In recent years, Plantronics has reworked the entire line of its audio devices. Our acquaintance with them began with the Backbeat GO 2 plugs, continued on the Voyager Edge headphone and was diluted with sports Backbeat Fit . Relatively recently a new product appeared on the market – closed Backbeat PRO best noise cancelling headphones with a stylish, classic design. At the request of the owner, they can become wired, drown out noise around and work as a headset for talking on the phone. And they also work very long.
But very soon you will be able to buy Backbeat PRO in the largest stores in the country. In the meantime, we quickly reviewed the accessory in all its details.
Plantronics Backbeat PRO does not look like any of the company’s previous accessories. One box of them takes up so much space that we had to carry it in a separate bag to the place of photography. And the headphones themselves are not portable at all. And not very youthful. The PRO model even hints that their target audience does not worry much about the free space in their bags, travels a lot and often stays in noisy conditions. Accordingly, Plantronics has paid much attention to the design of the case and its materials – the thing will always be in sight, whether on the neck or on the table, and look at it will not be the latest people.
Backbeat PRO is a wireless headset that works according to the Bluetooth standard. Although no, not exactly. At the request of the owner, they can become wired , for which a quality cable is enclosed in the delivery. Whichever application you choose, you can control music playback using a series of buttons on the device’s case (or on the cable console).
The key feature of the PRO model is the presence of an best noise cancelling headphone, ANC. The accessory in real time measures the level of ambient noise and changes the sound of the headphones so as to drown out extraneous sounds to the maximum. It does not work in the passive mode, as it inevitably affects the quality of music playback. You can turn it on via a switch on one of the speakers.
The design of headphones is traditional: the headboard is attached to the cups with a steel plate inside, which regulates the height of the speakers. Unlike the now popular solutions from other companies – for example, Skullcandy – the speaker-cups in this model can not be put inside, under the headboard. In other words, they will need to be carried in exactly the same way as they are shown on the pictures. Do not say that this is such a big problem if you take these headphones on a trip or just wear around your neck. Just worth bearing in mind. Yes, and with them in the complete set the enough qualitative, soft cover is delivered.
I want to say a lot of good about the selection of the materials of the case. Round and soft ambyushury made of leatherette with a pleasant to the touch texture. The speaker itself is closed with an acoustic cloth of a curious deep purple color. The same shade is found on the tag, which is sewn to the headband headphones, as well as on the company’s cables from the kit. This is the color accent.
The headband is also covered with leatherette, behind which lies a solid base and a layer of flexible filler. The headband is trimmed with a different material format: if the outer part is very similar to the usual skin, including a stylish stitching obliquely, the inner has numerous “pores” . These openings help your skin breathe when in contact with the headphones. It is made not so much by calculation on a head, how many on a neck: long wearing of ear-phones on it will not cause discomfort and will not cause burning or sweating because of insufficient air exchange. In addition, the porous fragment just looks good. All this sits very comfortably, as if a pillow was wrapped around the head.
Classical style dilute aggressive metal inserts on the case around the speakers. This is an aluminum mesh, which exists on each of the headphones, which performs not only a decorative purpose. One of these hides a row of blue LEDs, signaling to the owner about the charge level of the internal battery. Another grid is on the end of the speakers, next to the ribbed plastic wheel. By the way, count the number of buttons in this photo. Most likely, you recognize the couple incorrectly.
The volume control of music playback and rewinding tracks are possible without using a complete cable. Moreover, it is generally not needed by those who are going to use the Backbeat PRO as a wireless headset. All of the above operations are performed through a ribbed plastic ring at the end of the headphones. It works like a lever and is limited to both sides. Find this element can be felt without removing the headphones from the head.
In addition to the ring, there is a large physical button on the end of each speaker. One is responsible for the callback / reception of the call, and the other is responsible for pausing or playing music on the iOS player. Finally, the two switches on the sides are responsible for turning the power on and for the ANC function – active noise reduction.
