Disclaimer: I received a Plantronics BackBeat FIT to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I'm so excited to be reviewing the Pantronics BackBeat FIT headphones! These bad boys have been in my ears bringing me all my podcasts and music (mostly Disney related obviously) for almost 2 weeks now and I love being wireless wherever I go.
I had never worn a pair of wireless headphones before these and, well, there is no going back now. I love not having wires and being able to adjust volume or turn my music on and off without keeping track of my phone or iPod. I'm. in. LOVE!
So let's get to the details!
- What? Plantronics® BackBeat FIT Headphones
- How Much? Normal retail is $129.99
- What's in the box? In the box you get the headphones, a USB charging cord, a storage case/cellphone armband case, and an easy to read instruction booklet.
- Colors? (Lime) Green and (Electric) Blue
- Wireless? Yep - They pair with any bluetooth enabled device (I've paired it with my iPod Nano, my iPhone 5s and my Asus computer)
- Microphone? Yep - You can put these on and carry on a conversation if paired with your Bluetooth device.
- Battery Life? Up to 8 Hours of listening - I would have these on most of the day turning them on and off as needed.
- Basic How To: There are basically 4 buttons on the headphones, 2 for each earbud. The main left ear button starts and stops music and the small button controls volume (hold down to turn it down, tap to turn it up). The main right ear button is for receiving and ending calls and the small button on the right is the on/off button, holding it down after turning them on will put the headphones into pairing mode.
So let's unbox it!
Carrying case or...
...reverse it for an armband for your phone!
Things I liked:
- The color! These are a great lime green!
- The quality! Unboxing it you got the impression that this was a well thought out and well developed product.
- Great instructions! The instructions were easy to read and follow.
When I unboxed them I had 2 main concerns:
- That they wouldn't fit in my ear since the in-ear piece looked large, I don't use any Apple headphones because they just don't work for my ears.
- The stiffer band connecting the earpieces would be annoying (bounce, be hard to tuck in, etc).
Testing in the "Field"
So I've done a lot while wearing these earbuds. I've run, I've biked, I've worked, I've cooked, I've traveled... well you get the idea, I've been wearing these a lot. After doing what I see as extensive testing, here are my thoughts and hopefully this will give you some information!
What I Liked:
- Being wireless is amazing! - This is one of the best gadgets I've used in a while and wireless headphones are totally worth it!
- Sound Quality - I'm not a huge audiophile but I do notice that sounds are clearer and I don't have trouble hearing audio near busy roads
- They Didn't Fall Out - The over-ear piece really helps keep these in place. I didn't have any major slipping issues.
- Easy of Use - The controls are SO easy to get use. There are basically 4 buttons on it and they are really easy to get the hang of!
- Range and Connectivity - If I accidentally left the office without my iPod in my pocket, I could walk out the door and down the hallway before it started to cut out (aka through a wall + 25ft). I had no issues while on the move even if my iPod was in my hand and swinging as I ran or in my hydration pack pocket.
- The Neck Band - I had my trepidations about the psuedo-stiff connecting piece thinking that it would bounce on the back of my neck, but I never noticed this happening. I actually think it would've annoyed me if it was just a limp band connecting them rubbing on my neck
- Armband - This was a nice plus to have in the box, but I don't normally run with an armband. I did run with it once and it stayed put and didn't annoy me too much so that's a positive in my book!
Non-Running: While biking these headphones are so convenient! I just drop my iPod in my backpack and then hit the left ear button to turn the music on and I'm ready to go. It's super convenient and now I'm not getting tangled in cords or trying to figure out how to tuck in the wires while riding. Also while riding or working, I'll just have one earbud in and loop the other one over my ear without putting the earbud in. It keeps it out of the way without any issue but allows me to still hear my surroundings!
What I Had Trouble With:
1. Running With One Earbud In - because I run trails, running with 2 earbuds in and completely closed off to my surroundings is not a wise move. Normally I just loop the extra earbud into my sports bra by wrapping the cord around the brastrap multiple times but with the connection band being what it is, I had to figure something else out. I ended up looping it through my sports bra in a different way and it worked great!
2. Ear Fatigue - So I've been wearing these A LOT and after my last long run (3.5 hour run), my inner ear did develop a small sore spot because of the ear piece. If the earpiece was a bit softer it would help it fit more snuggly and more comfortably in more ears. Putting on this earpiece did take some getting use to during testing.
3. The Battery Life - Again since I wear these starting with my morning run, then on my bike commute, and then most of the day at work, I run through the battery life in about a day. Also, since my iPod Nano most oftem paired with it, the Bluetooth really drains the battery on my iPod too so I'm recharging both daily which is more often than I'd ideally like.
Would I recommend these? Yes!... but I would tell you the inner ear piece is fairly stiff.
I think the Plantronics BackBeat FIT headphones are a solid option if you are looking to purchase a pair of wireless headphones. They are high quality and look like they'll stand up to some serious training. The Bluetooth connectivity was great and I never had an issue pairing them with a new device. They are light-weight, easy to use, and didn't fall out of my ear. I would say that these are worth the price tag and to give them a try if you are in the market for some nice headphones!