Plantronics just announced not one, but five new headphones in Singapore today. 3 of them are for the fitness fanatics, while the other 2 are lifestyle headphones for the casual music listeners. The video below is a summary of the event.
I will be creating such videos a lot more in the future. Hope you like my first attempt at creating tech related videos. For those of you that love my written reviews, no need to worry as I have no intention to stop writing them, at least not in the near future.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100
The star of the event was BackBeat Fit 3100, Plantronics’s answer to AirPods and other truly wireless earphones. It is available in stores right now for S$249, which is a little pricey, but it does offer quite a bit of features to justify the price.
Unlike the other truly wireless earphones, most of which have tiny pod-like designs, the 3100 has a ear loop design that allows it to stay on your ears securely. While it takes a bit of effort to put these on, you will have a hard time shaking them off your ears.
Due to the design of the ear tips, they do not stick deep into your ear canals, theoretically allowing for comfortable usage for long periods. While I was only able to test it for a while, I would say they are pretty comfortable inside the ears.
Instead of blocking off noise from outside, the 3100 lets them in instead, a feature known as Always Aware. Plantronics says that this allows you to exercise safer, by making sure that you are aware of your surroundings even while enjoying music.
Perspire a lot? No worries. The 3100 is rated IP57 water & dust resistant, which means that it will survive being submerged in water up to 1m deep for 30 minutes. At the event, Plantronics demoed it by casually dropping it into a glass of water.
From the limited time I had with it, it sounded pretty good. But as you may expect, it is nowhere as impressive as similarly priced cabled earphones. (You are paying for the tech required to make it truly wireless after all.) It is a little on the quiet side though.
Plantronics claims that the BackBeat FIT 3100 has a 5h battery life and the charging case gives it an additional 10h. To charge, you will have to hold the button on the case for 2s, which is pretty troublesome. If only the case could detect the earphones…
Another thing I hope that Plantronics would add is automatic power on when removing the earphones from the case. Right now, you have to hold down on the power button to turn it on. Speaking of the case, I do like its design a lot.
Lastly, speaking of button, it has a feature called My Tap where you can customize it to do various tasks in the BackBeat app.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit 2100
BackBeat Fit 2100 looks a lot like the 3100, except that there is a wire connecting the two earphones. It may not look as cool, but it is a lot more affordable and has many of the features that the 3100 has, like the IP57 rating and Always Aware.
I was able to test it for a while at the event and the sound it produces is pleasant and louder than the 3100. It sits securely on your ears yet remain comfortable like the 3100, the only difference is that you can feel a cable at the back of your head.
It will only hit stores at the end of the year (some time in Nov/Dec), available in 4 colors with a price tag of S$169.
Plantronics BackBeat 350
The last workout-oriented headphones launched at Plantronics’s Be Boundless event is the BackBeat 350, which is super light at only 15g. It has the fewest features of the 3 and is only rated IPX5, but it is also the most affordable, available right now for S$139.
Plantronics BackBeat GO 410
Moving on to the lifestyle headphones. First we have the BackBeat GO 410, a pair of wireless in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation. I was unfortunately unable to test this, so I can’t comment on how well the active noise cancellation works.
One thing cool about the 410 is that there are magnet sensors built into the earbuds so when they come together, it will stop the music and turn off ANC, conserving battery. Battery life is claimed to be 8h with ANC and 10h without ANC.
BackBeat GO 410 will only hit stores some time near the end of the year and will be priced at S$219.
Plantronics BackBeat GO 810
Lastly, we have my favorite new product from Plantronics, the BackBeat GO 810. Unlike all the other 4 headphones above, which are all in ear, this one is over-ear. It is super light and the ear pads are super soft, making it really comfortable to wear.
Like the 410, the 810 has active noise cancellation. I did get to test the 810 out and it did a decent job at blocking out noise, but there are two modes of ANC and I am not sure which I tested, so I will not comment on how good its ANC is until I get my hands on one.
From the short listening session I had, it seems like Plantronics is going for a more balanced sound. So sorry bassheads, this product ain’t for you. That said, the bass it produces still has some depth to it, good enough for movie consumption in my opinion.
Plantronics claims that the BackBeat Go 810 can last 28h on a single charge without ANC and 22h with ANC enabled. Tempted to get one? You can purchase it right now for S$249.
Conclusion – True Workout Headphones
Huge thanks to Plantronics for inviting me to the launch event. From the 5 new products, we can see that Plantronics is really trying to create the best headphones for their target audience, instead of just following the latest trends in the industry.
Are you interested in any of the 5 new products that Plantronics just unveiled? Which one would you like to know more about? Leave a reply below with the name of the product and I will try to borrow one from Plantronics to review here.