Plantronics recently revealed their latest headphones here in NYC and we had the pleasure to have some one on one time! The Plantronics Backbeat Sense was quite impressive off the bat, and I was able to test them a bit more to see what the other new features were all about. Lets get into it.
- Up to 18 hours of playtime
- Automatic pause/play function
- Connect and control up to two bluetooth devices
- Open mic feature to hear surroundings
- Adjustable headband
- Memory foam ear cushions
- Swivel earcups
The Backbeat Sense is simple and stylish at the same time. They’re very lightweight and the design is simple. The two color combo is also very attractive and also comes in black/espresso. Not too fancy, and definitely not plain Jane, they are the exact combo for everyday headphones with a splash of personality.
The right ear-cup houses the power button, headphone jack, and microUSB port. It also controls your phone call functions. You can hold down on that button and ask Siri anything you like. The left ear-cup has the volume rocker, pause/play functions. The bottom red button you see is for the open mic feature which allows you to hear your surroundings. The headphones are adjustable on both sides as well. They come with a nice carry pouch and the headphones swivel for your convenience. Very easy to pack and the wires go in the front zipper pocket. Slide them in and you’re ready to go.
I must say that I was pretty shocked at how well sound is projected in these headphones. Although they are on ear you are still able to isolate yourself and immerse into the music. They handle mids and highs well but I wouldn’t say that the Sense is a powerhouse in the bass department. Bass levels are almost always so even and smooth, and tracks with varying instruments and vocals are crisp and clear. It has just the right volume max to where you won’t be deaf but you can still rock out on a nice level. If you primarily listen to heavy metal, rock, anything with super bass levels these headphones might not be a fit for you. Not because they’re choppy or anything, but they just don’t get loud enough.
Some tracks that do sound great are Lauryn Hill – Nothing Even Matters, Deadmau5 – Some Chords, Balmorhea – Dream of Thaw, John Legend – Ordinary People (Live from Milan), Denise Belfon – Wining Queen, Migos – Fight Night.
- The smart sensors also work very well. If you take the headphones off for a moment your music will automatically stop playing. Simply put them back on and it will start to play again.
- The open mic feature is CRAZY. Try using it on a crowded NYC train. It’s actually a bit creepy. I turned it on and was able to zero in on so many different conversations happening around me. It’s very weird, but so clear and right in your ears. As you might already assume, of course I use it on the train so I don’t have to take them off to hear the train announcements. Once you’re ready to get back to your music you can click the button again and it’ll start to play.
- Using the headphones for calls was also very easy and the sound was very clear. I am not usually fond of using headphones while I take calls because I can’t hear myself, but when using this it was just fine. No funny sounds or disconnections.
- Connecting to two devices also comes in handy. I had mine paired to my iPhone and my iPad at the same time. When I turn on the Bluetooth they will automatically connect after connecting them the first time. It works very well!
- Battery life is absolutely amazing. I use them ALL week for commuting, during work, and to commute to the gym and back home 5x a week. The 18 hour battery life stated is promised and very accurate. I only have to charge the headphones once a week…… Now only if I could charge my phone once a week, ha!
The Backbeat Sense is available at Plantronics.com and retail for $179.99. They come in white/tan as seen in this review as well as espresso/black.