Plantron­ics Back­Beat SENSE

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - Ian Chee

Plantron­ics is a brand that you’d nor­mally as­so­ciate with the cor­po­rate world of cus­tomer ser­vice and com­mu­ni­ca­tion more than you would with con­sumer mu­sic con­sump­tion. With its re­cent prod­ucts, how­ever, it is slowly mov­ing into the lat­ter mar­ket, and the lat­est ad­di­tion is the Back­Beat SENSE.

On the out­side, the Back­Beat SENSE doesn’t look very ex­tra­or­di­nary com­pared to many other head­phones out there. There’s the metal band and a sec­ondary ‘self-ad­just­ing’ one with mem­ory foam packed in soft leather. Both bands ex­tend from plas­tic arms that feel sturdy with­out be­ing heavy. The joint that con­nects the arms to the ear cups swivel 90 de­grees in ei­ther di­rec­tion, mak­ing stor­age eas­ier.

On the sur­face of the ear cups, things look like busi­ness as usual; both have mem­ory foam-padded ear pads that are cov­ered in soft leather. The left and right cups are clearly dis­tin­guished by the per­fo­ra­tions, some be­ing larger to spell out L and R. The mem­ory foam pad­ding could be thicker though, as af­ter awhile, you’d be able to feel the pinch around your tem­ples.

Me­dia con­trols are found on the left cup, as well as a but­ton that uses the Back­Beat SENSE’s mi­cro­phones to let you hear your sur­round­ings while you still have them on – a sig­na­ture on Plantron­ics’ head­phones. You prob­a­bly won’t be us­ing this fea­ture much, un­less you en­joy be­ing called rude be­hind your back as a re­sult of talk­ing to peo­ple with your head­phones on, de­spite the fact that you hear them clearly and all your me­dia has been paused as you were speak­ing with them.

The right cup holds a but­ton that an­swers calls and checks on the Back­beat SENSE’s bat­tery level – which, in­ci­den­tally, lasts an in­cred­i­ble 18 hours. The 3.5mm au­dio and Mi­cro-USB ports are here as well. Also hid­den within the left ear cup is a sen­sor be­neath the mem­ory foam-padded ear pads. This sen­sor is where the main magic of the SENSE hap­pens: it au­to­mat­i­cally plays or pauses your mu­sic or video de­pend­ing on if it is pressed or re­leased, let­ting it play your me­dia when you put it on and pause them when you take it off.

All that said, the smart fea­tures would be for naught if it didn’t per­form on the au­dio depart­ment. And gladly, the Plantron­ics Back­Beat SENSE de­liv­ered. Be­ing quite well bal­anced, there was good de­tail and clar­ity, as well as suf­fi­ciently strong bass.


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