Plantronics simply could not release conventional headphones with Bluetooth. The size of them is such that it itself already hints: there is something inside that should justify the refusal of additional portability. Indeed, there are even more functions and features here than it seems at first glance. Let’s start with the most significant. Thanks to the use of the advanced standard Bluetooth 4.0 and smart placement of batteries inside the case, the battery life of Backbeat PRO is up to 24 hours .
Again. In these wireless headphones you can walk exactly a day and listen to music without stopping. Backbeat PRO will be discharged later than your iPhone. Engineers of the accessory should pay tribute – this we hardly see in Bluetooth-headphones.
A high duration of autonomous operation is provided by special sensors , which monitor whether these headphones are worn or removed. The sensors are placed somewhere near the speakers of the headphones, under the acoustic grid. It works this way. You put on Backbeat PRO – and they turn on themselves, starting to play music from a wireless source. It’s worth it to remove them – and playback pauses, and the headphones go into “sleep mode.” The same happens whenever the connected device exits the receiving area of the Bluetooth transmitter. In this mode, called DeepSleep , the Backbeat PRO can keep the battery charge for up to 6 months (!).
The owner himself chooses how he wants to listen to Backbeat PRO. I’m sure, most of the time you’ll use them wirelessly. But if you connect a cable from the kit to them, you can listen to music from any source directly. Naturally, this does not waste battery charge . It is a very useful feature that allows you to stop using wired headphones altogether and take only this model with you. Do not let down in any case.
By the way, owners of devices on Android can pair headphones via NFC . To do this, one of the headphones has an appropriate transmitter installed. With the iPhone 6, such tricks do not pass.
If you enter the gadgetoman caste, you definitely have at least two mobile devices in your bag. And even more so at home. Backbeat PRO is able to connect directly to severalsmartphones and tablets without the need for re-pairing through Settings and so on. Of course, the sound will be played from only one source. What exactly – you will choose already.
Plantronics claims that the Bluetooth transmitter in this model is capable of keeping the signal at a distance of up to 100 meters . In urban conditions, these figures will definitely be much more modest. But in my tests I noticed that the headphones work quietly for several thick walls from the source and even normally reproduce the sound outside the apartment, which in itself happened for the first time. Roughly speaking, in reality, both 100 and 50 meters do not wait, but thirty – easily and honestly , and not just on paper.
We discussed a number of interesting qualities of headphones and left one very important last – sound . There is one very curious detail that other members of the editorial board have noticed. Plantronics Backbeat PRO play differently in wired and Bluetooth modes. Direct cable connection provides a very calm, balanced signal: light bass, soft mid-range and cautious high. As a perfectly equal equalizer. I’m sure this quiet sound will have its fans.
If you want brightness, mood and drive, it’s worth listening to the Backbeat PRO in wireless mode . The headphones clearly modify the incoming signal, trying to correct the flaws of the Bluetooth protocol. As a result, very different notes are felt. For example, low frequencies turn into real, tangible basses. It seems that the sound stage is expanding too – specific details appear, which for some reason were invisible in the wired mode. In general, I liked this format much more.
By activating the active noise reduction system, fastidious audiophiles will notice a small dip in sound quality – but they almost cease to hear everything that is happening around them. Using Backbeat PRO in a noisy office allowed two interesting conclusions. Firstly, other people’s conversations at the distance of an outstretched hand are not trite to hear. The crash of the freezer minibar still made its way through the ANC barrier, but it only happened to be noticed in seconds of peace and in the silence between the tracks. And secondly, others also will not hear your music . With dead silence, the most attentive will be able to disassemble the vocals in the songs, but for this purpose the volume of the headphones will have to be twisted by two-thirds. For most of us, this will be too much.
I almost forgot: there is a microphone hidden somewhere. Accordingly, the Backbeat PROcan be used as a headset. The interlocutor is heard perfectly and distinctly. Noise reduction works in these moments, so you can talk with callers in any conditions.
Plantronics managed to present successful headphones with an all-time rich functionality. Backbeat PRO combines three types of accessories: it’s both a wired and wireless headset in one package, which has a best noise cancelling headphone system and an amazing battery life.