They were replaced by the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
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. The sound profile caters more to bass-heavy music genres but still offers passable audio reproduction. They have one the best wireless ranges and latency that we've measured to date. Unfortunately, they're a bit too bulky and cumbersome for sports, and their noise cancellation is below-average for a noise canceling headphone.
- 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.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
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.
They're slightly heavy but comfortable headphones. the ear cups are well padded and the headband doesn't put too much pressure on the head. Unfortunately, the circular ear cups do not always fit well and may get fatiguing during long listening sessions.
Very good functional design. The buttons are accessible and in the right place. They also provide all the essential functions, track skipping cal/music volume control and a dedicated talk through mode. You can even turn off the noise canceling and use the headphones as simple Bluetooth headphones. However, it's the feedback that's most impressive with a unique control scheme that extremely responsive and easy to use.
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.
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 original BackBeat Pro is an average sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have an extended, consistent but overly emphasized Bass, a recessed Mid Range and a well-balanced Treble. This makes the overall sound of these headphones exciting but excessively bass-heavy. The newer BackBeat Pro 2 has a noticeably better-balanced sound compared to the original, while retaining their exciting and "V-shaped" sound profile.
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.
- 100% SpNR
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 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.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
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.
In the box
- Plantronics Backbeat Pro Headphones
- Carrying pouch
- Audio cable
- USB cable