3.5mm cable is also included, which brings us to one of the Halo’s very unique features – the Halo can also work as a regular wired pair of headhones that works with any device with a standard 3.5mm jack. Unfortunately, while using it as a wired pair, you wont be able to take advantage of any of its bluetooth features. Still, this is as welcome trick of the Halo to have up its sleeve.
The Halo automatically turns on when you unfold its earpieces – very neat! Pairing with both my iMac, iPhone and myTouch 3G was a cinch. And what is really neat about the Halo is that it features MultiUse, which allows you too connect to two connections simultaneously. That means you can have it connected to your computer and cell phone at the very same time.
I was able to hear callers very clearly, and they said that they could hear me pretty well, but that they could also hear some background noise. Overall, I found the call quality to very good and I was always able to hear callers loud and without too much background noise.
According to Jabra, a full charge, which takes about two hours provides you with about 8 hours of talk time or listening to music. In actual use we didn’t get quite 8 hours, but near it.
The Jabra Halo’s audio quality is very good and is one of the best we’ve experienced with a bluetooth stereo headphones. It’s not replacement for a pair of Shures or Beats by Dr. Dre, but for a wireless pair it has a very strong midrange and pretty clean sonics. Bass reproduction on the other hand is just barely there with these headphones, so bass aficionados will need to look elsewhere, Personally, I’m not one for strong Bass so the Halo is great for me.
Unfortunately while the iPhone finally does have support for A2DP, it does not support all the features of AVRCP, and only play and pause are enabled.
Overall, we really like the Jabra Halo. It’s unique minimalist design with touch screen controls, strong feature set, and good audio quality make it one of the top of the line bluetooth headphones out there. You also will enjoy wearing this headset for long periods of times. The price is fair too for $129.99.
The Good: Sleek, minimalist and lightweight design will appeal to both men and women, comfortable to wear, neat touch screen controls, doubles as a wired pair of headphones of your non-bluetooth MP3 player, very good mid-range
The Bad: Bass reproduction is weak, skip forward/back controls can be wonky, need to be careful when folding and unfolding that you don’t break the headset