While many headphones these days — both wired and wireless — feature a built-in mic for calls, this functionality is often an afterthought, even with the headphones packaged with many smartphones. With its latest product, Jabra looks to make calls just as high a priority as music playback.
On Tuesday, the company announced its latest pair of wireless in-ears, the Jabra Halo Smart. These headphones use the around-the-neck, collar-style design seen in more and more wireless headphones, allowing for a larger battery than other in-ear designs, meaning more time for talking and listening to music.
“We are all doing more with our smartphones than ever before, whether it’s making and taking calls, listening to music on the move or watching a movie clip during a break,” Jabra Senior Vice President Calum MacDougall said in a statement. “So we wanted to develop a set of wireless headphones that deliver amazing sound whatever you’re doing, whether taking calls or listening to music.”
Plenty of headphones allow the user to access Siri or Google Now via a multifunction button, but this can be confusing, triggering Siri when you meant to pause playback, for example. The Jabra Halo Sport headphones offer a novel solution to this problem by including a dedicated button for Siri or Google Now. This isn’t the only feature made for smartphone users — the neckband also subtly vibrates to alert the user to incoming calls.
Looking at the actual hardware, the Halo Sport headphones feature 10mm drivers and high-quality microphones with built-in wind noise protection. The 230mAh battery provides users with up to 17 hours of talk time, or 15 hours of music playback. In practice, this will vary quite a bit based on playback volume and other factors.
The Jabra Halo Smart headphones sell for $80, and will available in black via the company’s website starting in July. For those who just can’t wait, a special silver edition of the headphones will be available exclusively from Best Buy later this month.