I remember when I first received the BackBeat Pro – I thought it was a little bulky, and I would have never really thought of a Plantronics for my everyday use. Sure, the brand’s been an industry mainstay when it comes to corporate use, but it wasn’t exactly trendy. Then I tried it and I was blown away – from the sound quality to the intuitive placement of the controls. Now Plantronics have followed up with the BackBeat Pro 2, and it’s definitely an upgrade.
The new Plantronics BackBeat PRO2 wireless headphones retain the general look of the BackBeat Pro, but it is noticeably slimmer and sleeker than its older brother. The BackBeat Pro 2 is about 35% smaller in size and 15% lighter. The ear-cups have also taken on a more oval shape than the previous round ones. The BackBeat Pro’s size was it’s biggest issue in my opinion, but it made up for it in terms of quality and comfort. While the new entry is definitely smaller and lighter, it still isn’t the easiest headset to chuck in your bag – even when you fold the ear-cups flat. Also, while comfortable, I found the round ear-cups more to my liking.
That being said, I simply love the balanced sound that the Pro 2 produces. Starting off with the Foo Fighters and switching to Kaleo, the Highs, Mids and Lows were reproduced very well. Although the bass does tend to flat out if your music is extremely bass-driven, anything else performed really well. The sound is equally good when paired to watch video.
One of my biggest peeves when watching video with a Bluetooth headsets is the voice sync. I simply hate it when the audio and video don’t sync up. The BackBeat Pro 2 though does it perfectly well whether it’s via VLC player on my iPad, or on Netflix. While some have mentioned that they’ve experienced issues where the headset drops the Bluetooth connection, I”m happy to say that I’ve never experienced it and the connection remains solid as I walk around the house with the iPhone 7 on the coffee table.
The BabckBeat Pro 2 also retains the Smart Sensors that automatically pause or resume your music as you remove or put on your headphones keeping your music or video just where you need it when you return. It also features multi-device connectivity that allows you to connect up to two devices simultaneously and easily switch between your smartphone and tablet for music, movies and calls.
I was extremely impressed by the call quality and microphone pickups. Callers on the other line had no idea that I was on a headset and not holding my phone to the ear. That’s a big plus in my book as it allows you to just get back to your music without having to fish your phone out of your pocket.
One of things that I liked most about the original BackBeat Pro was the intuitive layout of it’s controls. Hard plastic switches and dials felt solid and at easy fingers reach if you needed to change tracks, adjust volume or take a call. However, while it was extremely functional and practical, some might have been turned off by its look. The new BackBeat Pro 2 retains most of it’s layout, but the dials have taken an aesthetic overhaul and it looks much sleeker while retaining most of it’s layout.
Finally, the BackBeat Pro 2 certainly goes the distance with a battery that just doesn’t seem to stop. A full charge lasted me several episodes of the Blacklist (I’m binge watching), hours of music and then on standby overnight and it was still only at medium. If only my iPad and iPhone could keep up, i’d be set.
A great Bluetooth headset that performs very well in most instances, the BackBeat Pro 2 is a headset for just about anyone. The BackBeat PRO 2 is available in Black and Tan at authorized Plantronics retailers for SGD 319. A special edition BackBeat PRO 2 SE with NFC pairing, more premium finishes and a hard travel case will also be available in Graphite Grey at authorized Plantronics retailers for SGD 379.