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Reviewed on May 11, 2018 , Marc Henney, Jean-Christophe Lamontagne

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2017
  • 0.9: Winter 2016
7.3
Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
7.7
Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
7.4
Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
7.1
Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
7.5
Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
6.2
Home Theater
Score components:
5.9
Gaming
Score components:
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are good mixed usage wireless headphones and a much-improved design over the original BackBeat Pro. They're sturdy, comfortable headphones with an easy-to-use control scheme and an exciting sound quality. They're also packed with active features that make them suitable for most use cases, but unfortunately, they don't block as much ambient noise as some of the other noise-canceling headphones we've reviewed recently.

Test Results
Design 7.1
Sound 7.8
Isolation 7.1
Microphone 6.1
Active Features 8.5
Connectivity 6.7
Pros
  • Sturdy, durable build quality.
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Excellent wireless range and battery life.
Cons
  • Mediocre noise isolation.
  • Bulky design.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
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.

Check Price

7.1

Design

Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Design Picture

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 redesign the look and feel of the first BackBeat Pro but keep what made the previous model popular: easy-to-use controls, a comfortable over-ear fit, and a sturdy, durable design. Although the ear cups are completely different, they provide a level of comfort on par if not better than the original model. Unfortunately, like the first BackBeat Pro, they're slightly bulky headphones that are a bit cumbersome to carry around on your person without a bag since they do not fold into a more compact format. They're also a bit too bulky for sports and although they're decently stable, they will make your ears fairly warm if you use them while running or working out.

Style
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Design Picture 2

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 keep the some of the aesthetic of the previous Backbeat Pro but completely redesign the ear cups and hinges to give them a more modern look. The ear cups are now oval and have additional hinges to give them more flexibility. The headband, however, remains the same apart from the different padding material used in the build quality. Overall, it's a nice redesign but feels a bit bulky at times, especially, that the new hinges make the ear cups stick out, which may not be for everyone.

7.5 Comfort
What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.65 lbs
Clamping Force
What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
0.9 lbs

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 redesign the ear cups of the previous model to a more oval shape that fits better around the ears. They're just as well padded and comfortable to wear for long sessions. Unfortunately, the ear cups are a bit shallow. They should be comfortable enough for most listeners and they're not too heavy for big over-ear headphones.

8.1 Controls
What it is: The control scheme of the headphones, the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with your audio device.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Controls Picture
Ease of use : Great
Feedback : Great
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
What it is: Being able to mix audio channels directly on the headphones.
When it matters: This is most useful when using a separate chat software so that you can mix in-game audio and chat audio depending on your needs.
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through : Yes
Additional Buttons : No

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 keep the design etiquette of the BackBeat Pro by having well-determined and responsive buttons for each of the essential functions. The play/pause and skipping controls are all on the left ear cup and easy-to-use but not as intuitive as the turn dial on the previous model. A version of the volume dial is ported over to the BackBeat Pro 2, but it's not as tactile as the one on the first backbeat. On the upside, this control scheme is far more efficient than a lot of the high-end headphones we've reviewed that use touch-sensitive controls.

6.4 Breathability
What it is: How hot the headphones get when you wear them for an extended period of time.
When it matters: If you often have long listening sessions or use your headphones while doing physical activities like running or working out.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Breathability After Picture
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.7 C

Like most closed-back over-ears, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are not very breathable headphones. The ear cups create a pretty good seal around your ears, and since they're closed-back headphones, they obstruct a good amount of airflow. This will make your ears sweat a bit more than average during long listening sessions. They won't be the ideal option for the gym.

5.5 Portability
What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Portability Picture
L : 8.5 "
W : 8.5 "
H : 2.4 "
Volume : 172 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

These headphones have a bulky design that's not travel-friendly. They do not fold into a compact format to save space, but the earcups lay flat which may be useful in some situations. Unfortunately, this means the BackBeat Pro 2 are not portable and a bit of hassle to carry on your person without a bag.

7.5 Case
What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Case Picture
Type : Hard case
L : 9.3 "
W : 8.8 "
H : 2.9 "
Volume : 234 Cu. Inches

The tough, hard case only comes with the special edition of the BackBeat Pro 2 (the regular model comes with a soft pouch). It's a sturdy case that will protect the headphones from scratches, drops and even mild water damage. Unfortunately, it's a pretty big case which takes up a lot of space making the already bulky headphones even harder to carry around without a bag.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: Durability, material quality, cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Build Quality Picture

The headphones have a sturdy and durable build quality. The ear cups are dense, and the headband is reinforced with a metal and plastic frame that's decently flexible but feels robust enough to withstand a couple of falls without getting damaged. However, the hinge mechanism is a bit different than in the previous model and adds more potential weak points to the build.

