We review the Jabra Halo Smart, a smart wireless Bluetooth headset that connects easily to your iPhone or Android mobile and boasts impressive battery life plus Siri/Google Now integration.
Trailing wires from your headphones to your mobile phone thankfully seems like a distant first-world nightmare, as you can now pick up feature-packed Bluetooth headsets for a reasonable price. The Jabra Halo Smart is the latest set of wireless earphones that can play your music, take your calls, link you to your voice assistant and plenty more besides.
Design-wise, the Halo Smart is another wrap-around headset that drapes over your neck and dangles down either side, with ear buds stuck to each end. It’s a similar setup to LG’s excellent Tone Infinim HBS-900 headset. You can pick it up in a choice of three colours, including a funky little red number.
Like the Tone Infinim, the Halo Smart features a rigid spine but thankfully the arms can be bent inwards to help the headset cling to your neck. Make sure you do so, as the Smart slipped backwards off our shoulders whenever we forgot. The earbuds also dangle free from the tips, unlike the Tone Infinim’s buds which can be retracted into the main body to store them away. However, the Smart’s buds do at least boast built-in magnets, so you can stick them together or attempt to attach them to the body of the headset.
One final area where the Tone Infinim also wins is the controls. The Halo Smart has power and volume buttons on the right arm, plus a mic button on the left arm for calling up Siri or Google Now. These buttons all work perfectly (although the volume and power buttons aren’t immediately distinguishable when you fumble for them), but if you’re listening to music or a podcast and want to skip tracks or zip through the file, you’ll need to hold down the volume buttons. It’s an awkward system (especially for podcast navigation) and we far prefer separate buttons for this.
But that’s enough grumbling. The Jabra Halo Smart is still a very good and feature-packed device beyond the limited controls and design issues. Setup is super easy and sound quality is great for a Bluetooth headset, with crisp call quality even in dodgy weather. No worries if it belts it down while you’re using the Smart either, as it’s completely waterproof.
Battery life is another massive plus too. We’ve never managed to get such impressive use out of a Bluetooth headset on a single charge, and the Halo Smart will keep you going for days at a time, even with hours of use each day.
We’d recommend downloading the Jabra Assist app to your Android phone or iPhone if you do take the plunge and bag yourself the Halo Smart. This allows you to activate the Smart’s notifications readout feature, which can read out your emails and calendar entries when you’re on the move. You can also activate the ‘Find my Jabra’ feature, which plays a high-pitched tone through your headset if you lose it. But sadly the Assist app on iPhone won’t give you a detailed battery status update for the Halo Smart, unlike the Android app.
You can buy the Jabra Halo Smart right now from O2 or Jabra’s website, for £70.