Today we’ll be taking a look at the Plantronics Backbeat sense Bluetooth headphones, a combination of style and function we’ll see if they’re really worth the price tag. Plantronics is a company that is quite well known for creating audio products, and the Backbeat sense have clearly been aimed at those seeking a lightweight alternative to heavy headsets. We have included a quick unboxing for you to watch, or you can scroll down to see our thoughts on the product:
Richly detailed audio
Non-stop music for up to 18 hours
Stream up to 100 m/330 ft
Multiple Bluetooth connections
Hear your surroundings
Whispered status alerts
Ready for travel
Locate lost headphones
PERFORMANCE AND TESTING
Testing the performance of these headphones was actually enjoyable, being a very lightweight pair of headphones I was expecting a trade off when it came to the audio quality. With a closed cup design, the sound can reverberate a lot better, giving bass depth, but with the Backbeat sense headphones you still get a huge amount of bass even though they are basically an open cup design, meaning the cups sit flat against your head. Whilst this might not seem like a big deal, the acoustics can greatly change based on the size of the headphone cup.
Now the clarity and general tones that the headphones produced was quite remarkable, although the size is somewhat lacking they can still provide incredible audio. For the size they have the volume to back themselves up, running almost distortion free into the higher end of the volume scale. Testing these on a variety of genres was a pleasant experience, with the vocals being clean and not drowning out songs with instrumentals you’ll be really happy to know these headphones actually work well no matter the audio source. Unlike some more expensive brands that use some form of EQ, I didn’t get the feeling an EQ was trying to compensate for poor build quality.
I would say one of my biggest dislikes with the headphones was the sound could often be ruined by loud ambient scenarios, but in quieter places these cans really do shine. With the clean and almost rich tones that are produced the headphones don’t feel horrible to use for long periods of time, which can often be a hindrance on some products that use heavily tweaked EQ’s to make them sharper and more bassy. So overall? An incredible audio experience. Considering the size I don’t think they could get much better, and give clarity on the go which is a nice change from the larger products I usually review.
USABILITY AND DESIGN
Moving on from the performance we wanted to talk about the usability and design of the product, this is everything from comfort to functionality. These wireless headphones are powered by Bluetooth, which is the industry standard for creating products that don’t require annoying cables! When you combine this fact with the lightness of the product, these become one of the most wearable pairs of headphones I’ve ever tested. Aesthetically they really are a product that should belong in a fashion show, they look impeccable in every aspect.
The band on the headphones is constructed from stainless steel which makes them very sturdy, and further down the band is plastic to keep the headphone cups attached to the band. Whilst I pray for a company to one day make a pair of headphones entirely out of metal, these do feel very sturdy even though they’re incredibly light and with the included carry case they’ll stand the test of time. These might actually be one of the best pairs of headphones for traveling you can currently buy, with up to eighteen hours of battery life you’ll be fine for those long plane journeys and you can use the optional 3.5mm cable if the battery runs out.
On the headphones are all the controls you need to manage your music without actually using your phone, from volume to skipping tracks, everything is on the headphones making these a brilliant example of how to make a product seamless. There is even a pressure sensor so the headphones can pause your music when you take them away from your head, now if that is not great design I don’t know what is!
Did I also forget to mention how comfortable the actual cups are? The cups simply feel so nice on your ears, it actually makes me a little bit annoyed at larger headphones that don’t feel this good. And because of the materials used there isn’t any headphone pinch which you can sometimes find on heavier more bulky headphones that attempt to noise cancel without having to raise the volume.
So after all of our testing, what would be our final opinion on the Backbeat sense? Well. I think this is a product that really sets the tone for what companies should be doing in the headphone market. The design is simply stunning, and Plantronics have clearly put the time into creating a product that works so well you’ll often wonder why more companies don’t include all of the little features you can find in the Backbeat sense.
And the performance of these headphones is beyond words, bass that isn’t overwhelming, and clean rich highs that enthrall the soul. Generally the full package is what makes these headphones, if the design was lacking I would expect a lower price but with all the added features and the high quality carry case? I would happily recommend this product.
Bottom line? Impeccable in every aspect if you don’t require closed cup headphones and a heavy bass line.