The Plantronics Backbeat Pro are an above-average pair of headphones. The ergonomic design is great and the build quality is solid, if a little stiff and heavy. The sound profile caters more to bass-heavy music genres but still offers passable audio reproduction.
- Solid build quality.
- Great ergonomic design.
- Heavy and stiff ear cups.
- Hyped Bass and treble audio profile.
- ANC produces audible low rumble when turned on.
The Backbeat Pros are heavy and the ear cups are not the most flexible. However the build quality feels robust and durable. The ergonomic design and button placement are very well-thought-out, easy to use and provide a good tactile feedback. The big, bright left and right ear cup logos is also a nice touch.
The Backbeat Pros look a little utilitarian with their all black design and rugged build. The headband is thick and heavily padded. The ear cups have a round over-ear design that works well with the ergonomic controls. The purple within the ear cups helps highlight the left and right label, which is a nice touch.
One of the heavier headphones we have tested, but rather comfortable. The pads are on the stiff side.
These headphones are little bulky and sway while running. They're able to maintain their position well during casual listening sessions but will slip off your ears if used while doing high-intensity exercises. On the upside, they are wireless and have no cables that will get tangled or hooked on something.
The Backbeat Pro are too bulky and cumbersome to carry around on your person. They are not portable and do not fold up int a more compact format for storage or transport. The ear cups lay flat to take less space in a bag. However, they are too big to fit into any pockets or handbags.
The Backbeat Pros have a decent audio reproduction. They overemphasize the bass and treble yet provide a very good representation of the mids. This profile may not be well suited for everyone, as the augmented bass and treble add a too much excitement to tracks that are already bass-heavy. Harmonic distortion at high volumes is also a concern.
Decent, yet hyped performance. These headphones seem to be tuned to have a classic "smiley face" curve (over-emphasizing bass and treble in order to achieve a larger-than-life and exciting sound), but it is a bit over-done. Even though over-emphasis in the low-bass range is quite forgiving, +10dB of boost at 40Hz is a rather noticeable.
Good performance. The response is virtually flat for the most part, but consistently underemphasized by about 3dB. This adds to the hyped sound of bass and treble.
Decent performance. As mentioned in the bass section, these headphones seem to be tuned to have a classic "smiley face" curve (over-emphasizing bass and treble in order to achieve a larger-than-life and exciting sound), but it is a bit over-done. The low-treble region is mostly neutral, but the peaks at 8KHz and 12KHz could be sibilant and fatiguing, depending on the material.
High distortion overall. Both 90 dB SPL and 100 dB SPL are significantly worse than average, with the latter being near 1%, for the most part. The elevated low-end distortion is most likely an artifact of the noise cancelling system working.
The Backbeat Pros do decent job of noise isolation. The thick ear pads, provide a great seal that do not leak much sound and good passive noise cancelation. The active noise cancelation on the other hand is inconsistent and could be improved.
The passive isolation provided by the thick earpads is very good down to 1KHz. The ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) provides decent isolation of the mid-to-low range, down to 50Hz. However, from 50Hz down to 20Hz, these headphones provide their own audible low-end rumble which gets worse by walking around or gently tapping on the headphones.
These headphones leak very little sound in the bass range but there is significant leakage from around 2KHz to 6KHz, which covers sibilant sounds like hi-hats.
The Plantronics have a great set of active features and good battery life performance. They will last up to 21 hours on a single charge and also have a lot of power saving features to prolong your listening experience. They also have one of the best wireless range that we have measured so far and support aptX and aptX(LL) which makes them great for watching videos or even gaming. The negative aspect of their active features is only with the lackluster companion app that is more a novelty than practical.
The Backbeat Pro have an excellent wireless range that's ideal if you can't or prefer not carry your Bluetooth source on your person. The obstructed range indoors is well above the average and in direct line of sight, these headphones will reach beyond 200 ft. This makes them a versatile wireless headset to use at home or work and additionally they're very easy to pair. They offer NFC, dual device pairing and consistently reconnected to the last synced device instantly when turned on.
The BackBeat Pro deliver a good set of power saving features and a long battery life of 21.2 hours. They have a built-in auto-off timer that will automatically switch off the headphones after 10 minutes of not being in use. They also continue streaming audio while charging, which makes them good headphones to use when you're close to a power source, like being at the office or on a train/plane. You may still have to charge the headphones after a day of regular use, but they should have enough battery life for a long flight.
The Plantronics Hub has a disappointing yet unique list of features. This app doesn't provide any actual control over the sound quality of the headphones. There's no equalizer, room effects, in-app player or battery status. However,it does deliver a find MyHeadset feature that lets you track the headphones and even let it ring at a distance, but the functionality is a little limited.
In the box
- Plantronics Backbeat Pro Headphones
- Carrying pouch
- Audio cable
- USB cable