Price: $99.00 MSRP
Last January, a friend of mine who had been searching for a Bluetooth headset talked to me about the Jabra Halo . He fell so in love with it that I decided to jump in and buy one.
The Jabra Halo is a Bluetooth headset that has many interesting features to make it worth checking out. First, it supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) that makes it an excellent wireless stereo headset for listening to music or podcasts from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (or other device that support this Bluetooth profile). It’s also a Bluetooth headset for phone calls, so if you’re listening to your favorite music and your iPhone rings, you can answer from it directly by pressing the only button it has.
When you buy the Jabra Halo, in the package you will find a power adaptor, a very short USB A to micro USB cable for charging it from your laptop, a micro USB to 1/8″ cable to use it with a device that does not have Bluetooth (say, an iPod nano), and a carrying pouch. The device itself is really simple in shape and usage. It folds into the ear pieces to t it off and store it. To turn it on, simply unfold it and you’re ready to go.
Jabra claims that the headset can be paired with two Bluetooth devices. While it is true, honestly, switching from one device to listen to the other is nightmarish at best. It will reconnect to the last connected device, but if you happen to have both devices nearby (say, an iPhone and an iPad), the best way to switch device is to disable Bluetooth on one of them. I would have appreciated a dedicated button on the Halo to switch pairing. When I need to use it with another device, I prefer using the USB to 1/8″ audio jack cable that comes with it.
The right ear piece has a single centered button that acts as play/stop or answer call action (when receiving a call). The surface of that ear piece is also a well-done touch surface that has two main functions: volume up/down if you slide on it, or track (song) up/down with a double tap. When you read the manual, you will find that with a single button and a simple touch interface, Jabra took the time to include as many actions as were technically possible. On the other hand, so many actions on a small set of buttons sometimes result in a bad action sent to your device. Not to mention that memorizing all of them could be a challenge.
It terms of sound quality, the Jabra Halo delivers. The music quality is very nice, and for listening to voice podcasts or YouTube video, it is more than enough. You have to remember that the music on your device is compressed to start with. When using it as a Bluetooth headset for your iPhone, it will give you great call quality on both ends. We even tried it with Skype on an iPhone and it did the job very well.
The device exterior is in a quality plastic, and the interior is covered with fabric material. The fabric is not removable and the best way I found to clean it is with a sticky-sheet roll. If you have liquid spill, it would not be too easy to clean it. It is also thin, and can be uncomfortable for some people. The battery is not replaceable, but can hold a charge of up to six hours of usage according to Jabra. I can attest that time between charges is long enough for normal usage.
For the price, I think the Jabra Halo is decent, sounds right, and is worth buying if you can live with the few drawbacks I described above.
MyMac Review rating 7 out of 10.