U.K. startup Bragi brought its much-hyped Dash headphones to the show, and despite the fact that the buds are barely bigger than your thumbnail, they’ve got a spec sheet longer than the buffet line at Caesar’s Palace.
The two earbuds connect to your phone (and each other!) wirelessly, have touch controls, microphones, a set of accelerometers for motion detection, plus a few additional sensors that can track your heart rate and the oxygen saturation. They’re basically high-tech Bluetooth headphones that pull double duty as a fitness tracking system.
And that’s not all. In addition to all the high-tech hardware, Dash is also outfitted with special software that gives the user a plethora of nifty features, like the ability to filter or amplify ambient noises, or get real-time tips from a virtual trainer.
Almost sounds too good to be true, right? Well it isn’t. We were skeptical after seeing the company’s Kickstarter project back in June 2014, but seeing it in person on the show floor erased any the doubts we had. The version on display isn’t the final version that’s set to ship a couple months from now, but even in its unfinished pre-production form, Dash is pretty damn polished.
The touch controls are quick and responsive, the biometrics seem just as accurate as any wristband we’ve ever worn, and despite being completely wireless, they never give the feeling that they’re about to fall free. We’ll save any assessments of the buds’ audio quality until we’ve had a chance to sit down with them, but based on this brief preview, we’re definitely looking forward to giving Dash a more thorough test.
The first batch is expected to ship to Kickstarter backers in February, and to everyone else in April, so be sure to check back for a full review in a few months.