When wireless aptness headphones became a thing, Plantronics was during a forefront of a movement. The company’s BackBeat Fit array has been a tack of a product difficulty for a past 4 years. With a new launch of a sportier version, a BackBeat Fit Boost Edition, a association looks to stay rival by creation equivocal enhancements to a mainstream pattern and soundstage — during a steeper price. The result: an active-listening knowledge with several trade-offs.

Design and Case

Plantronics earnings to a necklace-style headphones with a BackBeat Fit Boost Edition. Targeting aptness enthusiasts, a headphones have a versatile form cause built from stretchable and clever materials to continue whatever abuse we put them through.

Adaptability is a modus operandi of these headphones, with a super-bendable, rubbery neckband looping adult over a ears for a fixed ear grip. The ear tips underline what Plantronics calls an open pattern with a projection that rests on a ears and lets we hear your vicinity while operative out. It’s a courteous gesticulate that caters some-more to outside exercisers yet affects altogether sound quality.

Unlike a JBL UA Sport Wireless Flex, a BackBeat Fit Boost Edition is IP57-certified, so it’s dust, persperate and waterproof. we put a headphones by a week’s value of sweat-inducing cardio and remarkable how good they withstood perspiration. we left them around a penetrate area any other day and rinsed them off after workouts to exam their water-repelling capabilities. No mistreat finished after possibly test.

Adaptability is a modus operandi of these headphones, with a super-bendable, rubbery neckband looping adult over a ears for a fixed ear grip.

The concomitant charging tote is IPX5-rated as well. It’s done of a breathable, sport-mesh fabric that’s durable and water-resistant to strengthen a headphones and inner battery from unconsidered drops.

Comfort and Fit

As a runner, we enterprise something lightweight that won’t import me down a longer we wear it. The BackBeat Fit Boost Edition fit a bill, with a slim necklace feeling airy, organic and, many importantly, comfortable.

At 0.8 ounces, a BackBeat Fit headphones are significantly lighter than fan faves like a Beats Powerbeats3 (6.9 ounces). Carrying them around my neck or in palm was no persperate after speeding by 5Ks any other day.

Now, if usually a earbuds themselves felt as cozy. Plugging them in to my ears compulsory a bit of maneuvering, especially due to a familiarity of a ear tips that come preinstalled on a earbud ends. Swapping them out for other ear tips was out of a question, as usually one set comes shipped with a unit. No, seriously, we get usually one set.

Now, if usually a earbuds themselves felt as cozy. Plugging them in to my ears compulsory a bit of maneuvering, especially due to a familiarity of a ear tips that come preinstalled on a earbud ends.

Annoying as that sounds, my bigger emanate was that a left earbud constantly pinched a concha and fatigued my ears within an hour of listening. Pressing a play/pause symbol usually increasing a pain, since it compulsory pulling a earpiece deeper into my ear. we wouldn’t suggest these for convenience or travel.

Controls and Setup

Plantronics creates a eminent bid of bursting multifunctional duties between a dual earpieces — any one housing a immeasurable and a small button. It’s a unwieldy setup that creates control government difficult.

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The immeasurable symbol on a left side is dedicated to playback (play/pause) and lane navigation, and a small symbol on a tip is used to control volume. The immeasurable symbol on a right side is indifferent for responding and finale phone calls, while a small symbol powers a section on and off and pairs it. The mini-toggles are too small and formidable to locate, and they extent functionality. Most times, a headphones couldn’t establish either we was lifting (one tap) or obscure (hold down) a volume. Eventually, we staid on regulating a volume rockers on my smartphone.

On a and side, a immeasurable buttons do yield good responsiveness and tactility. This ensures that commands are executed loiter free. It’s also cold that a headphones give we a voice prompt for battery life when we click a small right button.

Pairing a headphones is simple. Turn on a unit; afterwards reason down a energy symbol for a few seconds, and you’ll see a round LED blink red and blue. Enable a Bluetooth mode on your elite device, name a Pair New Device menu, and select PLT_BBFIT from a accessible inclination list.

