Our Review of Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2

Posted on 02 February, 2017

Headphones are an incredibly personal thing and finding the right pair is a journey that can last years. Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is their latest entrant into the market that plans to service all your needs in a single headset. The Pro 2 is a significant update on the original version and these are the first wireless headphones with enough battery life to make them practical.

Wireless is finally practical
We all want to move away from wires, nobody enjoys having that tether to our pocket or laptop that inevitably gets pulled, tugged or even broken. The downside of moving to Bluetooth wireless connections is that you’re then exposed to the battery life.

Somehow Plantronics have packed enough battery in to deliver up to 24 hours on a single charge. While its hard to test that in one sitting, the key point here is that you can reliably pickup the headphones and just use them as you want, with the confidence that they’ll service your 1 or 2 hours of music or podcast playback. The charging process becomes a once a week en devour rather than adding to the growing list of nightly charges (phone, laptop, watch etc).

After using the Backbeat Pro 2, I’m completely sold on wireless, while many have tried, this is the first set of headphones I’m actually using daily. Its also appreciated that Plantronics provide an optional wired cable should you have the need for it and its super easy to throw in a bag and always have that as a backup, especially on long haul flights.

The only negative, albeit a tiny one, is that upon the initial connection from my phone to the headphones, the audio playback quality is a little sketchy for 1-2 seconds, almost like buffering. Once that resolves, things are flawless. Like I said, not really a big issue, but definitely worth pointing out.

Comfortable over the ear
Given the power allows you to wear these headphones for hours, you’ll only want to do that if they’re comfortable. Thankfully the Backbeat Pro 2 are great to wear. Not only does the over the ear design allow the cups to sit comfortable against your head, but they also form a sound isolation that opens the possibility of noise cancellation. At the flick of a switch you can shut off the outside world and focus on the content being fed into your ears.

Somehow they were able to get the weight down to just 289 grams. This is distributed across your headband and also helps to reduce the fatigue of wearing them. If it wasn’t for the audio coming from them, they’d become like glasses, or a watch, you’d forget you’re wearing them.

Features
The first time I removed my headphones to chat to my wife, I didn’t realise what had happened. When I placed them back on my head, I quickly did. There’s technology in these headphones that detect if they’re on your head or removed and conveniently pause and resume audio playback automatically. This is a massive feature and something I want now from every headset.

Life inside headphones often means you encounter family, friends, colleagues or randoms that want to chat. Normally you slide the headphones off, engage in the conversation and after concluding the discussion, you then have a job to do. Unlock your phone, launch the audio app, then awkwardly rewind to the place you were previously at. This is all resolved by Plantronics fantastic detection technology.

These headphones are an absolute brilliant piece of engineering. There’s so much to love about what’s on offer here. Not only do they tick the boxes of looking great and being comfortable, they do something that most can’t and that’s have killer battery life. Whatever magic the engineers at plantronics have waved here, they should be applauded for.

The smart sensors to play/pause music when you remove/return them to your head is an absolute brilliant inclusion and should be a feature on all headphones. In a sea of competition, its the fact that so many small details are answered correctly here, like the fact they didn’t stop at having killer battery life, that they also understand the remaining need and rare times still exist where you want the option to connect a 3.5mm cable.

If you’re in the market for headphones this Christmas, or are searching for a way to treat yourself after a long year, then the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 headphones should not just be on your short list, but be right at the top to be your next iPhone companion