341 of 377 people found the following review helpful
I've reviewed a number of corded over-the-ear and in-ear headphones over the last few months, and I've discovered what good headphones are capable of. I've always found Bluetooth headphones to be inferior. While the Plantroics BackBeat Go 2 headphones don't alter my overall assessment, they do an admirable job. For comparison, I've tried previous units from Motorola, Jabra, Lg, and BlueAnt, but I put this new offering from Plantroics at the top of the list.
Before we get into the sound quality, I have a few thoughts on the design. For in-ear headphones, these are on the large size; however, you can't compare them to corded models. In addition to the speaker drivers, these also house the battery and charging connection (on the right headphone). The chord is a flat linguine-style that is common on better-made in-ear headphones to prevent tangles. My only complaint on the chord is that it is somewhat stiff. As a result, it rests where it will at whatever angle. The benefit of the design is durability, and thus, it is a tradeoff. The mic/remote control functioned fully as expected with my HTC Rezound running Android 4.0. However, I found that it would catch on my collar when I moved my head from side to side. This is actually a common complaint I have even for corded headphones, and it is not unique to the BackBeat Go 2. Finally, let's consider the case. It has an interesting concept in that you can charge the case too. What? That's right. The case actually has a battery along the bottom, and a micro-usb charging cable on the inside that you can use for on the go charging. It works OK, but in my tests it did not have enough to fully charge the headphones. The presence of the rechargeable battery also makes for a tight fit for the headphones. I would prefer a regular well-made case that is sufficiently sized to hold the headphones (If you've ever owned anything from Monster, you know what I'm getting at).
That's great, but how's the sound quality? As far as Bluetooth headphones go, it is pretty good. They don't sound all that great right out of the box, but I found that they opened up after a few hours use. I put them through the paces, and I used the subset of songs below for specific evaluation. Bass is always somewhat controversial, and there's nothing new with these headphones. I found the bass to be prominent but not overly emphasized. The Delerium song was a good test as it has a strong bass line with melodic vocals and other instruments. The balance was satisfying to me. I was surprised by the level of detail and clarity although it is not quite audiophile quality. I noticed the edges between instruments/electronics to be slightly blurred on "Automatic Systematic Habit". This song is a great test for headphones because it defines "busy" music. I also like to throw the opposite at headphones with the Chris Cornell solo acoustic song. His vocals and guitar came through well although it wasn't quite "like being there" as it is on higher end headphones. Classical music also comes through well on these headphones. I didn't find anything that gave me pause across various genres. For reference, I would say that these headphones sounded better than the Monster NCredible NErgy but not as good as the Monster DNA.
Battery life was between four and four and a half hours which is consistent with what Plantronics advertises. I did find that about two hours was enough for ear fatigue to start setting in. These are bigger and heavier than traditional corded headphones.
In the end, it comes down to this: do you want to be plugged in to your device with your headphones? Although it is not my scenario, active use (which these are designed for) would suggest yes. The sound quality is not as good as the Monster iSport Victory, but without the battery case, they are almost half the price. Active users looking to connect to their iPhone or Android device during exercise should find these a satisfying choice.
K'Naan - "ABCs" (bass)
Delerium - "Chrysalis Heart" (bass)
Guns `N Roses - "Chinese Democracy" (clarity)
Evanescence - "End Of The Dream" (detail)
Garbage - "Automatic Systematic Habit" (detail)
Chris Cornell - "As Hope And Promise Fade" (clarity)
Debussy - "La Mer - Trois Esquisses Symphoniques" (classical)
86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
Even so I have reviewed a lot of wireless and wired headphones in the last few months, once Plantronics announced an update to their original BackBeat Go earbuds, these became one of my most anticipated gadget for review. Plantronics doesn't need any special introduction since this company name became synonymous with quality wireless headsets for personal and business use. With that in mind, I wanted to see how it will translate into active style design with new improvements introduced in Go 2 model. So let's check it out.
