Altec Lansing has come out with another set of headphones in their BackBeat line; the Backbeat Pro headphones are their take on musician grade headphones.
These are very similar in appearance to the rest of the BackBeat line, with the exception that these have a plastic coating over the fabric covered headphone cables, and the cables are also thinner. This makes them more like a traditional set of in ear earbuds.
They also include a set of dual flange cushions as well as a case, It also includes the other three sets of cushions that come with all of the other Backbeat headphones. The dual flange cushions may be a bit uncomfortable if you are used to wearing the large or small cushions of the single flange variety. The reason I say this is because these cushions look like a small and medium cushion stacked on top of each other. So it may go a little far in your ear if you have large ear holes. If you have small ear holes, they may not fit very well, as only the tip would fit in your ear. Your mileage may vary on these dual flange cushions. As for me, they are PERFECT and do offer better noise isolation than the default cushions.
If you don’t like how far these protrude into your skull, you may want to try the regular cushions in the three sizes that are included as well.
Those are not all the changes they have made in this set. According to Altec Lansing:
The BackBeat PRO earphones includes high-end armature technology, engineered to deliver an in-studio sound experience at a price level far below competing headphones costing several hundreds more.
I can verify that the sound is better than the other headphones in the line, but I am not sure if it’s due to the new armatures or the dual flange cushions. I can tell you that the sound is of a very high quality, and I can hear podcasts and music at a all time low volume both in the office and on the bus . The greater noise isolation helps tremendously on this, and it isn’t by mistake either. Altec Lansing is working with Best Buy on the soundmatters.org web site to help bring awareness to young music listeners on how important their hearing is. The new BackBeat Pro headphones help tremendously with this allowing you to hear every beat without hearing all the background noise that makes you want to turn the music up. By using higher quality headphones such as these versus the crappy ones that come with your MP3 player, you can save your ears by using a lower volume on your MP3 player.
The BackBeat Pro headphones are available at Best Buy for $79.99.
What I liked: Dual Flange cushions and the new armatures make for one of the best sounding set of buds I have owned and I have tried a lot of them from the ultra cheap to the moderately priced (still cant bring myself to buy a set of Etymotics’s).
What needs improvement: Lately it looks like thin is in when it comes to headphone cables. These are thinner than the other Backbeat headphone cables. Thin cables can be strong and these are strong, but I would like a little thicker headphone cable.