PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT PRO
- Pros: The Plantronics BackBeat Pro has a Bluetooth connection with active noise canceling feature, good comfort, and superb autonomy. The sound performance is also more than awesome and a carrying case is provided.
- Cons: A bit heavy with its 360g, and the sound signature may not be suitable for all.
- In Short: It was time for Plantronics to enter the nomad headphone market, and with this BackBeat Pro, the bet is quite successful. Combining quality sound, features and design brilliantly, it can be made a place.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Active noise canceling
- Up to 24 hours of battery life
- Controls on headphones and built-in microphone
- Carrying case
Plantronics BackBeat Pro Review
Plantronics has got a great success in the past with the Bluetooth headphones by producing devices like the Backbeat Go 2 and most recently the BackBeat Fit. With the BackBeat Pro the manufacturer has finally abandoned small sizes and this time offers a real headphone to fully enjoy its music both in transportation and in the gym. This model is a Bluetooth headset, which can still be used in a wired way without requiring a battery and incorporating interesting options like the active reduction of noise. It is very well thought out and intelligently designed, and its sound is balanced.
Design and Comfort: a stylish headphone!
The BackBeat Pro offers a pleasantly designed design, a black plastic and padded with only a small metal accent. The headphones are circular and wide, with the interior usefully marked with an L or R indicating the side. The headband is also padded, and the metal arms each have a stop clip to secure the headphones when properly adjusted on your head. They are comfortable when placed on the head, and wearing them for a long time was not a problem during the testing phases.
Each earphone is integral with different control buttons evenly distributed between a wide and rigid circle, a large button, and smaller enough orderly. The left earphone has a Play / Pause button, a button to manage music tracks, and a small switch to activate active noise reduction. There is also a USB port and another 3.5mm auxiliary port.
The right earphone has a button with Answer/End keys for phone calls, a volume control button that acts separately from the device, a button to turn on or off the headset, and finally the last button that can be temporarily selected Deactivate the ANC and increase the surrounding sounds or pause the microphone during calls. All in all, this is really well thought out and intuitive to use. A good point for this model.
Features and Connectivity
The BackBeat Pro can maintain a connection with two devices in addition to Bluetooth. The transition between the devices is fluid and there is no problem moving from the tablet to the laptop during the journey that brings us to work while maintaining a connection with the phone. If you have a Bluetooth Class 1 device, the BackBeat Pro can operate beyond 100 meters. In addition to the wireless benefit, the BackBeat Pro offers built-in sensors that can automatically stop or play a song when you put on or remove the headset. Note that these sensors also allow to automatically put the device into standby after a certain period of inactivity in order to preserve the autonomy of the battery.
Plantronics claims that the BackBeat Pro can play music for more than 24 hours with the Active Noise Cancel function enabled. The daily tests are done to prove it, by keeping to the fact that I did not have to recharge it more than once in a week. Impressive figure that you can increase up to 60 hours if you do not activate the active noise cancellation function. When not in use, the BackBeat Pro goes into sleep mode, and Plantronics claims that the battery does not need to be recharged for 6 months. The headphones can also be operated simply by wired connection with the included 3.5 mm cable, which also incorporates a remote control and a microphone so you can easily manage your tracks and answer calls even when the device does not work. Has got a good battery.
To continue in the accessories, it should be noted that the headphone is proposed with a Micro-USB cable to recharge it and a carrying pouch. The latter seems very resistant, with a spacious interior to store your smartphone.
Active noise reduction
Active noise cancellation uses microphones to measure outside noise and generate a reverse wave while listening to music. The BackBeat Pro Active Noise Cancellation Technology works well, reducing or eliminating external noise such as strong underground air vents. Obviously, this one is not yet at the level of what one could obtain with a Bose QuietComfort 25, but it remains appreciable if you often use your headset outside.
If you need to hear ads in a subway station or airport, the Mute button on the right earphone reduces the audio volume of your music or podcast to a minimum and recovers the external sound actively using the microphones. As a result, you do not need to turn off your earphones or remove them from your ears. It’s also handy if someone comes to talk to you while you listen to your music in the subway.
You can also completely disable the active noise cancellation function and only you suffice the passive reduction achieved through the large earpad pads.
The sound performance is very good, especially for a Bluetooth headset, but they certainly do not reach the best current wired models. The headphones offer powerful and deep bass allowing a good immersion in your music. The signature is rather aggressive and sometimes lacks a bit of heat, but this is clearly in the current trend and Plantronics should find buyers without too much trouble.
In the idea, it still makes me think of the Beats Studio Wireless, with the difference that the model of Plantronics is a little heavier. The Sony MDR-10RBT offers a slightly softer sound.
Obviously, judging the sound quality of a headset is still quite subjective, and many people will probably prefer the BackBeat Pro rendering to the models mentioned above.
If you are looking for a best Bluetooth headset with a stylish design but you do not want to be one more person with a Beats on the head, this new Plantronics BackBeat Pro is a great alternative. It offers relatively good comfort, very honest sound performance and a lot of interesting features. Moreover, intuitive controls and a huge autonomy. A little more expensive than a Sony MDR-10RBT, but cheaper than the Beats Studio Wireless or the new Bose SoundLink Bluetooth, your biggest difficulty will be making a choice!