Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat FIT: Headset Review

I am. Now. Jogging. Trying. To review. The Plantronics Backbeat FIT. Using. Speech. Recognition.

No way.

(8 hours later)

Ok, I am now seated comfortably in a cafe, in a better position to describe my experience of the Backbeat FIT.

Outlook and Design

The Backbeat FIT is built for active lifestyle, from the sweat-proof coating, the bright blue reflective colour to the thick integrated ear loop and band. While the overall design seems generic, Plantronics manage to build all the necessary voice and music button controls on the 2 ear speakers. On the right ear speaker, there is a small plastic button to turn on-off the headset, and a larger round button to answer-end call. On the left ear speaker, there is the same small plastic button to adjust volume, and a larger round button to play-pause-select the music.

When removing the headset from the packaging, I noticed that the silicone eartips labelled “L” and “R” were incorrectly swapped, which confused me initially as I attempted to wear the headset. I then proceeded to remove the eartips and make the swap. I thought it was a good opportunity to try other eartip sizes but was surprised to find that there aren’t any other eartip sizes.

The packaging includes a smartphone armband that fits iPhones, so I can’t use it with HTC One M8. Reverse it and the armband doubles as a case to store the headset.

Fit and Use

With only a single-size eartips, I proceeded to wear it for my workout. The Backbeat FIT stays on my ears, no issue with that. But when I used it for jogging, I found that the headset moves slightly with every stride I took, partly because the cable that goes behind the neck moves up and down while jogging. The result is that the audio wavers a little. Imagine pressing and releasing the earphones against your ear, that’s how it sounds. In addition, I could hear the loose plastic button sounds as I jogged. Granted, I got less aware of these annoyances as I jogged longer.

The other annoyance of using the Backbeat FIT is that whenever I try to press the headset closer to my ears for a closer fit, I would inadvertently press the large control buttons. But I suppose you would be more careful as you get accustomed to using the headset.

Audio Quality

The Backbeat FIT pumps out audio with a bass bias and veiled treble, but otherwise the audio details are rather decent. The eartip is designed not to have noise isolation in order for you to be more aware of the environment during jogs.

Conclusion

The Plantronics Backbeat FIT appears to have great design elements, but upon actual use, several usage flaws surface. Your experience may vary since individuals have different fit, but one thing is for sure: not providing various eartip sizes is a big issue, more so when the eartips are actually proprietary.

Specs:

  • Bluetooth 3.0, A2DP, AVRCP
  • P2i sweat proof coating
  • 13mm dynamic drivers
  • Frequency response: 50-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 105dB/mW @ 1kHz
  • 24g
  • Includes 2-in-1 armband/carrying case, fits iPhone

BackBeat FIT will be available in two vibrant colors, Lime Burst and Electric Blue, with a recommended retail price S$219, available from July 2014 in Lime Burst (Green) and Electric Blue.

Reviewed by Chester Tan
Rating: 2.5 of 5

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