Plantronics this week released the Backbeat Pro 2 which aims to bring you some amazing wireless sound on the go. I'll be exploring this pair of over the ear headphones and I'll let you know how I feel about them. I'll be going over the package, design, sound quality, features and of course the price.
The Backbeat Pro 2 is priced at par coming in at $199.99 USD which falls within the same range for most high-end set would. However, what most people are interested to know is how the sound quality is and is it really worth the price associated with them.
The initial presentation is what I'd expect of a $199.99 pair of over the ears headphone. The box is pretty straight forward. You'll have an enclosed box inside that houses a nice carrying case which will have the headphone and the accessories for them.
Although the headphones are Bluetooth, you also have an alternative with the 3.5mm jack in the event that you'd like to be wired for a better sound experience. You'll also find a MicroUSB cable within to charge the headphones.
Let's skip to the hardware, isn't it after all, what people are interested in discovering? On the left-hand side, you'll have a dial that will bring the volume up and down which sits on the outer edge of the cup.
It has some definition to it which makes it easy to find and increase or decrease the volume. While also on the same side, you can see from the above that you have your typical forward, back, play and pause options. On the same side you'll find a button option on the back that delivers; open mic, noise cancelling off and on. This will serve to provide a different listening experience while either in the noisy downtown subway or say in the comfort of your own home.
On the right side of the cup, you'll have a standard push button in the middle that will act to answer calls, hang up and or redial the last dialled number if you use this while connected to a smartphone. On the back side of the right cup, you'll have a button option that simply serves as a mute function to the built-in mic.
The actual ear cups themselves have a cushioned feel for a long listening period to ensure the wearer's maximum comfort. It's also designed to fold flat to allow for maximum storage capability.
While this headset has a claim of up to 24 hours worth of usage, I'd tend to believe the claims as I'm in my 11th hour of use at this time. Currently, I have moderate volume levels and I'm listening to a variety of EDM/HipHop and Rock.
Strictly on the design of the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2, I felt they were too light, I would have liked to see something a bit more hefty with a higher polish. The overall design is plastic housing and I would personally have preferred an aluminium casing, this would have brought out a higher premium feel.
With a 35% in size reduction from the previous version and a 15% weight reduction, I can understand they went for the portability of this pair.
The smart sensor technology built-in into the headphones allows for an automatic pause of whatever you are playing whenever you remove the headset, this lets the wearer continue on with his listening experience whenever he's ready to. This is something I truly enjoy about the Backbeat Pro 2. Now this is not the only pair that features this tech, you can also find this ins the Backbeat Sense as well.
Let's take a look at the actual technical specification sheet that's provided for this product:
While being paired with a class 1 BT device, this headset handles itself like a champion. I could easily leave the phone outside and move in and out of the house without issues of it cutting out and given that you can go up to 100 meters while inline of sight that's excellent.
When it comes to what most of you want to know; The sound quality! Since I listen to a lot of basses due to the nature of EDM music, I felt that the bass was clear and nice. The problem I found is that although I can hear the bass, I couldn't "FEEL" it. I wanted to feel the bass kick. Since the bass does handle itself very well you can hear the low-end of the spectrum and this was nice.
While listening to Adel, Sher, Taylor Swift and the likes I noticed that the higher notes were/can get a bit distorted and this was mostly noticeable a higher volume level. Since most people won't be doing this, the listening experience for most would be very acceptable. I did find the mids to kind of sway on either side of the spectrum depending on the type of music I was playing. I got a different experience playing a variety of different style and artist and all I can say is that my experience will vary from others while listening to your favourite genre.
It's also good to mention that you intend to use the 3.5mm jack, you'll benefit from a higher bitrate which in turns provides a better sound experience.The Backbeat Pro 2 aims to bring the sound closer to natural as possible and for the most part it does a fairly good job.
I had a great experience listening to music with the Backbeat Pro 2. While there some improvements that could be made and that can be said of any products. Plantronics gets a 4.5/5 from me.