Price (RRP): $129.95
Plantronics focuses on gym users, and runners with its IPX5 rated Backbeat Fit 305 earbuds.
To a large degree, it succeeds – this is what Joe and Jane Average just want. Functional, reliable, good sound and reasonable cost.
GadgetGuy develops paradigms for reviewing different categories. This review reflects earbuds used as an exercise or running companions as against those built for higher fidelity.
Exercise buds are used to partially block out external distractions (sound isolation/occlusion) while listening to music to get in the ‘zone’. They need to be rugged enough to withstand the rigours of exercise and sweat. And they need to be cheap enough to be replaced a little more regularly than most.
In the box – Plantronics Backbeat Fit 305
- The earbuds
- A very short USB-A to micro-USB charge cable
- One set each small, medium and large combined tips/wings
These are a little unusual in that they have integrated silicon ear tips and wings (the things that hold them in your outer ear).
The all-in-one design, however, allows the buds to be a little lighter although if you have a propensity to wear out normal foam or silicon tips you probably should look for brands that have easier replacements
The coloured side is for the right ear and 55mm under that sits the control pod (battery, mic, basic controls). The cable length in total (ear to ear) is about 55cm and overall weight is 14g.
The P2i coating offers sweat and water resistance to IPX5 – 100 litres of water per minute projected by a 6.3mm nozzle against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects for at least 15 minutes. It is not swim proof – you need IP67/68 for that.
Sound isolation depends on fitting the right tip/wing. Once you do so you can still hear some noise – perhaps 50% of the dB level which is what you need at the gym or out running.
The cable hangs downwards (some brands curve/hang over your ear). Not once in the few days, I tested them did I feel they would fall out.
The braided “sports weave” reflective cable can drape in front or behind your neck. It has a clip to clamp onto your t-shirt or collar.
When exercising you need it firmly clamped to reduce the feeling of a cable on your neck and the weight/bulk of the control module.
Ease of use
Plug into USB, charge for 90 minutes and pair to a Bluetooth device – it is very easy. A small drawstring mesh carry bag protects them in the gym bag.
The control is easy to use but a little bulky.