Sunday, June 23, 2024
EarphonesReviewsTravel light

REVIEWED: Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones

New colours including ‘stealth green’ gives these flexible, tangle-free earphones a new lease of life

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They’re waterproof, and they’re hugely flexible (seriously, they’re virtually unbreakable!), but until recently the Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones were available only in a range of garish colours. Ostensibly for using in the gym or while running, and not specifically designed for travel, since they’re so lightweight we thought we’d give them a try. They use the latest Bluetooth spec so smoothly, and since they refuse to tangle, these pocket-sized earphones – which weigh a mere 22g – are a great idea for long trips.

Colour craze

Now available more muted ‘power blue’, ‘sport grey’,’fit fuchsia’ and ‘stealth green’ (our review sample) as well as in the original lime green and blue, there are no choice of ear-tips, and the Fit locks into ears using a hook that clasps around the ear. It sounds uncomfortable and unlikely to work for all kinds of ears, but in our tests that wasn’t the case – everyone who tried them on at TravGear Towers thought them comfy.

Secure fit

Thankfully, they don’t fall out of the ear even when you’re in the gym or running, which is pretty unusual. There’s a bit of give in the silicon design, and despite that hook being on the big side, it only came out once during our review.

Lacks volume

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones are not as loud as they could be. Nor are sonics the finest we’ve ever heard, though there’s enough bass and mid-range for general use. The app that can be downloaded to a phone doesn’t allow any tweaks to the audio parameters. It’s just for firmware updates.

Voice prompts

Are the Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones connected to your phone? Is there any battery left? These and other questions are answered with prompts by a female voice in your ear as soon as you don the earphones. In our tests the battery lasted for about three 45-minute sessions over three days, which isn’t great; it might be wise to travel with a battery pack and a microUSB cable if you’re going long-haul. But they are great in the gym.

Lightweight design

However, since there’s no bulky battery pack on the earphones’ chassis, we kinda knew all that. Since it’s such a great, slimline design, that short battery life is forgivable. Crucially, you can lean back on an airline seat without ever being uncomfortable. Best of all is that the Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones can be scrunched-up without getting tangled, and bounce back into shape. These great value earphones performed well on the road and, aside from that short battery life, come highly recommended.

Price as reviewed: £109.99

Buy the Plantronics BackBeat Fit earphones