Reviewed on May 29, 2018

Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.5
Mixed Usage
7.2
Critical Listening
6.2
Commute/Travel
6.8
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
5.9
TV
5.6
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 Series are average mixed usage wireless over-ears with a decent sound quality. They have a lightweight design that's a bit reminiscent of the Beoplay H9 but doesn't feel as premium or as durable. On the upside, they're easy-to-use, decently comfortable, and they have a long battery life and a great wireless range. Unfortunately, the ear cups do not seal the ears properly which makes them a poor option for loud environments and commuting.

Test Results
Design 6.7
Sound 7.3
Isolation 4.5
Microphone 6.2
Active Features 7.0
Connectivity 5.9
Pros
  • Above-average sound quality.
  • Lightweight and decently comfortable.
  • Good wireless range and battery life.
Cons
  • Flimsy build quality.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.

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6.7

Design

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have a simple and straightforward design that's decently comfortable and easy-to-use. Like most Plantronics headphones, they have an efficient control scheme that's intuitive and provides decent feedback. They're well padded and not too tight on the head, which makes them above-average comfortable but a bit less stable for the gym. Unfortunately, their ear cup design doesn't fit as well around the ears and their lightweight build quality feels a little flimsy and cheap once in your hands.

Style

The Plantronics Go 600 have a simple and straightforward design that will appeal to most, but feels a little cheap once in your hands. They look somewhat like the Beoplay H9 with a similar frame and ear cups design. However, they do not look as polished or premium as the B&Os. They come in a couple of different color schemes that are all matte and understated which some may prefer over the glossy design of some of the other over/on-ears like the Beats Solo2 Wireless (see our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones under $50). Overall, these headphones will look good enough for most but may disappoint a little once you feel their slightly cheap and lightweight build quality.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.4 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.8 lbs

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 are decently comfortable headphones. They're lightweight, well padded, and not too tight on the head. You can wear them for a fairly long time without feeling any fatigue, but the round ear cups do not always fit well around the ears. Unlike the Beoplay H9 which have a similar but more premium design, the Go 600's ear cups do not tilt upwards as much which creates a gap in the fit around your ears. It's not uncomfortable but can be a bit annoying since you will often have to adjust the headset to get a better seal.

7.4 Controls
Ease of use : Decent
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Bass Effect

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have an efficient and easy-to-use control scheme. You can play, pause and answer calls, by pressing the central button on the left ear cup. Skipping tracks is done with the two arrows next to the call/music button and there is a volume rocker on the side of the ear cup that's easy to use but a little cramped. On the right ear cup you have the power switch that also doubles as the pairing button. And at the bottom of the cup, you have a bass-effect button to switch between 2 preset EQs.

6.7 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.8 C

These headphones, like most closed back over-ears, are not the most breathable. They do not create the best seal with their ear cups so they won't make your ears as warm as some of the other closed back headphones we've tested. However, since they do obstruct a fair bit of airflow, they won't be the best choice for more strenuous exercises at the gym.

6.3 Portability
L : 7.2 "
W : 6.8 "
H : 1.5 "
Volume : 75 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 are lightweight but do not fold into a more compact format, so they won't be the most portable headphones. The ear cups do lay flat which could come in handy on some occasions, and they are on the smaller side for over-ear headphones. But unfortunately, they are still a bit too cumbersome to comfortably carry around on your person, unlike in-ears and some on-ear headsets.

5.5 Case
Type : Pouch
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

They come with a simple and straightforward pouch that will shield the headphones from scratches and scuffs when they're in your bag but won't protect them from impacts, drops or water damage.

6.5 Build Quality

The build quality of these headphones feels a bit cheap. They have a lightweight and decently flexible design with well-padded cups and not many moving parts susceptible to wear and tear. They also won't break from a couple of accidental drops, but unfortunately, their build quality looks better than it feels. Once in your hand, the headphones feel flimsy and a bit cheap, unlike the Sony MDR-1A which are also relatively lightweight headphones.

7.0 Stability

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 are decently stable headphones. They are lightweight, so the ear cups do not sway as much as some of the other over-ears we've tested when running. They're also wireless, so they won't get yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something. However, they are not very tight, which is good for comfort but also means that they will move around during more intense exercises, especially when tilting your head. They won't be the best headphones for the gym but should be stable enough to jog with.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.8 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

These headphones come with two cables; a 1/8" TRS audio cable and a micro USB charging cable.

