Music

Easy Listening Made Sensible: Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Wireless Headphone Review

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Easy Listening Made Sensible: Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Wireless Headphone Review

Functions and Accessories continued…

Two of the fancier functions of the BackBeat SENSE reside in how the headphone temporarily pauses your media. Firstly, this red button on the left ear cup is particularly interesting. If you are listening to any form of media, it will pause it and use the headphone’s embedded mic to listen to surroundings around you and play it into the headphones directly. The purpose is to give attention to the surroundings around you when you just want to have a quick listen without taking off the headphones. It also mutes your mic when you’re on a call. The second function is the automatic pause of your media when you remove the headphones. A sensor in the right ear pad will detect contact with you head, and will automatically resume your media when you put the headphone back on.

A lot, isn’t it?

If anything, one would have to give points to the versatility of the BackBeat SENSE. As a primarily wireless device, its Bluetooth functionality is solid. The distance that the Bluetooth connection can handle is pretty good as well. As you would imagine, the more walls and you put between the headphone and the streaming device, the higher the chances that connectivity would sever, even within 330 feet. Once I turned enough corners in the office, connection dropped. However, being able to support a 330 foot Bluetooth connection otherwise is a nice reinforcement. It’s pretty rare that you’d move as far away from your streaming device as I did when the connection severed.

As for the fancier functions, I really liked how well the hear-your-surroundings button worked. Being a New Yorker that takes the subway on a daily basis, I was able to use this function a lot. I particularly used this whenever the train conductor made announcements to explain the reasons why I would be late to work. The mic projects the outside world’s sounds quite well.

The remove-the-headset to pause function was hit or miss for me. It worked 80 % of the time. For the other 20%, I believe my long periods of use outdoors played a factor. It is summertime now and wearing a pair of headphones in a usually crowded subway for an hour would cause one to perspire. When this happened to me and I removed the headset, the music would indeed pause. But with the headset still removed, it would then resume itself about a second after. If I had to guess, the residual heat and sweat from my head may have confused the sensor into thinking the right ear pad was still against my face.

This occurred a couple of times. Each time, the circumstances were the same. Other than that, I can say that this function mostly worked. I’d venture to guess that this would be moot point in any other season, but it would just be a guess.

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