Plantronics BackBeat Fit Review: 9.3/10 Editor’s Choice!!

Plantronics BackBeat Fit
9.3
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Plantronics makes some of the highest-rated and best performing headsets whether wired, wireless, or Bluetooth on the planet.  Plantronics has been recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association (CES) for the past seven consecutive years.  Plantronics designed the BackBeat Fit to be the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and exercise that money can buy, and in 2015, the BackBeat FIT were listed among the CES Innovation Awards Honorees.  The BackBeat Fit have been well received by both consumers and professional reviewers, but are they the best?  Are they worth the MSRP of $130?  Let’s find out.

The BackBeat Fit earbuds are connected by a flexible rubber strap and have an “over-the-ear” hook for stability and comfort.  Unlike conventional earbuds, these do not fit snuggly inside the ear canal, rather the sound is directed into the ear with silicon tips.  The BackBeat Fit are sweat proof, and the over-the-ear supports keep them firmly in place during all forms of exercise.  Users almost unanimously agree they are very comfortable.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit yellow

The Backbeat Fit come in two colors: green & black or blue & black.  A matching neoprene armband is also included for holding your smart phone during exercise or for storing the earbuds when not in use.

Controls

The BackBeat Fit has 4 buttons.  There are two large round buttons on the end of each earbud and a much smaller protruding button near the top of each ear bud.

Left Side

  • The large central button plays/pauses music when pressed once, skips to the next track when pressed twice, and goes to the previous track when held down. During calls, a single press mutes and unmutes the microphone.
  • The top button controls the volume. Press quickly to increase the volume; press and hold to decrease the volume.

Right Side

  • The large central button answers and ends calls with a single press and activates voice control with a long press. A long press will also reject an incoming call.
  • The top button turns the BackBeat Fit on and off and initiates pairing.

That’s a lot of control for only 4 buttons.  Having trouble remembering all that?  There will be a test later…if you buy the BackBeat Fit!

Plantronics BackBeat Fit controls

Features

The green or blue color strip is a reflector at night and Plantronics touts this as a safety feature (Seriously Plantronics?  A car is not going to hit me because of the reflective band on my Bluetooth earbuds???). Plantronics claims “Digital Audio EQ” will filter out background noise and optimize the quality of the audio you hear.  In practice, users generally rave about the sound quality until the ambient noise gets too high.

The BackBeat Fit will pair with and remember 8 different devices, and Plantronics offers a free app that provides firmware updates and can even help you find the BackBeat Fit if you misplace them.

Performance

The BackBeat Fit earbud design directs the sound into the ear without making a tight seal like other in-ear earbuds.  This allows you to hear your outside surroundings and have conversations with others without taking the BackBeat Fit off, but it also allows annoying outside sounds in.  Users complain the volume cannot be turned up load enough in noisy environments, but the vast majority are otherwise very pleased with the sound quality.

The battery provides 8 hours of music playback, 6 hours of talk time, and 14 days of standby time on a single charge.  When left on but outside pairing range, “DeepSleep” power-saving mode activates saving battery life (Plantronics claims for up to 6 months).  The wireless/Bluetooth range is standard at 33 feet.  Like all Bluetooth devices, this distance is reduced when barriers are placed between the headset and the audio source.

Call quality is acceptable but inferior to dedicated Bluetooth devices designed specifically for making and receiving calls.

What’s in the box

  • BackBeat Fit
  • Reversible carrying case/smartphone arm band
  • Micro-USB charge cable
From http://www.plantronics.com/

From http://www.plantronics.com/

Specifications

Listening Time
Talk Time
Standby Time
DeepSleep mode
Up to 8 hours from full charge (device dependent)
Up to 6 hours from full charge (device dependent)
Up to 14 days from full charge
Up to 180 days of battery readiness
Moisture Protection• Rugged, IP54-standard headphone design
• P2i nano-coating on headphones
Noise Reduction for Calls• MEMS microphone for voice clarity
• Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
• Full-duplex echo cancellation
Audio features for Music• 13mm neodymium speakers
• Frequency Response 50-20,000 Hz
• HQ custom SBC codec
• Total Harmonic Distortion <3%
• Sensitivity 105 dBspl/mW @ 1kHz
Wireless UpdatesFree Plantronics app enables wireless firmware upgrades
Bluetooth v3.0• A2DP for audio streaming
• AVRCP for track controls
• Headset HSP v1.2
• Hands-free HFP v1.6
• Up to 10m (33ft) range from device
• Eight-device memory
Battery WeightChargingRechargeable, non-replaceable Lithium-ion polymer
24 grams
2.5 hours (max) for a full charge. Only charge at room temperatures.

 

Customer Comments

Amazon users love the Plantronics BackBeat Fit, giving it 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 400 reviews.  They love the excellent sound quality, comfort, and durable build quality.  Runners and Crossfitters love that they stay on even during the most intense training sessions.  While the vast majority of reviews are positive, users do have some complaints.  The BackBeat Fit earbud design does not block out all ambient noise, and users complain the volume won’t go high enough in noisy environments.  Some prefer true in-ear earbuds that seal out all external noise because they produce richer, clearer music playback.  Many of the control features are awkward, and the volume button is very small and difficult to operate especially during exercise.  Finally, some users that wear glasses complain that the over-the-ear design interferes with their glasses.

Pros

  • Stay in place no matter what, period.
  • Comfortable
  • Great music playback quality
  • Plantronics engineering and quality

Cons

  • Volume and track forward/backward controls are awkward
  • Silly reflective strip makes an unnecessary fashion statement
  • Useless in loud environments

Summary

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit is one of the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and other forms of vigorous exercise.  They will stay on, and you can sweat all over them with no worries.  The earbud design allows you to hear ambient noises.  Depending on your location, this is either a great safety feature or an insufferable annoyance, so think carefully about where you plan to use the BackBeat Fit.  While not designed for audiophiles, the overall music quality is very good and the phone quality is acceptable for the occasional phone call.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Sweat proof Bluetooth wireless headphones

102.09 129.99

Plantronics makes some of the highest-rated and best performing headsets whether wired, wireless, or Bluetooth on the planet.  Plantronics has been recognized by the Consumer Electronics Association (CES) for the past seven consecutive years.  Plantronics designed the BackBeat Fit to be the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and exercise that money can buy, and in 2015, the BackBeat FIT were listed among the CES Innovation Awards Honorees.  The BackBeat Fit have been well received by both ...
9.3 Total Score
Editor's Choice!!

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit is one of the best Bluetooth earbuds for running and other forms of vigorous exercise. They will stay on, and you can sweat all over them with no worries. The earbud design allows you to hear ambient noises. Depending on your location, this is either a great safety feature or an insufferable annoyance, so think carefully about where you plan to use the BackBeat Fit. While not designed for audiophiles, the overall music quality is very good and the phone quality is acceptable for the occasional phone call.

Music Quality
9
Style, Comfort, & Fit
9.5
Stay in Ears & Handle Sweat
10
Control & Features
8
Brand Trust & Build Quality
10
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Editor's choice 2015
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