7.0 Stability
What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Stability Picture

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are decently stable headphones. They have a good wireless design and they're sufficiently tight on the head that they won't easily fall off. However, they are bulky headphones so they tend to sway and shift when used for running or exercising.

Cable
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.8 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

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

Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.8

Sound

What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Frequency Response

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent, deep, and thumpy bass, an even and neutral mid-range which results in clear-sounding vocals, and a very good and well-balanced treble. However, their bass is overly heavy and thumpy, which fans of bass may like, and they could sound a little sharp on cymbals and S sounds. This makes them a suitable pair of headphones for a variety of genres, especially bass-heavy music like dubstep, EDM, and film scores. However, like most other closed-back headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

7.3 Bass
What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Bass
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
4.01 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
6.74 dB
Mid-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.65 dB
High-Bass
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.79 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an above-average bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. However, low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to genres like EDM and Hip-hop, is overemphasized by about 7dB. This makes the bass of these headphones quite heavy and far from neutral, but without sounding too boomy, so fans of bass-heavy music may like it. Conversely, mid-bass and high-bass are underemphasized by 1.7dB and 3.8dB respectively, resulting in a bass that lacks a bit of punch and kick.

9.1 Mid
What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Mid
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.26 dB
Low-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds muddy and cluttered. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-1.41 dB
Mid-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and boxy. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.36 dB
High-Mid
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds honky and harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.38 dB

The mid-range is excellent. The response is very even and virtually flat. The wide shallow dip in low-mid thins out vocals a tiny bit, but it also creates more room the punch of the bass range. Also, mid-mid and high-mid are within 0.4dB of our neutral which results in a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

8.9 Treble
What it is: Frequency Response from 2KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Treble
Std. Err.
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
2.28 dB
Low-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.07 dB
Mid-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
0.14 dB
High-Treble
What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.31 dB

The treble performance is very good. Low-treble and mid-treble is quite flat and even. They are both within 0.2dB of our target which is great and results in a well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. However, the 5dB bump around 10KHz could make the sound of these headphones slightly sharp, especially on cymbals.

Raw Frequency Response
What it is: The average uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. For in-ears and earbuds, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the dummy head (HMS). For over/on-ear headphones, this corresponds to the average of 5 measurements/re-seats on the HMS (Head Measurement System) for the mid and treble ranges, and 5 measurements/re-seats on 5 human subjects for the bass range.
When it matters: This is for those who want to see the raw and uncompensated frequency response of the headphone. Some of the more advanced users, are able to read and evaluate headphone frequency response in its raw form and without compensation. This will be especially useful to them if they have their own headphone compensation/target curve, which may differ from the compensation curve/target response used by RTINGS.com.
Score components:
7.8 Frequency Response Consistency
What it is: The amount of deviation of each frequency response pass, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Consistency L Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Consistency R
Avg. Std. Deviation
What it is: The average amount of deviation in frequency response of 5 re-seats, from the average frequency response.
When it matters: Shows how consistently the headphones perform after re-positioning them.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.44 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is very good. The lower regions of our over-ear and on-ear headphones are measured on 5 human subjects, 5 times each. In the bass range, there is little deviation across our human subjects, which could be due to the active noise cancelling system of the BackBeat. The deviation around 20Hz in the left ear cup will be noticeably but quiet subtle. In the treble range, there is about 4dB of deviation in response below 10Khz, which is not too bad.

8.2 Imaging
What it is: Imaging qualities are inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'reproduce' them rather than 'create' them. They determine how accurately the objects are positioned in the stereo image, and how transparent the imaging is.
When it matters: When accurate positioning of the objects in the stereo image, and clear and transparent imaging is desired.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Group Delay Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Phase Response
Weighted Group Delay
What it is: The average amount of group delay calculated based on a perceptual weighting filter. Group delay indicates how long it takes for each frequency to reach their maximum amplitude. This is a monaural quality and can be perceived even with one ear.
When it matters: Headphones with lower group delay have more transparent imaging and a tighter bass. Headphones with higher group delay in the bass range tend to have a wimpy and loose bass, and headphones with higher group delay in the treble range tend to have a less transparent imaging.
Good value: <0.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.43
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
What it is: The Left/Right balance of our test unit, that is, the amount of amplitude difference between the left and right drivers. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When a properly balanced stereo image and low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates a noticeable difference in level between the left and right drivers.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.81
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the frequency response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance, is desired. A poor score indicates there may be 'holes' in the stereo image at certain frequencies.
Good value: <2
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
1.75
Weighted Phase Mismatch
What it is: The amount of difference (Std. Err.) between the phase response of the left and right drivers of our test unit. This is not a design test, but a marker for manufacturing tolerance and ergonomics.
When it matters: When an even and stable stereo image, as well as a low manufacturing tolerance is desired. A poor score indicates there may be inaccuracies in the stereo image reproduction at certain frequencies.
Good value: <16
Noticeable difference: 3
:
7.56

