Review: Plantronics BackBeat FIT Wireless Sport Headphones
I lost my iPod Nano. I am bereft. I’m pretty sure I left it in the cab after my birthday night out, as I remember not being able to find my wallet in my bag as my bag was stuffed full of presents and cards (I should probably point out this was more down to how small my bag was, not my popularity being so huge I should have taken a bin liner or two out with me with which to carry all my gifts) and I asked the driver to drive into the driveway while I rummaged around for the fare (that isn’t supposed to sound as dodgy as it does. I paid with cash, honest). So, I reckon it fell out then and, when I next got a cab two days later on Christmas Eve, I asked that cab driver how many different companies use the rank at the station and told him I thought I’d lost my iPod in a cab a couple of days previously and I thought it was a female driver, and he gave me a number to ring and said there are only three female drivers in Ashford, so it should be easy to locate. I said I won’t ring now, it’s Christmas Eve, they’ll be busy but he assured me it’d be fine. I went inside and rang the cab office and got the most unfriendly and unhelpful woman on the phone ever and she just said blah blah blah and so I remained un-iPodless and too scared to ring back another day in the hope someone nicer picked up.
Luckily, my old iPod Shuffle worked with Windows 10 (the fucker wouldn’t work with Windows 7 though which is why I had to upgrade it in the first place, meh) so, yay, I was no longer un-iPodless. BUT – and this is a really big BUT – I only had shitty crappy headphones and so along with mourning the loss of my iPod, I also had to mourn the loss of my Sennheisers.
Yeah, yeah, #firstworldproblems, I know; bear with, bear with.
Then, hurrah, like a headphoney guardian angel, Plantronics asked me if I wanted to give their BackBeat FIT wireless sport headphones a go and, as I was desperately in need of some decent headphones said YES PLEASE, OH HEADPHONEY GUARDIAN ANGEL, TA VERY MUCH.
The headphones arrived in a smart box, along with the usual instructions and micro USB charging cable. The headphones need to be charged for about two hours to get 8 hours’ listening time but you can also get an hour’s charge out of them in 15 minutes. As I had no intention of going out for an ultra-marathon (okay, I had no intention of going out for anything – I just wanted to play with my new toy), I left them to charge for the full term and then Bluetoothly connected them to my phone (an iPhone 6), which was simple enough. I then decided I wanted to connect them to my new TomTom Runner 3 which, as well as being a normal GPS running watch (along with tracking cycling, treadmill, indoor cycling, freestyle and gym), it can also store music and I hadn’t been able to test its music capabilities yet as I hadn’t had any wireless headphones. But now I did, yee ha!
But… the stupid things didn’t want to connect to my TomTom. I thought maybe it was getting confused by my phone also being in pairing distance so I disconnected my phone but they still didn’t want to connect. Just as I was about to sack them off in my usual I-cannot-be-bothered-with-this default setting, they connected and now each time I switch on my watch and my headphones, they connect instantly.
I don’t usually find wireless headphones particularly intuitive to use – I usually end up not using any of the controls because I either a) can’t find them; b) work out how to use them; or c) mess everything up and end up turning them off by mistake. Not so with the Plantronics; these are easy peasy to use and I have somehow managed to pause tracks, increase and decrease the volume, skip forwards and backwards through tracks, and turn the power off (purposely) without taking the things off and searching for the right buttons. And you even know you’ve pressed the right buttons because a voice tells you when you’ve done something (she also tells you upon powering the headphones up how much battery life you’ve got left).
So, yes, they’re easy to use – a big plus point for me, but what about sound quality? I’m by no means an audiophile but I can’t bear crappy tinny headphones and these Plantronics, as far as I’m concerned, have a great sound – sharp, clear and not tinny at all. Although these aren’t in-ear noise-cancelling headphones, the surrounding traffic sounds didn’t detract from my music at all but I’ve only tested them out on the street and haven’t tested them in the gym yet and that will be the real test for me so I’ll have to update this post another time.
I also can’t vouch for their stay-in-earability, as I’ve only used them while out walking – and although you can feel them, they’re comfy enough with their flexible neck and those over-ear things, so I can’t see there’d be any problems with them falling out but, again, I’ll have to get back to you on that. Update: I’ve now run in them (I know – a run! Shock, horror!) and they were great – they didn’t move at all and I barely knew they were there.
All in all, I’m very happy with the Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless headphones and I’ve even been using them along with my TomTom Runner 3 just to go to the supermarket, instead of using my old iPod Shuffle and crappy wired headphones.
Thanks to Plantronics for sending me the headphones to review. All opinions are my own and I was not paid for this review.