Free me of these wires! That is what companies are hearing more of these days, as consumers want to move freely away from their devices and not be subjected to being tethered by wires. However, these same consumers still want to be able to be connected to their devices, just not literally when it comes to hands-free connectivity. Plantronics is the latest company to try their hand at taking advantage of this void in the marketplace with the BackBeat Go. Going where many have tried before, Plantronics, who is far from an amateur when it comes to Bluetooth technology, has provided consumers an affordable alternative to not only hands free technology but also a quality stereo Bluetooth headset.
The BackBeat Go only weighs an astounding .46 ounces, a pen is heavier than this headset! The overall design of the BackBeat Go is minimalistic but practical. The earbuds lean towards the chunkier side in regards to size, but a simple flat cable holds both earbuds together, while the only thing tying you to your device is a Bluetooth connection. Hidden on the right earbud is the micro USB port in order for it to be charged. On the cable resides the volume and pairing buttons.
The BackBeat Go pairs with a laptop, a smartphone, tablet etc… as long as there is Bluetooth in the device you are attempting to to pair them with. Pairing is a cinch and happens with in seconds. Just hold down the pairing button till the red and blue light on the right earbud flashes quickly, and soon after you’ll be paired to a compatible device.
Unfortunately, because of its lackluster bass output and lack of super crisp highs (it sports 6mm neodymium drivers), the BackBeat Go may not be an audiophiles go-to pair of headphones. But for the average consumer who is looking for a decent hands-free stereo Bluetooth headset, they may have just found it. Calls come in crisp and clear, and while music reproduction isn’t the same in comparison to a standard wired headset, highs are pretty prominent and the bass while lackluster, is still relevant.
My main overall gripe with the BackBeat Pro is the size of the earbud, as they aren’t particularly stylish or comfortable to fall asleep with. The ear tips are also made a rather flimsy silicone, so getting a tight seal can sometimes be a bit difficult.
While the Plantronics BackBeat Pro may not be an entirely complete package, they still provide a decent enough experience that it is worth the investment of $99. The BackBeat Pro offers up 4.5 hours of listening and talk time on a single charge, the convenience of being wireless, and a crisp call quality that will certainly please those incoming as well as outgoing calls. The BackBeat Pro is available now.
The Good: Lightweight design makes it easily portable, additional tips are included from larger to smaller, crisp call quality, pairing is super easy, makes a great first Bluetooth stereo headset for those new to this type of technology.
The Bad: Music playback quality is decent, but not amazing – exhibited highs, but the low end is lacking.
Update 7/29/2013: Check out our review of the BackBeat Go 2 which are an update to these headphones.