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Plantronics BackBeat Go wireless earbuds review

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Plantronics intends for its BackBeat Go to be the only headset you'll need. The wireless stereo earbuds feature an inline mic and remote buttons to take calls, skip tracks, and adjust volume. The headset works with Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

So why wireless? Not that a cable is insufferable,  but there are times when headset wires just get in the way. The onboard battery and Bluetooth magic make the housings a little larger than wired earbuds, but there is no long cable to snag or tangle.

Excellent voice quality and noise filtering deliver extremely clear calls thanks in part to digital noise reduction and echo canceling. I expected that from Plantronics as a leader in hands-free technology, but I didn't know what to expect regarding musical quality. A pleasant surprise, the BackBeat Go is competent of reproducing media. Granted it's not audiophile territory, but it should satisfy those who appreciate clarity in the mid and high-range over skull-thumping bass. They even surprised a couple of skeptical friends who had written off Bluetooth as a listening option.

Bass-junkies likely already know this headset is not a tool for massive boom, but that is not to say bass is absent from the 6mm neodymium drivers. It's just not the priority in the sound stage. I was able to coax more low-end using audio enhancing apps like MyTunes and Bongiovi DPS for iOS and Music Volume EQ for Android.

Plantronics included three sets of cushy ear-tips. Once you find the right fit, they are comfortable, and isolate obtrusive sound reasonably well. I used the headset around the office, at home, while running, and in a variety of coffee shops piping in their own music. The BackBeat Go provided adequate sound volume and isolation.

The BackBeat Go charges via micro-USB. A dedicated wall charger is included, but it also juiced-up just fine with a variety of other chargers I have including my notebook's USB port. A full two and a half hour charge should provide four and a half hours of listening and talk time.

Based on voice clarity alone, the BackBeat Go is an easy recommendation even at its near $100 price. It is by far the best headset I've used for calling - including wired sets. PCMag awarded it their Editor's Choice Award. The fact that they can render music and media at a capable level is a bonus.

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About the blogger

matthewmugMatthew Fortner has been at The News & Observer since 2002. He has a passion for gadgets, cutting-edge technology and all things geek.
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