Jabra Halo Review
Jabra Halo, we were immediately pleased that it checks on both counts. Whew, finally a stereo Bluetooth headset that won’t bring irreparable damage to our street cred. Seems like a marriage made in heaven, but let’s see if there aren’t some skeletons in the Jabra closets…
What’s in the box:
- Jabra Halo headset
- 3.5mm music cable
- USB charger
- AC charger
- Quick start guide
- Warranty and warning manuals
- Carrying pouch
Well, we won’t be damning our souls by lying that we find any flaws with the design and the outer appearances of the Jabra Halo. The headset is of the binaural DJ style, not a behind-the-neck sporty type, and the whole set is so thin, that it looks like you are just using it as a headband. The headband is upholstered with suede material on the inside, so if you plan on a lot of sweating, this isn’t the set for you. Jabra is citing the Halo as able to survive slight rain shower, but no waterboarding techniques should be applied to the headset.
The streamlined design of the Jabra Halo is achieved by making the ear pads only slightly thicker and wider than the headband. The pads are thick just enough to include the insulating foam and the microUSB port on the right, which is the only opening you’ll find on the headset. The port is used for charging with the AC adapter, or with the USB cord, as well as for connecting the headset to a 3.5mm standard audio jack cord, which can be used in case Bluetooth is not present for some reason.
Minimalistic simplicity is the name of the game here, since there is only one physical button on the right side, which is flush with the surface to boot. The only other control is the touch sensitive volume slider, again on the right side.
No blinking lights at the side of your head, no volume rockers. The status lights for charging and Bluetooth are at the right on the inside of the headband. Red means charge is less than 70%, yellow – above that level, and green stands for a fully charged headset. Unfortunately we could never tell where we stand with charging. With the USB cable it seemed not to work at all, unless we fold and unfold the headset. With the charger it could stay for hours and nothing lights up, then you move the plug a little bit, and the light immediately turns green, but the Halo wasn’t fully charged. We hope it’s just a case of flimsy contact within the microUSB port of our unit, but it was annoying nonetheless not to have the indicator working properly.
The Jabra Halo has a unique folding design that lets you pull from both sides of the headband, and then tuck the ear pads neatly one under the other around two hinges. That also shuts the headset completely off and, since it becomes a tight package, you can slide it in the provided Velcro pouch for ease of transportation or storage. Then, when you need it, you take the thing out, unfold and try to snap the pads into place. This turns on the headset and it starts pairing with the nearest Bluetooth it can find. Sounds good, but the practical execution is rather cumbersome, dismantling the parts and folding them, then snapping them back into place requires significant efforts. It will probably smooth out with time, but then the hinges might already be gone.
The whole point of a headset design should be comfort when worn for long hours. The Jabra Halo checks that requirement, but mainly because the pads are not fitting snuggly around the ears, stretching slightly above them instead. Why? To keep the streamlined design, the headset is just more suited for long and narrow heads, which we couldn’t find around us to test on. The ear pads do extend up and down, to adjust for the different sizes, but the angle over the ears stays the same - slightly off-kilter. Some people like that, though, since you can hear what is happening around you, if needed. Wearing the ear pads for a long time does warm up your ears, but is a far cry from what we’ve experienced with other headsets.