Jabra HALO Stereo Bluetooth Headset
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Brilliant design. Outstanding audio quality.
Bluetooth range isn’t great.
Finally someone came up with a Bluetooth stereo headset that looks futuristic with fantastic sound! The headband style Jabra HALO has Bluetooth v2.0 +EDR supporting mono and stereo Bluetooth profiles, Noise Blackout technology with dual mics, Zirene Power Bass and touch control for audio volume and track changing. The Jabra HALO works with mobile phones, MP3 players and computers with Bluetooth; and can connect to two devices simultaneously. The Jabra HALO also comes with a 3.5mm to micro USB cable for devices that don’t have built-in Bluetooth.
The Jabra HALO stands out on design: it has an ultra modern and clean look. The earmuffs are not round like most stereo headsets; they look like an extension of the headband. The Jabra HALO has only one visible button (the multi function button) and a charging port, but the secret is in the headband. When the headband is folded, the headset is turned off. Unfold the headset and snap the sections together to turn it on. The first time you unfold and turn on the headset, the Jabra HALO goes into pairing mode automatically, making it easy to pair. For pairing and battery/charging status, the Jabra HALO has two LED lights inside the headband: one that flashes blue (for pairing), and another that flashes red and green (battery and charging status). In addition to the multi-function button (it handles call answer/end, play/pause music and pairing), the Jabra has a touch sensitive volume/track-changing sensor near the edge of the multi-function button. Swipe up to turn the volume up and swipe down to turn the volume down; tap on either “plus” or “minus” symbol to switch tracks.
So it looks great and it’s easy to use, but is it comfortable to wear? It’s very comfy to wear for most people. If one has a small head, the Jabra HALO can feel a little loose. The headset weighs 3 ounces and the headband isn’t too tight yet can secure the headset over your ears and block out noise. We like the fact that the earmuffs don’t put any pressure on your ears, making it more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The band can extend to different lengths and is marked left and right for the correct way of wearing. I wore the Jabra HALO jogging, jumping and dancing and the headset stayed securely on my head.
Pairing and Features
The Jabra HALO has Bluetooth v2.0 and it works with phones, MP3 players and computers with Headset, Hands-free and A2DP profiles. It has multipoint technology that allows the headset to store 8 devices as its pairing partners and work with 2 devices simultaneously. This means you can use the same headset for your phone and your MP3 player, or your phone and your computer. Pairing the Jabra HALO with devices is super easy: the first time you just unfold the headset for automatic pairing, and for subsequent pairing just press and hold the multi-function button until the LED turns solid blue. We paired the Jabra HALO with a dozen phones, a couple of MP3 players and computers, and the headset paired with all smoothly.
The Jabra HALO has a built in mic for phone calls, and it supports common call management features including answering calls, ending calls, last number redial, call waiting and mute during a call. Music controls include track changing and volume adjustment. The headset fades out music graceful if a call comes in during music play.
Audio Quality and Range
The Jabra HALO has very good in call voice quality, a feature that’s hard to find on a stereo Bluetooth headset. We tested the Jabra with smartphones including the iPhone 3GS, the HTC Touch Pro2 for Verizon, the HTC Hero for Sprint and feature phones such as the Nokia Twist 7705 and the Samsung Gravity 2; all sounded good via the Jabra HALO for voice calls.
Of course most people who buy Bluetooth stereo headsets aren’t just using them to make phone calls. Those users should know that music playback sounds outstanding via the Jabra HALO by wireless stereo headset standards. The Jabra HALO has 32mm dynamic speakers and Zirene Power Bass software for enhanced sound and more powerful bass. The headset had very clear channel separation and the volume was very loud when working with most of the devices in our tests. The audio range was one of the best we’ve heard on a Bluetooth stereo headset, and was only beaten out by higher middle-end wired stereo headsets like the Sennheiser PX series 3.5mm headphones. For MP3 players like the Zune HD that don’t have built-in Bluetooth A2DP, the Jabra HALO offers a 3.5mm cable to transfer the audio. The audio quality via the cable is also good; again it doesn’t compete with higher-end wired headphones in terms of audio quality.
The Bluetooth wireless range between the Jabra HALO and mobile devices is middle of the road, reaching about 10-15 feet on average. Audio will start to drop out when the headset is going out of range from connected devices or computers.
The Jabra HALO has a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with both an AC charger and a USB cable for charging. The headset takes about 2 hours to fully charge and the LED light will flash red when the battery power is low and green when it’s fully charged. The claimed talk time is 8 hours and the claimed music playback time is also 8 hours. In our tests, the talk time seemed on target, but we got about 6.5 hours of music playback time. The claimed standby time is 8 days.
We can’t help but like the clean and modern look and the folding design of the Jabra HALO. When folded the headset is really compact and easy to carry. The way it turns on and goes into pairing mode for first time use is quite convenient. The Jabra played well with all the devices we tested it with. We are very impressed by the clear sound, loud volume, powerful bass and wide audio range. If you are looking for a Bluetooth stereo headset that’s comfortable to wear, has excellent audio quality and a modern style, look no further.
Pro: Very clean and futuristic design. Easy to use. Great audio quality.
Con: Bluetooth range isn’t great.
Package contains: The Jabra HALO Bluetooth stereo headset, carrying pouch, AC charger, USB cable, 3.5mm cable and printed Quick Start manual.
-Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
-Profiles supported: Headset, Hands-Free, A2DP and AVRCP
-Claimed talk time: 8 hours; play time: 6 hours
-Claimed standby time: 8 days
-Headset weight: 2.82 ounces (80 grams)
-AC adapter: 100-240V, 50-60 Hz