The imaging is very good. Weighted group delay is at 0.43 which is within good limits. The GD graph however, shows that the group delay response crosses the audibility threshold around 40Hz, but not by much. This could make their bass a tad late and loose in certain areas, but overall, they will have a tight bass and a transparent reproduction. Also, our test unit was very well matched in amplitude and frequency response, which is important for the proper localization and placement of objects in the stereo image. However, we measured some phase mismatch in the treble range, which could weaken the stereo image a bit in the higher frequency region.

6.1 Soundstage
What it is: Soundstage qualities are not inherent to the audio content, the headphones have to 'create' them rather than 'reproduce' them. They determine whether the sound is perceived to be coming from inside or in front of the head, how open and spacious the soundstage is, how much the headphones acoustically interact with the environment, and how strong the phantom center is.
When it matters: When an accurately produced, large and spacious soundstage, similar to that of a stereo loudspeaker setup is desired.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 PRTF
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: An accurate pinna activation is mainly responsible for how natural and speaker-like the soundstage is perceived to be. The less error in the shape of the PRTF, the more natrual and speaker-like the perception of the soundstage will be. High amounts of error may indicate a soundstage that is unnatural or odd.
Good value: <2.5
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.73 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
What it is: The average amplitude of the PRTF (Pinna-related transfer function) of the headphones compared to that of a reference loudspeaker's PRTF at 30°. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is responsible for the perceived size of the soundstage. The higher the value, the larger the perceived size of the soundstage. However, values above the reference (5.0dB) could result in a soundstage that is perceived as unnatural or odd.
Good value: >3.7
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
4.36 dB
PRTF Distance
What it is: The depth of the "10KHz notch" of the headphone's PRTF, which is caused by phase cancellations at the concha. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test does not apply to in-ears and earbuds, due to the lack of pinna interaction.
When it matters: This value is mainly responsible for the perceived distance and elevation of the soundstage. A small distance value may result in a soundstage that is perceived to be located inside the head. Larger values may help pull the soundstage out from inside of the head and bring it to the front.
Good value: >13
Noticeable difference: 1
:
13.98 dB
Openness
What it is: How open the headphones are, and how open and spacious they sound. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This test differentiates between acoustically and electronically produced crosstalk and only takes the acoustically generated crosstalk into account. This value is the inverse of the Noise Isolation test score, and could be indirectly related the acoustic impedance of the headphones.
When it matters: When a headphone with a sense of an open, and spacious soundstage is desired. A value of 10 indicates a fully open headphone, and a value of 0 indicates a fully closed headphone.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
What it is: How loud the headphones are, and how much they excite their environment acoustically. If the headphones are loud and open enough, the sound leaking from the headphones will be affected by the environment (reflections/reverb) before reflecting back into the open headphones and to the listener's ears. This quality is monaural and can be perceived even with one ear. This value is the inverse of the Leakage test score.
When it matters: Headphones with higher excitation values, similar to openness, tend to have soundstages that are perceived as more open and spacious.
Good value: >7.5
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
2.4
Correlated Crosstalk
What it is: How strong and solid the phantom center is. This is mostly a stereo quality and its effects on mono content are minimal. This test is sensitive to the phase of the crosstalk and whether it is produced acoustically or electronically.
When it matters: When a true reproduction of the stereo image is desired. A value of 0 indicates no crosstalk, or that the existing crosstalk is not correlated enough to affect the phantom center. A negative score means the crosstalk is out of phase with the original signal, resulting in a slightly wider stereo image at the expense of creating a 'hole' at the center of the stereo field. A positive score means the crosstalk is in phase and positively affecting the phantom center.
Good value: >1dB
Noticeable difference: 0.3dB
:
0.0 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 has a below-average soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a decent amount of activation, which is decently accurate too. There is also a relatively deep 10KHz notch present. This results in a relatively natural and large soundstage. But because of the closed-back design, the soundstage of the headphones may be perceived to be less open than that of open-back headphones.

