Best Plantronics BackBeat Pro & Pro 2 Black Friday Deals 2020
The second-generation Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones show a device maturing – fixing a few mistakes manufactured in days gone by while continuing to provide sound quality that stands up well to your competition.
The initial Plantronics BackBeat Pro earned a good amount of praise: they weren’t perfect nevertheless they were feature rich, sounded great, and providing excellent active noise cancellation (ANC). With the BackBeat Pro 2, Plantronics is keeping what’s good and fixing that which was bad (like bulk and weight) – and you can’t require much more.
As the Sony WH-1000XM2 (and even the newer model) and Plantronic’s own BackBeat Go 810 are really worth weighing up too, for $200 (£230, AU$250), the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 remains among the finest pairs of travel headphones for the purchase price.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: design
Due to the somewhat straightforward nature, you might either love or hate the look of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. The headphones include a dark brown color scheme, that will understandably be somewhat polarizing.
Then there’s the faux wood accent that would look more appropriate in the Buick than on a set of noise canceling headphones – it looks rather cheap and out of place, however the accents do at least help the headphones stick out from the even-more-generic-looking Bose QuietComfort 35.
For the earcups, glittery silver mesh rings feature on each, housing the headphone’s noise-canceling mics. The sparkling silver can be an odd design choice against the muted browns and blacks, and stand out such as a sore thumb. A black mesh could have been appropriate, but hey – this still works.
On the left ear cup are controls for playback, volume and a toggle for active noise cancellation. The proper ear cup includes a power/pairing slider and also a major button for answering calls.
Volume is managed with a textured ring that rocks backwards and forwards – you rotate counter clockwise to carefully turn up the quantity and clockwise to carefully turn it town. The quantity control ring is just a little harder to grip compared to the first generation, but that’s a quibble and not an especially noteworthy issue.
Active noise cancellation could be toggled on or off on the left earcup. Turning it off will provide you with a small amount of extra juice between charges, and we ought to explain that the headphones still work in wired mode if the battery dies. This toggle also features an open mic mode, which pauses your music and enables you to hear what’s on offer you without needing to remove your headphones.
We found the open mic feature pointless as we’re able to you need to off the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones – which automatically pauses the music – but because you have the same option on much higher-end headphones (just like the Sony MDR-1000X), it’s nice to own it included here too.
The BackBeat Pro 2 headphones come lined with leather around the earcups aswell as on the headband, making them extremely comfortable, and we’d no issues wearing them throughout an eight-hour flight.
When compared to original Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones, the Pro 2 are much smaller and lighter (290 grams vs the original’s 340 grams). That is great news for travelers who’ve limited space and don’t desire to be fatigued after long listening sessions. They’re also smaller sized and lay flatter when folded down for transport, which is another point within their favor.
The headphones have a soft zippered carrying pouch, that includes a super soft lining to safeguard the headphones from scratches, another compartment to store your microUSB charging and 3.5mm headphone cables (a good touch).
A hard case could have been better still, but again, it isn’t a really deal breaker. It ought to be noted, however, a hard case comes in the more costly BackBeat Pro 2 Special Edition, which cost $50 (about £40, AU$67) more and can be found in a gray color.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2: performance
The initial BackBeat Pro headphones offered a great, slightly bass heavy sound signature. Plantronics carried over this sound signature to the BackBeat Pro 2, which most users will most likely find pleasing to the ears.
Audiophiles will quibble about the overbearing bass but will be pleased to understand that using the BackBeat Pro 2 in wired mode tames the bass a lot.
We were amazed to find ANC still works when playing music in wired mode, therefore you can save somewhat of battery when you do not mind going wired for an interval. Just a little added bass emphasis helps filter external noise so we are able to understand why Plantronics went for a bass-heavy sound signature.
Highs are somewhat rolled off, making them sound slightly veiled, but that’s actually preferable for long listening sessions because the highs will not be fatiguing. Similarly, mids are good, nonetheless they could be muted by the heavy bass. Soundstage is average, so don’t expect an out-of-head listening experience.
With active noise canceling enabled, we did notice hook hiss when no music is playing. The Bose QC35 still provide best noise cancellation in the market however the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 can do an admirable job of blocking out noise.
Putting them to the test, the BackBeat Pro 2 dulled the deafening roar of the 777 jet engines on a flight from SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA to NY, helping us to keep our sanity as we attemptedto get some rest. The sound quality of the headphones wasn’t influenced by the active noise cancellation, which hasn’t been the case with ANC headphones during the past.
For battery life, we were extremely impressed by the longevity of the BackBeat Pro 2. The initial also offered incredible 24-hour battery life however the second generation sips even less power when idle, supplying a claimed six months of DeepSleep (up from 180 hours).
Despite regular use, we struggled to totally drain the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 headphones on a week-long vacation in NY – they lasted through both flights, a few train rides and random listening sessions through the entire week with ANC enabled all the time. For frequent travelers, the BackBeat Pro 2’s impressive battery life is its killer feature.
For $200 (£230, AU$250), it’s hard to fault anything about the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. The looks is probably not for everybody, and the bass-heavy sound won’t please audiophiles however the BackBeat Pro 2 does almost everything right for travel headphones.
The headphones’ staggering 24-hour battery life gives and is a killer feature for travelers who can’t be tethered to an outlet, even though the active noise cancellation isn’t the very best in the market, it’s still very proficient at muffling the sound of the noisy, sleep-depriving outside world.
It’s clear Plantronics was hearing user feedback when redesigning the BackBeat Pro 2. Almost every quibble we’d about the initial has been addressed – and, a lot more incredibly, despite those changes Plantronics’ latest couple of cans launched at a cheaper price compared to the original headphones.
Audiophiles won’t just like the bass-heavy sound signature, though bass could be tamed through the use of them in wired mode in the event that you feel it’s necessary.
Similarly, you’ll either love or hate the styling of the BackBeat Pro 2 headphones: their brown color scheme, fake zebrawood and out-of-place silver mesh supply the headphones an eclectic design language.
If you don’t want to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 ought to be at the top of your grocery list. Sure, the Bose still offers better noise cancellation and Sony offers a lttle bit better sound, however the Plantronics do almost everything else right.
In conditions of value, the BackBeat Pro 2 are basically a steal. With the BackBeat Pro 2, you’re getting travel headphones with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the opportunity to pair two device simultaneously and, most of all, good sound q