German startup Bragi got a lot of attention for its first set of totally wireless earphones, The Dash, with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $3.39 million in preorder sales. Now Bragi brings us The Dash Pro, "a polished, reloaded, reengineered sequel" that it calls the "world's first custom-made wireless ear computer" and is designed to work with the iTranslate app for face-to-face, real-time conversational language translation.
The $329 Dash Pro contains more than 150 microcomponents, a 32-bit processor, artificial intelligence powered by Dash AI and 27 sensors, the company says. It's available now from Bragi's online store and will be coming to major retailers, including Best Buy in the US, in the "coming weeks."
Bragi offers free shipping to anywhere in the US and the EU, including the UK. The European price of 349 euros converts to about £300. We're checking on whether the company ships to Australia, where that would convert to AU$525.
The original Dash fit well, but was initially plagued by wireless connectivity problems and other issues that have improved with subsequent firmware upgrades. Bragi has slightly tweaked the design of The Dash Pro to make it fit a tad better and on the sound front, created a more natural tonal balance. (We'll be getting a review unit soon and will let you know how much better it sounds.)
Those looking for a truly custom fit can opt for the $499 Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, which makes hearing aids. To get that custom fit, you have to visit one of Starkey's local audiologists, who takes an exact impression of your ear canal.
Like the original Dash, there's 4GB of internal storage for playing MP3 files directly from the earphones and both touch and "kinetic" motion controls that Bragi describes as a "virtual 4D menu." Battery life is rated at 5 hours at moderate volume levels and the included charging case gives you up to five additional charges.
The Dash Pro is equipped with Bragi OS 3 (BOS3), the fourth major update for The Dash (yes, it's available for The Dash).
It's also worth noting that The Dash Pro is fully waterproof (IPX7) and can be used while swimming. In-ear biometric sensors track your movements and the earphones know when you're swimming, cycling or running.
Here's a look at the improvements and features Bragi is highlighting:
- The Dash Pro's design has undergone careful exterior alterations from The Dash. The aluminum slider is now gunmetal with a Bragi blue or Starkey gold leather inlay.
- Bragi OS 3 (BOS3) is the fourth major OS update for The Dash and comes preinstalled on all new Dash Pro tailored by Starkey and The Dash Pro editions.
- iTranslate compatibility: The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey and The Dash Pro are now integrated with iTranslate, bringing real-time face-to-face conversational language translation to audio devices for the first time in around 40 different languages. Users wishing to access this feature will need to download the iTranslate Pro App in the Apple App Store (it costs $3 a month to use).
- Virtual 4D Menu is a hands-free, head-gestures way for users to access core features in situations where their hands are preoccupied with other things.
- Easy Bluetooth handling: A simple one-touch setup connects your Android, Apple or Windows device. The six-digit confirmation code has been removed while a secure connection is maintained. The menu for Bluetooth Classic and BLE connections can be now found on the right earbud, leaving the left earbud for third-party apps integration.
- Auto tracking: The Dash now understands whether you're running, cycling or swimming so you can keep track of workouts automatically without ever pushing a button.
- Simplified touch interface: The Touch UI has been simplified and made more ergonomic.
- Additional "Use Guides" support the user to easily connect to The Dash and explore its smart capabilities.
- Offline storage and data transfer: Activity sessions are now stored and transferred to the Bragi app automatically so they can be accessed for future use.
- Sound improvements: Advanced tonal balance for natural sound.
- Clearer audio transparency: The microphone's noise floor has been greatly reduced and improvements have been made in understanding the naturalness of the acoustic landscape.