6.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.835
Weighted THD @ 100
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
16.278

The harmonic distortion performance of the BackBeat Pro 2 is average. The overall response is rather elevated. However, these headphones seem to tolerate loud volumes well, and the rise in distortion at 100dB SPL is less significant than most headphones. Additionally, the peak in THD around 6KHz could make the sound of that region a bit harsh and brittle.

7.1

Isolation

Score components:

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 fix the self-noise issue of the previous model but do not isolate as well as some of the other noise-canceling models on the market. It should be adequate isolation for a regular commute, but they won't be the ideal headphones to use in loud, noisy conditions. On the upside, they do not leak much, so you won't distract anyone around you if you're listening to your music at moderate-to-high volumes, even in quieter environments.

6.8 Noise Isolation
What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
What it is: The simulated noise isolation of the headphones, demonstrating how much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording. For headphones with ANC (active noise cancellation), the playback simulates the isolation with ANC enabled.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
:
Overall Attenuation
What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-18.91 dB
Bass
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-7.06 dB
Mid
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-14.05 dB
Treble
What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-36.06 dB
Self-Noise
What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 300Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <16dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
17.69 dB

The noise isolation of the BackBeat Pro 2 is decent. In the bass range, where the rumble of airplane and bus engines sit, they achieve 7dB of isolation, which is about average. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve 14dB of isolation, which is above-average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by more than 36dB which is very good.

7.9 Leakage
What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Leakage
Leakage Audio
What it is: The simulated sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal. This recording is created using an EQ and is not an actual recording.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
34.65 dB

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have a good leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is between 500Hz and 8KHz, which is relatively broad. However, the overall level of the leakage is quite low. With the music 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away, averages at about 35dB and peaks at 47dB SPL which is just below the noise floor of an average office.

6.1

Microphone

What it is: The microphone section shows the quality of speech capture and transmission by the mic, as well as how well the microphone under test handles noisy environments.
When it matters: For your speech to be transmitted to and understood properly by the listener, the microphone needs to have a good recording quality. If the environment the microphone is being used in is noisy, a microphone with a good noise handling performance would be needed as well.
Score components:
Integrated
What it is: The microphone integrated in the ear cup or ear bud of a wireless headphone.
When it matters: For calls, gaming and voice over IP software or for any other use of the microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
In-line
What it is: The microphone inside the in-line remote of audio cables for wired and wireless headsets.
When it matters: In-line microphone are usually better than integrated mics. If you need better recording quality and noise handling for calls, gaming and voice over IP software then use the audio cable of your wired or wireless headphone if it has an inline microphone.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Boom
What it is: A typically better microphone, that's also adjustable and extends so that the mic is closer to your mouth.
When it matters: Much better recording quality and noise handling than in-line or integrated mics. Primarily used for gaming and voice over IP software.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Detachable Boom
What it is: A boom mic that is detachable from the headset.
When it matters: If you want to use your headphone outdoors without the bulk and hassle of the Boom mic.
:
N/A

The integrated microphone of the BackBeat Pro 2 is below-average. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin and lacking in detail. However, it will still be intelligible. In noisy situations, they will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise in loud places, like a subway station.

5.4 Recording Quality
What it is: Microphone recording quality shows how natural, neutral, extended and intelligible speech would be with the device under test, in a quiet environment.
When it matters: A microphone with a good recording quality ensures that the person listening to you would hear a full, clear, and easily understandable speech. Therefore, it is important whenever a good quality of speech transmission and intelligibility is needed.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Microphone Frequency Response
Recorded Speech
What it is: Actual audio recording of the headphone's microphone, recorded while placed on the dummy head, with speech being played back through the dummy head's mouth simulator.
When it matters: When a clean, full, and intelligible speech transmission is required.
:
LFE
What it is: Low-frequency extension shows how deep the bass response of the microphone is, and therefore, how deep and full your voice would sound to the listener. It is the lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: LFE is not a big factor in speech intelligibility and even speech recorded with a mic that has an LFE of 500Hz could still be easily understood. Therefore, it is mostly important if you are concerned with how deep and full your voice would be heard.
Good value: <150Hz
Noticeable difference: 30Hz
:
530.46 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
What it is: Frequency Response Standard Deviation shows how accurately and balanced sound is captured by the microphone at each frequency. FR Std. Dev. is calculated between LFE and HFE, and the rest of the spectrum is ignored.
When it matters: A good frequency response is desired when a natural and neutral speech quality is desired. As opposed to HFE which is more a metric for speech intelligibility, frequency response could be considered as a metric for a natural and neutral sound.
Good value: >3.5dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5dB
:
3.76 dB
HFE
What it is: High-frequency extension is the highest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response. It shows how extended the treble response of the microphone is.
When it matters: HFE is one the most important factors in speech intelligibility. The higher the HFE, the brighter, more open, and more extended the speech quality will be which makes it a lot easier to understand by the listener.
Good value: >8KHz
Noticeable difference: 1KHz
:
3568.48 Hz
Weighted THD
What it is: The unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies, which cause deformation of an output signal compared to its input.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Good value: <1.5
Noticeable difference: 1.0
:
3.193
Gain
What it is: Shows how much louder the microphone can go above our reference loudness level. The gain value is reported relative to our reference level, which is 94dB at a distance of 5cm from the mouth.
When it matters: A microphone with a high gain is important when the input signal (speech) is very quiet. For example when whispering, or talking on the phone in a library.
Good value: >18dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
39.08 dB

