The company responsible for designing Neil Armstrong’s headset as he stepped onto the Moon has announced a fresh new lineup of earbuds and headphones, made with phone calls and athletes in mind.Four new entries into the BackBeat range have been revealed, three of which fall into the sports-centric Fit range with the fourth being a premium product that finally brings the brand’s much-loved BackBeat Pro line to the true wireless world.
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 reviewBackBeat Pro 5100
While it seems like every audio company has had a crack at the premium true wireless market so far, Plantronics has been notably absent until now.With the launch of the BackBeat Pro 5100, the company is promising to bring its expertise in the voice-calling space to a market that suffers from lack of phone call quality due to the diminutive size of its products.Despite their tiny and lightweight design, the Pro 5100 utilizes four noise-canceling mics and WindSmart technology in order to remove background noise and improve audio quality when on a call.They come packing a 6.5-hour battery life on-board with an extra 13 hours in the relatively compact charging case, and each bud features a button that responds to both capacitive touch and clicking for twice as much control as most competitors.Plantronics’ first foray into the premium true wireless game will set you back $170 (£160, AU$299) and you can have any color you like, so long as it’s black.
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For the sportier music lover, there’s the BackBeat Fit series. The Fit 3100 was released late in 2018, and a year later it’s getting a refresh in the form of the BackBeat Fit 3150.Some of the main improvements over last year’s model include better connectivity, a full IP57 water and sweat resistance rating, and a boosted battery life – the Fit 3150 should last 8 hours by themselves with an extra 16 in the case. This new iteration features the same ‘Always Aware’ eartips that don’t create a seal like most traditional earbuds, but instead allow some external sounds in for the sake of safety when jogging or in other environments that require your attention.If, however, you’re not keen on this style of tip, the BackBeat Fit 3200 offers the more traditional sealed type of ear-tip and modified drivers to better suit them. Typically, this means you’ll have a better bass response and improved audio quality all-round, but at the expense of hearing any ambient sound.Whether you prefer to block out the world with the in-ear seal of the Fit 3200 or let in some ambient sound with the more open ear-tip design of the Fit 3150, both true wireless earbuds are available for $150 (£130, AU$249).
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Another entry into the Fit series this time comes in the form of a pair of over-ear headphones – the BackBeat Fit 6100.For those that don’t like to work out, jog or exercise with in-ear headphones but still want to pump their tunes, the Fit 6100 offers much of the same rugged design as the smaller counterparts in an entirely different form factor.Packing 40mm drivers, an IPx5 sweat-resistance rating, a 24-hour battery life, and with a highly flexible headband that you can quickly cinch to tighten for more rigorous activities, the Fit 6100 looks ready to fill a void in the market for sports-friendly over-ear cans. This set of flexible workout cans will cost you $160 (£150, AU$299) and is available in black, grey, or camo color configurations. All four products are available from major retailers today.
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