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Headphones

Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is the antidote to expensive noise-canceling headphones

This new over-ear headphone performs well and is half the price of Bose and Sony premium noise-canceling headphones.

The BackBeat Go 810 have a sturdy design with a clean look.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Plantronics has been putting out a steady stream of pretty affordable headphones that deliver good performance for the money, and the BackBeat Go 810 fits right in with them. Featuring noise-canceling in an over-ear design for $150, in many ways it's the "light" version of the company's BackBeat Pro 2, which lists for $200.

I got a chance to try an early review sample for a few days, and I think Plantronics has done of a lot of things right with the headphone. It feels pretty sturdy and folds flat into a thin cloth carrying pouch. At 8 ounces (227 grams), it's not as light as the BackBeat Go 600 at 6.4 ounces (181 grams), which leaves off the noise-canceling, but it's not heavy either.

The ear pads are equipped with memory foam and although they're not as soft and comfy as the ones that come with the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or new Sony WH-1000XM3, the BackBeat Go 810 is a comfortable headphone -- just not exceptionally so.

The noise canceling may also not be quite as effective as Bose's or Sony's, but it does a decent job muffling sound. There are two modes of noise cancellation (high and low) and you can choose between a balanced and bright EQ setting in the BackBeat app. The default sound is clean and well balanced with good detail and plump bass that's not boomy.  There's a little bit of presence boost in the treble that makes the headphones sound a little forward at times, but that seems to be par for the course these days for headphone sound profiles.

As you'd expect from a Plantronics headphone, these do work well as a headset for making calls. 

While the BackBeat Go 810 lists for $150, I suspect it'll come down in price a bit online. It's a reasonable value at $150, but I think it would generate more interested at less than $125.

What you get in the box.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I'll post a full review after I spend a little more time with them. In the meantime, here are the BackBeat Go 810's key specs, per Plantronics:

  • Slim, over-the-ear design with memory-foam comfort
  • Weight: 8 ounces (227 grams)
  • 40mm drivers
  • Dual-mode ANC for high- and low- noise environments
  • Up to 22 hours of wireless power with ANC, up to 28 hours without ANC, and up to 60 hours of ANC without audio streaming.
  • HD Voice
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2H2S multipoint connections
  • Up to 6 months DeepSleep mode
  • Fast charge feature gives you 3 hours of listening time from a 10-minute charge.
  • Wireless firmware upgrades
  • On-ear controls: Take calls, skip tracks, adjust volume, select EQ presets, turn ANC on and off and activate smartphone voice assistants
  • Customize the sound of your music with balanced and bright EQ presets via the BackBeat app
  • Lightweight carrying pouch
  • Two colors: graphite and bone
  • Price: $150 (no international pricing yet, but we'll add it as soon as we get it)

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