The recording quality of the microphone is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 530Hz means speech recorded/transmitted with this mic will sound noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 3.6KHz resulting in a speech that lacks detail and sounds a bit muffled. The bump between 1.5KHz and 3.5KHz could make speech on this microphone a bit too sharp sounding.

6.8 Noise Handling
What it is: How well the microphone is able to separate speech from background noise, so that the transmission would include more voice and less noise.
When it matters: When a clean and intelligible speech transmission is desired in a noisy situation like talking on the phone on a busy street or on the bus.
Score components:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 SpNR
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
What it is: Speech to Noise Ratio is the difference in level between speech and background noise as heard by the listener
When it matters: If the microphone is going to be used in a noisy environment, it is important for it to be able to separate the speech from background noise, so the voice would be easily audible and understandable.
Good value: >24dB
Noticeable difference: 3dB
:
19.11 dB

The integrated microphone of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 is decent at noise handling. In our SpNR test, they achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 19dB. This means they are best suited for quiet environments, and they will also be able to handle moderately loud environments decently. However, they will struggle to separate speech from ambient noise in loud places.

8.5

Active Features

What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an excellent battery life but a mediocre app. They lasted 30 hours on average when played continuously and only took about two hours to charge. They also automatically shut down when inactive for more than 10 minutes which conserves a lot of power and makes them a great headphone for road trips and long flights. Unfortunately, their app that doesn't offer as much customization options as some of the other headphones we've tested like the Sennheiser HD 4.50 or PXC 550 Wireless.

8.8 Battery
What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Battery Type
What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
30 hrs
Charge Time
What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.1 hrs
Power Saving Feature
What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
Auto-Off Timer
Audio while charging
What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes
Passive Playback
What it is: Active headphones that still work when all their active features are turned off or out of power.
When it matters: If you run out of power and do not have spare AA/AAA batteries or access to a power source to recharge your headphones.
:
Yes

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an excellent battery life. They take about 2 hours to charge fully but deliver up to 30 hours of continuous playback at moderate volumes. They also have a bunch of power saving features like; smart pause, audio while charging, auto off and complete passive playback when the battery finally runs out. This makes them good travel headphones, especially if you do not have frequent access to a power source.

6.0 App Support
What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 App Picture
App Name : Plantronics Hub
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
What it is: Parametric, graphic or preset sound profiles that slightly alter the frequency response.
When it matters: If you want to tailor, your listening experience. Depending on what you're listening to you may want more or less bass for some tracks or more mid-range for vocals-heavy audio.
:
No
ANC control
What it is: Control over the Active noise canceling technology. This could be either a simple on/off button, and adjustable slider or even adaptive self-regulating noise cancellation.
When it matters: If you're in an environment where you need to monitor your surroundings or completely isolate yourself from ambient noise.
:
No
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
What it is: Room effects that enhance the audio quality to make it more immersive.
When it matters: If you want to further tweak your listening experience. Adding room effects, can simulate a more spacious Soundstage or deliver a surround sound-like feel.
:
No
Playback control
What it is: An in-app player that gives you access to play/stop, track skipping or volume controls directly with the app.
When it matters: It's a shortcut that allows you to control your audio without leaving the application.
:
No
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Plantronics Hub is a unique app that doesn't enhance your listening experience but provides some tools that may be useful to some. They provide a last position synced tracker and a find my headphone feature that makes them easy to find if ever you misplace them. However, due to the size of the BackBeat Pro 2, it's not always the most practical tool. On the upside, it also displays the battery information as a notification, so you can monitor how much battery you have left at all times.