I always like to start with a package since it sets a tone for the review. I was very impressed with presentation and especially a fact that Plantronics used all recyclable material with hardly any plastic. The product came with a set of wireless earbuds, a soft case with a built-in rechargeable battery, a travel charger (750mA) with a quality usb/micro-usb cable, 3 pairs of eartips of different sizes, and a detailed manual. The headset design is basically 2 earbuds interconnected with a flat noodle cable and in-line remote - a common design used by a few other wireless headphones. But that's where the similarity ends and all the new innovations begin which set BackBeat Go 2 ahead of their competition. First of all at 14g these are super lightweight and hardly even noticeable you have them on Part of that is due to an ergonomic design and custom eartips I found to work for me right away using large set of silicone tips. I usually reserve to go with Comply tips especially when dealing with such large 6mm drivers, but for my personal use I found included eartips to do a great job with fitment and sound isolation which is very important in order to experience the best sound quality. Earbuds also come with one size removable stabilizers which I personally didn't care for, but found them to be super useful to interconnect headphones like a necklace so these stay around my neck when not in my ears. This is not a documented feature, but one that you will definitely find useful. In general the build quality of these headphones is among some of the best I have tested; very rugged, and with military-grade moisture/sweat resistance thanks to coating technology by P2i. The in-line remote features 3 multi-function buttons with a nicely defined shapes you can feel easily with your fingertips considering remote will not be in your sight when you are wearing these with cable around the back of your neck. It also features a built-in microphone with a pretty good quality considering all my test phone calls went really good.
Pairing up with a phone was a breeze, and I was actually very surprised to leave my phone in one side of the house while walking away through our open floor plan and still maintaining a solid connection 50ft away. Multi-function remote is able to control playback with play/pause and skip next/prev along with volume up/down control. It worked great for audio as well as video, and switched seamlessly to phone functionality when picking up the call. Charging is done using a standard micro-usb connector, no need for any proprietary adapters. I do have to note that battery is specified for 4.5 hours of music listening time and 5 hours of talk. Its a bit disappointing but Plantronics compensated this with a totally awesome feature by including rechargeable battery inside of a storage case. The headphone actually comes in two versions, by itself and with charging case for an additional $20. This charging case is a must have option, so I would strongly recommend getting it. It adds 10hours of additional playback to headphones by charging it up with a built in micro usb cable As a matter of fact, you can do rapid charging where 20min will give you 1hr of additional playback time. This charging case is one clever design. With a total dimensions of about 3" x 3.5", the battery takes about 1/3 of the space at the bottom and has an exposed charging port with led indicator. In the corner of the case you have a battery status button, activated by pressing on the case itself which reveals a bi-color status led with blinking lights corresponding to 25% capacity increments. Furthermore, and that is brilliant, it has a pass-through charging where you can connect built-in micro-usb cable to headphones for charging and charge the battery itself at the same time. Once you done charging, fold and store earbuds inside of this case which has a soft inner lining and a nice durable outside layer.
Once headphones are paired up, you get a voice prompt telling you about connection to the phone and battery status. In addition, you can download a free Battery Status Meter widgets that gives you an indicator of headphones battery in 4 segments with increments of 25%. I know a lot of wireless headphones can be monitored from iOS status bar, but this is the first one for Android with a free widget to provide the same functionality. Also, I want to mention that battery has up to 10days stand by mode and a deepsleep mode with ridiculous 180 days standby. Of course, I decided to save the best for last. When I first looked at the spec of these earbuds, I was disappointed to see bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support. Sure, the protocol will support A2DP and AVRCP, but from my previous experience I found sound quality of wireless connection with 2.1 to be not that great, not until bluetooth 4.0+BLE and apt-x implementation. WELL, I was blown out of my seat when I started listening to music. Beside sounding better than any bt4.0+apt-x headphones I have tested, it blew out of the water some of my quality wired headphones. BackBeat Go 2 delivered a true Hi-Fi sounds thanks to its custom SBC codec. With a 3D soundstage filled with crisp highs, very clear mids, and clean bass - the sound came very natural, with quality suitable for any music genre. I especially love how rich was the bass sound without sacrificing high frequencies. I mean, these are not exactly in the same category as some $400+ audiophile earbuds with triple drivers, but the quality of sound these $79 (plus $20 charging case) wireless headphones delivered was very impressive.
