Plantronics's BackBeat 505 Review | Decent Wireless Headphones With Great Value

Plantronics recently released its brand new wireless headphones, the BackBeat 505, into the shores of Singapore. Going at $139, Plantronics has taken an aggressive approach by lowering the barrier to entry of decent quality wireless headphones.


Design

To start off, it features a closed-back design which helps to reduce surrounding noises as compared to headphones that uses an open-back design. By isolating you from the noisy environment, its design is well suited for when the user is on the move. The BackBeat 505 also maintains a minimalist design, avoiding any unnecessary designs or patterns that would be able to suit everyone's taste while ensuring that core functionalities are met.

When it comes to everday use, the BackBeat stays comfortably on the ears. It also remains stable enough to stay in place even while chasing after the bus/train during daily commuting. However, it does not seem to be designed for any intensive exercise. The way the headband was designed causes it to move about during any repeated vigorous movements. Furthermore, prolong use of the headphones causes some discomfort to the user, hence it may not be suited for running.


User-friendly

With a simple pairing method of pushing the power button towards the Bluetooth icon and holding it for a few seconds, the detection of the BackBeat 505 is quick. Furthermore, audio prompts are available for core functions such as powering up and pairing. The prompts allowing users to know its status without the need to look at either of the paired devices, and they can carry on with their activities while they waiting for the devices to be ready for use.

Another useful feature is its ability to be able to be paired with 2 different Bluetooth devices simultaneously. If done so, the priority for audio streaming will be given to the first device while the audio from the second device will be muted. This works out great for those that are travelling with multiple devices for work or entertainment purposes, where one can be listening to something on one device and still be able to pick up a call on the second. All these can be possible without needing to re-pair the headphones.


New users of Bluetooth headphones can easily adapt to this headphones due to the user-friendly music controls that found on the left side of the headphones with. It comes with recognizable icons and it can also be used to control smartphones and even computers. However, as the controls are on the side of the headphones, which users are unable to see during use, it would require some time to familiarize oneself with the controls. Nevertheless, the convenience brought with using it will be worth the trouble.


Battery

Heavy listeners of music would be glad to know that the BackBeat 505 is able to provide its user with up to 18 hours of active listen time with every full charge, and even light users would enjoy the fact that the headphones has up to 6 months of deep sleep, meaning it can still be used even if it has been let alone for a few months. Even after a week of usage, the device is operational!


Listening range

The listening range of the headphones is quite comfortable, with the range reaching up to 10 meters within line of sight. This allows users to freely move around their room away from the device to perform various activities such as cleaning or reading a book on your bed. However, when used in a crowded environment such as a crowded train, users might encounter stuttering during streaming. This can be attributed to the number of active devices in the surrounding causing interference to the connection.


Audio Quality

As advertised, the BackBeat 505 is able to provide tight lows that many enjoy. Bass is definitely a strong point, with it being able to handle sub-bass really well. However, songs in general feel warm and very skewed to the lows. Vocals does feel slightly muddy with the bass sometimes overpowering, with certain songs losing some details.

When it comes to audio latency, it is small and barely noticeable. However, it is largely dependent on the device the headphones are connected to. The older the device, the larger the delay will be.


The Not So Good

Something that we feel can be improved on with regards to the design of the BackBeat 505 in the presence of a cloth slip bearing Plantronics logo, located on headband section of the headphones. While it does not pose any issues while using the headphones, it can become an annoyance when users temporary place the headphones on their neck. This causes the cloth slip to chafe against the neck, causing some discomfort.

Summary

Overall, Plantronics's BackBeat 505 provides an amazing value at such a low price.


Factor Description Score
Innovation - Decent headphones with nothing revolutionary 6/10
Design - Clean and sleek design
- Annoying strap of cloth that can be cause irritation
7/10
Value - Great value considering the features that BackBeat 505 brings to the table 8/10
Performance - Decent audio quality that does great with bass heavy songs 7/10
Final Score
7/10


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