With Bluetooth accessories getting popular, too much competition has been created in the market by both the organised as well as unorganised players. So the key to better sales is innovation and companies can do nothing more than innovating on the design and audio quality of their Bluetooth headsets. Plantronics which has always been associated with good quality Bluetooth headsets has innovated a lot with the Backbeat Go Bluetooth headset and gone full throttle with the designing and audio quality element.
Slightly bigger than average set of earplugs, the Backbeat Go offers mobility and ease of use that is unparallel to any other headset in the market at the price. But something’s here also have gone little in the opposite direction too. But how well the device performs let’s find out.
The highlighting factor about Plantronics Backbeat Go is its design. It’s great on part of the designers and the engineers who have managed to squeeze in a full fledged Bluetooth stereo headset in something little bigger than an average earplug. The Backbeat Go is an innovation that was non existent in the Indian market and we are pleased that manufacturers are looking for such devices for the Indian market too.
Its makers have done a good job in making this headset quite lightweight as well as small. The Backbeat Go features two earplugs, and a microphone/control key unit. The Backbeat Go is only available in black colour but it certainly looks good, and discrete too.
The earplug sets are connected through the newest ribbon or noodle type cable that minimises tangle. The buttons are rubberised so as to increase traction of fingers and effortless control. The ear pieces also have rubberised surface that ensures comfortable wearing.
The Plantronics Backbeat Go makes use of the Quick Pair technology that ensures that the user does not need to provide any passwords or other inputs to connect the device to the mobile phone. Although we would have loved to have a little NFC (Near Field Communication) pairing as well but the process simply takes about five seconds only.
Along with this the stereo headset also features A2DP v1.2 and AVRCP1.0 profile support to communicate with your phone for multimedia playback and control. With A2DP (Advanced 2 Way Data) and AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile), allows better control over the streaming of music via remote as well.
Along with this the headset also has a regular micro USB port, making it quite easy to charge the headset. One thing worth noticing is that the company has even replaced the metal USB connector with a plastic one to minimise weight or something else, it is not very clear though.
The device comes with an integrated battery pack that gives the device up to 4.5 hours of talk time or 4 hours worth of music playback, as per the company.
Users have to keep the power key pressed for about two seconds to bring the Backbeat Go to life while keeping the same button pressed for couple of more seconds initiates the pairing mode. The LED placed on the right side earplug will start blinking in alternates of blue and red which means the paring mode is on. Paring is sweat and stress free as there are no keys or pins for input, just connect and forget.
Once paired it reconnects each time it finds the Bluetooth of that device on without any hassles or issues. It can stay connected to two devices at a time making it easier for people with multiple devices to get hands free.
The key placement on the right hand side is good as majority of users in India are right handed. To pick a call, the centre button needs to be pressed just once and the same can be pressed again to disconnect the call. Volume rockers also acts as the rewind/forward keys. It takes a little getting used to because of their placement and you once you will figure out it will be nice and easy. Keeping the volume (+) key shuffles the songs ahead and the volume (-) key shuffles down.
The earpieces offer decent sound quality but only when they are sealed fit in the ear canals. It is very strange that the Backbeat Go somehow lacks on stability and every now and then the earplugs keep coming off. The company has included supporting arms for the earplugs to keep them snug but they offer very little help.
The overall sound quality offered by the Plantronics Backbeat Go is definitely good and there are no distortions even at full volume. The smaller 9 mm drivers do a good job but are limited to a certain volume level to protect them and the battery. You will love the music playback through this headset and the audio spectrum offered is quite vibrant.
In terms of call quality, the clarity is as good as perfect. The microphone does a good job and the integrated echo cancelling keeps the conversation clean. The receivers on the other side hear voice clean and clear.
There is no separate microphone for noise cancellation, though we feel there is some kind of software noise leveling technology to filter out voice from noise. The system works on the device to reduce ambient noise to a great extent.
At decent volume level, the Backbeat Go offers near about four hours of overall run time. The battery life is thus a bit of disappointment.
Agreed, the battery performance is a bit of a letdown, but it surely depends on the sound level you listen to. But a word of appreciation goes out to Plantronics for making an iconic product and being a style lover we would not mind a few hours of playback time over the quality, style and discreetness the Backbeat go offers.
With a price tag of Rs 4,990, the Backbeat surely is pricey but its quality says everything for the headset.