Overall, I don't often use "must have" term in my reviews, but if you are serious about exercising or keeping your headphones wireless while enjoying a high quality sound with a nice bass enhancement - these stand above any other wireless headphones I have tested. If it wouldn't be for 4.5hr battery life, I would go as far as saying these are absolutely perfect. But compensated with a charging case, a truly innovative concept from Plantronics, these could be considered as nearly perfect.
106 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
EASE OF USE/CONVENIENCE: These headphones were a breeze to pair with my iPhone, and I was using them immediately. I love with the wirelessness of it. Not only do I love being able to move freely without the annoying cord snagging on everything, but it allows me freedom of movement (up to 35 feet) even while my iPhone is charging.
SOUND: The sound is great, including the bass. Being earbud headphones, they also offer good sound isolation. When I first took these running, I noticed an annoying popping sound in both ears and thought it was the tugging of the cord (which is somewhat heavy to improve durability and minimize tangling) against the ear pieces. However, I later realized that it was my earrings, which are very small hoops, hitting the ear pieces. So ladies (and/or gentlemen), if you run with earrings, keep this in mind!
IPHONE COMPATIBILITY: If you're used to the functionality of the headset that comes with your iPhone, you will find this headset somewhat limited. For one thing, although it can jump tracks forward or backward (using the volume buttons), it cannot fast-forward or fast-reverse. As someone who listens to a lot of audiobooks, this is an annoying omission. Also, accessing Siri is somewhat tricky: You have to hold the "talk" button just long enough to get the "pairing" tone, then release the button and wait a moment for the "Siri" tone. Hold the button too long, and the headset powers off.
BATTERY LIFE/CHARGING CASE: Fully charged headphones will give you about 4.5 hours of listening time before needing to be recharged. This is true whether you buy/use the charging case or not. The charging case is basically a portable charger, allowing you to charge your headset on the go, without a wall-based charger. It still does not allow you to use your headphones for more than 4.5 hours without stopping to charge. So when the product description talks about 14.5 hours of listening time, it does NOT mean continuous listening time. It means listening and charging, in intervals, for a TOTAL of 14.5 hours listening time.
If you're interested, here's the math: A fully-charged headset gives you 4.5 hours of listening time. A 20-minute charge will give you another hour of listening time. It takes 90 minutes to reach a full charge; leaving it longer on the charger will not increase your listening time beyond 4.5 hours. A fully-charged charging case can deliver about 200 minutes of charge, or another 10 hours of listening time, but not more than 4.5 hours at a time.
In conclusion, the charging case is an attractive and portable way to carry and charge your headphones. If that is worth $20 to you, go ahead and buy it. Otherwise, it doesn't add much functionality to the headphones. There is no case or charger that is going to let you listen more than 4.5 hours without having to stop and charge. No matter what, when the headphone battery is dead, you HAVE to stop listening long enough to charge it, whether with the case or with a wall charger.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2015
I made a video review of it here http://youtu.be/gBKyLtTsBBA
Reasons not to buy this:
1.) you like really loud volume
2.) you want to run or jump rope with wireless headphones
3.) you expect the best sound quality
Reason why you should consider buying this:
1.) comfortable fit , great for lifting weights
2.) you want wireless headphones for the stairmill and biking
In case you want the cliff note version this really is a great value for your money. Charging case with headphones that have a simple fit. If you love to run and jump rope with headphones, don't buy these. They probably wont stay in your ear. The sound isn't as good as the bluebud x's but they are priced accordingly. They have a straight forward fit and you really can't go wrong with buying these.
Reasons not to buy this
42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2014
Headphones working. But the packaging is damaged. And headphones scratched.
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2014
I am writing this review for anyone that has had an issue with the headset not charging or turning on.
For starters, this is a great headset, I absolutely love it.
From reading past reviews this is what people complain about (both of these issues can be resolved)
1. Earbuds won't stay in place
2. Earbuds won't charge or turn on anymore
Here is the solution
1. The earbuds won't stay on unless you adjust the transparent rubber loop attached to them, seriously people learn how to read instructions, it's in the little paper that comes with the earbuds. When I tried them on they started to fall but then I had this brilliant idea and decided to read the instructions and problem solved, I run with these things and have no problem whatsoever.
Furthermore if you seriously complain that the actual buds are too small switch them!!! There are 2 more sets of buds inside people.
