CNET First Look
Plantronics BackBeat Sense: An on-ear wireless headphone done rightAt less than $200, the well-designed BackBeat Sense is one of the best on-ear wireless Bluetooth headphones currently available.
[MUSIC] Hi, I'm David Carnoy from Cnet.com and this is the Plantronitcs BackBeat Sense and on ear bluetooth head phone that costs $180 and it's one of the best on ear wireless headphones currently available for the money. For starters, it's light weight at 4.9 ounces or 140 grams and very comfortable for an on ear model. With this self-adjusting headband and memory-foam-equipped ear pads that are clearly labeled left and right. I also like the features set. Like the Parrot Zik and Zik 2.0, the SENSE has a sensor that knows when you have the headphones on and when you have them off. It pauses your music as soon as you take the headphones off your ears and resumes it when you put them back on. The headphone uses Bluetooth 4.0, and you can simultaneously connect two Bluetooth devices and switch back and forth between them. As you might expect from a plantronics product, the SENSE also works as a headset and works well. It's equipped with dual microphones So you can hear your voice in the headphones when you're talking. You can also press a button on the bottom of the left ear cup, and your music pauses. And you hear the world outside your headphones through the microphone. This might come in handy if you want people to think you're listening to your headphones, when in fact, you're listening to them. In terms of accessories you get a nice canvas carrying case. It has two pockets. The main one is for storing the headphones, all the smaller side pockets serve as home for the included USB charging cable, and the headphone cord. Yes, you can use this sense as a wired headphone should the battery die. Battery life is rated at 18 hours of music playback, which isn't as good as what Plantronics' larger Backbeat Pro delivers But it's quite solid for an on-ear Bluetooth headphone. As for performance, the Sense comes across as a well-balanced headphone with ample but not fat bass and good clarity. And it should work well with a variety of music genres. It's pleasant, fairly natural sounding headphone that plays loud at its highest volume. But sounds better when it's restrained to about 75% volume. I wouldn't call it airy, but it's reasonably open for an on-ear model and noise isolation is decent with the ear pad sealing out a good amount of ambient noise. The $250 Bose [INAUDIBLE] Bluetooth a bit of a more forgiving headphone with a little plumper bass at higher volumes. The base is tighter on the Plantronics but there isn't quite as much of it, so if you're a bass-lover it might not quite satisfy you But overall the Backbeat Sense is a well-designed on-ear Bluetooth headphone, it's comfortable to wear, has a strong feature set and sound, as well as good battery life. If you're for an on-ear wireless headphone it should be on your shortlist. I'm David [INAUDIBLE] thanks for watching [MUSIC]