General and Final Thoughts
At $179, Plantronics’ BackBeat SENSE gives you a run for your money. It’s lightweight, compact, and travels very well. The included 3.5 mm cable was almost expected, but the pretty decent travel case was not. With the BackBeat SENSE’s natural foldability, it was a welcome add-on. The sound presentation is excellent and nothing short of enjoyable. Even the embedded mic picked up my voice perfectly. While that is something we always test, I simply didn’t expect it to perform as well as it did with both phone calls and the hear-your-surroundings function. Then again, Bluetooth headsets have been Plantronics’ meat and potatoes for a long time, so it shouldn’t have come as that much of a surprise.
Speaking of the hear-your-surroundings button (as I call it), when someone is trying to talk to you when you wearing the headphones, it will confuse them when you use this function on them. That’s not a knock on the BackBeat SENSE at all. Just know that several people simply looked at me, waiting for me to make a clearer indicator that I am actually listening to them, like removing the headphones or pulling away one of the ear pads. Basic human nature I suppose. Either way, that’s where the automatic pause function came in handy when I removed the headphones from my ears. If you don’t care about illustrating your attention those around you that want it, then never mind! If anything, the hear-your-surroundings feigning is great for feigning one’s lack of attention! Sneaky sneaky…
Great sound, a crap-load of functionality, and just an utter joy to wear, Plantronics’ BackBeat SENSE was a hit for me. At $179, they were able to keep a headset at this quality under $200. If asked about wireless casual listening solutions in the near future, I would not hesitate to suggest the BackBeat SENSE as a headphone to look into.
Do look into Plantronics’ BackBeat SENSE for yourself here!
† Review unit and main product image provided by Plantronics PR.