The Dash by Bragi is one of the few wireless smart earphones products we all fancy about and that’s already available. It combines three main functions:
- Standalone Music Player
- Sports Assistant
- Smart Phone Companion
Bragi started its Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and collected as much as 3.4 Mio US-Dollar. Different from most other companies, the Dash hit already the streets in February. The German company delivered a light-weight and waterproof product, which can be operated around 3 hours before it needs to be recharged. Touching and swiping the left and the right Dash lead to different actions; but also gestures with your head can be interpreted (so-called “Makros”). Both Dash communicate with each other via NFMI (Near Field Magnetic Induction) and connect via Bluetooth to your cell phone. They can track internally but also track in the Bragi App.
Listen (Standalone Music Player)
The Dash gives you everything you need for an advanced audio playback: you can save up to 4 GB on it, which equals around 1,000 songs that you can split into 4 playlists. Supported are for now only MP3 and DRM-free AAC/M4A files, but this might be implemented at a later stage.
You can reach the menu via the right Dash. It supports actions like Play, Pause, Skip, Fast Forward, Rewind and the selection of the desired playlist.
Really nice to have: its intelligent playback system stops the playback when you remove the earbuds from your ears.
Sports Assistant (Activitiy Tracker)
For now, the Dash supports only three disciplines: Running, Cycling and Swimming – however, it is said that other disciplines will be added peu-a-peu over time. The activity tracker can follow your heart rate and time and when it comes to running, it can also track the steps you made.
You can reach all sport-related actions via the left Dash.
Audio Transparency means that you can hear what’s going on around you without removing the earbuds. This way you could e.g. have a conversation while wearing the Dash and in the next moment, you go back to hear music.
Well, it always depends a bit from what you expect – given that we’re talking about brand new technology here. However, Bluetooth connection issues have been widely experienced as you can e.g. read here and here. The Dash needs to be very close to the cell phone to not lose the connection, which defeats a little bit the purpose of wireless headphones… The „Earbone Microphone“ doesn’t seem to hold water, too. All review articles seem to have at one point or the other a “It could be so great, if it only worked right” moment – be it the Audio Transparency not being too transparent or a missing shuffle-function in the music playback.
It seems that the Dash wants to be a bit too much of everything. It promises a lot but seems to feel at the moment a bit “half-baked”. However, Bragi states that the issues reported at the moment are mostly to get under control via software updates, so I think, we just have to sit and wait for a while to get the teething issues out of the way.