For different people there are different priorities when it comes to wireless headphones, but the two at the top of my list are comfort and sound quality, which the new BackBeat SENSE Headphones from Plantronics knocked out of the park.
I’ve been testing the headphones for a while to make sure one good day of usage wasn’t a fluke and I wouldn’t find some weird fault or annoyance after a couple of weeks. Almost from top to bottom these are a fantastic pair of headphones, with some improvements that I haven’t previously seen on the market.
For Bluetooth wireless devices, the first question many people will ask is, “How far can I walk away before it craps out?” Good question, average user. The answer is usually something not too impressive. But how would you feel if someone says, “You can walk end zone to end zone on a regulation football field.” Yep, 330 feet/100 meters away (in line of sight) before you begin to lose signal.
These headphones also clock an amazing 18 hours of playing time, plus the option to plug them in and keep the tunes going. If you’re listening to music for 18 hours straight, seriously, take a nap or something.
As I’ve mentioned in previous headphone reviews, I am gifted with ears that flare out as if they are searching for something, so the comfort of the ear pads is crucial since I will normally get ear fatigue within the first hour of wearing any over-ear headset. These are softer than anything I’ve tried before. Part of it may be that the ear pads are not holed out as you find in the common design. Instead they are fully covered with a soft memory foam ring and fabric sewn over the whole pad.
This little tweak in design not only increases comfort, but reportedly helps with passive noise cancellation and bass resonance.
Another feature I was not expecting was multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, so you can pair with your desktop and your phone, or your phone and your car, at the same time. No more un-pairing and re-pairing from device to device. It’s the little things like that that make me so happy.
The packaging presents the headphones like a gift. Stylish box, decorative tissue paper inside. Plantronics really wants it to feel like the BackBeat SENSE Headphones are a real treat for each and every owner, even sending them out charged, so you don’t spend your first evening after purchase just staring at them plugged into the wall.
The BackBeat SENSE Headphones are a cut above the competitors in their price range (currently at $180) and their comfort is so good you might even forget you’re wearing them.