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Plantronics BackBeat Fit Review

By Danny Hayasaka

June 23, 2015

I’m a Fit Junkie. A few years back (161 weeks and 3 days) I made a decision to “lose weight”. I was 246lbs+ with a 42 in waist and growing. These days I’m happy to report I’m 184lbs with a 32in waist. It’s no longer about “losing weight”. It’s about being fit and healthy and able to do things.  It was a challenging journey. I went from getting winded walking a quarter mile to being able to run 16 miles non-stop. I now average 100+ miles per month. I went from not being able to hold a plank for 10 seconds to just yesterday holding it for 4:14 min!!! (I’ve challenged myself to do a 5 min plank).

All along the way there has been music. I must have gone through dozens of headphones/earphones. From corded to wireless. A little embarrassing but I sweat buckets in this Florida sunshine and humidity. I have ruined headphones and even iPods because of my sweat (I know gross). Other issue I ran into with other wireless headphones is the very short battery life. Most would only last 1hr to 2hr max. Well if I go run 13.1+ miles, I’m going to need a little longer battery life. Because even after you run, you need to cool down and stretch. The music needs to keep playing. Enter in…Plantronics Backbeat Fit!!!

I’ve had my BackBeat Fit since March of this year. So I’ve put them through heck. I’ve logged 408.4 miles wearing them. Not to mention my strength training workouts and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions. Regardless of how much I sweat they continue to play. Regardless of all the various movements I make, they stay put. No matter how long I run or workout…the BackBeat FIT keeps up.

These are definitely my favorite headset/headphones for working out. However, guess what? You don’t have to limit using these to working out! I use them when I’m grocery shopping, cooking dinner or just laying out by the pool! And because they have a mic, you can use it to take calls as well.

 

Ok, let’s get into the product.

They come in two variants:

BackBeat FIT – Blue 200450-01

BackBeat FIT – Green 200460-01

What’s in the box? Headphones with microphone, micro USB cable, armband for smartphone or headphones

At first glance: Single form factor with minimal moving parts which is what you need when working out.

Set Up and Use: It was very easy; they seem to go into pair mode as soon as you turn them on. Go to your Bluetooth menu on phone (I have iPhone 6 plus) and select PLT_BBFIT. Buttons are fairly easy. On right speaker you have on/off button, answer/hang up button for calls as well as covered charging port. On the left side you have volume up/down button (tap to increase volume and press and hold to decrease volume) and play/pause button. I was surprised there wasn’t a skip/forward/rewind button/function. I was also prompted to download an app, which I did. It has some nice features.

I was able to update my headset firmware (must be paired). The “Help Me” section offers some good info as well: Pairing: First Time, Firmware Update and Tips

So how does it sound? My personal opinion is they sound great! Volume is loud enough when I’m running where I can listen to the music clearly and still able to hear traffic/surroundings which is important when running. When I’m doing my strength training I can crank up the volume pretty loud.

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is feature packed!

  • Bluetooth Headset
    • Bluetooth v3.0
      • A2DP for audio streaming, AVRCP for music controls, Hands-free v1.6 for wideband, and Headset v1.2
    • Up to 33ft range
    • Eight-device memory
      • Pair with your mobile device and tablet!
    • Status alerts
    • Carrying case
      • Can act as mobile device case/armband (too small for iPhone 6 Plus)
    • Up to 8 hours of listen time/Up to 6 hours of talk time (Very cool feature!!!)
      • Up to 14 days of standby time (we all forget to charge our stuff from time to time – no need to worry with these)
      • Deep Sleep Mode – Up to 180 Days
      • Micro USB charging
      • 2 hours for full charge
    • Sweat proof design plus P2i nano-coating on headphones (Another very cool feature!!!)
    • Only 24 grams
    • 1-Year Warranty

As I continue on my fitness journey, I expect that these will make it through. I really have put them to the test and they are holding up. Again, even if you’re not a “Fit Junkie”, these are great. Some folks don’t want to wear big bulky headphones however they still want to hear music through both ears, wirelessly while they shop or wash the car. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT, fits the bill.

 

 

 

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Review

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Wireless, Active Noise Canceling Headphones + Mic is another great addition to a solid Plantronics portfolio.

First the packaging is kind of cool. It was somewhat of an “experience” and I hadn’t even used the headphones yet.

What’s In the Box: Wireless, active noise canceling headphones, Ballistic nylon travel sleeve, 3.5mm inline cable (with 4‐pole for Apple), Micro USB charge cable

Plantronics BackBeat PRO ReviewPlantronics BackBeat PRO Review

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Review

Plantronics BackBeat PRO Review

Set Up: First thing I did was start charging my BackBeat PRO headphones by connecting Micro USB charging cable to headphones (port on left speaker) and USB portion to PC. (Please note I charged them on 10/16/14). Once headphones were charged (after 3 hrs) I quickly and easily paired to my iPad and iPhone. The first time you power on your headphones the pairing process begins. In addition to being able to pair via Bluetooth, BackBeat PRO also supports NFC (Near Field Communications). The NFC zone is also on left speaker. Additionally, you can pair to the Plantronics BT300 USB Dongle for use with softphone applications.

Actual Use: These headphones have tons of features. Let me get the one ding out of the way however it’s a minor ding considering how these would actually be used.  The microphone isn’t the best. It works well in terms of I can be heard clearly however, it does pick up background noise. Again, minor ding. Also, this is not really a “contact center” device. I see the knowledge worker using these to help them “focus” while at home, coffee shop, airport, subway, train, plane…you get the idea.

There is a power on/off button on right speaker in addition to answer/hang up button, Open mic button: allows you to listen to surroundings if you have ANC activated – If in a call, it acts as Mute button, volume up/down wheel. If your smartphone supports, you have voice-enabled assistant. Using answer/end button you can decline call as well as call back last number dialed.

The left speaker controls include Active Noise Canceling (ANC) switch, Play/Pause music and track selection wheel.

Here’s yet another cool feature! The Backbeat PRO has Smart Sensors like their Voyager Legend. Putting on headphones will play music, activate noise cancelling (when switched on) and answer call. Taking headphones off will pause music and deactivate noise cancelling (when switched on). So let’s say you’re in the kitchen cooking dinner jamming out to your favorite tunes and your significant other taps you on the shoulder to talk, just lifting the left speaker off ear pauses music so you can hear her. Once you’re done with conversation, place speaker back on ear and back to your song right where you left off!!!

Speakers lay flat for easy storage into the really cool bag that’s included.

 

Remember I stated I charged these back on 10/16/14. It’s now 10/28/14 and when I turn them on, the voice message states “Battery High”!!! So battery power is crazy long with these! I’ve been using daily with my iPad at home for listening to music and watching videos and movies. The audio quality is pretty awesome! I’m actually wearing them now as I type this. I’m testing out in middle of sales floor listening to some tunes. I feel as if I’m all alone in my own little world. I had to get up and look to see if anyone was in here.

Should you happen to exhaust battery, you can use the included 3.5mm Apple cable. The cable allows you to adjust the volume, play/pause music, track forward, track backward and activate Siri.

The Plantronics BackBeat PRO is a really cool feature packed set of headphones that can be used by pretty much by anyone. Not necessarily restricted for business. I use them more for personal entertainment and I think they’re great!