2. After using them for about 2 months they dies on me, to the point where they would not turn on anymore or charge. I thought they were done, I was about to return them and then I decided to use this great tool called Google. Not sure if anyone has heard of Google but it's a website that you can ask any question and it gives you an answer. The answer to this issue is to charge it via micro USB cable using your computer. Not sure why this works but it does, also not sure if it makes a difference but I did plug it in to a USB 3.0 slot on my PC. The light turned on and it showed that it was in fact charging I let it charge and turned it on with no problems.
I believe what causes the issue in the first place is when you have them synced to your PC and your phone and then it switches to your PC automatically it causes the earbuds to shut off completely and not work, so if you're going to use them for your PC make sure that you turn off the bluetooth on your phone first.
Hope this helps. this is honestly a great product, and I would recommend to anyone that is tired of corded headsets. Sound quality is superb and even when talking on the phone everyone can hear me crystal clear!!! Rated 4 stars because I spent an 30 minutes researching an answer on google. But besides that I would have given it 5 stars!
One more thing, people should really read and research answers more before they start complaining about products, you are not helping anyone by writing a bad review about a good product when you are basing the bad review on your ignorance. The End..
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2013
I really wanted to like the Plantronics BackBeat GO2 headset. The small size, portability without a dangling earplug cord, and comfort in my ears are just what I wanted. But these earbuds miss for me in several key, critical ways: Sound quality & battery life.
1) My reaction is that the Earbuds sound "thin." I have decent ears with good full range response (lows and highs), and am not an audiophile but I certainly am an audio" enthusiast."
I use these to listen to music both streaming (Google Play Music & Pandora) and podcasts on my Android phone, and watch movies on iPAD.
Initially I was impressed by how good the mid-range (singing voices) and highs sounded. Relatively smooth without harshness which I have heard in some mid-priced wired earbuds. They also sound OK with podcasts and spoken audio books. If that is your main listening source then these buds should be great, highly recommended.
But for any music, I found them sorely lacking for bass response. I'm not talking Rap or HipHop (which I also listen to and the BBG2 didn't perform well), but also with Jazz, jazz vocal, Brazilian bossa nova, etc.
Even using the built-in "Equalizer" feature in Google Play to boost the Bass, and also using a 3rd party DSP Equalizer, I could fake myself into believing that I was hearing bass sounds, but ultimately these buds have very little bass.
Even when shoving them deeply into my ear canal for a best "seal" did not fix it. Which eventually hurts because it creates back pressure/suction feeling on my eardrum.
I suspect the problem is the BBG2 just can't create enough low frequency energy in the earbud drivers -- either because the drivers are too small (6mm) or in order to save battery life (see below) since driving low frequencies requires more energy to be able to "hear" them.
By comparison I compared to my typical earbud (which also have a similar ear seal as the BBG2) -- they are generic buds, don't know the brand, cost $29.99 at a Verizon store and have a similar size earpiece driver...these by comparison had AWESOME bass.
1A) One strange observation, the same song sounded better with better bass frequency sounds when played on Google Play compared to Pandora. Don't know why that is, but Google Play became my go-to music service with these buds. May be simply a difference between services, or perhaps a different issue which is a problem with re-encoding the music to the Bluetooth SBC codec.
2) The device claims "4.5" hours battery life but in real life I only achieved 2-2.5 hours. I suspect this is because I had the Equalizer on my phone cranked up to max bass response...that might make it use more energy because bass frequencies need more power to sound louder. Something to consider if you're using EQ to make the BBG2 sound better.
3) The Plantronics phone app is fairly useless in reporting battery life - not accurate at all. It starts out indicating at "4.5 hours" battery life, then "4.0" and then "2.5" but then rapidly drops to "please charge" within a very short time. Certainly not calibrated in my observation.
4) Pairing to multiple devices was VERY GOOD and easy - iPAD, Android, Microsoft Surface 2 all connected quickly and easily.
5) Phone calls/microphone performance is poor. The folks on the other end of the call hear lots of ambient noise from my end. I have to hold the microphone close to my mouth which, well, eliminates one of the reasons to use Bluetooth: hands-free. So not very useful for phone calls that come in when you are outside (traffic, street, wind noise), or in the car (interior windshield/road noise).
