Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series Wireless Headset Review
Sound, Performance and Final Thoughts
Given the approachable price point of the BackBeat 500 Series headset, I was ready to apply some leniency to the sound quality. Luckily, that wasn’t necessary as the BackBeat 500 Series produced a full and pleasurable sound experience with a nice bass presence. The sound presentation definitely felt as if it leaned towards the bass, but not too much at the expense of mid and high range sounds like vocals and percussion. Sound was clear and enjoyable with each of the various ranges coming across quite well.
Audio queues did well at advising us on the various battery levels of the headset at the time, whether it be low, medium or high. You won’t have to worry too much about that since the BackBeat 500 Series lived up to its touted battery life of 18 hours. Starting a Monday on a full charge, I wore the BackBeat 500 Series on 30 minute trips to work and home and about 3 to 4 hours of listening throughout the work day. While the headset informs you generally about its battery level every time you turn it on, it didn’t actually complain about low battery until mid-Thursday, with the above usage. Not bad at all.
Call-handling worked pretty well. Just press the button on the bottom of the right ear cup to pick up an incoming call, and press it again to hang up. The BackBeat 500 Series’ mic projected my voice well to callers on the other end, while being susceptible to picking up wind or loud passers-by. At the very least, a long calls in the office or short calls outdoors were well-accommodated by the BackBeat 500 Series. As with all headsets, just mind your surroundings when it comes to ensuring that others can hear you. Even though Plantronics excels at developing telecommunication headsets with hi-end mics, the focus here with the BackBeat 500 Series resided in audio enjoyment.
On the unique use case front, I will say that the tight grip and the specific color of our review unit teased me into bringing the BackBeat 500 Series to the gym. While I must stress that they aren’t designed for such activity, they did well to hold up and hang onto my head during the bulk of my workout. It wasn’t until close to the end of my work out that they started to slide off thanks to my excessive sweat and hairless head. Although, I’m sure you’ll still be fine with the BackBeat 500 Series if you’re just jogging, weight-training or if you simply have more hair than me.
In the end, the Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series headset is a great buy for anyone looking for a Bluetooth headset under $100, especially for those looking for something that’s not a pair earbuds. I still like the Backbeat GO 3 for that role after all. However the BackBeat 500 Series is still a great on-ear option that performs well, has great battery life, and is easy to use. The grip tension may take some getting used to or at least some breaking-in to alleviate. However, it makes up for it with the nice sound quality you get for only $79.99.
You can check out the Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series for yourself here.
† Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series headset provided by Plantronics PR for review.