PROS / Despite not having a true seal, the earbuds still sound great and they are loud.
CONS / The bass on the Plantronics BackBeat FIT isn't as strong as on other pairs.
VERDICT / The Plantronics BackBeat FIT are a good choice for unsealed earbuds. They have strong audio quality, are lightweight and are water- and sweat-resistant.
To some people, a pair of earbuds is almost as imperative as a bottle of water to complete their workout. Plantronics' BackBeat FIT wireless earbuds were designed with these folks in mind. They weigh less than an ounce and are made of a rubberlike plastic that's sweat- and water-resistant. Since they don't have a cord, you are free to move about without the risk of getting caught to something.
Unlike most other pairs of earbuds, these ones are unsealed, meaning they don’t have silicone tips you insert into your ear canal to block external noise. If you are familiar with Apple’s EarPods that are included with every iPhone, they uphold the same principle. Unsealed earbuds are beneficial for parents who want to always hear their children and are a good choice for runners and cyclist who need to listen for oncoming traffic.
Surprisingly, sound quality doesn’t suffer too greatly with the earbud’s lack of seal. This could be in part because they get extremely loud – we registered 105 decibels during our tests, making this the loudest pair of we evaluated. The only downside is the bass isn’t as strong as on other earbuds, but other than that, the highs, lows and midrange all sound fantastic. Unless you are an audiophile, you won’t be disappointed with the sound quality.
The Plantronics BackBeat FIT earbuds loop over the top of year ear and remain secure even when you are on the treadmill. The cord that wraps around the back of your neck bounces around a little bit, which can be bothersome, but not enough to be a problem. The controls are labeled, easy to use and can be accessed without interrupting your workout. Rather than using a remote, the controls are located right atop your ears on the buds and can be used to adjust the volume, skip tracks and pause your music.
You can get up to eight hours of battery life with these cordless earbuds, which is longer than average. It takes just two hours to recharge them. They also have an impressive wireless range of 100 feet, so you can move about freely at your home or office without needing to carry your smartphone everywhere.
Plantronics includes a nifty neoprene case that acts as an armband to hold your smartphone during workouts. It is quite adjustable, and even if you have slim arms, your phone remains secure. When you’re done with your workout, you can store the earbuds in the case.
The earbuds have the standard one-year warranty that is common among other wireless earbuds. If you have any issues, you can reach Plantronics a number of ways. The company offers telephone, email and live chat support.
The Plantronics Backbeat FIT are the best unsealed wireless Bluetooth headphones. They have an eight-hour battery life and come with a convenient case that doubles as an armband to hold your phone during workouts and runs. Even though they aren’t sealed, the earbuds have strong audio quality, plus they are water-resistant.