I am not an on-ear headphones person so it's difficult for me to review them objectively without saying how much I dislike the idea and pressure they exert on my ears. Oddly, that's not the case with the BackBeat 500, the newest release from Plantronics. I don't hate them and I can manage wearing them for a couple of hours without wanting to rip them off my head. That's a good start.
I've reviewed many of the brand's headphones over the years including the in-ear BackBeat GO 3 and the big over-ear BackBeat Pro+ and Pro 2, and I've spent some time with the on-ear BackBeat Sense, so I do know what to expect: better value for the money than most brands, good sound quality, and nice design and build. Read More
Plantronics makes some of my personal favorite Bluetooth headphones and headsets. Although I use the BackBeat Fit while running and exercising, and the BackBeat Pro+ when I'm at my desk, the BackBeat GO 2 spends the most time of them all in my ears and around my neck. I wear it and listen to music and podcasts while walking, doing chores around the house, shopping, or performing any repetitive activity that doesn't require my utmost attention.
But the GO 2 headphones aren't perfect. Their size and weight balance could be better, their battery life should be around 4 hours but is now less than 3 hours after a couple of years of constant use, and their charging case is too small and kind of unreliable. Read More
You'd be hard pressed to find a Bluetooth headset with more features than Plantronics' BackBeat Pro+. Active noise canceling? Check. NFC? Sure. Bluetooth and 3.5mm plug? Yes, definitely. Multipoint technology? Oui. And the list goes on and on. Name any option and the Pro+ likely has it. If you're looking for a jack of all trades headset, you'll waste a lot of time trying to find one more versatile and feature-filled than the BackBeat Pro+, but there's more to this pair of headphones than gimmicks and long feature lists. The Pro+ shines in some instances that I didn't know I'd appreciate and falls flat in some other places where I had higher expectations. Read More
I may have more than half a dozen Bluetooth earphones lying around home and at work, but my personal preference is almost always skewed toward Plantronics. The BackBeat GO 2 has been a mainstay in my purse for almost two years, and the BackBeat Fit is my absolute favorite workout headset. Both provide a great balance of features, battery life, and portability that fits with my needs. That's why I was eager to see what the company has in store with its newest foray, and the BackBeat SENSE didn't disappoint me. But before I go into my thoughts on this pair of headphones, let's start with the specs. Read More
I have tried more than a dozen Bluetooth earbud form factors, but the one I absolutely love for everyday use is the Jaybird Freedom Sprint / Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 design. Two small earbuds, one wire, and all the freedom you can think of. It's less cumbersome than the dog tag design (à la Jabra Tag) and lighter to carry around than the necklace style (think Samsung's Gear Circle or LG's Tone series). And when you have something like the Freedom Sprint, you simply wrap up the small wire and put it in a pouch, pocket, or purse and you're good to go whenever you need it. Read More
One of my favorite Bluetooth earphones of all time is Plantronics' Backbeat GO 2. Ever since I got it over a year ago, you'd rarely find me outside of home or work without seeing it around my neck. It accompanies me on my walks, my shopping, and most of my daily activities. It is small and minimalistic, easily fits in my purse, and lightly hangs around my neck when not in use. It's also quite comfortable to wear for 2 or 3 hours continuously, enough to entertain me on all of my outings.
The one problem with the Backbeat GO 2 is its fit, especially when engaged in more energetic activities like running. Read More
I've reviewed several sets of Bluetooth earbuds. With each one, there are things I would change about the design. On some, the buds are huge. Others forgo the massive bud size in exchange for a remote/receiver that needs to be "worn." Why can't someone just build a set of BT earbuds that look and feel like wired buds? is the question I find myself asking with each new headset.
Then I got my hands (and ears) on the Plantronics BackBeat GO. Without giving too much away up front, this headset is a breath of fresh air in a market filled with "I guess I can make these work" solutions. Read More