With better audio these would get a "4 stars"
Returned these earbuds, and am still looking for something with better bass response.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2014
My smartphone goes with me everywhere, including the gym.
Not only is it used for my music, I also use a workout and fitness tracker that essentially guides me through my workout and records my exercises, weights and reps. Using my phone like this has caused a couple of problems.
1. Since I am constantly inputting or looking at my phone, wired headphones/earbuds were just in the way. Since the cord mandated that the phone stay near my body, it turned into a real pain to pull it out of pocket, put in my last rep, put it back in, etc...
2. Larger, over the head type Bluetooth headphones were needing to be constantly adjusted. (Think standing, then lying down on a bench, then standing back up, repeat..). They would never stay in place.
I researched for weeks before settling on the Plantronics BackBeat GO 2. The prefect solution.
First about how they solved my problems.
Since they're Bluetooth, my phone isn't connected to me. I put it on the floor, or nearby bench while I'm doing a particular exercise, pick it up, input/check my next exercise, and put it back down. But most importantly, THEY STAY IN PLACE.
As far as the earbuds themselves.
I am a large guy (6'4" with a big melon) so the include large inserts fit perfectly. But, as the packaging said, I tried on the other two included sizes just to make sure. I noticed a few other reviews that said that they constantly need to to be readjusted. I do find that every once in awhile during a workout or a run, that I twist or adjust slightly. But, realistically I don't think any earbuds would or really should stay in place for hours on end without a slight movement. To me, that just seems that they would need to be uncomfortably tight to start with.
The sound is fantastic. Since they make a nice, tight seal, the bass is good, and the overall sound clear. They block out ambient gym and traffic noise very well.
The controls on the cord work well. Basic, but just what's needed. I really like the audio cues ("battery level getting low"). I never intended to use them to talk on the phone, but after a surprise call in the middle of a workout, I found the sound and microphone were just fine. Even with all the background noise, my wife said she had no problems hearing me.
The battery life appears to be what's stated. I can get several workouts in before the nice lady comes on and tells me to recharge. They recharge quickly when attached to a USB wall charger. I used the charging case once, as an experiment, and it seems to work well. I charged it when I first got it a few months ago, and it's still holding that charge (light on the front lets you know the level).
Overall, I couldn't be happier with this purchase and have recommended it to the many others at the guy who have asked about them.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2014
There must be 12 earbuds in my collection. I will not waste your time with all the name brands, but it is important for comparison's sake. Wired sets are the best for detailed sound. Don't do a direct comparison based on imaging or high end sound details. This is just my personal take on my new favorite headphones- BackBeat GO 2:
2) Beefy bass response.
3) Good isolation with a good seal.
4) Pair up easily
5) Can wear any time. Even in the shower (tried it once just to see if they were water resistant)
6) Great sound for Bluetooth. Don't compare to wired.
7) Play loud and in your face when needed.
1) Battery life is only 3- 3.5 hours for me.
2) Only 'come to life' with higher volume.
3) Low volume is kind of not linear with their real performance.
4) Cord is long.
I don't hardly use wired earbuds since these are so much more convenient. To make them 'over the ear' I just overlapped the extra long cord and taped the overlap together. They go over my ears and around the back of my head. Perfect! No dangling wire. Big note for those interested in the new FIT. Sunglasses don't fit so well with them on. With my set up sunglasses fit perfectly. If you buy these BackBeat GO 2 earbuds you may rarely use wired buds again.
30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2014
Overall, a decent Bluetooth unit.
1. Reasonable Price
2. Works well
3. Good distance from handset like iphone (over 25 feet)
4. Easy to use
1. Included Earbuds are horrible
2. Sound is "tinny" compared to wired units like Bose
3. Ear pieces are fairly heavy
4. Short battery life between charges (3 hrs)
5. Included micro USB cord is short
Overall, I like this unit for walking on the treadmill. I highly recommend you replace the earbuds with these from Amazon.com.
Buy the $5.00 replacement Bose Earbud tips in your size for the Plantronics unit. The Bose earbud tips will keep the headset in place unlike the included earbuds from Plantronics. This $5.00 enhancement will make a big difference in usability.
The Bose earbud tips fit perfectly and are far superior to the included earbud tips from Plantronics.