If you are looking for a great-sounding, comfortable pair of wireless over-the-ear headphones for under $100 look no further than the Plantronics BackBeatGO 600 Over-the-Ear Wireless Headphones. They offer great sound and superb battery life. At just $99.99, the headphones, which come in Navy, Grey, Black or Khaki, are as good for your ears as they are for your budget.
We’ve reviewed many of the various headphones offerings from Plantronics. And while we came to know Plantronics as a company that makes some of the best Bluetooth headsets for talking and wired and wireless headphones for the office, over the past years, they have built a solid reputation as a company that makes great headphones for those who simply want to listen to music. We reviewed the $79.99 BackBeat 500 Series headphones and were impressed with the design, sound, and build of the company’s on-ear headphones. At the time, we couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before Plantronics took everything they learned from the BackBeat 500 and built it into headphones for those music-lovers who prefer over-the-ear headphones to the on-ear style. The BackBeat GO 600 Series of wireless headphones are pretty much what we hoped and expected the company would eventually roll out.
Except for the adjustable attachment point between the ear cups and the headband, the headphones are made from plastic. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering the sub-$100 price tag. Still, they look and feel substantial and the use of plastic instead of, for example, leather, not only keeps the price down but it also allows the headphones to be surprisingly light.
And while the company used plastic for most of the construction of the BackBeat 600, they opted for memory-foam ear cups for both comfort and sound isolation. The memory-foam is thick enough to create an excellent, and comfortable seal around the ear of the listener without caused too much fatigue during long listening sessions. I should note, however, that the thickness and seal of the memory-foam results in some degree of sweating when I wear them for extended periods of time.
Plantronics didn’t skimp on the battery-life either. As we’ve come to expect from Plantronics, the headphones may be light but they get an amazing eighteen hours of battery life per charge. And, if you do run the battery down, you can still use them thanks to the 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable included in the box.
Rant: Let me pause from this review for a moment to offer something of a critique. And, my criticism arrives in connection to the BackBeat GO 600, this criticism is by no means directly at Plantronics alone. We are now living in a world in which many companies are following Apple’s lead and dropping the 3.5mm headphone jack. That is certainly one of the reasons wireless headphones have taken off over the last few years. Still, it is clear that Plantronics includes a wired option for use with the headphones out of their concern that listeners will find the battery in their headphones depleted long before they are done enjoying their music. (That is, in itself, an interesting statement considering the eighteen hours of battery life provided by the BackBeat GO 600!) But the included cable ONLY makes sense of your audio source has a 3.5mm headphone jack. At a minimum Plantronics and companies that take a similar tact need to offer an option for use with iPhones. And yet, as far as I can tell, Plantronics doesn’t even offer the option to purchase a 3.5mm to Lightning cable. For someone like me, including the 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable is simply a waste. It would be far better if Plantronics and others offered, at a minimum, the option to spend a few dollars more and get a 3.5mm to Lightning cable included in the box.
My rant aside, the fact that Plantronics not only includes the audio cable but also a micro USB charging cable and a protective bag is noteworthy considering the sub-$100 price tag.
Tune in to what matters with the rich sound of the BackBeat GO 600 Series of wireless headphones. Enjoy an immersive, over-the-ear audio experience that lasts for up to 18 hours on a single charge.
Your favorite tracks aren’t just meant to be heard – they’re meant to be felt. Advanced acoustic technology delivers rich, balanced sound to keep you focused and inspired. The lightweight memory-foam earcups isolate passive noise for distraction-free listening. And the adjustable EQ setting lets you switch from balanced mode to bass boost mode for an all-consuming audio experience.
Whether you’re honing your craft or on your commute, focus on what matters most with the comfortable, lightweight memory-foam headband and sound-isolating earcups. The fold-flat design makes for easy storage, so they can go wherever you do.
