Packing your fitness tracker and iPod right into a pair of wireless earbuds, Bragi’s Dash is easily the standout in the growing wireless earbud market.
The Dash is extremely comfortable to wear. The right fit is easy to find with a set of sleeves that cover the whole pod, not a bunch of different-sized tips to shove in your ears. The Dash’s buds are smaller than competing options, which means the charging case is flatter, which is good news for your pockets.
Battery life on The Dash is quoted at 3 hours, with the ability for the charging case to top off your buds up to 5 times before needing a fill up of its own. However, playing music from the 4GB of internal storage instead of streaming doubles battery life to 6 hours.
The Dash can track heart rate, calories burned, duration of workout, step count, pool lengths, distance covered, and more. The Samsung Gear IconX (which doesn’t have great Amazon reviews), also features an activity tracker, but isn’t waterproof, and Jabra’s promising next offering isn’t yet available.
Intuitive controls are one The Dash’s best features. Swipes, taps, holds, and accelerometer gestures (with your head) require a bit of memorization, but you can control a lot here without your phone. A short hold on the left earbud opens the exercise menu, while a shake of your head declines a call, for example.
A forward swipe enables another of my favorite features: audio transparency, while the opposite switches back to noise isolation. That noise isolation works well, but these are not active noise cancelers, and you’re not going to get a perfect seal without some modification here either.
At $300, The Dash is at the top of the truly wireless ear buds price range, but also packs in the most features into the best package, with the promise of significant improvements and additions in future software updates. The fact that it can replace your fitness tracker makes a huge difference when evaluating return on investment here.
Bragi is also planning to release a pared down version of The Dash simply called The Headphone, which pulls some standout features to get the price point down to $119. We’ll dig in when it’s available.