6.7

Connectivity

What it is: The inputs and outputs of wired and wireless headphones, as well as their latency performance and range.
When it matters: To know how compatible your Bluetooth device, console or PC will be with your wired or wireless headset.
Score components:
  • 10% Bluetooth
  • 33% Wired
  • 10% Base/Dock
  • 22% Wireless Range
  • 25% Latency

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have an excellent wireless range and they support multi-device pairing and NFC. They also come with a simple audio cable that has no in-line mic which is not ideal for gaming but offers a secondary connection option if the headphones run out of power or to reduce latency when watching videos. Like most Bluetooth headphones, their default connection has a bit too much latency for watching movies and gaming but they do support aptX-LL (Low Latency)  which makes them suitable for home-theater as long as you have the right transmitter dongle.

8.8 Bluetooth
What it is: Bluetooth support for wireless headphones.
When it matters: To connect wirelessly to Bluetooth sources like your phone, tablet, console, PC and TV.
Score components:
  • 80% Multi-Device Pairing
  • 20% NFC
  • <1% PS4 Compatible
  • <1% Xbox One Compatible
Bluetooth Version : 4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
What it is: A Bluetooth profile that allows some headphones to be simultaneously connected to multiple Bluetooth sources, and have full call and media support on both/all devices they are connected to.
When it matters: To quickly switch between your Bluetooth sources. For example, switching from your phone to your home or work PC and still have call and media support on both devices.
Good value: 2 devices.
:
2 Devices
NFC
What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your PS4.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Bluetooth compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To connect your headphones wirelessly with your Xbox one.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
No

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have multi-device paring and support NFC which makes pairing with smartphones a bit easier.

7.2 Wired
What it is: The type and compatibility of audio cables for wired and wireless headphones.
When it matters: For all devices with a regular audio jack (line-out) and also compatibility of the in-line remote/boom microphone with consoles and Personal computers.
Score components:
  • 13% Analog
  • 9% USB
  • 26% PS4 Compatible
  • 26% Xbox One Compatible
  • 26% PC Compatible
Cable Tested : Not OS specific
Analog
What it is: A regular 1/8" TRS audio jack or a 1/4 or 1/16 TRS with a 1/8 TRS adapter.
When it matters: For all devices with a line out.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
USB
What it is: A USB or USB adapter to connect to your devices for audio and microphone.
When it matters: A digital USB adapter usually offers a slight advantages over a regular audio jack, like a DAC, and amplifier module or software support and compatibility with PCs. However it may not be as compatible with consoles.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PS4 Compatible
What it is: PS4 compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PS4
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Xbox One compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your Xbox One
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
What it is: PC compatibility with a regular 3 or 4 pin 1/8 TRS audio cable.
When it matters: When you want to use a wired headphone with your PC.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
Audio Only

These headphones come with a simple audio cable with no in-line remote or USB adapter. This means they do not have a mic that is compatible with consoles. On the upside, they will provide audio with any device that has a headphone jack.

0 Base/Dock
What it is: The base station, dock or dongle transmitter of wireless headphones that receive data/audio via a proprietary frequency range.
When it matters: Knowing the inputs and outputs of the base/dock/dongle as well as its compatibility with consoles and Personal Computers. Also whether the base supports dock charging to easily recharge the headphones without any cables.
Score components:
  • 5% Optical Input
  • 22% Line In
  • 5% Line Out
  • 22% USB Input
  • 4% RCA Input
  • 9% PS4 Compatible
  • 9% Xbox One Compatible
  • 9% PC Compatible
  • 2% Power Supply
  • 13% Dock Charging
Wireless Type
What it is: The type of wireless connection used by the base station/dock to communicate with the headphones.
When it matters: For latency and range. For example Radio frequency has low latency but mediocre range when obstructed and proprietary docks have their own 2.x GHz or 5 GHz frequency which varies in performance.
:
N/A
Optical Input
What it is: Optical input for audio.
When it matters: Optical can carry a bit more data at faster speeds than typical wired connection which allows for more high quality, lossless audio.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line In
What it is: The regular wired input via a 1/8" TRS audio jack.
When it matters: For any device that has a line out for audio transmission.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
Line Out
What it is: A regular 1/8TRS audio jack output.
When it matters: If you need to share the audio source with other devices. A line out lets you connect other headphones or speakers to the dock/base station.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
USB Input
What it is: A digital USB input instead of a typical 1/8 TRS line-in.
When it matters: A USB connection can provide both an audio input and power to the Dock or Base station.
:
N/A
RCA Input
What it is: Audio input using via an RCA connectors.
When it matters: Provides better stereo audio to the dock/base that's then transmitted to the headphones.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the PlayStation 4.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with the Xbox One.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
:
N/A
PC Compatible
What it is: Dock/Base station compatibility with your Personal Computer.
When it matters: To be able to use all the features of the dock/base station with out losing audio or microphone capability.
Good value: Audio + Microphone
:
N/A
Power Supply
What it is: The connector type of the power source.
When it matters: The accessibility of the power source. For example a power supply with USB/USB-C connects to multiple devices, PC , PS4, Xbox One or even with your regular phone charger whereas a A/C adapter is less common.
Good value: USB/USB-C
:
N/A
Dock Charging
What it is: Charging the headphones via the dock/base station instead of a charging cable.
When it matters: It makes charging your headphones easier and gives you a sport to store your headphones when they are not in use.
Good value: Yes
:
N/A

