“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!
Review: Plantronics BackBeat Fit
I had the distinct pleasure of testing and reviewing Plantronics new wireless Bluetooth headset over a two week period in this August. The terms of the review can be found above as part of an Ambassadorship with BibRavePro. If you would like more information, please contact me.
Not everyone is a fan of listening to music while running. The debate between the two sides can be as heated as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Regardless of where you stance is, this review is intended for those who DO like to listen to music when they run, walk, work out, work, relax, etc. If you are one who clears their head while running, kudos to you, I AM JEALOUS. I for one need distraction for the most part of my running adventures. My runs typically have music selections of my own choosing or a RockMyRun remix and sometimes you’ll even find a Serial and Undisclosed Podcast with the occasional Triathlete Training Podcast.
I have used Bluetooth headsets for phones for years but never had a set of headphones for music prior to this. Plantronics did not disappoint! The box was packed with instructions on use but any questions that may arise can most likely be found on their website which is loaded with content. A quick review of everything in the box revealed the wireless headset, USB charging cable, a convenient storage case that doubles as an armband for your phone (iPod or other device as well). Not only is this a headset for music, it is capable of making and receiving phone calls. Thanks to controls on the headset itself, you can pause music and restart it, answer calls, and move to the next track or to previous ones, all without getting your phone out. A long press on the phone button (Right ear) brings Siri up for quick hands free service. This is a pretty big deal for me as I never can get the phone touchscreen to work right in the armband since I have a LifeProof case.
I put the earbuds on and took off for a quick 5K run that was scheduled as part of my marathon training schedule. The fit was snug but comfortable. The quality of the sound was pretty amazing, which is an area I am particularly picky on due to years in the audio engineering world. The ease of use was self-explanatory within five minutes of opening the box and wearing the buds. I wish I had a photo of the fit, but I have not mastered the selfie yet. One thing I noted was the lack of adjusting the earbuds during my 5K. In a typical 25 minute run, I was adjusting my wired earbuds about once every three minutes. I run a lot at work (an airport) and the noise was cancelled out enough to enjoy the music, but not enough to block important ambient noise for my own safety.
Plantronics really did a great job designing this product, their website is a plethora of information about the BackBeat Fit’s. A couple things to note are the water-proof status, an 8 hour battery life, connectivity with a powerful App (and firmware updater), and the safety design to allow you to hear your surroundings and also the reflectivity of the product and armband. For other information and technical specs on the BackBeat, definitely take a look at Plantronics product website.
Plantronics has a couple of Apps that complement the BackBeat Fit (iOS only in this review). As soon as the device was paired with the iPhone it automatically notified me of the Apps. This is a great feature that kept me from missing out on future upgrades via firmware. The Apps are Apple Watch compatible. They offer a great guide for pairing the device if you have any issues here.
The safety message was slightly comical, but obviously necessary in today’s litigation filled world.
Their website is filled with reviews, since you can’t please everyone, I discounted the couple of negative reviews but the vast majority were 4-5 stars. As a matter of fact, the total number of 1, 2, and 3 stars combined didn’t total the number of 4 stars. 5 star reviews out numbered the 4 stars 3:1. Overall ratings came to a 4.3 out of 5 with quality of product at 4.5 and value at 4.2.
I have had this product for roughly two weeks. I have not once thought this was a bad thing. I LOVE these things. The BackBeat Fit is a great quality product that is priced competitively with other wireless Bluetooth earbuds/headphones on the market. The sound quality is by far one of the best I have personally listened to and the fit is perfect for me. Plantronics sells replacement ear tips on their website should one get damaged or lost. The armband is a cool feature, but due to my phone it just doesn’t fit. I use it solely as a method of safely containing my new headset.
If you are looking for a wireless earbud solution, I highly recommend looking at the Plantronics BackBeat Fit. They are only $129.99 and offered at retailers and online at Plantronics website. Currently they come in Lime Green (as tested) and Blue. IF you don’t want to take my word, Runner’s World chose them as the Best Earbuds for Runners.
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Plantronics is sponsoring #BibChat on Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 9PM ET. Make sure to stop by Twitter for an awesome time and goodies for a lucky participant.
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