Review: Jabra Halo Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Friday 8th October, 2010

I'd been hovering over buying this headset for months but simply couldn't justify the cash on a product I'd never seen or heard in the flesh. Then a certain special somebody in my life decided to buy me a set for a gift...woo!

I wasn't quite sure what to expect until I took them out the box. All my colleagues at work say the same thing when they pick them up for the first time "wow, they're light!". Indeed they are and I quite happily wear them at my desk all day without any discomfort at all. In fact, in a air conditioned office, they actually keep my ears a bit warmer!

Battery life is excellent and, with well timed recharging, I never run out at all. I charge them overnight and they last a full day at the office without running out. If you work longer hours, a quick boost of charge in the lunch hour and you're sorted for an extra 4hrs or so.

What I didn't know before I got them is that you can pair with up to 4 devices but also connect to 2 at a time...the exact same time. In my case, that's my Android mobile phone and my iPod Touch. So, I'm listening to Spotify on my iPod all day but, should the phone ring, the audio automatically switches over to the ringing phone. One quick tap on the button on my right ear and the call is answered. A built in microphone allows the phone call to be handled just fine and, as soon as you hang up on the call, the Bluetooth switches back to the iPod and the music comes back.

(one slight negative when on a phone call is that, if you have the audio very loud, you can hear your own voice echo a little)

These are open back earphones, meaning you can still hear a lot of sound around you - quite handy if you need to hear your desk phone ringing but it does mean your colleagues will hear the music if you jack it way up...these things are LOUD!

Ignore any negatives you've read about the touch volume control. Those comments put me off buying for months, but they work just fine. Unless you have one of those off fingertips that just won't work on an iPod or vending machine panel, you just won't have an issue. There are also track skip functions from this panel but it lacks compatibility with many devices. It may work on your iPod but won't work if you're using the Spotify app, for example. Not the end of the world, imho, and not a fault with the headset which will work just fine if connected to a device that does support remote track skip.

Carton contents included the headset, mains adapter charger (micro-USB) an additional micro-USB adapter for charging from a USB socket and a case which holds the folded headset. The case is made of wetsuit like material, quite handy if you spill a cup of water on your desk (I'd know).

Additionally, you get a 3.5mm jack-plug adapter that joins the headset (by wire) to any non-Bluetooth device. Handy for those moments you need it and  saves having to keep a spare set of naff earphones to hand.

All in, I'm very happy with the kit and, whilst I obviously didn't pay for it, I wouldn't hesitate in buying a replacement set should I break or lose my current pair.

So if, like me, you're wondering whether you should really spend the money on these - the answer is "yes". And if you're looking for a gift for a special somebody, they'll be VERY happy with this. I was.

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