Plantronics ups wireless game with whole new range of headphones from dual-mode active noise canceling to true wireless
Plantronics have never been one to rush product updates, so it came as a surprise to us that they announced not one, not two, but a full range of five headphones, refreshing their entire BackBeat Go and BackBeat Fit lineup.
Headlining the BackBeat Fit series is the brand’s first true wireless earbuds, the BackBeat Fit 3100. The outer shell design of the BackBeat Fit 3100 looks similar to the older neckband BackBeat Fit with a circular case. The design is bolder here with a metallic iridescent finish that seems to be popular with tech devices these days.
As sports earbuds, the BackBeat Fit 3100 feature soft silicone earloops to keep them in place. They also feature an open eartips, which sits outside of your ear canal so you can still hear external noises when you’re working out in the open. From what I can remember, this eartip design was already around in the old BackBeat Fit, but Plantronics has since trademarked it and now calling it Always Aware eartips.
Audio-wise, the BackBeat Fit 3100 has a slightly larger driver 13.5mm (compared to 13mm on the old Fit) and improved lower frequency range down to 20Hz (from 50Hz before). These earbuds are IP57 rated, feature updated Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and have 5 hours of battery life plus another two charges from its charging case, taking total listening time up to 15 hours.
The BackBeat Fit 2100 is essentially the direct upgrade from the old BackBeat Fit. Its design aesthetics and technical specifications are identical to the BackBeat Fit 3100 above, which means the same 13.5mm drivers, improved frequency range, IP57, BT 5.0 and Always Aware eartips. The only difference is that the Fit 2100 is a direct upgrade to the old neckband Fit. This time around, the entire neckband is flexible silicone, so it’s more durable and easier to scrunch up into your bag or pockets. Battery life for the Fit 2100 is rated at 7 hours, with a quick charge getting you 1 hour of listening time in 15 minutes.
Plantronics has also updated the old BackBeat Fit 300/305, which is now called the BackBeat Fit 350. However, looking at the spec sheet, nothing much has changed. It has a 6mm driver, 6 hours of battery, IPX5 water-resistance rating and Blutooth 4.1. These are exactly the same specs as the Fit 300/305 before. Even the earbud design, cable and large control strip is all the same. The only difference seems to be the change from standard earbuds to an earhook design, which should help stability and fit.
The BackBeat Go range sees two new active noise canceling products: BackBeat Go 810 and BackBeat Go 410.
The BackBeat Go 810 feels like a direct update to the BackBeat Pro 2, with the most apparent improvements being improved dual-mode active noise canceling and Bluetooth 5.0. Dual-mode noise canceling allows you to adjust its strength low or high depending on how noisy the environment you’re in, while Bluetooth 5.0 should provide better wireless connectivity. Its design seems to have taken a step backwards though. While it retains the signature shape of the previous BackBeat Pro 2, the Go 810 looks cheaper in a single-color, drab plastic exterior. The old BackBeat Pro 2 had much more detailing going on in the earcups, and played on textures to give it a more professional look. It does have memory foam pads though, which should provide even more noise isolation.
The BackBeat Go 410 are neckband earbuds. Compared to the older BackBeat Go 3, the GO 410 features larger drivers (10mm vs 6mm), better battery life (8 hours with ANC, or 10 hours without vs 6.5 hours), and now supports Bluetooth 5.0. The Go 410 also comes with dual-mode ANC, whereas previous models don't feature any, so if you don’t want the bulk of over ear headphones when you travel, Plantronics now has a more portable ANC solution. The earbuds also feature a new magnetic shell, so you can clip them around your neck when you’re not listening. This will automatically shut off ANC and BT to conserve battery without having to press any buttons.
One of the more visible changes however, is that the Go 410 now uses a similar oval shaped ear tips like the Fit 300-series rather than standard round tips. It also loses the charging chase from the Go 3, and instead has a mesh bag that makes it look like it's part of the Fit series, rather than the Go series.
Here’s a quick pricing and color guide for all the new Plantronics models.
|BackBeat Fit 3100||Black and Grey||S$249||Now|
|BackBeat Fit 2100||Black, Grey, Blue and Lava Black||S$169||Nov-Dec 2018|
|BackBeat Fit 350||Black/Grey, Grey/Bone and Grey/Blue||S$139||Now|
|BackBeat Go 810||Graphite Black, Navy Blue and Bone White||S$249||Now|
|BackBeat Go 410||Graphite and Bone||S$219||Nov-Dec 2018|