We are fans of Plantronics’ BackBeat PRO+, their top tier multi-purpose headset delivering the highest quality of sound Plantronics can muster and carrying more functions than you count. Ok, you can probably count the functions. However, you were most likely worried about counting the amount of dollars you would have to shell out to get this fancy and effective piece of equipment. A $300 price point may be a high mountain to climb for many. Fortunately, you don’t have to climb that far any more. Enter the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2, a re-engineered causal-listing flagship headset with a new build and friendlier price point of $200. Let’s dive into the BackBeat PRO 2 to see if this revisited wireless headset clears the high bar that previous BackBeat PRO’s have set.
Comfort, Build and Features
Plantronics read reviews and consumer comments of the BackBeat PRO and BackBeat PRO+ to see where improvements could be made. This resulted in a simpler build and a smaller footprint without dropping any functionality. What comes in contact with your head are leatherette cushion ear cups with a sort of padded suede-like mesh skin on the headband. While still an over-ear and closed-back headset, the BackBeat PRO 2’s now narrower oval-like ear cups take up less space. The headset itself is also lighter, coming in at 1.2 lbs.
The BackBeat PRO2 is now even more pleasing to the eyes, taking up less space on your head and featuring a warm brown and black color scheme. More importantly, it’s even more comfortable than the already easy-to-wear BackBeat PRO, sporting a lighter frame. The BackBeat PRO 2 is a dream to wear for those longer durations. I wore the BackBeat PRO 2 for full work days for about a week, noticing a negligible amount of fatigue once it hit 5PM every day. Not bad for about an 8-hour session a day of constant listening.
That experience was further enhanced by the passive sound isolation of the ear cups. Any potential leaking-in of conversations around me was effectively muffled, allowing me to enjoy my music without even having to use the Active Noise Cancelation, at times. With such a great wearing and listening experience, the BackBeat PRO 2 pleases both the wearer with its comfort and passers-by with its revamped look.
The control and button layout here is actually more intuitive than with the preceding BackBeat PRO units. The previous generations of BackBeat PRO’s still had sensible controls but with a slightly steeper learning curve since the controls appeared identical on each ear cup. “Does this dial switch tracks or does it increase volume? Does this big button mute my mice on calls or does it hang up?” After some goofs with the previous BackBeat PRO’s, you would soon get the hang of it once muscle memory inevitably took over.
Now, with the BackBeat PRO 2, the controls for the headset were separated into three sets: mic control, media control and phone call handling. On the side of the left ear cup existed all of the media controls: play/pause, forward track, back track, and a sort of rotary wheel for the volume. On the right side you have one big button which handled the answering and terminating of calls as well as a small mic mute button along the back. Along the back of the left ear cup you have a 3-position switch which toggled between Active Noise Cancelation, Open Mic, and a sort of neutral.
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