Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 wireless earbuds

Decent quality sound for a reasonable price, but we still long for better bass

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User Reviews:

Innes

4.0

1

Pros
Excellent value; they sound great, and they just work!
Cons
The earphones cannot be used whilst being charged
• • •

I am definitely not an audiophile (copper or gold cables; who cares?), but I do like good-quality, comfortable earbuds; that's what the BackBeat Go 2 offers.

The earphones charge quickly; about 20 minutes provides an hour of listening, but there's no excuse to let the battery go completely flat; if you're not using them, connect them to the charging pouch, and they'll charge up on-the-go. Of course, you need to keep the charging pouch charged! No mains charger is provided; just a USB cable. I'm happy with the lack of mains charger; I'd rather not pay extra for something I don't need! Once you have fully charged the earbuds and (optional) pouch, you have over 10 hours of listening. The earbuds can play audio for around 4.5 hours, but note that you cannot listen to them whilst charging; there'll be some 'down time' whilst you refuel! It would be great if this issue could be resolved; that accounts for one half of the star I knocked off my rating!

Due to the nature of my job, I can wear my BackBeats whilst I work, and in a quiet office environment, they work well for hands-free phone-calls, easily switching between listening to audio and making / receiving calls without touching the phone (tip: give your regular callers unique ringtones, so you know who's calling without looking at your phone); the in-line controls enable calls to be picked-up, and with the iPhone, a 'medium-length' press on the 'play' button invokes Siri (sorry, I don't know how hands-free calling works on Android devices). However, in a noisy environment (such as in the street), the in-line microphone is useless. I have found that it is nearly always the case that the person I am speaking to cannot hear me due to background noise. I assume that there is no noise-cancellation and, although I wouldn't expect such a feature at this price, I would expect the in-line microphone to be partially useful when outdoors; it's not! If you will regularly need to make calls when outdoors, or in a noisy environment, then these earbuds may not be suitable for you. That accounts for the loss of another half star in my rating.

Finally, when you first see these earbuds, they look quite large (almost scarily large; how are they going to fit in an ear canal?). However, I find that they fit very nicely, are comfortable, and I certainly don't think about them when they're in use. The body of each earbud has to be large enough to contain a battery and a Bluetooth transceiver, so the size is not unreasonable; certainly no larger than any other wireless earbud I have seen.

I'm extraordinarily careful with my money; my last set of wired earbuds cost about $25, and they lasted for about 5 years. $130 for the BackBeat Go 2 earbuds with the charging pouch is a lot of money for me to part with for listening to music, and I suppose the ultimate test is, would I buy another pair if I lost or damaged my current set? The answer is yes, so they must be good!

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