I was a huge fan of the first BackBeat Go, which I reviewed last year, but there were some major issues that made me stop using them. Plantronics releases the new BackBeat Go 2 with some improvements. They have managed to add a bit more battery life, a charging carry pouch, 2 sets of colors, improved sound and of course sweat resistant. These new improvements touch on everything I disliked about the BackBeat Go’s. Did they deliver? Let’s find out!
Not much has changed visually between the BackBeast Go 2 and its original model. Still a flat rubber cable with volume controls sitting close to the right ear-bud. Both ear buds still feature that same snake like shape to contour to your ear for comfort and the right ear-bud is where you can find the microUSB charging port. It is still very lightweight and comfortable to use. With the help of the ear stoppers, you are able to adjust it to fit any type of ear for better comfort in long time use.
Pairing and syncing your BackBeat Go 2 is still an easy process. Simply holding down the middle button allows it to be visible to any device with Bluetooth turned on. Pairing is only a one time deal for any device as it then recognizes the headset anytime after that. The remote control works for any device (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) allowing me to control volume, play/pause and even skip forward or rewind tracks. I wish more headphones were compatible with all types of devices and not just Apple products.
Sound quality has greatly been improved. I made a big deal about the originals being too low in volume and not dealing out a good amount of sound or bass. Plantronics made some tweaks and they sound great all around. Bass isn’t too heavy, though pressed deeper in the ear gives you a much more deeper bass, and everything is balanced between highs and mids. No distortion happens when the headset and device volume are at MAX which is a plus. I didn’t feel like I had to limit myself to a certain volume level because of distortion or pitch.
Now the BackBeat Go 2 look and sound great, what could go wrong? Probably the most important thing for me is what had me disappointed once again. Yes, battery life did improve but it wasn’t enough. The headset takes a little over an hour to charge but drains in about 4 hours of continuous music listening use. These headsets barely lasted a full gym session which includes travel to and back from the gym. I was already getting a “Battery Low Please Recharge” message in the middle of a 2 hour workout. Clearly these aren’t meant for a long music session, which really sucks as they are sweat resistant for a reason. You get more than double the time when on standby and light phone call use. Bluetooth headsets are perfect workout companions and it hurts to see the BackBeat Go 2 hit with battery issues.
Overall, Plantronics has done a good job upgrading their original BackBeat Go’s. Would I consider these a 2, more like a 1.5. If battery doesn’t really bother you then you are in for a treat. The Go 2 is very simple and easy to setup and use. Voice/sound notifications are loud and clear in your ear and calls sound great. Mic quality is a also a bit bad but still usable nonetheless. There is also a pretty neat carrying case that fits practically anywhere. The pouch contains a microUSB cord for portable charging of the headsets and is a must have companion.
The Plantronics BackBeat Go 2 are available in Black or White for $79 or $99 with the charging case.