Plantronics has announced 5 wireless in-ear and over-ear headphones across the BackBeat FIT and BackBeat GO lines, available for sale in Singapore market. There is a pair of headphones designed for every user, from true wireless to neckband, from ambient aware to active noise cancelling. With prices between S$139 and S$249, here’s a brief overview of all the products.
(Full reviews will be published separately over the next few days for each individual product.)
BackBeat FIT Series
The FIT series consist of FIT 3100, FIT 2100 and FIT 350.
BackBeat FIT 3100 (S$249) – these are Plantronic’s first true wireless earphones. Unlike most other earphones, the FIT 3100 comes with Always Aware eartips that enable wearer to hear the surrounding sounds naturally instead of digital ambient sound. For people who does not like the feeling of being stuffed by the earbuds, this eartips are liberating to use. The behind-ear hook design helps to keep the earbuds secure without putting pressure against the in-ear canals. The FIT 3100 last over 5 hours with every full charge and charges for another 10 hours.
The right-side earbud button is mechanical while the left earbud panel is touch-sensitive, offering the best of both worlds in operating the device. A companion smartphone app allows you to personalise the left earbud sensors called “My Tap”, as well as updating firmware, adjusting the EQ, among other features.
Given this is Plantronic’s first attempt at true wireless, the results are surprisingly good, with minimal audio drop-outs.
BackBeat FIT 2100 (S$169) – a design update from the original BackBeat FIT, the FIT 2100 comes with the same mechanical plus touch controls on right and left earbuds respectively. The flexible rear-neckband holds the earbuds better than the FIT 3100 and delivers 7 hours of continuous usage.
BackBeat FIT 350 (S$139) – this is a design update from FIT 305, with additional behind-ear hook to hold the earbuds more securely. This is a better design compared to the FIT 305, which during my review kept falling out of my ears. The earbud design is different from the FIT 2100/3100, which offers the usual noise isolation.
BackBeat GO Series
The new GO series consist of GO 410 and GO 810. Both comes with active noise cancellation (ANC) features.
BackBeat GO 410 (S$219) – Plantronic’s first ANC neckband earphones, it gathers years of experience in implementing ANC on the BackBeat PRO series to put in a small form factor.The GO 410 can last for 8 hours, and even when the battery runs out, the earphones can continue to be used by connecting the multi-purpose cable directly to the audio device. Through the BackBeat app, user can control the ANC mode, EQ mode, and others. To save battery, lock the 2 earbuds together with magnets and the earphones go on standby.
BackBeat GO 810 (S$249) – this is the evolution of BackBeat PRO 2, offering lower build quality and fewer features. But the most important feature, ANC, sounds a little better than the predecessors. I also prefer the design of the GO 810 as it appears more minimalistic compared to the BackBeat PRO series. These headphones last a whopping 28 hours.
While I am finishing up the individual review posts, here’s my review summary:
- BackBeat FIT 3100 is my favourite among the products. They wear comfortably without in-ear pressure and stable connection. Audio quality is neutral, open, and best balanced.
- BackBeat GO 810 has the best sound among the products, thanks to the over-ear closed back design. ANC is adequate to attenuate general noise, but definitely incomparable to the likes of Bose and Sony.
- BackBeat FIT 2100 has similar wear comfort as FIT 3100 and a third cheaper. The treble is not as clear, but it’s more rugged and remains a popular choice for heavy runners as there will not be annoying cables swinging and rubbing against the neck.
- BackBeat GO 410 and FIT 350 have the weakest audio balance and not ideal for picky listeners. I enjoy the least listening to them, but both have their plus points. FIT 350 is the most value for money while GO 410 offers good ANC on top of the noise-isolating earbuds.
The new BackBeat FIT 3100, BackBeat FIT 350, BackBeat GO 810 is now available in major retailers such as Challenger, Harvey Norman, Best Denki, TANGS, Robinsons, Changi Airport T1|2|3|4 and authorized retailers. The BackBeat FIT 2100 and BackBeat GO 410 will be shipping in November 2018, in time for the holiday shopping season.