Plantronics BackBeat Fit review: Best-in-breed Bluetooth sports headphones

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Sound quality: 8.0
  • Value: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Plantronics BackBeat Fit is a lightweight wireless stereo headset (with integrated microphone) that features a sweatproof design and decent sound. It stays in your ears and most people should find it comfortable to wear. It also includes a reflective armband case for smartphones that doubles as a storage case for the headphones.

The Bad When you're running, the cord (around the back of your neck) does flop around a bit, which may bother some people; would ideally cost closer to $100.

The Bottom Line The BackBeat Fit may not be perfect, but it's one of the best wireless sports headphones available.

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Over the years I've tried a fair number of wireless Bluetooth sports headphones and I've yet to come across one that's truly outstanding. Whether it's their performance or design, each model, even the best ones, tend to have some sort of niggling issue that keeps them from being universally appealing (with a product that involves the shape of your ears, it's hard to please everyone).

Plantronics BackBeat Fit, which comes in blue or lime green, may fall short of being outstanding, but it is better than most wireless sports headphones on the market. Also, it's pretty well priced so long as you find some added value in the inclusion of a reversible and reflective armband that secures your smartphone and doubles as a case for the headphones.

Design and features
In contrast to Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 Bluetooth and Jaybird Gear BlueBuds X in-ear wireless sports headphones, the Fit's eartips aren't designed to be jammed all they way into your ears, sealing off the outside world. Rather, these are designed to let some ambient noise in so you can hear traffic if you're running or biking with them outside. Look closely and you'll see they resemble standard hard buds with a firm silicon covering that has a little loop on it that helps keep the earphone in your ear. While they're not quite as comfortable as Bose's SIE2 sports headphone (it's a wired model), the Fit is built around a similar concept of having a loser fit earbud with a silicon tip that keeps the bud locked in your ear.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit comes in lime green or blue. Sarah Tew/CNET

The buds are connected with a flexible band and the whole package is sweat-proof. For me anyway, they fit securely and I though they were comfortable to wear after I fiddled around with the angle of the tip. True, anytime you have a headphone that you stick in your ear, it's not going to end up being a perfect fit for everyone. But Plantronics seems to have learned from its experience creating previous BackBeat wireless sports models, including the BackBeat 903+.

One key difference with these BackBeat Fit headphones is that they're lighter than Plantronics' previous sports models, weighing in at 24 grams (0.85 ounce). While they're not quite as light as the BackBeat Go 2s, at times, you kind of forget you're wearing them. I say "kind of" because if you're jogging, the cord connecting the earpiece can end up bouncing up and down a bit. With the Jaybirds, you can adjust the cord length, though the system for doing so is pretty kludgy. There's no cord adjustment with this model, though you could take a small rubber band and pinch the cord together to shorten it.

The cord movement bothered editor Dan Graziano, a fairly accomplished high-school long-distance runner, more than it did me. However, my primary concern when testing these types of headphones is making sure that they fit securely and comfortably while I'm running and I thought the Fits stood up well against the competition in that regard.

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Where to Buy

Plantronics BackBeat Fit (Green)

Part Number: 200460-01 Released: Feb. 23, 2014

MSRP: $129.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Feb. 23, 2014
  • Color lime burst
  • Weight 0.8 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features answer/end/play/pause/next/previous track button