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July 22, 2013 • Reviews

Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 Wireless Earbuds Review – Sweat-Proof and Ready for Action!

Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 Wireless Headphones

It was just about a year ago that we reviewed Plantronic’s BackBeat Go wireless headphones. The BackBeat Go were, and are (I still have and use them on occasion) impressive. Looking not much larger than standard wired earbuds, these wireless headphones were a feat of engineering that packed Bluetooth technology and a battery large enough to let you listen to music, watch a movie, or talk on the phone for up to four and a half hours per charge. They even had an inline microphone and controls that allowed you to take calls, skip tracks, and adjust volume on the go. The BackBeat Go shipped with three sizes of cushioned eartips and optional in-ear stabilizers that allowed you to get a comfortable fit that also stayed put when moving.

I got a review sample and was taking calls as I walked down the street in New York within moments after my Press Meeting. Best of all, the Backbeat Go wireless headphones actually sounded quite good! I was impressed at the time, and I continue to be impressed that something this small and light can be a good sounding wireless headset. Now Plantronics are back with the next generation of the BackBeats line. The BackBeat GO 2 maintains the same design as the original BB Go headphones, but this new version offers a more refined design and even better sound.

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 004

The BackBeat GO 2 features:

High fidelity audio highlighted by rich bass, crisp highs, and natural mid tones for music, movies, and more

Fully charged portable case provides two additional charges on the go, tripling the use time of the earbuds alone

Sweat Proof coating with P2i moisture protection technology that repels sweat, rain, or spills

Lightweight, wireless Bluetooth earbuds with microphone

Voice prompts to alert the user about charge remaining and what device is paired

DeepSleep™ hibernation mode that keeps earbuds charged and ready to use for up to six months

Extended listen (up to 4.5 hours) and talk time (up to 5 hours)

Battery status meter for iPhone and iPad

Improved fit with small, medium, and large eartips and stabilizers for personalized comfort and optimum sound quality

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 013

I feel that there are a few key standout features offered by the BackBeat GO 2. The original version sounded good, but these sound significantly better to my ears; Judie, who had not previously used the Plantronics BackBeat GO headphones, was extremely impressed with the sound they put out. And while the original BackBeat GO headphones were far from bulky, these are just as thin if not a bit more refined.

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 015
Plantronics has updated the design of the ear tips and stabilizers in order to make them even more comfortable than before, and it’s not like the original ones were slouches!

There are two big improvements that truly stand out with the BackBeats GO 2: The first is the new DeepSleep hibernation mode. This new technology will let you charge the headphones and then find them ready to use up to six months later. This is a great feature, since uncharged Bluetooth headphones aren’t worth a damn. Knowing that, so long as you put away these headphones in a charged state they will be good to go.

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 007

The second improvement comes in the form of the compact storage case, which is a $20 accessory. This small pouch isn’t just a way to protect your BackBeat GO 2 headphones when you are not using them …

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 008

… the storage case also doubles as a charging station for the headphones that can add up to two full charges. That means you can get up to an additional 10 hours of use from the BackBeat GO 2, and you’ll have an attractive place to store them. It is a great accessory that is well worth the added expense.

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 019

I’ve been using the BackBeat GO 2 for the past week, and I have been impressed with both the comfort and the sound they offer. I do wish Plantronics had been able to increase the amount of time you get per charge, but I do understand the limitations they bumped into when trying to create something as small, thin and light as these wireless headphones.

My biggest issue with the BackBeat GO 2 headphones came when I went to run with them. I was initially a bit frustrated because I could actually hear the cable brush against my neck and the sound travel up to my ears when I moved. This is a common issue that I have when I run with headphones, but it seemed a bit more pronounced than I was used to.

Gear Diary Plantronics BackBeat GO 010

Things became worse when… the headphone’s charge ran out. Yup, I had failed to charge the headphones before running with them, and the initial charge wasn’t enough to make it through my run. Suddenly the movement sound of the headphones cable was the least of my issues.

Now it is certainly my fault that the charge ran out, but it is a reminder that it is important to keep Bluetooth headphones charged, and it is an argument for spending the extra $20 for the charging storage case. In the end, while I’m not sure if I will be using the BackBeat GO 2 headphones when I run, I do love using them during less physical activities. They are so light and comfortable that you quickly forget you are wearing headphones. That kind of freedom of movement is pretty neat, and when it brings great audio? That is a winning combination. Best of all the BackBeat GO 2 Wireless Earbuds maintain the original version’s MSRP of $79.99. Adding the charge case brings the total to just $99.99. You can learn more here.

MSRP: $79.99 for the earbuds, $99.99 for the headphones and case

What I Like: Light and comfortable; Sound surprisingly good; Over 4.5 hours of music per charge; DeepSleep hibernation will keep the headphones charged for up to six months

What Needs Improvement: Do not offer longer runtime per charge than their predecessors; Cable noise travels to ears while running

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

9 Responses to " Plantronics BackBeat GO 2 Wireless Earbuds Review – Sweat-Proof and Ready for Action! "

  1. TEEKAY says:

    How do you think they compare to the backbeat 903+? I prefer the over
    ear for running personally though I haven’t ran enough with them to know
    if they are up to the challenge of sweat resistance.

  2. Paul N says:

    Nice review. Really like the DeepSleep feature and charger case.

  3. Edmund Ng says:

    I had tested out original BackBeat GO last year, but didn’t find them comfortable in my ears, and I really wished they had better battery life. I’m curious if the speaker stem is thinner in the new model.

  4. Captain Steubing says:

    I love my Plantronics Voyager Pro HD, great sound. I’ve been interested in the Backbeats since I got that unit.

  5. khouryrt says:

    I have had my eyes on the Backbeat ever since the first one was introduced. I keep opening the Amazon page, then the eBay page, looking at reviews, then ultimately deciding not to purchase them because of the limited battery life.
    I eventually got a Sony Ericsson MW600 because of the longer battery life and I wear them all day long around my neck at work, then pop them in when I want to listen to a podcast or some music. But there are several issues with the MW600 and that’s why I kept waiting for the 2nd version of the Backbeat.

    As Dan said, it would have been nice if they managed to put more battery in it, but the case does sorta, kinda, make up for it. I’m also still a fan of the design and the no frills simplicity of the product. Might end up splurging on these then. Plus, the fact that there’s a white version now is awesome (I don’t think they had one for the black version, did they?)

  6. Andrew says:

    These seem like very well designed earbuds. Thanks for the review!

  7. Ben Martin says:

    One factor you didn’t tell us, which is really a good idea for you to include is, how quickly does the case fully charge the headset? Does it take an hour to get the full 4.5 hours back to the headset? Or 25 minutes?

    Please include these details for us. 🙂 Loved the review as well, very informative of the cons as well as pros for the headset. I just bought one on eBay today and was concerned about how long does it take for the case to charge the headset. I ran across your review on YouTube, which the problem of how long it would take to charge the headset from the case was mention in the video, and decided to check out your website to read the whole review. But it’s not here ‘yet’

    Thanks for the info and taking the time to review them!

    • l5s5d6 says:

      Hi. Somwhere Else I found the info that 20 minutes of charging with the case gives you an hour of playback so it’s not so bad (1,5h for full charge).
      But I’m more curious how big the battery is

  8. I know this is old….but I just bought a set and I love them. Now I need that battery case!

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