Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 wireless earbuds
Decent quality sound for a reasonable price, but we still long for better bass
- Improved audio quality
- Inline controls provide much better tactility
- Charging case is a nice extra
- Battery life could be better
- Lack of bass
- Fit won't suit all users
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 earbuds produce decent quality sound for a reasonable price and are a big improvement over the original model. However, we still long for improved battery life and better quality bass.
Price$ 99.99 (AUD)
Plantronics is aiming to be a market leader in wireless earbuds with the BackBeat Go 2, and the second generation model is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The BackBeat Go 2 earbuds produce decent quality sound for a reasonable price, but we still long for improved battery life and better quality bass.
What wireless earbuds should look like
The BackBeat Go 2 are wireless, stereo earbuds designed primarily for use with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. The original BackBeat Go headphones were one of the first wireless earbud products on the market and more than a year later, the second generation model is here.
A new moisture-proof coating claims to guard against sweat.
The BackBeat Go 2 headphones look very similar to the original model, featuring the same two earbuds connected by a single, flat wire with an in-line microphone and music playback controls. The flat wire doesn't tangle and is designed to sit around the back of your neck. The design makes the BackBeat Go 2 ideal for physical activity, such as jogging, or working out in the gym.
While the look remains similar, Plantronics says the BackBeat 2 Go headphones include a new moisture-proof coating to guard against sweat. We tested the headphones for over three weeks and they didn't skip a beat.
The BackBeat Go 2 is available in black and white colour variants. We reviewed the black model, and the two-tone colour scheme of gloss black for the sides of the earbuds, and grey for the back provides a nice contrast.
We found the seal wasn't always stable during exercise.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 headphones are relatively comfortable, but the earbuds themselves are larger than most ordinary headphones. This means some users may struggle to find a solid fit. The inclusion of in-ear stabilisers that sit inside your ear do a decent job of holding the BackBeat Go 2 in, but we found the seal wasn't always stable during exercise, particularly when we used the headphones while jogging. Plantronics includes small, medium and large silicone tips in the sales package that should fit most ears.
The most welcome improvement to the design of the BackBeat Go 2 is the in-line playback controls. The volume up, volume down and play/pause/answer/end button provide far better tactility, and the use of hard plastic instead of soft rubber of its predecessor makes them much easier to press.
Multipoint Bluetooth, improved sound quality
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 has multi-point Bluetooth, so it can pair and remember up to eight devices. Bluetooth setup is as simple as any similar device, and the slightly larger LED on the side of the right earbud makes it easy to see the status of the Bluetooth connection.
Voice prompts are a simple but effective way to add a little more to the user experience.
A new feature to the BackBeat Go 2 is the inclusion of voice prompts to alert users about charge remaining, battery life, and what device is paired. The alerts are very basic, mostly two word prompts including "headset connected", "power off", "power on", "connection switched", and "battery level medium'. They are a simple but effective way to add a little more to the overall user experience.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 is definitely an improvement over its predecessor when it comes to sound quality. It is noticeably louder in volume and produces full and clear sound quality that usually doesn't drown out the vocal track. The sound also doesn't distort even when volume is high, though best results are achieved by keeping volume levels around 80 per cent.
Like the original model, the BackBeat Go 2 offers weak bass response. This is particularly apparent in the house and electro genre, with the earbuds not able to produce the thumping bounce sound the artists intended.
The BackBeat Go 2 doesn't fare too well for Bluetooth audio calls.
Disappointingly, the BackBeat Go 2 doesn't fare too well for Bluetooth audio calls. It's perfectly fine in a quiet room, but it picks up too much ambient noise outdoors. It's particularly poor when walking in a street with even light traffic noise. Given Plantronics' heritage in Bluetooth phone audio products, this is a big letdown.
The BackBeat Go 2 has the same battery life as its predecessor, rated at up to 4.5 hours of playback time by Plantronics. It lasted around four hours during our tests before requiring a recharge. However, the inclusion of a "DeepSleep" hibernation feature that keeps battery power preserved for up to six months between charges is a nice touch, as is the optional charging and storage case.
The latter is a $129.99 option ($30 more than the standalone earbuds) and bundles a case with a built-in battery that increases listening and talk time by two full charges, or approximately 10 hours. The case is then charged via a standard micro-USB connection on the bottom. Charging the case while the headphones are plugged in is a nice way of ensuring you shouldn't be left without power.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 wireless earbuds are available now through JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Apple Stores, Telstra stores, Vodafone stores and other authorised retailers across Australia for $99.99, or $129.99 with the charging case accessory.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Apple's AirPods could deliver audio with multiple wireless protocols
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Astro A38 review: A staggering price to pay for convenience
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCData Engineer (Java/ Data/ Big Data Developer)VIC
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - Technical BackgroundQLD
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- FTData Conversion LeadNSW
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- TPOrganisational Change ManagerQLD
- TPInformation Security OfficerACT
- CCSenior Infrastructure EngineerNSW
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW