Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Plantronics BackBeat Go Bluetooth Earphones reports: [edited]

The featherweight BackBeat Go is a stereo Bluetooth headset equally adept at voice calls, listening to music or podcasts, and watching movies without disturbing anyone nearby. In fact, it's the best stereo Bluetooth headset we've ever used for phone calls, period.

The BackBeat Go weighs just 13 grammes. The plastic earbud housings have a curved shape, with a rubber cover over the micro USB charging port on the right earbud. The rubber tips are of a very soft material. Plantronics includes three sets in the package, each of a different size, plus a set of optional looped stabilisers to further anchor each one in place when fitted to your ear.

The tiny cable connecting the two earbuds is of a tangle-free design, and is designed to sit behind your neck. It's made of a rubberized soft touch material that's comfortable, and in practice it disappears from view and doesn't interfere with modest neck movements. .

The BackBeat Go features a pair of 6mm neodymium drivers. Audio quality is good, but not great, when listening to music. The BackBeat Go is highly sensitive to getting exactly the right seal in your ear in order to deliver sufficiently weighty bass response. That's true of all in-ear earphones, but what makes the BackBeat Go more difficult is that you can insert them in your ears 10 times, and end up with 10 slightly different frequency response curves.

The high-end is another story. I've yet to hear as smooth a treble range over stereo Bluetooth as I do here. The BackBeat Go is unusually delicate, with little of the obvious harshness and warbling you get with other Bluetooth headsets. There's a trace of it, as you can't fully escape the limitations of the Bluetooth codec, but it's not at all bad.

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