The Backbeat Pro is for the serious, and serial, office music listener.
What: Platronics Backbeat Pro
At a glance: Active noise cancellation, automatic play/pause, long battery life.
USP: Wireless headphones, up to 330 ft.
Best buy: Rs 12,471 on amazon.in
Sound is an obvious criteria when it comes to judging headphones. That’s a no-brainer. But one of the major make-or-break factors is how a pair looks. If headphones had personalities, the Platronics Backbeat Pro would be an old-school CEO: smart, able, a bit too serious. It doesn’t so much say intern at the table listening to EDM, as it does top boss playing Bach. Besides, good luck head-banging (or whatever it is you do while playing Tiësto) with this pair on. It’s so chunky, it’s likely to fly off and KO (knock out) a slim monitor with ease.
What’s good: It’s wireless. That’s great. With the number of devices we now own, they’ve got to make wireless-ness the norm. Surely, the minds that invent robots can get rid of these damn tangle-prone things. Are we going to charge Asimo 3.0 with a micro USB?
This pair, though, even a robot would appreciate. The device is smart enough to know when it’s not on your head, and promptly stops playing. It resumes from where you left off once you put it back on. It has NFC (Near Field Communication), which is great if you have a phone with the feature. The battery life is excellent, and we went days on a single charge (in case you run out of juice on the go, there’s an aux wire as a backup). Both ears have dials: one controls volume, the other lets you change tracks. It takes a little getting used to as to which side does what, but there’s ease of use in the long run.
The design is also great for noisy, open offices. It covers your ears so well that the noise reduction is effective even without playing a thing.
What’s not: The sound, for a device this serious-looking, is passable. The bass and treble feel exaggerated, to the point of drowning out softer notes. Also, boss-man might not quite get the kind of clarity he’d like from his favourite Bach composition because, honestly, at this price range, we’ve heard better.
And while wireless headphones would be great for a crowded train ride, they look so geeky, you might think twice about wearing them out into the street.
On paper, the device promises wireless range up to 330ft, but it gets glitch-y when we walk to one room with the playing device in another. We also tried answering calls using these, and found those at the other end struggling to hear us.
Verdict: For those allergic to wires, and looking for a pair of headphones to drown out noisy work neighbours.