The BackBeat GO 600 have the same 40mm drivers found in the on-ear 500 Series headphones. The drivers are tuned with Plantronics’ “signature audio delivers Rich, balanced sound whether you’re listening to music, watching movies or taking a call.” Also, on the 600 Series models, the corny also included adjustable EQ settings that let you choose between bass boost and balanced sound. The difference is a bit subtle but, if you are listening to music with heavy bass, you won’t be disappointed. It is a nice, unexpected, addition to otherwise budget-friendly headphones.
The headphones have Bluetooth 4.1 and get a range of up to 33 feet. This is less than some of the company’s other models. For example, the BackBeat Pro 2 SE I’ll be reviewing next, have a range of 100m or 330 feet thanks to their Class 1 Bluetooth transmitter.
The headphones themselves look and feel substantial. The top of the headband is hard plastic while the underside that sits on the listener’s head is a soft material that comfortably conforms to the top of the head.
The ear cups have a large “L” and “R” inside letting the user know the orientation. The headphones can actually be worn in either orientation but having them on in the recommended manner lets the wearer know the location of the controls.
The left ear cup has the micro USB charging port as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack for those times when using a cable is preferred.
The Volume up/down sits about an inch and a half from these two ports and are designed in such a manner that it is easy to identify and use them without taking the headphones off.
The surface of the left ear cup has controls for Play/Pause as well as track advance and track repeat buttons. Each had a raised surface so you can control the headphones by feel.
The right ear cup has the Power On/Off/Bluetooth Pairing toggle.
This ear cup also has the EQ button for switching between balanced and bass boost tuning and the microphone for taking calls.
For easy transportation, the ear cups fold flat and slip into the included protective bag.
- 18-hour Battery: Get through your day on a single charge with up to 18 hours of wireless listening.
- Immersive Audio: Advanced acoustic technology delivers the right balance and deep, rich sound.
- Memory Foam Earcups: Listen for hours in all-day comfort and sound isolation.
- Two EQ Profiles: Choose between bass boost or balanced mode with the adjustable EQ setting.
- 40mm Drivers: Plantronics signature audio delivers Rich, balanced sound whether you’re listening to music, watching movies or taking a call.
- Wireless Range: Wireless range of up to 33 feet or 10 m gives you the freedom to stream from Bluetooth compatible devices
- Compact Design for Easy Travel: Headphones are designed with your cups that fold flat for easy storage so that they can go anywhere with you
I’m impressed by the BackBeat GO 600. They are comfortable, well-built and do an excellent job offering passive noise cancelation. They get amazing battery life and sound impressive. Add in the fact that they offer multi-point connectivity and can be connected to two devices simultaneously and include a wide-band-enabled microphone so you cam also use the headphones to make and taken calls and they promise to impress. Honestly, if you were listening to the Plantronics BackBeat GO 600 and didn’t know they were under $100, you would likely think they carry a much higher price tag.
Here’s a video of it in action:
- Bluetooth technology Bluetooth 4.1, HFP 1.6, HSP 1.2, A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.4
- Listen time Up to 18 hours
- Standby time Up to 20 days
- Deep sleep Up to 6 months
- Speaker driver size 40 mm with bass tube design
- Frequency response 50 – 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity 92 dBPL
- Impedance 32 ohm
- Harmonic distortion <3%
- Passive noise cancelation Over-ear memory-foam earcup padding
- Weight: 175 g
- Roaming range: 10 m/33 ft
- Audio codec: Custom SBC codec
- Time to charge (zero battery to full) 90 minutes
- Number of mics: Single, wideband-enabled mic
- Multi-point Two devices can be connected simultaneously
- Voice commands (answer/ignore) N
Until now the company, if you wanted over-the-ear headphones from Plantronics, you needed to spend twice as much for the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2. The Plantronics BackBeat GO 600 over-the-ear headphones are a great addition to the Plantronics lineup. Now, thanks to this addition to their lineup, you can get Plantronics quality in an over-the-ear headphone for just $99.99. Check them out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Comfortable; Great build-quality; Amazing battery life; Also work in wired mode; Multi-point connectivity; Built-in microphone lets you take calls
What Needs Improvement: Included 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable is useless if you are using a current iPhone