PLANTRONICS BACK­BEAT 903+

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

Plantronics, $149 plantronics.com/au

★★★

IF YOU thought wear­ing a Blue­tooth ear­piece was a strange ex­pe­ri­ence, you might baulk at the look of these Blue­tooth head­phones.

Thor­oughly atyp­i­cal, they look a lot more like two hear­ing aids held to­gether with a cord; a con­trap­tion your grand­fa­ther might have cob­bled to­gether in his work­shop.

How­ever, the Plantronics Back­Beat 903+ head­phones are more so­phis­ti­cated than that. The con­cept be­hind them is that some mu­sic lovers like to lis­ten to tunes from their phone, but none wants to miss a phone call while rock­ing out.

These un­usual head­phones could also be use­ful while ex­er­cis­ing as there are no cords to im­pede your workout.

Con­nect­ing them is as sim­ple as hold­ing down the On but­ton and delv­ing into your phone’s Blue­tooth menu. How­ever, us­ing them can be trick­ier.

There are com­mands to learn. A but­ton on the right ear­bud plays and pauses songs, but if you hold it down for two sec­onds it will boost the bass.

The but­ton on the left ear­bud will take or re­ject a phone call, but if you push it twice you can re­dial a phone num­ber; hold it for two sec­onds and voice-di­alling will start; hold it for two sec­onds while ring­ing and you’ll re­ject a call; and hold it for two sec­onds while on a call and the con­ver­sa­tion will be trans­ferred to your phone.

Like­wise, the vol­ume keys can be used to switch be­tween tracks.

This, and wear­ing two snug ear­pieces, can be a lot to get used to, though the pack­age worked as promised in our tests. Plus, you don’t have to re­mem­ber all of the com­mands in the first in­stance.

The Back­Beat 903+ head­phones will also play mu­sic for seven hours from one bat­tery charge, mak­ing them handy gym bud­dies.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

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