If you are in the market for the best wireless headphone, Plantronics has you covered. Its latest BackBeat Pro 2 just got released and it could be on track to lodge a very credible threat to leading rivals such as Bose's QuietComfort or Sennheiser's PXC 550.
The Backbeat Pro 2 is a noise-cancelling wireless headphone with great sounds but is worth a meager $200. That should summarize its main value propositions. The story, however, is deeper and more comprehensive than that.
For one, the latest headphone is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, which was released two years ago. The audio gear has a better audio quality, which is marked by crisp and balanced sound with notable bass. Some reviews are already concluding that the sound is comparable if not better than its more expensive competitors such as the QuietComfort, which is priced at $330. This is quite surprising since Plantronics used the same audio components found in the original BackBeat Pro.
Now, the biggest change involves the headphone design. It sports a trimmer real estate, down by around 35 percent, leading to a 15-percent weight reduction in comparison to its predecessor. According to BGR, Plantronics spent the most time in this area, building everything from the ground up. This did not prevent some observers from criticizing the design language, with the argument that it pales beside its competitors due to the materials used. To be fair, Plantronics has phrased its aesthetic approach as a grown-up design, which should explain the rather bland overall look.
The BackBeat Pro 2 does an admirable job in the noise-cancelling department. Although, it is not quite as effective as the QuietComfort, it is certainly more effective than the older version. It also offers some nifty tricks such as the dedicated button to let-in noise in cases where the wearer needs to hear external sound such as airplane announcements without taking the headphone off.
Plantronics also outfitted the BackBeat Pro 2 with sensors that allow functions such as the ability to automatically pause when the headset or the right cup is taken off the user's ear.
Furthermore, the BackBeat Pro 2 can slug it out with best in terms of connectivity. It uses Class 1 Bluetooth technology that lets the device pick up signal from a smartphone within a 330-feet range. This is underscored by the headphone's battery life. Its 24-hour wireless playback trounces Beats Studio Wireless, which has a 12-hour rechargeable battery.
The BackBeat Pro 2 is still listed as Coming Soon at Plantronics website. The headphone, however, is already available as of Oct. 18.