Plantronics BackBeat Professional 2 evaluate

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The unique Plantronics BackBeat Professional headphones have been beloved for its number of options, good sound and good lively noise cancellation (ANC). They weren’t excellent, however they supplied a compelling package deal for vacationers. 

With the second era BackBeat Professional 2, Plantronics went again to the drafting board to repair most of the points homeowners complained concerning the unique. The BackBeat Professional 2, due to this fact, handle to maintain all the good issues concerning the unique and improved upon its shortcomings, like its bulk and weight. 

Every part thought of and in comparison with the competitors, for $200 (£230, AU$250), it’s exhausting to consider a greater journey headphone for the worth.

[Replace: If there’s a greater pair of noise-cancelling headphones on the market, it is the Sony WH-1000XM2. These provide quite a lot of noise-cancellation presets, and permit for Hello-Res Audio playback over Bluetooth because of a codec referred to as LDAC. They seem to be a bit dearer than the BackBeat Professional 2, nonetheless, so if worth is a hurdle, you may be very happy with these as a substitute.]


Due to its considerably easy nature, you’ll both love or hate the design of the Plantronics BackBeat Professional 2. The headphones characteristic a darkish brown colour palette, which we like fairly a bit however is understandably a bit polarizing. Then there’s the fake wooden accent that appears extra acceptable inside a Buick than on a pair of noise cancelling headphones. It appears a bit low-cost and misplaced, however they do assist the headphones stand out from the even-more-generic-looking .

The earcups characteristic glittery silver mesh rings on every ear cup, which is the place the headphone’s noise cancelling mics are positioned. The glowing silver is an odd design selection in opposition to the muted browns and blacks on the headphone and stick out like a sore thumb. A black mesh would have been extra acceptable, however hey, what’s right here works.

On the left ear cup, you’ll discover controls for playback, quantity and a toggle for lively noise cancellation. The correct ear cup has an influence/pairing slider in addition to a giant button for answering cellphone calls. 

Quantity is managed by way of a textured ring that rocks forwards and backwards. Rotate counter clockwise to show up the quantity and clockwise to show it city. The amount management ring is a bit of tougher to grip than the primary era, however that’s a minor quibble and never a noteworthy difficulty.

Lively noise cancellation might be toggled on or off on the left earcup. Turning off noise cancellation will stretch the battery lifetime of the headphones much more, and here is pretty much as good a spot as any to level out that the headphones will nonetheless work in wired mode must you ever run out of juice. This toggle additionally options an open mic mode, which pauses your music and allows you to hear what’s going round you with out having to take off your headphones.

We discovered the open mic characteristic pointless as we might merely take off the headphones, which routinely pauses the music, however because it’s an choice you’d discover on a lot higher-end headphones just like the it’s good to have right here, too. 

The BackBeat Professional 2 are lined with leather-based across the earcups in addition to on the headscarf, making them extraordinarily comfy and we had no points sporting them all through an eight-hour flight.

In comparison with the unique Plantronics BackBeat Professional headphones, the Professional 2 are a lot smaller and lighter (290 grams vs the unique’s 340 grams). That is nice information for vacationers who’ve restricted area and don’t need to be fatigued after lengthy listening periods. They’re additionally extra compact and lay flatter when folded down for transport.

The headphones include a comfortable zippered carrying pouch, which has a brilliant comfortable lining to guard the headphones from scratches. The pouch encompasses a second compartment to retailer your microUSB charging and three.5mm headphone cables, which is a pleasant contact. A tough case would have been even higher, however once more, it’s not a deal breaker.It must be famous, nonetheless, {that a} hardcase is accessible within the dearer BackBeat Professional 2 Particular Version, which prices $50 (about £40, AU$67) extra and is available in a grey colour.


The unique BackBeat Professional headphones supplied a enjoyable, barely bass heavy sound signature. Plantronics carried over this sound signature to the BackBeat Professional 2, which most customers will in all probability discover pleasing to the ears. 

Audiophiles will quibble concerning the overbearing bass however shall be comfortable to know that utilizing the BackBeat Professional 2 in wired mode tames the bass fairly a bit. We have been pleasantly shocked to search out ANC nonetheless works when enjoying music in wired mode, which implies it can save you a little bit of battery if you don’t thoughts going wired for awhile. A bit of added bass emphasis helps block out exterior noise so we are able to perceive why Plantronics went for a bass-heavy sound signature.

Highs are a bit rolled off, making them sound a bit veiled however that’s preferable for lengthy listening periods for the reason that highs received’t be fatiguing. Equally, mids are good, however they are often muted by the heavy bass. Soundstage is common, so don’t count on an out-of-head listening expertise. 

With lively noise cancelling enabled, there’s a slight hiss when no music is enjoying. The Bose QC35 nonetheless provide the most effective noise cancellation within the business however the Plantronics BackBeat Professional 2 nonetheless do an admirable job of blocking out noise. 

Placing them to the take a look at, the BackBeat Professional 2 dulled the deafening roar of the 777 jet engines on a flight from San Francisco to New York, offering us some sanity as we tried to get some sleep. The sound high quality of the headphones wasn’t impacted by the lively noise cancellation, which wasn’t all the time the case with ANC headphones previously. 

As for battery life, we have been extraordinarily impressed by the longevity of the BackBeat Professional 2. The unique additionally supplied unimaginable 24 hour battery life however the second era sips even much less energy when idle, providing a claimed 6 months of DeepSleep, up from 180 hours. 

Regardless of common use, we struggled to fully drain the BackBeat Professional 2 on a week-long trip in New York – it lasted by each flights, a few prepare rides and random listening periods all through the week with ANC enabled always. For frequent vacationers, the BackBeat Professional 2’s insane battery life is its killer characteristic. 

We appreciated

For $200 (£230, AU$250), it’s exhausting to fault something concerning the Plantronics BackBeat Professional 2. It’s appears may not be for everybody and its bass heavy sound received’t please audiophiles however the BackBeat Professional 2 does nearly every little thing proper for journey headphones. 

The headphone’s staggering 24 hour battery life delivers and is a killer characteristic for vacationers who can’t be tethered to an outlet, and whereas its lively noise cancellation isn’t the most effective within the business, it’s nonetheless superb at muffling the sound of the noisy, sleep-depriving outdoors world. 

It’s clear Plantronics was listening to consumer suggestions when redesigning the BackBeat Professional 2. Nearly each quibble we had concerning the unique has been addressed – and, much more extremely, regardless of all these modifications Plantronics’ newest pair of cans are even cheaper than the unique.

We disliked

Audiophiles received’t just like the bass heavy sound signature, although bass might be tamed through the use of them in wired mode. 

Equally, you’ll both love or hate the styling of the BackBeat Professional 2. Its brown colour palette, faux zebrawood and misplaced silver mesh give the headphones an eclectic design language.

Ultimate verdict

In case you don’t need to drop $350 (£290, AU$500) on the Bose QuietComfort 35 or $400 (£330 or AU$700) on Sony’s flagship MDR-1000X, the Plantronics BackBeat Professional 2 must be on the highest of your purchasing record. Positive, the Bose nonetheless presents higher noise cancellation and Sony presents a bit higher sound however the Plantronics do nearly every little thing else proper. 

When it comes to worth, the BackBeat Professional 2 are mainly a steal. With the BackBeat Professional 2, you’re getting a journey headphone with unimaginable battery life, supreme consolation, the power to pair two gadget as as soon as and, most significantly, good sound high quality for the fee.

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