Disclaimer: I received Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Many runners and gym-goers are very attached to their tunes and the devices that help them rock out while working out. While there are many cases for and against listening to music while running, I choose to listen to music during most training runs and races when allowed at low to medium volume. For safety purposes, I always keep the volume down enough that I can hear cyclists, cars, and others out on trails and streets.
And public service announcement – if others can hear your music blaring form your headphones, it is too loud. Turn down for what? Because you’re hurting your eardrums and can’t hear what is going on around you.
I had tried a pair of wireless headphones a few years ago, but had a heck of time getting them paired for each use, they never held a charge, and didn’t fit comfortably in my ears. The small earbuds constantly fell out and it was frustrating to continuously have to catch them and reinsert during a run. So unfortunately those expensive wireless headphones have just been sitting in a drawer for quite a while. So when BibRave gave me the opportunity to try out the Plantronics BackBeat FIT, I was pumped to give wireless headphones a try again.
Setting up and pairing the headphones was very simple. Plantronics recommends charging the headphones for 2.5 hours prior to the first use, so I simply connected the USB charger to my computer and left them to charge. Once charged, I paired the headphones using the Bluetooth capability on my iPhone and then took them on a treadmill run to give them their first test. Over the next few weeks I wore the headphones on several training runs inside and outside, and during a strength session at the gym. It was so freeing to have the wireless headphones! Not having wires bounce against my chest or get tangled while in the gym was a huge relief.
My favorite feature of these wireless headphones is the over the ear hook, which helps keep the earbuds in place. The earbuds also rotate, so you can find the correct fit for your ears. The flexible design is very comfortable and I hardly noticed the back of the headphones on my head or neck. There wasn’t any bouncing and they stayed in place. I was able to wear sunglasses, a hat, and the BackBeat FIT earphones without any issues. The headphones are sweat-proof, which I definitely put to the test running outside in the Texas heat! Plantronics uses P2i nano-coating technology as the protective element key element in protecting against moisture.
On-ear controls are another great feature of the headphones. The left side controls music and the right side controls calls. With the click of a button, you can adjust the volume, play/pause/skip tracks (so much easier than fishing my phone out of my Flipbelt!), accept and end phone calls, and utilize the voice commands on your phone. The quick setup instructions from Plantronics were simple to understand and execute, and after a few practices I remembered where each control was and could quickly use the controls while running.
The sound quality is fantastic. The digital audio equalization filters out background noise, and echo cancellation reduces feedback and echoes when used during calls. My songs sounded great, and I never experienced any interruptions to the sound quality. When powering the headphones off and on, a voice cue will alert you of the current battery life.
The BackBeat FIT is available in Lime Burst or Electric Blue. Each headphone set also comes with a reversible armband that fits to your arm and zips to store your phone. There is an interior pocket that could be used to hold a license or credit card. I haven’t had the chance to use the armband yet since I use the Flipbelt while running. Currently it is serving as the storage space for my headphones, but I plan on using it when taking Gracie on long walks so I have a place to stash my phone. There are so many awesome features packed into the wireless headphones, and I’m so pumped I found them!
Get a pair of the BackBeat FIT for yourself from Plantronics, and join BibRave for #BibChat on Twitter on Tuesday, September 1 from 8-9 CT.