The rules of the morning commute are simple: in the event that you might catch someone on your train platform that holds a status of anything other than best mate, you hide. Headphones are also required of you should you wish to travel the right way. Always.
We stay close to new headphone drops in search of the perfect morning commuting partner. This past week we tried out the new Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series wireless headphones for style, sound and fit…
At first look it’s clear these headphones are targeted at a younger, more style conscious audience. We’ve got the dark grey version and it’s fair to say they’re pretty choong (read: rather pleasant on the eye). Darkly coloured with subtle hints of silver brought by the metal earcup forks, they sit comfortably in the ‘everyday headphone’ basket. We can’t imagine that you’ll find an outfit they won’t compliment.
Although plain and absent of a busy design each earcup is fit with a host of buttons and ports. To the left sits both volume control, playback, microUSB charging port and headphone jack for wired use. The right boasts two buttons: a power and Bluetooth pairing slider, and separate button to pick up, hang up and decline calls.
Fit matters, and for us, this is where the BackBeats fell down a little. Shorter usage stints of 30m-1hr were comfortable enough and absent of discomfort. Wears that stretched over this however brought to light the pressure that the earcups can put on the ear over longer periods.
Sound quality’s a main point of excitement with the BackBeat 500 Series. The bass is extra apparent with rap music; a quality that blocks out standard outside commuter noise quite well. It follows that they pass the ear test with ease, spilling out clean sounds of More Life’s “Skepta Interlude”.
Ultimately Plantronics have got a good product on their hands with this one – they sound great, and at 89.99GBP come fit with most of the features you’d want in a reasonably priced wireless headphone. With 18hrs of battery life you shouldn’t ever find yourself lacking juice, and even if you do, there’s always an option to listen in wired.
You can shop the Plantronics BackBeat 500 Series here.