It’s next to impossible to find someone who isn’t wearing corded earbuds or earphones these days, whether you’re walking on the street, or sitting on a bus, train, or aeroplane.
But what if you want to ditch the wires, and find something small and portable? Plantronics now has a solution for that, and it won’t cost you an arm, a leg, or any of your ears.
On first glance, the BackBeat Go earphones look like an interesting concept: a small set of in-earphones that connect with a half metre cable and are otherwise completely wireless, connecting to your phone or media player over Bluetooth and offering up to almost five hours of battery life.
There isn’t much to them, with two small earpieces barely measuring 3cm long, connected by a half metre flat rubber cable, which also acts as the antenna.
A small rubberised remote sits on the cable next to the right ear piece, offering controls for volume, playback and pausing (central button), skip track and previous track (holding down on the volume buttons), and power.
Plantronics says the battery inside should be good for up to 4.5 hours of talk, 4 hours of listening, and up to ten days of standby time.
They weigh 13 grams and are charged through a microUSB connection hidden behind a rubber flap on the right ear piece.
We’ve been avid fans of the stereo Bluetooth headphones ever since someone told us that we didn’t need wires to listen to our music. Since then, we’ve tried to find interim solutions to make our favourite big cans into wireless devices, even with some success.
Here with the Plantronics BackBeat Go, it’s wireless playback on a tiny scale, shrinking Bluetooth stereo down so we can carry it with us where ever we go.
Unboxing them, you find that these are exactly that: a tiny pair of earphones, easily pocketed and stored in a shirt or jacket pocket.
With a short flat cable, the Backbeat Go earphones are close to being tangle free, which is actually one of the features. Plantronics isn’t wrong here, as they’re very difficult to tangle. The only time we managed to get the cord in knots, the flat cord made it very easy to pull apart, compared to the disastrous mess we often have with our regular wired earphones.
Even if you do manage to accidentally tangle these headphones in your coat or pants pocket, it’s very easy to undo it all and use them quickly.
Comfort levels will depend on how you feel with canal-phones. These aren’t quite the proper in-ear models we’re used to, sticking in the ear canal slightly. Multiple tips are provided, with the regular bunch of small, medium, and large rubber bits for your ear, but we found that we had to push the buds in and pull them back slightly to create a vacuum and block out external noise.