Plantronics is helping you keep fit this holiday season with the releases of two new active audio products. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 300 Series is the wireless in-ear version of the two, reimagining the general design of the Plantronics Backbeat Fit. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 500 Series is the on-ear solution for the fitness enthusiast that prefers an over-the-head headset in lieu of earbuds. Here, we take the BackBeat Fit 300 Series (BackBeat FIT 305)for a go to see how it stacks up at the gym.
The BackBeat Fit 300 Series is a behind-the-head Bluetooth headset sporting earbuds coupled with silicone anchors. The earbud tips themselves utilize an oval shape as opposed to the circular ear tips that are pretty much all over the earbud market. The cable of the headset is threaded to combat the kind of wire snagging you would otherwise encounter with rubberized wires. And of course, you have an in-line controller that handles calls, controls music track playing, manages volume, and houses the headset’s mic.
Aside from the threaded cabling, which did an awesome job at not snagging on my shirts, I loved the addition of the in-line clip. It can be used in two ways. It can either secure the headset to the back of your shirt collar or it can be clipped onto itself, as a means of corralling the wiring to keep the headset from flapping about. Couple that level of security with the soft silicone anchors that fit comfortably in your ears, and you have your self a great workout companion that stays out of your way.
While working out, nothing I did came close to dislodging the headset from my head, regardless of how sweaty I was. (And I can get pretty sweaty.) After I had a good sweat going, I gave the headset my standard how-it-holds-up-at-the-gym test, 30 burpees. After pretending that I goofed in a Spartan Race obstacle, I was happy to see that the BackBeat Fit 300 Series held up splendidly. This was tried twice, once with the clip affixed to my shirt, and once without. Thanks to those ear anchors, the headset was actually very sturdy, even without using the clip. In contrast, using the clip just made the BackBeat Fit 300 Series feel that much more secure and somewhat weightless, since the clip helped to keep the headset suspended.
As for the audio quality, the BackBeat Fit 300 Series provided a fine listening experience that presented mid and low ranges quite clearly. Spoken word and bass came across pretty well. I did notice that the highs, like the high hats and crashes on drums, came across slightly hairy on some of the songs that listened to. It was only prevalent in songs that were drum-heavy, and even then, it was on occasion. It didn’t take away too much from the listening experience and it was negligible at best during workouts.
The in-line mic worked well enough in moderately noisy scenarios, where you had to hold the mic to your face to be properly heard. That’s par for the course with headsets that aren’t communication-focused as they tend to be good enough for short conversations. Since we cover mainly gaming and lifestyle-centric headsets here, I’ll say what I always say about Plantronics. They have business-oriented headsets with spectacular noise isolation mics, should you care more about having long-winded phone calls via Bluetooth. That said, the BackBeat Fit 300 Series accommodates either short phone calls or quiet setting calls just fine.
With the BackBeat Fit 300 Series, the focus was a “good” listening experience that is comfortable, secure, and affordable. In that sense, the BackBeat Fit 300 Series is an absolute homerun. If anyone asks me this year for a workout headset suggestion, I’d suggest the BackBeat Fit 300 Series, going for a very reasonable $79.99. If you’re looking for a comfortable workout headset that stays out of your way, then the BackBeat Fit 300 Series is the first headset to check out now.
†BackBeat Fit 300 Series headset provided by Plantronics PR for review purposes.