App Support

A messenger app is accessible and concordant with all BackBeat Fit models. However, it serves no purpose other than vouchsafing we entrance a digital duplicate of a user primer and check battery life. A six-month hearing membership for a Pear coaching app does come bundled with a purchase, charity total entrance to 12 opposite exercises, so during slightest we get something additional to inspire mobile use.

Audio Quality

While these headphones broach a clever drum abyss that many adrenaline junkies crave, we found a altogether sound peculiarity on a BackBeat Fit Boost to be lifeless and inconsistent.

Kanye West’s “Runaway” showcased how plain a lows were on these headphones, simply pulling me into a groaning, nonetheless addictive drum line. The rumbling drums and percussion were well-balanced, even when we cranked volume to a max. we got a somewhat improved opening on Green Day’s “Warning,” with a Fit Boost pumping out a parsimonious drum line and guitar riff. The drum was a immeasurable alleviation from what a BackBeat Go 3 constructed and not trite as on a Beats Powerbeats 3.

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As good as a lows were, a Fit Boost did small to remonstrate me it could hoop mids and highs during a same level. Many of a tunes we tested with sub-bass calm achieved adequately, yet we stumbled on certain songs with singular outspoken range, like Empire of a Sun’s “Walking on a Dream,” that sounded muddled. The Bose QuietControl 30 does a improved pursuit of balancing drum and vocals.

Highs were scarcely absent on a headphones. Take Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” for instance, a strain remembered many in some-more new years for a cowbell . The bell was hardly audible, and had cocktail enlightenment not put me onto that instrument’s inclusion in a record (thank we SNL), we wouldn’t have listened it. Switching over to The Police’s “Roxanne,” a plain hi-hat does take dominance over many of a other instruments, yet still sounds a bit sparse.

While these headphones broach a clever drum abyss that many adrenaline junkies crave, we found a altogether sound peculiarity on a BackBeat Fit Boost to be lifeless and inconsistent.

The BackBeat Fit Boost Edition doesn’t underline active sound cancelling or isolation, that presents a problem for anyone looking to be enthralled in their playlists. As mentioned, a open pattern of a ear tips doesn’t sign off a ear waterway and forestall sound leakage, creation ambient sound some-more noticeable.

Call Quality

One unsung assign of a Backbeat Fit Boost Edition is call quality. The calls we screened supposing good clarity, both indoors and outdoors. Even when there was credentials noise, like when we was walking by a streets, callers listened me clearly, with no distortion. Some couldn’t tell that we was regulating a Bluetooth headset.

This comes as no surprise, since Plantronics has built an extraordinary repute for formulating some of a best mic-equipped headsets on a market.

Battery Life and Bluetooth

In my hearing period, a headphones gave me about 8 hours of battery life on assuage use. They authorised me to suffer song when sportive for 4 to 5 days before wanting a recharge. we found that blustering song during a max volume emptied a battery faster, infrequently dropping it by 20 percent within an hour.

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Thankfully, a headphones support speed-charging, with a 15-minute assign earning an hour of play. Unlike other headphones, a BackBeat Fit Boosts boat with a full charge.

As these are a next-gen model, we figured Plantronics would have updated a Bluetooth protocol. Instead, a association stranded with Bluetooth 3.0, that is flattering old-fashioned deliberation that many stream inclination use Bluetooth 5.0. But, to my surprise, connectivity hold adult good when we was nearby my smartphone. Stepping divided from a 33-foot range, we saw small dropout. 

Bottom Line

As a fan of a strange BackBeat Fit, we get no pleasure in job a Boost Edition a letdown. Outside of a few new colors, and what demeanour to be teenager tweaks to a sound profile, it’s radically a same device as a predecessor, with identical opening issues.

Every aspect of a headphones feels compromised: a stretchable neckband with worried earpieces, impactful drum with lifeless mids and highs, and a unstable battery tote with no additional accessories (basically, earbuds). Taking all of this into account, a BackBeat Fit Boost Edition does small to clear a $160 price. But if you’re looking for a span of impossibly light, durable headphones for exercising, a Plantronics BackBeat Fit Boost headphones are an OK choice.

Credit: Regan Coule/Tom’s Guide

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