Mobile headphones come in several varieties. There are the single-ear Bluetooth devices, wired earbuds, and large, wired around-ear headsets. Plantronics is adding another dimension to the field with the BackBeat Go 2 Bluetooth earbuds, priced at $79.99.
Wireless Bluetooth Connection
The BB2 takes in-ear headsets and implements Bluetooth technology to make them tether-free from your mobile device. The two in-ear buds are connected by a short wire, with an in-line microphone, but they do not physically plug into a device. Essentially, BB2 is a wireless Bluetooth set of earbuds.
Due to the wireless design, BB2 never gets tangled up like most earbuds do. The absence of a wire leading down from your ears to the phone in your pocket means there won’t be a random snag to pull out the BB2 from your ears. This results in a surprisingly liberating sensation, especially for fans of in-ear headsets.
Pairing BB2 to my iPhone 5 was exceedingly easy. In fact, the BB2 even tells you when it is connected with voice feedback.
One of the major benefits of in-ear headsets are the noise isolation they provide. Plantronics implemented the plug-style rubber eartips for the BB2, and they succeed greatly in providing not only a snug, comfortable fit, but also in eliminating virtually all outside noise. When I had the BB2 in my ears with music being transmitted from my phone, it was near impossible to hear any sounds other than the music. It is important to note that included with the earbuds are several other rubber tips for an adjustable fit.
In order to better secure the earbuds, Plantronics incorporated clear rubber bands that are just rigid enough to stabilize and hold the earbuds in your ears. When worn correctly, these stabilizers assist in keep the earbuds in, yet do not feel like they are there. Even when jogging at a moderate pace, the BB2 never fell out of my ears, due to both the rubber tips and the clear stabilizers.
Excellent Audio and Voice Quality
When it comes to the audio quality, Plantronics managed to pack a ton of sound into these compact earbuds. Music shines through the 6mm speakers with rich tones, and surprisingly deep bass. The BB2 is comparable in sound quality with pricier around-ear headphones, and puts the standard Apple iPhone headphones to shame.
Voice quality from the in-line microphone is good, and none of the people I spoke with noticed any static or a decrease in volume from my end. The mic has three buttons – the top and bottom buttons control volume, and the middle button can answer and end calls (it can also be used to activate Siri on iOS devices). Each of the buttons are physically easy to distinguish without looking at them, and they all have the right amount of tactile resistance when depressing them.
A short battery life is always at issue when dealing with Bluetooth audio devices. The BB2 unfortunately shares in this deficiency. You won’t be able to listen to music through them all day long; the BB2 will have to be charged after just 4.5 hours of use (5 hours, if only used for phone calls). When comparing other Bluetooth earpieces and headphones on the market, this battery life comes up a bit short.
On iPhone and Android devices, a battery life meter on the mobile device indicates what the BB2 battery level is at, and when the battery starts to run low, a voice alert will notify you through the earbuds.
Charging the BB2 is simply done by plugging the supplied USB cable into a port cleverly hidden behind one of the earbuds. A bright LED light indicates when the BB2 is charging.
Plantronics offers a handy, portable charging case that can keep the BB2 charged while storing it, but it is not sold separately, and must be purchased as a bundle with the BB2. The BB2 with Charging Case only costs $20 more than the BB2 unit without the case.
Plantronics has designed a fantastic headset in the BackBeat Go 2. They are lightweight, portable, and best of all, they deliver premium audio quality. Battery life is certainly shorter than average, so purchasing the BB2 with the Charging Case accessory is highly recommended.
Overall, the BB2 is a stellar headset that succeeds in portability, ease of use, and most importantly, superb sound quality.
Click here to purchase the Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 with Charging Case. The BB2 is available in black or white.
This review is based on a sample unit provided by the manufacturer.