Reviewed by Chester Tan (http://musicphotolife.com/)
Plantronics is getting serious in quality audio headphones with the recent launch of the BackBeat PRO in Singapore. Having reviewed several Plantronics products over the months, I am happy that Plantronics now have headphones that satisfy the listeners who enjoy the Plantronics kind of audio quality.
As the name suggests, it aims at offering professional-grade audio quality to the consumers. And this one headphones alone has all the features that any on-the-go music lovers will ever need. It's like the swiss army knife of headphones. How so? Here are 10 features you will love on the BackBeat PRO.
The BackBeat PRO connects wirelessly to your device via the latest Bluetooth 4.0. It even supports Class 1 Bluetooth, meaning it can connect up to 100 metres with devices supporting Class 1. In comparison, the standard distance for most devices is 10 metres. Not many devices come with Class 1, but it's still a swell feature for those who do. A fantastic reason to get the BackBeat PRO.
Pairing is also made easy with NFC. Just tap the device to the BackBeat PRO to initiate pairing.
If the BackBeat PRO battery runs out, which is like impossible (unless you forget to charge it), you can use it with a wired cable with in-line mic for voice calls.
Battery Life? Check.
The BackBeat PRO can play music for 24 hours straight! If I need to watch Star Wars marathon, I would be glad this headphones could last through the 6 movies in one charge.
Active Noise Cancellation? Check.
The inclusion of active noise cancellation (ANC) allows you to isolate ambient noise and let you enjoy music even at lower volumes. The BackBeat PRO ANC work effectively in reducing low-frequency humming noises. It does not eliminate high-frequency sounds, neither does it kill human chatter. While it is not the mot effective ANC I've reviewed, it is still a good feature to remove the irritating rumbling sounds of airplanes, trains, buses.
Listen to ambient mode without removing headphones? Check.
If you need to listen to ambient noise, say, when ordering food at the counter, just press a button and the BackBeat PRO activates OpenMic(TM) to let you hear your surroundings. You can even adjust the sensitivity of the mic to increase the volume of the surrounding sound. Hmm, thinking aloud, it is a rather cool feature to eavesdrop. Finally, I can have Batman's hypersonic hearing technology! Well, almost.
Music Controls? Check.
The BackBeat PRO uses a large fly-by-wire dial that goes around the right speaker circumference to let you control the volume, which is so much sleeker than the 2-button rocker. Skipping tracks is controlled on the left ear. Press the huge round button on the left speaker to manually-pause tracks, and the right speaker to take calls.
Answer Calls? Check.
You can pick up calls or make calls with the BackBeat PRO without ever touching the phone.
Music auto-pause? Check.
Plantronics is seriously pampering us music listeners. Imagine: all you do is to take the headphones off your ears, and the music pauses automatically! Place it back to your ears and the music continues where it's left off.
The BackBeat PRO is heavy, but feels comfortable on my head. Its large ear cushions cup over your ears so you feel no strain against the ears. The speakers can be twisted 90-degrees inwards so when you remove them and wear it around your neck, they can turn towards your body and not stick out like a neck brace.
Protective case? Check.
The included pouch is made of tough nylon on the outside and purple velvet material on the inside, ensuring your precious headphones are well-protected.
With the ANC turned off, the BackBeat PRO delivers sparkling crystal treble, more open sounding bass. When the ANC is turned on, the bass immediately sounded compressed, less reverberating, and lacks roominess, although it becomes cleaner and more detailed. I prefer listening with ANC off, as it produces a more natural sounding warm bass and less processed treble. If you are listening to loud tracks, I find the ANC offers little effect to eliminate the surrounding noise.
Waterproof? Who are you kidding?
I have never heard of any on-ear headphones that can battle the elements. The BackBeat PRO is no exception. Get an in-ear headphones like the excellent Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 for your active lifestyle, but keep the BackBeat PRO for your passive moments.
The Plantronics BackBeat PRO is every inch an awesome multi-functional headphones. It's got loads of practical features, the buttons and knobs are well-placed, I can easily access them without looking. The headphones feel so comfortable even after long hours of use, the ANC eliminates some ambient noise, its battery life is jaw-dropping long. There is no noise leak, so you can turn up the volume in libraries.
Retailing in Singapore for S$379, available at all good electronics stores.
Rating: 4.3 of 5
This article orginally appeared at Music.Photo.Life.
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