Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 – First Impressions Review
In a word – bad.
I bought this as a friend said he had heard good things. I have 4 other Plantronics Bluetooth headsets, all in active use – 3 x Backbeat 903s (1 x 903 original, 2 x 903+), and a Voyager Pro. I love them all (I have the 3 x 903s so that I am likely to have at least one to hand and fully charged, at any time, and use them for running, gym, at-home, phone, laptop – everything).
So – I unpack my Go 2 from its luscious box and put it in the pouch to charge. First black mark – it’s more like “wrestle” into the case, since it’s a tight fit and the cable is unwieldy – since it’s flat, you don’t feel you can wrap it round a finger like you might some conventional headphones.
This morning, I put them in my ears to make a call. I have “average” ear canals – usually I take in-the-ear headphones that have the mid-size ear gels fitted, and just put them straight in. But the Go 2 just didn’t feel seated…. They did go in a way, and are isolating some sound, so must have formed a seal, but don’t feel fully in.
So… Now, some music first. Since I’m used to 903’s, which hook over the ears and have moulded in-ear “channellers” to guide the sound into your ear canal, I was expecting better sound from the Go 2….
Some Daft Punk? Hmm…. Beginning is tinny, must be a “retro-tinny” intro sequence. Then it hits the main song…
Jeez! It really is tinny! It’s TERRIBLE!
I did read that the bass will be bad if they don’t form a proper seal…. But these are my normal gel sizes? Is this the best the fit is going to get?
Also, having the control on the cord is harder than having it on the earpiece – having to locate the control, then locate the correct button, is a fiddle. The 903 works well in comparison in having an over-ear part where the buttons can be placed, and are instinctively accessible.
So…. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt there for now, but I had better be able to fix it!
So – music tested, I now make a call.
Still bad! Two issues there:
Due to the sound isolation of the in-ear headphone seal, your own voice sounds muffled, which is also distracting. Most phone headsets do not isolate sound, so you’re normally used to hearing your own voice as in normal conversation.
So, not great.
And then one final disappointment. As the taxi driver next to me says something, of course, with the headphones in and isolating sound, I can’t hear him clearly. It’s evident I have isolating headphones in, so I politely take them out to speak to him. With my other Backbeats, none are isolating, so I can have a conversation without taking them off.
And a final, final disappointment as I wrestle them into the case, not bothering with the fiddly process of plugging in the case charger.
So…. So far, so bad. I’ll give them a fairer trial – try to improve the seal for better bass, go running and to the gym with them. But I can see the design being a disadvantage compared to the 903s in almost every circumstance for my use cases – which I can easily slip over my ears, leave there for hours without discomfort while using them for music, calls, podcasts, or ignoring them while chatting to someone – and then throw in my pocket without worrying that they’ll tangle on my keys.
I’ll post an update once I’ve given them a chance.