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

9.5 Wireless Range
What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Score components:
Obstructed Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
55 ft
Line of Sight Range
What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
250 ft

These headphones have an exceptional wireless range. They will reach up to 250ft in direct line-of-sight and up to 55ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed. It's more than enough for most casual uses especially if you keep your phone or bluetooth device on you, but you can also use them with a fixed source like your PC or TV and walk around in your home or office without having any major connection drops.

5.4 Latency
What it is: How long it takes for audio to play through your headphones once the audio signal has been sent from a source.
When it matters: When gaming or watching movies. High latency means you will hear the audio much later than the images you see on screen.
Score components:
Default Latency
What it is: The Base RF latency or the default sub-band coding (SBC) of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
173 ms
aptX Latency
What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
166 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
34 ms

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 have different values of latency depending on which codec you're using. With SBC or aptX they will have a bit too much latency to watch movies without any delay in audio, but with aptX-LL, they should be suitable for video content and even gaming. However, you will have to get a Bluetooth dongle that supports aptX-LL to take advantage of the low latency performance.

In the box

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 In the box Picture

Compared to other Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Compare Picture

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are a well-rounded wireless headset that is more versatile than the BackBeat Go 600. They're comfortable, well-built headphones with an excellent wireless range and battery life. They have an exciting sound that packs a lot of bass without drowning instruments and vocals or sounding muddy and cluttered. They don't isolate as well as some of the more recent noise-canceling headphones but make up for it with a tough, durable build quality, a simple and efficient control scheme, and multiple codecs support that makes them suitable for watching movies and gaming. They're easily one of the most versatile over-ear headsets we've tested.

Sennheiser HD 4.50

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are a better wireless headset than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. The Backbeat Pro 2 have a sturdier and slightly more comfortable design than the Sennheiser HD 4.50. They also have easier to use physical controls, a longer wireless range and battery life, and a better sounding default sound that packs a lot of bass. The Sennheiser on the other hand, have a better noise cancellation feature and since they are more compact, they're a bit better suited for travel and commute. The HD 4.50 also leak less, have a more stable fit that you can use at the gym and they also have a customizable sound. You can EQ them to sound the way you want which you can't with the BackBeat Pro2.

Bose QuietComfort 25

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are a better headset overall compared to the Bose QuietComfort 25, since they can be used wired and wireless. The Plantronics have a more versatile wireless design, so they have a greater range than the Bose and are a bit more practical for day to day casual use. The Plantronics also have a more exciting bass-heavy sound, and a better battery performance than the QC25 overall. The QC25, on the other hand, have a much better noise cancellation performance that makes them a better choice to use in loud, noisy environments. They also have a slightly better sound profile that's more balanced while still packing a fair bit of bass.

Plantronics Backbeat Pro

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are much better headphones overall when compared to the original Backbeat Pro. The Pro 2 have a better design that's slightly more comfortable and has a sleeker look and feel. The Pro 2 also have a better battery life, wireless range, noise cancellation performance and sound quality. They pack a lot of bass but sound more balanced than the Pro. On the other hand, the original BackBeat Pro have a slightly better and more tactile control scheme. They also come with a better audio cable that has mic support for Consoles and PC. The original Pro are also at a better value for your money than the PRO 2.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a better noise canceling wireless headset than the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2. The QC35 II are lighter, more comfortable and have a better-balanced sound than the Plantronics. They also have a much more efficient noise canceling feature which makes them more suitable for commute and travel than the Backbeat Pro 2. On the upside, the Plantronics have a better battery life, wireless range, and controls. They also have a more exciting sound that packs a deeper bass which some may prefer over the Bose.

