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Bragi Dash: First Week Impressions

Today the Bragi Dash totally failed me. Given last week's successful long run usage of the internal audio player, I decided to try the same test but also track my performance.

Everything started out smoothly but only 3.2 km into the run, the left Dash simply cut-out and stopped responding. At that point, the right side was still working. I stopped to try to get them working again but ultimately, the right Dash stopped responding as well and I was left to finish the remaining 18 km without the Dash. 

Both units did blink with a green glow but they were completely unresponsive to placement in the ears or with any touch actions.

Upon returning home, the Dash would not reset when placed in the charger and I was forced to use the hard reset with a paper clip. Luckily, this seemed to bring them back to life. I wish there was another way to reset them when you're out in the field as I don't intend to bring the charging case and a paper clip on my runs.

It wasn't all bad news though. Earlier in the week, I ran several times with the Dash with activity tracking on and compared it with my Garmin Fenix 3 + HRM (Chest Strap). 

On my cross-training day, I ran to the gym 2.4km (1.5 miles), worked out and then ran the same distance home.

To Gym:

  • Bragi: 15:38, 2259 Steps, 167 HR
  • Garmin: 15:27, 2422 Steps, 146 HR

From Gym:

  • Bragi: 15:22, 2221 Steps, 157 HR
  • Garmin: 15:19, 2355 Steps, 157 HR

The timings were relatively close with roundtrip being surprisingly close. I will continue to try to test the differences.

The rest of the week's runs consisted of using the internal audio player which went without any issues.

My other use of the Dash as wireless Bluetooth headphones at work was mostly problem free. Occasionally, while streaming music from my Apple Mac Book Pro laptop or my Android phone, I would get some audio drop-outs but they tended to resolve pretty quickly. Oddly enough, my phone was more stable than the laptop.

I also had the opportunity to test the Dash on an airplane and they worked quite well. When you fit them properly in your ears and get that nice seal, they do a great job of blocking most of that "airplane" noise out. It's not all but it's good enough so that you can listen to internal or streaming audio on a relatively low setting.

Finally, the week also included the update to the newer 1.3 firmware. While I didn't notice too much change, I did notice that the audio transparency off seemed to work better. Audio transparency on is a little more hit and miss and Bragi will need to work on the algorithms some more. At times, I can barely hear my coworkers speaking to me when they're standing right next to me; however, I'll be able to hear the hallway door open even though it's 10x further away from me. I'm hoping there will be some way to change which frequencies are boosted and minimized.

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