It’s tough to find the right gym headphones, but this might be your lucky day. The Plantronics BackBeat Fits are wireless bluetooth headphones that feature a water resistant design, built-in audio controls, a microphone, an 8 hour battery, and a durable build with powerful audio.
The BackBeat Fits are in-ear headphones with a thick rubber cable that runs above the ear and behind the neck. In pictures, the cable looks like it’s rigid and reinforced, but it’s actually flexible and bendable. When your workout’s over you can just fold up the Fits and throw them in the included neoprene carrying pouch. A sweet little bonus with the carrying pouch is that it’s reversible and morphs into a phone holding arm band. It fits iPhone easily. Phablets, like the Samsung Note, may not fit.
The rubberized ear tips are one size fits all, there’s no alternate sizes or shapes included. The shape of the eartips are designed to stay in-ear, but not so snugly that your surroundings are silenced. This was an interesting decision by Plantronics, but it’s nice to see that safety is a factor. Safety is also the reason that the BackBeat Fits rock bright colors and reflective sides.
On both ears you’ll find controls built into BackBeat to control your music, answer/end phone calls, and access voice activation. The controls take no time to get used to, and the buttons are easy enough to access. Even though the microphone is built into the side of your ear, phone calls sound just as good as the inline microphone on Apple’s headphones.
The first thing I did with the BackBeat Fits was go for a jog. I wasn’t sold. They weren’t able to stay in-ear, so what is the point? I soon realized they’re not great jogging headphones, but instead they’re fantastic gym headphones that can be worn as everyday headphones. Since the Fits aren’t designed to sit deep in your ear, they never fall out of place. The fit allows me to hear my surroundings, and even communicate with gym buddies, while I’m listening to my tunes. Technically, you can rotate the ear tips to get a better fit, but its always going to be on the looser side.
For headphones marketed as gym headphones, the audio quality is great. Usually when a manufacturer goes through the process of producing a water resistant design that’s comfortable and stays on, they skimp on the sound quality. But this time around, the sound quality is great; it’s very full sound with no distortion. If you press the headphones into your ear, you’ll hear what they’re really capable of. Unfortunately, that type of fit isn’t easily achievable; the bass will always be on the lighter side, as will the overall oomph.
The BackBeat Fits have quickly become our new go-to gym headphones (which says a lot!). They stay in a lot better than the previous bluetooth Plantronics headphones we reviewed, the BackBeat Go 2. That said, while the looser fit here may not allow us to hear all of the finer details and subtleties of our tunes at the gym, they’re amazingly comfortable and convenient for exercise (as long as you’re not running). The battery also lasts a couple weeks of wear at the gym. You’ll get a bit less than a week if you’re using these as every day headphones. Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Sports Headphones will retail for $129 and will be available soon.
The Good: Water resistant, Comfortable, Nice sound quality, Durable, Included carrying case/arm band, Audio controls with microphone, Wireless bluetooth with 8 hour battery, Micro-USB charging
The Bad: Not ideal for running/jogging, No alternative ear tips