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CNET First Look
Altec Lansing BackBeat Pro earphonesWhile Altec's BackBeat Pros don't quite deliver on their promise, they're a step up from the BackBeat 326s and offer decent bang for the buck.
[ Music ] >> David Carnoy: I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com, and I'm here with the Altec Lansing Back Deep Pro Earbud-style headphones. These are actually considered sort of high-end for the backbeat line, however, they're only about $80. A couple of key differences between this model and the stepdown models in the line. This model has a balanced almature [phonetic] design that's supposed to give better clarity and overall better sound. Also from a design point of view, the cord on these headphones is covered with a bit of plastic that the stepdown models in the line actually have a cloth. This one is a thinner cord. It does have, appear to have the cloth underneath, but it is covered by some plastic. The cloth covering is good in some ways, but it does cause a little bit of a background noise if it rubs against your clothing. So in theory, this is a better design for the cord. Another key difference is the design of the plug. The other models in the line have a straight plug, but this model has an elbow plug. In theory, that should make this sturdier, should hold up better in, in terms of wear and tear, and shouldn't have as many shorts as sometimes the straight plugs get. In terms of sound quality, the backbeat pros are definitely a step up from the other models in the line. There's better clarity and better overall sound. That sound, one of the beefs we had with the pros is really in the marketing. Altec Lansing is promising musician-grade audio, and we can't really say that these offer musician-grade audio. They're decent, but they're not great. Not a bad value at $80. To get to where you really start to get that reference-quality audio, you really have to get up to about $150, models like the Monster Turbine we found to have really good sound. These are a step down from that, but all in all, not bad. I'm David Carnoy, and those are the Altec Lansing Backbeat Pro Earbud-style headphones. [ Music ]