With Alexa’s ever-increasing popularity, new Alexa-enabled products deliver almost daily. Some are duds – some are interesting and valuable. When new and interesting products are available, we take a look at new and important Alexa add-on hardware you might want to consider adding to your Alexa device farm.
Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Echo 2, Dot, Tap, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Connect, Dash Wand, Amazon Cloud Cam, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, in the Music app, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai.
This week’s hardware: Bragi Dash – Truly Wireless Smart Earphones
Description: The Dash is world’s first Hearable: a wireless smart earphone that combines 3 essential features in 1 product: Listen to music, track your fitness activities, and communicate with others. New features and functionality will improve over time through software upgrades available from Bragi.
- Stream music from your Bluetooth device, or load up to 1000 songs directly onto the onboard music player (4GB of storage) to play from The Dash free from other devices. Software updateable.
- Integrated sensor technology tracks your work outs; receive live feedback during fitness activities of your heart rate, steps, cadence, strokes, duration, and more from The Dash or the free Bragi app.
- Passive noise cancellation begins as soon as The Dash is inserted into your ears. Initiate Audio Transparency with a swipe of The Left Dash, allowing you to hear the world around you.
- Waterproof up to 1m (3ft) Listen to music while you swim. With our exclusive PerfectFit design, The Dash stays secure and comfortable.
Real World Use: There have been many copycats over the last couple years, but the Bragi Dash was the very first, true wireless earphones – and still the best. No wires at all. You can either stream music over Bluetooth from your smartphone, or store music on the earbuds and use an earbud-to-earbud wireless connection to get full stereo sound. I’ve owned the Bragi Dash for almost two years and they are absolutely still my favorite. Additionally, they have a sound amplifying feature where you can hear things beyond normal human hearing. Pretty neat.
All controls are touch-based. Just tap or swipe the earbud to issue commands. And, using the kinetic technology, you can skip the touch-based controls and simply use head nods and shakes to issue the same commands.
The Bragi company just recently delivered a promised upgrade to the earphones that brings Alexa commands to the device. There’s an entire page that talks about the upgrade and how to use the new Alexa features, so I won’t go into how all that works, but I can state that it’s a work in progress. Not that the features don’t work, just that it takes some personal retraining to take advantage of the new capability. It’s really cool, and definitely shows how Alexa can work beyond just Amazon devices. Imagine having Alexa on a wearable device that is always ready to translate foreign languages. Alexa on the Bragi Dash can’t really do that yet (it only currently works with Kindle Books, Audible, the Amazon Music Library, and Amazon Prime Music), but the potential is there.
One thing to note, though, is that the Alexa capability still needs your smartphone handy to work. It utilizes both the Bluetooth connection to your phone and your smartphone’s Internet connection. The Bragi Dash can’t operate Alexa without that network connection.
Bragi continues to improve the functions of these earphones. Like I said, my pair are about 2-years old now. The company has released newer versions, but continues to support my aging pair.
Where to get the hardware: Amazon has the Bragi Dash for $170: Bragi – The Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones
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