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7.3

Sound

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 is a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. These headphones have a deep and powerful bass, an even and balanced mid-range and a decent treble. However, their bass delivery is prone to major consistencies across multiple users and could sound slightly muddy. Also, their mid-range is somewhat recessed and underemphasized, and their treble could sound a bit sharp and piercing on S and Ts. This gives them a bit of a "smiley face" (V-shaped) sound profile, which sounds exciting on most material, but not neutral and accurate.

Note: The Go 600 was measured with its extra bass feature off.

8.6 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
14.77 Hz
Low-Bass
:
1.13 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.67 dB
High-Bass
:
2.21 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have a great bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 15Hz, which is great. Also, low-bass, which is responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music, is within 1dB of our target. However, mid-bass, responsible for body and punch, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are overemphasized by more than 2dB. This makes the overall bass of the BackBeat Go slightly heavy and boomy.

7.4 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.49 dB
Low-Mid
:
-2.8 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-3.57 dB
High-Mid
:
-2.51 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have an above-average mid-range. The overall response is relatively even and flat throughout the range but consistently underemphasized by about 3dB. This weakens the mid-range and nudges vocals and lead instruments towards the back of the mix, which gives more emphasis to the bass frequencies.

7.1 Treble
Std. Err.
:
4.27 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.42 dB
Mid-Treble
:
3.04 dB
High-Treble
:
2.27 dB

The treble performance is decent. Low-treble is under our neutral target by more than 2dB, which negatively affects the detail and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. Mid-treble, however, is quite overemphasized above 6KHz, which brings excess emphasis to sharp sounds like S and Ts. This could result in a sharp and piercing sound, which will be mostly noticeable on vocals and cymbals.

5.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
1.73 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have a sub-par frequency response consistency. We measure the bass of our over/on-ear headphones on 5 human subjects, and there is a large variance in Go 600's bass delivery across different users. The maximum deviation measured is more than 20dB at 20Hz, which is quite audible. Also, the inconsistencies occur over a very wide range, which makes it even more noticeable. The treble delivery however, has good consistency across different positions.

7.4 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.34
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.38
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.91
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
17.57

The imaging is above-average. Weighted group delay is at 0.34, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response barely crosses the audibility threshold. This suggests a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-match in frequency and amplitude, but showed a significant mismatch in phase. This means that the placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) will be accurate in the stereo field, but the stereo field itself may have inconsistencies in terms of width and cohesion.

6.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.51 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
2.56 dB
PRTF Distance
:
15.44 dB
Openness
:
6.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.1
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage is about average. The PRTF graph shows an average amount of pinna interaction. The accuracy of the pinna interaction is also about average. This and the closed-back design of the headphones means that their soundstage will be perceived as relatively small, and located inside the listener's head.

7.4 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.548
Weighted THD @ 100
:
3.548

The harmonic distortion performance of the BackBeat Go 600 is above-average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is within decent limits. However, the shape of the THD response in the bass range at 100dB SPL suggests that they may struggle to produce a clean bass under very heavy loads.

4.5

Isolation

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 do not isolate very well in loud environments. Unfortunately, their ear cup design doesn't seal the ear as well as most over-ear headphones and has a few gaps which allow noise to easily seep into your audio. This means these headphones will struggle in noisy conditions and will not be the best option for commute and travel. They also leak quite a bit at higher volumes which will be distracting to the people around you, but they should be okay at moderate volume levels. If you can achieve a better seal, then they should isolate a bit more, but overall, their isolation will remain fairly sub-par. 

3.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-9.08 dB
Bass
:
0.54 dB
Mid
:
-2.3 dB
Treble
:
-25.42 dB
Self-Noise
:
19.46 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 provide an inadequate isolation. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sits, they don't provide any isolation. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve less than 3dB of isolation, which is poor. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by more than 25dB, which is above-average.

6.5 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
42.55 dB

The leakage performance is about average. The significant portion of the leakage is between 500Hz and 5KHz, which is a relatively broad range. This means that their leakage will sound fuller compared to that of in-ears and earbuds. However, the overall level of leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 43dB SPL and peaks at 54dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of most offices.

6.2

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The integrated microphone of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound relatively thin and noticeably muffled and lacking detail. However, it'll still be decently intelligible. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud places, like a busy street.

6.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
257.68 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.76 dB
HFE
:
3466.89 Hz
Weighted THD
:
2.751
Gain
:
29.89 dB

The integrated microphone of the Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 has an average recording quality. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 258Hz, which results in the recorded or transmitted speech to sound relatively thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.5KHz, suggests a speech that lacks detail and brightness. However, it'll still be decently comprehensible, since speech intelligibility is mostly dependent on the 500Hz-4KHz range.

