For the last 2 weeks, I have been using the Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth headset. The Jabra HALO2 is a headband style headset within Jabra’s Lifestyle range. This Bluetooth headset with its simple and unconventional design screams fashion; and functions as a headset for listening to music and even answering phone calls. Best part is, it can connect to 2 simultaneous device.
I have been connecting the Jabra HALO2 with my laptop and my smartphone in the last 2 weeks. Listening to music, doing Skype voice calls on my laptop as well as answering phone calls from my phone. This is certainly one headset to consider if you’re on the lookout for a stylish headset with comfort, style, good sound quality in an affordable price range.
Let’s take a closer look at the Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth headset.
Jabra HALO2 Packaging and Hardware Overview
The headset comes in a simple clear plastic box with cardboard labeling that allows you to see the headset clearly. The packaging showcases all the functions and quick overview of the headset explaining its awesome features.
As shown, the headset can be used to listen to music and answer calls, be it wired (there’s an included microUSB to 3.5mm headphone jack cable) or wireless (using Bluetooth connection).
At the back of the packaging, you’d find out that the Jabra HALO2 comes with a series of great features:-
- Noise Blackout – with dual microphone for improved call quality
- Crystal Clear sound and voice quality, delivering “Power Bass” and “Virtual Surround Sound 2.0” quality
- Status Display – shows you the battery level (indicated by red and green lights) and connection status (Bluetooth icon with blue light, blinking or not depending on connection status)
- Multiuse – allows you to connect to 2 devices (laptop, iPod, smartphone, etc) simultaneously
- Long battery life – lasts you up to 8 hours of talktime or 8 hours of music streaming or 13 days of standby time
For more info and detailed specs and features, check out the Jabra HALO2 Product Page HERE.
As you pull the headset out of its packaging, there’s a simple Start Guide explaining how to connect your headset and start using it. The manual really isn’t necessary here as the Bluetooth pairing is relatively simple.
Nevertheless, included in the box are a series of Quick Start Manual, Warranty cards along with other accessories such as an adapter charger, USB to microUSB cable (for charging from your laptop), microUSB to 3.5mm headphone jack (for wired use) and an additional 3.5mm headphone jack adapter.
The Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth headset unit I have is in White colour with nice matte silver trims. It’s also available in Black, also with the silver trims.
The insides are padded for comfort, and is extremely comfortable for me to wear it for hours while working away on my laptop. However, because the padding material is made out of velvet, it tends to get dirty quite easily. Either my ears are real dirty, or this material just captured dusts like a magnet.
The Jabra HALO2 is actually quite a slim and portable headset. It is easily folded on both sides of the curve for easy storage; however snapping it in place will turn the headset on, instead of the traditional “Power” button.
There’s only one hard button on the Jabra HALO2 on the right side of the headset. That is actually a function button, which allows you to answer calls, play/pause music, press and hold to enable Bluetooth pairing and more. Next to the hardware button, there’s a soft volume rocker, where you slide your fingers up / down to adjust the volume.
Underneath the right earpiece, you’ll find the microUSB port, which allows you to plug it in to charge, or with the provided 3.5mm headphone jack adapter.
On the other side, there are friendly stickers explaining to you where to fold the headset and adjust the earpiece to fit your head.
On the inside right side of the headset, you’ll see two indicator icons with light. One for battery – red for low battery and green for full battery; and the other for Bluetooth connectivity with a blue light. Pressing and holding the hardware button will stop the flashing blue light, which indicates that the headset is ready for pairing with your device.
Using the Jabra HALO2
Thankfully, I have quite a small head.
The headset fits my head and sits nicely on my ears. You can, of course, extend the earpiece to adjust the fit while wearing it. It’s no surprise that just wearing the headset makes it look like (for ladies, anyway) you’re wearing a headband.
On the inside of the headset, where you extend the earpiece, there’s an indication of the Left and Right side. Because the hardware button is on the right side, you wouldn’t need to check for the “L” and “R” indication anyways.
As mentioned, the padding on the headset makes it really comfortable for long hours wearing it. The curve of the headset fits my head nicely, too.
