When Plantronics introduced its BackBeat GO wireless in-ear headphones last year, the company was praised for the device’s lightweight design but criticized for a battery life of only 4.5 hours.
With its newer model, the BackBeat GO 2, Plantronics addressed the battery life issue by adding a travel case that doubles as a charger. The company says listening time for the earbuds is still about 4.5 hours, but a fully charged case can triple that. Users get a voice alert when the earbuds’ charge is low.
The BackBeat Go 2 costs $80, and the case is another $20, which isn’t bad for Bluetooth-connected earbuds. They tuck nicely inside the case, which comes with a detachable USB charging cable. The earbuds also come with three sets of ear tips and a stabilizer to improve the fit and comfort. Plantronics also added a liquid repellent, P2i, that makes the earbuds handy for active, sweaty workouts.
The improvements are welcome, but the earbuds still need a little work. The flat cord that connects the ear buds is intended to loop around the back of your neck, but it kept getting caught on my collar and dragging on my neck. The buttons on the inline remote are tiny and face right instead of forward, making the controls difficult to manipulate. I chose to wear the cord dangling in front of me, which made the remote easier to reach.
I had a little trouble with the fit as well, but this will vary among users. Once I had a proper seal, the stabilizers helped keep the earbuds in place.
The biggest drawback, however, was the sound quality. Everything I listened to was flat and listless. And phone calls were worse, sounding distant and choppy, as if I were calling on a walkie-talkie.
Plantronics has a great concept here, but a little more time needs to be spent on development before the 3.0 version is ready.
See our complete range of Plantronics Headsets here http://www.simplyheadsets.com.au/brands/plantronics.html