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Plantronics BackBeat Pro Review

Publish Date:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 11:10 am PDT

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Before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we were contacted by Plantronics and informed that they would like to meet with us while at CES. We, of course, were more than happy to meet. It was planned that Patrick and myself were going to be at CES representing the site. Unfortunately, Patrick was not able to go.

The meeting with the team at Plantronics went great and I was thrilled by their line up. Of the products they had on display, one that genuinely interested me was the BackBeat Pro Headphones. As they walked me through the details, I knew that I wanted a pair. But, at the time, they did not have any review units available and it looked like they wouldn’t have any in until late February or early March.

I contacted them around the middle of February and they replied that they still didn’t have any review units in. I was somewhat disappointed as this was a review I was eager to write. Still, I remained optimistic and kept in contact. Then, one day, I received an email stating that they had received word from their distributor that they received some units and that one was on my way. I received the unit four days after they sent the email.

The first thing you notice about the headphones is their size. They are large, but not so big that they make your head look smaller. However, the cups do cover your entire ear. Secondly, you’ll notice the weight. For being as large as they are, they are surprisingly light. This is terrific for those of us who spend hours listening to music. After turning the headphones on and pairing them with my phone, which is a completely painless process, I was able to actually see what sets them apart from the other wireless headphones that are available. They are, in every sense of the word, great. The sound quality is superb, they are comfortable, and they’re easy to use.

The specs of the headphones are quite impressive. With a battery life of almost 24 hours, a standby time of 21 days, and a DeepSleep mode that can last for 180 days, they are a cut above the competition. And with the ability to go up to 330 ft away from the paired device, you don’t have to worry about getting “range anxiety” as you may from other headphones. You can set your tablet or phone down, or both as you can pair up to two devices, on a table or nightstand and simply go about your day. The aptX® low latency codec2, AAC codec2, 40mm dynamic drivers, and a Frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz gives the BackBeat Pro the ability to deliver the great audio quality that it does.

One of the best features about them is how, if you remove the headphones, they will pause the music. Place them back on, and the music resumes. They even start softer and raise the volume back up to where you had it. This means they won’t blow your ears out or scare you to death if you forgot where the music was paused. Another great feature is OpenMic. This allows you to hear your surroundings and yet, still enjoy your music.

I compared them with a sampling of music from my library and decided to cover the bases with an assortment of wired and wireless headphones that I own. Not surprisingly, the BackBeat Pro outperformed the standard Earpod headphones that come with the iPhone. I then moved on to a pair of wireless headphones by JAM. While the sound quality of them are good, the BackBeat Pro outperformed them, as well. Then, I moved on to my pair of Star Wars First Edition Headphones by SMS Audio. These are rather good for sound quality and comfort. And, even though they are purported to have professionally tuned 40mm sound drivers, The BackBeat Pro outperformed them as well. And they are even in the same price range.

The controls for the headphones are simple to use. There is a dial on the right ear cup that controls the volume. If you press the button that is on the same cup, you can answer a phone. call. On the left ear cup, there is a dial that can skip tracks or go back to a previous track. The button on the same side can play or pause a track. There are also switches on the back of both cups. On the right, you have the power. And on the left, you have the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This uses dual microphones and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to analyze and cancel external noise.

All in all, these headphones are simply one of the best pairs that I have ever used. I would honestly recommend them to anyone who has the desire, and the funds, to purchase a pair of quality headphones. Once you start using them, you may not want to ever use a different pair.

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