However, Hubby had a go at putting it on his (big) head, and it didn’t quite fit him. He had to bend it so much that it feels like he might break it. Even after he got it over his head, it doesn’t quite fit his ears properly as he’d prefer to be able to rotate the earpiece portion to sit better on his ears. Because the curve of the headset and only being able to extend the earpiece, doesn’t quite make this a “One Size Fits All” headset. So, if you have a big head, be sure to try it out first, or perhaps you might have to look elsewhere.
One thing I really like about the headset is the ability to adjust the volume by just sliding your fingers up or down the touch sensitive volume rocker controls.
Although this headset is not noise cancelling, it’s actually handy sometimes to be able to still hear the ambient sounds. Sliding your fingers to adjust the volume is so much more convenient, when you need to quickly turn down the volume to hear your surrounding sounds, or when someone wants to talk to you.
There’s an indication of “+” and “-” on the slider. These symbols are also touch sensitive, enabling you to tap twice on either symbol to skip to the next / previous song on your playlist. You really don’t have to remove the headset to do so, as it’s easily reachable by feeling the edge of the earpiece portion of the headset to tap.
If you don’t want to connect the headset via Bluetooth, there’s also a microUSB to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter provided in the box. While doing this though, your Bluetooth connection is off and you would only be connected to that one plugged in device. Also, your headset must still be charged even for the wired function.
I am not usually a fan of Bluetooth headsets. I much prefer using wired headsets, because forgetful me always forget to charge my Bluetooth devices. On my phone, I’m still using my beats wired earphones and/or my V-Moda wired earphones. It’s much more convenient for smartphone handsfree usage. I also want to conserve my phone battery by limiting Bluetooth connectivity.
That’s different with earphone / headset listening on my laptop though.
After pairing the Jabra HALO2 with my laptop, I immediately started listening to some music – on my hard drive as well as streaming music from the internet.
Sound quality is surprisingly good. Sound is clear, crisp and loud at its full volume. The “Power Bass” function that comes with the headset is impressive, too. Although not excellent when listening to Drum and Bass music, listening to regular Top 40s, Pop/Rock and Internet Radio, the bass is solid and no cracking was noticable.
However, when the battery starts to run low, sound quality starts to suffer. If you think that sound volume would start to deteriorate, then you’re wrong. While volume maintains, the sound starts to suffer, as if you’re listening to some old walkie talkie radio. Once battery runs really low, audio starts to crack, like you’re listening to an old walkie talkie on a bad signal.
Then, you know it’s time to charge your headset! Good news is that you can continue to use your headset while it’s charging via the USB to microUSB cable connected to your laptop!
While listening to music, pressing the hard button will play / pause your music. If you have the Jabra HALO2 paired with 2 devices simultaneously, if a call comes in while you’re listening to music, your music pauses so you can press the hard button to answer the call.
I tested a Skype voice call on my laptop with the Jabra HALO2. I wasn’t impressed. Although, I have to admit that the internet connection was a little unstable and the call quality was bad on Skype that day even without the headset. Nevertheless, on a normal Bluetooth to phone call quality was good and the other caller was able to hear my voice quite clearly on the other line.
What I really like about the headset :-
- Awesome fit on my head, and the fact that it looks like a head accessories while wearing it.
- Finger sliding volume control – this is not just a cool feature, but something that comes in super handy.
- Pairing with 2 devices simultaneously – it’s so convenient to not miss calls on my phone when I’m blasting music on my headphones at the computer.
- Clear and crisp sound quality – For a Bluetooth headset, sound feels as good as a wired one.
- Wired or wireless use – If I’m out of juice on the HALO2, I can always plug in the 3.5mm headphone jack. Awesome!
What I dislike about the HALO2 :-
- Velvet inside padding is a dust magnet.
- Folding and unfolding (or snapping) to power on/off sometimes makes me feel like I’m breaking it. Would be nice to have a small physical power button, though.
- Not a perfect fit for everyone – as in the case of Hubby, the fixed design doesn’t quite fit every head or every ear.
The Jabra HALO2 Bluetooth Headset is available in White and Black colour with silver trims and can be purchased at the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 469 at any authorised Jabra distributor.
For this price, I feel that the headset is a great buy. If you’re looking for a lightweight, stylish, great build quality headset that allows you to multi-task and connect to 2 devices, yet also be able to use while commuting (on-the-go) and on your workstation, this is definitely one Bluetooth headset that should consider.