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Review: Plantronics Backbeat Fit Bluetooth earphones
4.2Overall Score

Price (RRP): $159
Manufacturer: Plantronics

Plantronics has been building fitness friendly earphones for a while now, but its latest Backbeat model may just perfect the formula, building a durable headset that is not only visible in the dark, but also sounds great, too.

Features

The latest pair of Backbeat earphones from Plantronics changes the form factor a little from the previous generation, cutting out some weight and removing many of the hard plastics used in previous models, replacing it instead with softer rubbery materials that can flex and stretch without breaking from small amounts of wear and tear.

Because the materials are changing, so too is the battery, which now has up to eight hours of listening time, a standby time of up to 14 days, and a deep sleep mode which will make the battery work without use for up to half a year (180 days) of powered off time.

The earphones themselves rely on a 13mm neodymium driver, with Bluetooth acting as the connection to the handset or media player, working — according to Plantronics — up to 10 metres from the transmission device, supporting Bluetooth 3.0 (as a minimum) with music controls enabled through this technology.

A microphone is included as well, making it ideal for taking phone calls when you’re on the go.

An element of ruggedisation has been applied to the Backbeat Fit also, with what Plantronics calls a “sweat proof design,” while the P2i hydrophobic coating has also been applied to help stop liquid from getting into the core electronics.

Reflective paint has also been used in the construction of the earphones, making you light up if you’re running at night.

The Plantronics Backbeat Fit are charged through a microUSB port.

Performance

Bluetooth earphones are a must have if you’re going for a run, cutting the cord and letting your head swing freely away from your shoulder, chest, or arms, where the media player or phone would normally sit, but many of us have yet to discover why these are so good, sticking with the basic earbuds our media players and phones generally ship with.

Aside for the cut cord, paying for a new pair of wireless earphones generally means better sound across the board, giving you another reason to upgrade.

Enter the Backbeat Fit, a new entry in the Plantronics “Backbeat” range of wireless earphones, with this model a reinvention of the earphones that previously sat under the 900 series of products. The last time we saw one of those was a few years ago, so it’s about time the wireless fitness earphones underwent a change.

A different design earmarks the Fit, with the plastic ear-shaped products from the last generation changing to a softer and more flexible equivalent, smaller thanks to improvements in wireless and battery technology, and now looking like they’ll take more of a beating than ever.

Place the Backbeat Fit over your ears and you’ll find these earpieces are less from the “phone” variety and edge closer to “buds,” sitting just outside the ear canal and entering ever so slightly with a pinched tip.