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4W Headphone Review: Plantronics BackBeat Sense

What is it?

Plantronics' BackBeat Sense are “smart” Bluetooth headphones that are an alternative to the larger and more expensive Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones.

What does it do?

The BackBeat Sense is a pair of Bluetooth headphones that are compatible with MAC, PC, iOS and Android devices. They come in two different colors and include an onboard microphone for use when taking calls either on your handset or via an existing VOIP application including Skype and/or Google voice.

What's wrong with it?

While the automatic “smart” pause feature is a tremendous asset (especially in the gym or during a commute) but unfortunately, there were some instances when it would be triggered accidentally. I wish there was a way to turn the feature off. If my head leaned forward, the ear cup would slide slightly and the track would get paused. While it was not something that happened on a frequent basis it was annoying. I also feel that while these headphones can be used for phone calls, the audio in noisy environments leaves a lot to be desired.

Why do you/don't you need it?

The Plantronics BackBeat Sense combines style with solid audio for music and a great feature set in an attractively priced package. The addition of multi-device connectivity makes the BackBeat Sense a must for those of us with Bluetooth enabled PC's, laptops, tablets and phones.

My Take:

When it comes to Bluetooth-capable headphones, I will admit that I destroy them fairly quickly because I use them in a variety of applications and toss them around quite a bit. The BackBeat Sense headphones were not only well constructed for gym use but also transitioned well from audio monitoring while editing our shows on a laptop to picking up a phone call on both my old Note 4 and new Note 5 with no issue. The call quality remained solid in quiet environments, and once I hung up it paired right back to the laptop to continue my audio editing. The versatility alone was a high point for me.

While the BackBeat Sense is not marketed for gym use it was surprisingly durable when it came to sweat and maintained a constant connection with my device at 20-30 feet with no degradation of sound.

While there are a litany of Bluetooth headphone makers on the market churning out medum and high-end headsets, the folks at Plantronics gave us something that not only looks premium but delivers quality sound in an affordable package without sacrificing call quality – which many headset makers forget about.

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