Light and Con­ve­nient

Plantron­ics Back­Beat Go 2

HWM (Singapore) - - SINGAPORE’S NO. 1 MONTHLY AUTOMOTIVE MAGAZINE* - TEXT // DAVID CHIENG

As far as sweat-proof head­sets go, the Plantron­ics Back­Beat Go 2 isn’t at all unim­pres­sive. Plantron­ics claims that the Back­Beat Go 2 come pro­tected by mil­i­tary­grade P2i mois­ture re­sis­tance. What this means is sim­ply that you can bring this for your runs or work­outs, and not have to worry about sweat seep­ing into the nooks and cran­nies of your ear­buds and even­tu­ally ru­in­ing them. Plantron­ics also uses flat ca­bles de­signed to be tan­gle-free; they’re also just long enough to fit around the back of your neck with­out be­ing too long as to be un­wieldy.

Be­ing Blue­tooth-pow­ered (only Blue­tooth 2.1 though), pair­ing is sim­ple enough, and de­spite of­fi­cially only sup­port­ing An­droid and iOS de­vices (on the box, at least), the Back­Beat Go 2 paired flaw­lessly with a Win­dows Phone 8-pow­ered Nokia Lu­mia 1520. You can ex­e­cute a num­ber of ac­tions on your smart­phone via a com­bi­na­tion of but­ton-presses on the con­trol pod, all of which work prop­erly on Win­dows Phone. For ex­am­ple, you can mute a call by si­mul­ta­ne­ously tap­ping on the vol­ume + and – but­tons; you’ll hear “mute on” or “mute off”, with a re­peat­ing alert when mute is on. You can also dou­ble-tap the au­dio/call but­ton to quickly redail the last num­ber called. Hold­ing the + or – but­tons for more than a sec­ond ei­ther skips to the next au­dio track played, or goes to the pre­vi­ous track.

The Back­Beat Go 2 is charged via mi­croUSB, with the con­nec­tor hid­den be­hind a rub­ber flap be­hind the right-side ear­bud. Plantron­ics claims about 4.5 hours of mu­sic play­back, or up to 5 hours of talk time. For an additional $40, you can pur­chase the Back­Beat Go 2 that comes with a com­bi­na­tion car­ry­ing case/ por­ta­ble charger (with hid­den mi­croUSB con­nec­tor in­side), which adds an­other 10 hours of run-time. We like how Plantron­ics en­ables pass-through charg­ing, so you can charge both the car­ry­ing case and the ear­buds at the same time. A but­ton at the base trig­gers a flash­ing light that in­di­cates bat­tery sta­tus.

In terms of au­dio per­for­mance, the Back­Beat Go 2 per­forms rea­son­ably well. These aren’t au­dio­phile-grade ear­buds to be sure, but there was suf­fi­cient range in the tre­bles, mids and bass to make mu­sic rea­son­ably en­joy­able. Plantron­ics does throw in a set of dif­fer­ent-size ear tips to ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent ears, while a set of ad­justable ear-sta­bi­liz­ers help keep the ear­buds in place dur­ing par­tic­u­larly vig­or­ous move­ments.

Over­all, the ask­ing price of $159 for just the ear­buds seems rea­son­able. It per­forms well, is com­fort­able to wear, and looks good. Adding in an additional $40 for what is es­sen­tially a travel case with small built-in bat­tery might not sound cheap, but when you also fac­tor in a two-year war­ranty for the whole pack­age, the price tag be­comes a lit­tle more bear­able.

You can get a handy car­ry­ing case that dou­bles up as a por­ta­ble charger, at ex­tra cost.

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