6.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
11.1 dB

The noise handling of the integrated microphone is mediocre. In our SpNR test, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB, indicating they are best suited for quiet environments, since they will struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise in loud or even moderately loud situations.

7.0

Active Features

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 600 Series headphones have decent active features. The battery life is good enough for most usages and can last a typical workday. They charge quickly with a standard micro-USB cable, taking only 90 minutes for a full charge. There is no companion app available.

7.8 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
17.2 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
Yes

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 600 Series have a good battery life. The battery lasts for about 17 hours, which is good enough for a typical work day, and they have a fast charge time of only 90 minutes. Charging is done with the included micro-USB cable. In standby mode the battery lasts 20 days. They cannot be used while charging, but they do support passive playback when connected with the included 1/8" TRS cable.

0 App Support
App Name :
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

There is no companion app available, but there are two EQ options directly on the headset - Bass Boost or Balanced.

5.9

Connectivity

The Plantronics BackBeat GO 600 Series Wireless Headphones have disappointing connectivity. Bluetooth connectivity works well, has a great range, and can pair simultaneously with two devices, but doesn't support NFC. They can be used wired, even when the battery is dead. There is no mic and no inline remote. They don't come with a base station or charging dock.

6.8 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have decent Bluetooth compatibility. They and can pair simultaneously with two devices so you can switch quickly between a PC and cell phone, but there is no NFC support so they have to be paired manually. Like most Bluetooth headsets, they cannot be used wirelessly with gaming consoles.

7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only

These headphones can be used wired with the included 1/8" TRS cable. They don't have a built-in remote and there is no mic.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

There is no dock or base for these headphones. If you are looking for good wireless headphones with a base, check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

8.5 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
42 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
185 ft

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have a great wireless range. When obstructed by walls the range is good enough for most apartments or small homes, and in a wide-open office, the range is great.

3.9 Latency
Default Latency
:
159 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Latency is better than most Bluetooth headsets but still too high for watching movies or for gaming.

In the box

  • Plantronics Go 600 Headphones
  • Carrying pouch
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 is a decently affordable mixed usage headset, with an above-average sound and a decently comfortable design. They have an efficient and simple control scheme, a fairly long battery life and a great wireless range. Unfortunately, they are not as feature-packed as some of the wireless over-ears compared below. Their build quality also doesn't feel as durable or as premium for their price range, especially considering cheaper headphones that feel better built like the Bluedio T4. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones, the best wireless headphones, and the best noise cancelling headphones under $100.

Conclusion

6.5 Mixed Usage

Average for mixed usage. The Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 have a good wireless range and battery life. A lightweight design that's decently comfortable and a decent sound quality that packs a lot of bass. Unfortunately, they have a seal issue with their ear cups so they won't be the most isolating headphones to use in loud conditions. They also have a somewhat weak build quality that feels flimsy and a bit cheap.

7.2 Critical Listening

Decent for critical listening. They have a deep and extended bass that rumbles with bass-heavy music. They also have a fairly well-balanced mid-range although it is a little recessed which makes instruments and vocals sound a bit distant and slightly lacking in detail. Unfortunately, their treble range is a bit overemphasized which may sound a bit sharp on already bright tracks but thanks to the pronounced bass their overall sound profile is more exciting than it is piercing. Unfortunately, like most closed-back headphones they do not have a wide and spacious soundstage which won't be ideal for some critical listeners, but they should sound good enough for most.

6.2 Commute/Travel

Mediocre for commuting. They have a good control scheme, they're lightweight and fairly comfortable. Unfortunately, they do not block enough noise for the loud environments involved in commuting and traveling.

6.8 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. They're lightweight, decently comfortable and easy to use. They're also wireless so they won't get yanked off your head because of an audio cable, but they're not the most stable headphones for more intense exercises.

6.5 Office

Average for office use. They do not block a lot of noise so you will hear the ambient chatter in your environment. They also leak a bit at high volumes so they may be a bit distracting to the people around you.

5.9 TV

Mediocre-at-best for home theater. They have a bit too much latency so they won't be ideal for watching videos. On the upside, they have a decent sound and a good wireless range. They're also decently comfortable and come with a simple audio cable if you want to use them wired to reduce latency. However, the cable is relatively short so you may need an extension cord.

5.6 Gaming

Below-average for gaming. They're decently comfortable, have a good wireless range, and they're easy to use. Unfortunately, they have a mediocre mic that is not compatible with consoles, they're not as customizable as most gaming headsets, and the high latency will be a deal breaker for gaming.

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