We never actually had a chance to try them ourselves, but we’re told Jabra’s original BT8030 Bluetooth headset made a fine music-and-talk solution short of one fatal flaw: it’s gigantic. The good folks at Jabra apparently went back to the drawing board and invested in a shrink ray to produce the new Halo headset, unveiled at CTIA, which sports many of the same features but has seemingly been hammered down to near paper-thin proportions.
Halo turns out to be an apt name, since this particular headset is basically like a lady’s headband with tiny speakers on the end. Jabra tells us the company invested in particularly compact speakers and batteries to get them down to this size, and apparently they didn’t have to sacrifice much. The company claims you can listen to music or talk for eight hours straight before the tiny power source inside will fizzle out. When it’s time to collapse them and store the way, just yank on the speakers and they fold into the headband.
Though it obviously connects via Bluetooth, Jabra also includes a microUSB-to-stereo-jack cord for listening to sources like cheaper MP3 players that don’t include any wireless functionality. More importantly, two microphones power Jabra’s Noise Blackout technology for eliminating background noise, and music should seamlessly fade out into answered phone calls when connected to a phone. You can even control volume from a touch strip on side, rather than having to reach for the player itself.
Unfortunately, Jabra’s iPod seemed to be dying by the time we got to try a demo, but the headphones felt extremely light and comfortable on the head thanks to a velvety interior lining. The light weight may be a curse for those with poofy hair though, since my mop of hair seemed to spring them up off my ears a little more than I would have liked.
The Halo will launch in May with an MSRP of $129.99.