- Value for money (SGD 319)
- Comfortable fit, sleek design
- Great battery life
- Decent sound quality
- Active Noise Cancellation could be better
The Plantronics Backbeat PRO were a great pair of wireless headphones for its price point, so when its successor was announced I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a pair to see what improvements had been made. I’m glad to report that Plantronics has upped the ante with its latest addition, the Backbeat PRO 2. These over-ear wireless headphones come with active noise cancellation (ANC), and are competing with the likes of the Bose QuietComfort 35 (SGD 599) and the Sony MDRZX770BN (SGD 249).
Some people find the design for the Backbeat Pro 2 to be dull, but in all honesty, I really dig the look. It’s clean, simple, and versatile. If you’re concerned about loud colors that might clash with your outfit (we’re looking at you, Beats and Skullcandy), you have nothing to worry about. The regular headphones come in dark brown colour palette with faux wood accents on both ear cups. The accents add a nice touch of elegance without trying too hard. The Backbeat PRO 2 SE (special edition) is available in Graphite Grey and comes with a hard travel case.
The headphones only weigh 289 grams, so combined with its ergonomic padding, you can leave the Backbeat PRO 2 on all day and have little to no discomfort at all. The left ear cup features a ring that can be moved clockwise or counter-clockwise for volume control, buttons for playback control, and a toggle for the ANC. The right ear cup features a slider for power and a button for answering phone calls. Overall, the buttons and sliders are about as intuitive as they come, so I don’t have much complaints here.
The first thing I need to talk about here is the amazing battery life of the Backbeat PRO 2. Plantronics boasts an incredible 24-hour listening time, and I’m happy to report they’re not kidding about. If you’re anything like me, constantly forgetting to charge gadgets, the Backbeat PRO 2 leaves you with enough charge with almost 3-4 days’ worth of playback. Even the pricier Bose QuietComfort 35 doesn’t match up to this.
The sound quality on the Backbeat PRO 2 is also commendable. I usually test my headphones using Spotify’s Deep Focus playlist because atmospheric rock tends to feature a wide range. While the Backbeat PRO was a little bass heavy, its successor provides a more well-rounded sound. This may prove a little disappointing for some but I like shift because I prefer to not have the highs and treble drowned out by turbulent basslines.
When it comes to the ANC however, the Backbeat PRO 2 loses out to competition like the Bose QuietComfort 35. While the ANC on the PRO 2 is decent, it isn’t completely effective. If you’re looking to drown out a loud-mouthed colleague, it’ll work just fine but you may find yourself getting annoyed with the noise penetration while on your daily commute.
Overall, the Backbeat PRO 2 is a great pair of wireless headphones for its $319 price point. If you’re a frequent traveler, the hard case that comes with the Special Edition ($379) will come in handy. If you’re not looking to dish out $599 for the Bose QuietComfort 35, the Backbeat PRO 2 should be your next pair of headphones. The incredible battery life, decent sound quality, and the exceptional comfort it provides make it very desirable.
The Backbeat Pro 2 and the Backbeat Pro 2 SE are available at all authorized Plantronics retailers