Audio on the go is a necessity for most people, and for me bluetooth is the only way. I’ve recently been trying out a set of Plantronics BackBeat Go stereo headphones, and I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.
I was previously rocking a rather dated set of Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 buds, which did the job. But the Plantronics have blown me away for bluetooth audio quality.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go’s are of the sound isolating type, with three sets of cushioned ear tips in various sizes to ensure you get a comfortable fit. Sitting just behind the ear tips are stabilisers that ensure the buds stay in place while you run for the train.
Once you get yourself sorted out with the best fitting set of tips, it’s time to play. The BackBeat Go’s have an inline mic with various controls; Volume Up and Down, Play/Pause, and the Call End/On/Off button. Pairing the headphones with my Galaxy S3 was a straight forward, normal process, and I already had the Plantronics MyHeadset installed. Having the app installed doesn’t give you any extra features with this headset, but does allow you to see the current battery level in your notification drawer, which I found handy.
I played through a pretty varied playlist to give them a good range and check for any distortions. I was pleasantly surprised to find they handled everything I threw at them. Everything from bass filled dubstep (Noisia), technical metal (Dark Tranquility), rock (Nickleback), and industrial/electronica (Nine Inch Nails) came through crisp and clear, no fuzzing, no complaining, and no having to mess around with an EQ or lower the volume. Better still, no echo, no tinny noises on the low end, and the headphones didn’t feel like they were going to bounce out of my ears when the bass went up. They really bring out the richer quality of music you get with a good set of wired headphones.
Weighing in at a minuscule 13g, you’ll barely notice them, and with the comfortable fitting ear tips, you may even forget you’re wearing them. Though they don’t appear to be marketed at “athletic” types, they are sweat proof. Equipped with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, A2DP and AVRCP for the streaming audio and music controls respectively, digital noise reduction and full duplex echo cancellation; they are certainly technically well endowed.
A battery that can withstand 4.5 hours talk time, 4 hours of music play back and a staggering 10 days standby is pretty impressive given the size. Another impressive point is charging. They went for micro USB! Not only did they go for the most ubiquitous cable today, they provided one. That can also charge another USB device at the same time!
Another place Plantronics went right was the cord. It has a good length while not being so long as to get in the way (defeating the purpose of wireless headphones!), and it’s tangle free! A flat cord that doesn’t tangle and sits very nicely on the back of your neck, what more could you ask for.
One thing that most people don’t write about is packaging, because for the most part, no one cares. I feel I should make an exception with the Plantronics BackBeat Go headphones as the packaging is just beautiful. The headphones are put centre stage in a beautiful box that could probably double as a charging stand if you are so inclined.
So for an affordable set of good quality bluetooth headphones, the Plantronic BackBeat Go Wireless Headphones really hit the mark. Light weight, good quality audio with quite probably the most convenient charger ever conceived!
Available in the UK for £49.95, and in the USA for $63.49 at all good mobile accessory stores.