Beats Studio3 Wireless

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are a better wireless over-ear than the Beats Studio3 Wireless. The Beats have a slightly better-balanced default sound than the Plantronics. They're also more comfortable, portable and have a sleeker design that's stable enough for the gym and sports. The Plantronics on the other hand, have a better wireless range and battery life than the Beats. They also have easier to use controls with more functionality and they sound a bit more exciting thanks to their deep and powerful bass range.

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II

The Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 are a more feature-packed and a slightly better headset than the Bose SoundLink Around-Ear II since they're also noise canceling. The Plantronics have a much better battery life and a much greater wireless range which makes them suitable for pairing to fixed sources like a TV or PC. They're also a bit more versatile since they support multiple codecs and their ANC makes them a versatile option to use for your noisy commutes. On the other hand, the Bose Soundlink Around Ear II have a more comfortable over-ear fit and a better-balanced sound that caters well to all genres and won't be as bass-heavy as the Plantronics.

Cowin E8

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 better-balanced and much better noise canceling headset than the Cowin E8. The Plantronics have a better build quality, a longer battery life and a more exciting, bass-rich sound that's also better balanced with instruments and vocals than the E8. The Plantronics also have a much more intuitive control scheme, a better build quality and support multiple codecs. On the other hand, the E8 block a bit more noise with their ANC feature than the Plantronics.

Denon AHGC20

The Plantronics BackBeat pro 2 are a better wireless headphone than the Denon AHGC20. The Plantronics have a better battery life, a longer wireless range, easier to use controls and a much better bass-heavy sound that does not drown vocals and instrumentals like the Denon Globe Cruisers. On the other hand, the Denons have a more premium build quality and a slightly more comfortable over-ear design that some may prefer over the Plantronics. The Denons also have much better noise canceling performance, so they're a bit better suited for travel and noisy commutes.

Sony MDR-XB950N1

The Sony MDR-XB950N1 are the noise canceling variant of the MDR-XB950B1. They are pretty much identical in performance to the original XB950B1 and look the same but have a slightly longer battery life. They have a durable build quality on par with the Plantronics, but they're not as comfortable and their sound quality is much worse. Their audio reproduction, though bass heavy, is poorly balanced and sounds muddy and cluttered compared to the rich and powerful bass of the BackBeat Pro 2 that still represents instruments and vocals well. The Plantronics are a more versatile and cheaper headset overall than the MDR-XB950N1, and they're even better suited for bass-heads.

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Conclusion
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7.3Mixed Usage
What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
Score components:
Above-average for mixed-usage. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are versatile headphones for most use cases. They have a solid and durable design, an excellent wireless range and battery life and they sound balanced enough for most casual and even more critical listeners. However, they're a bit bulky for working out and only have an average isolation despite being noise canceling headphones.
7.7Critical Listening
What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Good for critical listening. They have a well-balanced mid and treble range and a powerful bass that should satisfy fans of bass-heavy music. However, the bass can sometimes overshadow some of the instruments and vocals depending on the track. They also have a small soundstage due to their closed-back noise canceling design.
7.4Commute/Travel
What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Score components:
Good for commuting. They're easy to use, comfortable and have a great battery life. Also, although the isolation is not the best, it should be sufficient for regular commuters, especially if you play your audio at moderate-to-high volumes.
7.1Sports/Fitness
What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Score components:
Above-average for sports. They're a bit bulky and not the most breathable headphones to take to the gym. But they have a good wireless design so there's no audio cable to hinder you during your workouts and they're also tight enough on the head to be somewhat stable when running and jogging.
7.5Office
What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Score components:
Great for office use. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 don't leak much, they're comfortable and easy to pair with most Bluetooth devices. They're also packed with features that make them practical to use at the office such as smart pause, audio while charging and their excellent wireless range.
6.2Home Theater
Score components:
Average for home theater use. They have a comfortable design and one of the best wireless ranges we've tested. However, their latency like the original Backbeat Pro is dependent on which codecs you use. This means they won't be for ideal watching movies if you're using the default Bluetooth SBC connection, however, with aptX LL they perform well above-average for watching videos.
5.9Gaming
Score components:
Below-average for gaming. They're comfortable and have a good bass-rich sound that suitable for gaming. Unfortunately, they will not work via Bluetooth with your consoles, and they are not as customizable as most gaming headsets. They also have a bit too much latency unless you use a dongle that supports aptX-LL. On the upside, they do have a simple audio cable that will provide audio with any device that has a headphone jack like your PS4 or Xbox One controller.

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