These days, the market for the so called ‘active lifestyle’ headphones is practically bursting with offerings from various manufacturers. Regardless, Plantronics, a company whose main niche is in providing communication style Bluetooth earpieces, has still found it worthwhile to enter this segment with various offerings such as the BackBeat Pro and Backbeat Go.
Will their latest offering, the BackBeat Sense Wireless, make the grade?
LIGHT & FUNCTIONAL
In a departure from the comparatively huge BackBeat Pro, the Sense is a far smaller proposition. Its 140g frame results in an incredibly comfortable fit, featuring a self-adjusting band under its metal frame, not unlike those featured on some of AudioTechnica’s offerings. Its cushy memory foam earcups further cement the Sense as one of the best feeling headphones I’ve tried this year.
Clearly originating from its heritage, the Sense also packs a couple of microphones, allowing it to be used as a communication device. There is a simple toggle to switch on the Bluetooth functionality on the side of the right earcup along with a call answer/end button on its face.
The left earcup has some basic song manipulation buttons while volume can be adjusted via a ring control. Interestingly, there’s also a button at the bottom of the earcup that essentially mutes incoming audio and uses its built-in microphones to pick up ambient noise from the outside so you can communicate with other people without ever having to remove the headset. Pretty nifty!
In terms of audio quality, the Sense comes across as a pretty well-balanced pair of cans, delivering some solid mids and clear trebles. There is certainly a decent amount of clarify both with music as well as when taking calls. However, the bass response is a little on the weak side, which might be a deal-breaker for people with a lot of EDM on their playlists. If you don’t care much for bass however, the Sense is still a very capable pair of headphones for almost any other type of music.
Despite the omission of certain features such as noise cancellation, the Sense is a solid offering from Plantronics. The included canvas carrying case, which even has room to store the detachable 3.5mm cable and a micro-USB cable for charging is also pretty sweet. Well-designed, comfortable, stylish and with a battery that lasts for days, the BackBeat Sense deserves a spot on the shopping list of anyone planning to get a pair of solid Bluetooth headphones.
Verdict: Good looking, comfortable and works well. What more can you ask for?
Total Score: 8.4/10