The BackBeat GO 3 houses a nice collection of features. Some of those features are standard ones that you would expect and there are others that you don’t, but appreciate nevertheless.
On the standard front, you have a basic media controller that handles: Play, Pause, Previous Track, Next Track, and Volume. The play/pause button in the center doubles as a phone call handler by answering and hanging up on calls. When music is playing, you press the “plus” button to raise the volume and the “minus” to lower it. Pressing and holding those buttons however, move to the next and previous tracks respectively. These controls are very easy to pick up and become second-nature fairly quickly.
A now standard in the BackBeat line is the audio spoken queues that are also present in the BackBeat GO 3. In response to your button presses, a voice will announce useful feedback such as: “Power On”, “Power Off”, “Headset Connected”, “Previous Track”, “Next Track”, and “Listen Time ‘x’ Hours”. Getting a read on your battery life on a device with no real room for visual indicators is very handy. The “Listen Time ‘x’ Hours” announcement is triggered by turning on the headset or pressing the plus or minus buttons with no music playing. For a device meant for being on the go, it’s great to have a clearer estimate on your power level before you head out.
I have used other Bluetooth ear buds that only informed me of “low battery” right after I left my house, beyond the point of return in my travels. This annoying inconvenience is nicely avoided with the BackBeat GO 3. What I did find to be mildly annoying was surprisingly the “Previous Track” and “Next Track” announcements. Music track movement is traditionally indicated with beeps or tones. While these spoken announcements are nice, they speak over 2-3 seconds of the track that is currently playing.
Now this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in annoyances as the free Plantronics PLT Hub mobile app is designed to give you the power of customizing or eliminating these announcements on newer Plantronics devices. However, while I was reviewing the BackBeat GO 3, the expected update to the app to allow for BackBeat GO 3 support was not released yet. I’ll be sure to double-back to this review once the PLT Hub support for the BackBeat GO 3 goes live. I can only assume that when it does, I can at least confirm that announcements you rather not receive with the BackBeat GO 3 can be properly disabled.
The included charging case was an unexpected delight. The case has a denim-like feel with a soft interior that houses the internal charging cable for the headset. The opening naturally and tightly snaps shut keeping your headset safe and secure. From what I gauged, it can hold roughly 2.6 full charges of the BackBeat GO 3 before the case battery itself needs to be charged. That last “0.6” charge gave me about 4 hours of listening time, which is not half bad at all.
What I especially liked about the case is the interface. This nice little touch-activated indicator tells you how much power is currently in both the case ‘s battery and the BackBeat GO 3, when it’s plugged in.
Overall the BackBeat GO 3 has an impressive set of features that anyone would appreciate. I can only speculate that those features will dazzle even more once the BackBeat GO 3 is supported by the PLT Hub app for Android and iOS. Only time will tell..