Plantronics BackBeat Go £50
17th May 2012 | 03:28
A stereo Bluetooth headset for users who prefer a more svelte setup
Shopping for a stereo Bluetooth headset can be hit or miss. When looking for the best solution, do you choose a product made by a company known for their commitment and mastery of audio technology or one that is known for their Bluetooth technology?
And herein lies the dilemma with the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headset: it's a good stereo headset that's great for phone calls. That said, hardcore audiophiles will no doubt be disappointed by the bluetooth headset's overall music performance.
We first saw the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headset at CTIA 2012 and couldn't wait to get some serious hands on time with the device. Sporting a rubberized, "tangle-free" design, the BackBeat Go rocks 6mm drivers that are more than adequate.
We tested the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headset with two smart phones: the HTC Radar 4G Windows phone and the iPhone 4S. While the Bluetooth headset was great for phone calls on both devices, music playback left something to be desired. Bass response was extremely disappointing on both handsets and while this particular Bluetooth headset was plenty loud with our HTC Radar 4G Windows phone, we found ourselves wishing we could make it louder on our iPhone 4S.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go charges via a micro-USB port on the right earbud in a remarkably fast two and a half hours. Speaking of the right earbud, this is where most of the action happens with this Bluetooth headset.
When pairing the device, you hold down a button on the in-line control module that's near the right earbud. Pairing was simple enough and in our tests the headset worked up to 20 feet away from the test device.
An issue with this Bluetooth headset is that because of the relatively short size of the cord connecting the left and right earbuds, you can't really see the in-line control module while you're wearing and using the headset. During our tests we had to remove the right earbud and look at the in-line control module in order to accurately use it. Of course, over time, we were able to remember how to use it without having to look at it.
As an in-ear type of Bluetooth headset comfort is incredibly important. In our tests we found the Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth headset to be somewhat quirky. It ships with three different sizes of earbuds and we never really found one that worked perfectly for us. Even the optional stabilizers weren't able to better the experience. Of course, everyone's ears are different. So your experience may differ than ours.
At $99.99 the Plantronics BackBeat Go is a fantastic Bluetooth headset: for talking on the phone. It handles basic functions like phone calls and pairing amazingly. And the fact that it charges via micro-USB in around two and a half hours and boasts a talk time of about four and a half hours is great. That said, music aficionados will find this particular Bluetooth headset lacking.