Published on January 26th, 2017 | by Greg0
Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE Headphones: Solid Sequel
In 2017, we’ve finally reached a point where most Bluetooth audio can be counted on to be reliable, consistent, high-quality, and offer simple connectivity with just about any mobile device. The majority of wireless audio gear we’ve checked out in the past few years has grown steadily more stable and now we’ve finally reached a point where we don’t get random disconnects, have issues with specific phones, or need to worry about re-pairing every few minutes. And it’s great, because now we can focus on the rest of the features that matter- like with today’s set.
Straight to the point: the Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 SE headphones are some of the best-performing noise-cancelling models on the market, and they’re significantly less expensive than much of the competition. Plus, they feature a battery life rating that made us smile, offering up to 24 hours of listening time between charges. Plantronics always focuses on call quality, with dual microphones and excellent voice clarity, even when talking to folks while you’re walking around outdoors. Easy-to-access controls live on the left earcup, with a sleek textured volume ring and the ability to allow in ambient sounds, useful especially in urban areas where you should pay some attention to your surroundings.
While earlier generations of the technology could add some background hiss, that’s not the case here, and they did a great job of removing repetitive noises- the hum of a fan, the low-thrum environment in an airplane. We checked out the previous version just a few months ago- and like these, they featured some nifty sensors that pause the music when you remove your headphones, and then automatically resume playing when you put them back on. Also like these, they aren’t IPX rated, and they can fold flat. What’s definitely improved is their weight and size- the new BackBeat PRO 2s are a noteworthy 35 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter, and you can certainly tell the difference. Oval rather than circular earcups are more comfortable, and the new headband material is nicer too.
We liked the sound profile as well- a little crisp, but with plenty of bass and very solid treble, you’ll find these suitable for most music types other than pure acoustic. The Special Edition model comes with a hard case, NFC support for tap-to-pair, and slightly different aesthetics touches (though it costs $50 more). You can use these wired if you need to and a cord is included, and both it and the USB cable are well-made and customized to the set. Overall, these are a worthy upgrade for anyone with the originals, and another hit from Plantronics. Available now online and in stores, expect to spend around $249.99 for the BackBeat PRO 2.