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If you're looking for Bluetooth headphones, make sure to check these out

Publish Date:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 11:57 am PDT

News Organization:

Tech Insider

Source URL:

Known for making Bluetooth headsets, Plantronics might not have the same brand recognition as Beats, Bose, or Sennheiser when it comes to headphones.

But the company sure knows how make a good pair of Bluetooth headphones.

The Backbeat Pro+ is Plantronic's premium flagship headphones. They have noise cancelling and incredible battery life, but more importantly they sound great.

They're one of the best pairs of Bluetooth headphones I've tried next to the Sony MDRZX770BN.

The basics: sound, comfort, and controls
Right off the bat, the BackBeats aren't the "accurate" headphones some purists are after, which tend to (purposefully) sound relatively flat. Yet, that's a good thing for most of us looking for exciting, powerful sound rather than "accuracy."

The BackBeats are great for those who like rich, full, clear, and powerful sound without fiddling around with (or even know about) their music player's equalizer settings.

Those seeking bass will be very pleased with the BackBeats. It's powerful to the point that I feel the bass' vibrations in my ears, which I love, all without overwhelming the balance of mids and highs. That said, they're not quite as bright as the aforementioned Sonys, but they're much brighter than the Beats Studio Wireless.

In terms of comfort, the BackBeats' hybrid on-ear/over-ear cups deliver. They don't quite sit on top of my (bigger than average) ears, and they don't quite fit around them, either. The thick, soft pads are very comfortable, even after a couple hours of listening.

The controls for volume and changing tracks are intuitive. Turn the rubber wheel on the right cup to change the volume, and do the same to change track with the rubber wheel on the left cup. It's less fiddly than feeling around for buttons, which you'll find on many Bluetooth headphones.

Decent noise cancelling
The BackBeats's noise-cancelling is similar to the Sonys, which is to say it's pretty good, but not as good as the Bose Quiet Comfort 25. However, I did experience some hissing that's often associated with noise-cancelling when listening to music at low volumes.

It's not a problem when you're out and about in a noisy city, but if you're in a quiet environment and listening to softer music, like Classical, it's noticeable.

Where they stand out
The battery life on the BackBeats is nothing short of incredible thanks to an effective sleep mode when you don't use them for awhile. I've been using the BackBeats for about three weeks now and I've only had to charge them twice, and I've rarely turned the power switch to the off position since using them. And that's with noise-cancelling on the entire time.

One of the BackBeats' best features is its ability to connect to two devices at the same time. Other headphones (excluding the Sonys) boast this feature, but none work as well as the BackBeats. They connect to my phone during my morning commute, then they automatically connect to my computer as I arrive at my desk, all while keeping the connection with my phone. That means I can listen to music from my computer and pick up a phone call without doing anything, like switching connections.

They also sense when they're on and off your head to pause and start your music, which is a nice touch that eliminates the need to manually press pause or start on your music player.

One weird thing...
Listening to music on an iPhone 6s Plus, the BackBeats' volume doesn't go low enough. At the minimum volume setting, music can still be louder than I'd like, especially on a morning commute. That's not a problem on a computer where you can adjust the volume from your music player, like iTunes or Spotify.

Who should buy the BackBeats?
Anyone who wants a great pair of noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones without spending the $500 that the Sennheiser Momentums demand should definitely consider the BackBeats Pro+.

These Plantronics headphones cost $250 from Amazon at the time of writing, which is a little more than the $230 Sonys (also at time of writing). They sound about as good as the Sonys, but they're also much easier to use, especially if you want to use them with two different devices.

Reviewer's note: I tested the BackBeats with various music styles, including Rock, Jazz, Classical, Reggae, and Electronic music.

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