We finally managed to get our hands on a headset that is not necessarily designed and produced for the gaming market, but one that most certainly excels in it. Introducing, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2, a headset that is specifically designed for high-end audio and multimedia experiences. However, seeing as we are a gaming outlet, we will be looking at this in that light. Don’t let the gaming lens fool you, the Backbeat Pro 2 is clearly a superior quality headset and it is a headset that will surpass your expectations and even one that could surprise you in the best way possible because that is exactly what happened to us.
This should be no surprise to anyone that has had any experience with a Plantronics headset. The company was built on quality and this product exudes those principles to the hilt. The Backbeat Pro 2 sounds fantastic whether you are connected via the stereo cable or via Bluetooth. The sound is beautifully balanced and really requires no tuning at all. While admittedly the headset does not lend itself to being customized from the headset itself, it sounds great and is going to make whatever you plug it into sound great, including games. An additional feature that helps in certain applications is the sound canceling abilities of the headset. The headset utilizes both an active and a passive sound canceling features which help to deaden outside, persistent sounds while allowing you to focus on the tasks at hand. It’s a great feature and certainly one that contributes to this being an excellent headset for any use.
Because this headset is not a gaming headset, it really isn’t fair to grade this headset in this specific category. However, we will go over some of the features of the headset regardless so at least you know what to expect from it. As we mentioned earlier, the headset has the ability to connect to devices via 1/8″ stereo cable which works great for the PS4 or Xbox One as you can plug in directly to the controller. For mobile applications like phone games or the Vita, you can connect via Bluetooth. Having a wireless connection is great for keeping portable gaming as portable as possible. No wires mean a greater range of movement which only helps the experience. In addition, the headset comes with an active noise canceling system that works great for persistent noises. Even without the active system, the headset itself was built to block sound, so whatever the active system doesn’t block, the passive system will at least muffle.
While the headset does have a number features that help in the gaming department, there are several features that are just nice to have even though they do not relate directly to gaming. These features include a great travel bag that keeps the headset dry, dust-free and protected from the elements. The headset also comes with the stereo cable just in case you don’t have a spare laying around. Finally, the headset is also very comfortable to wear which always helps when thinking about gaming. Overall, this headset is more equipped to handle gaming than you might think.
While all the features and performance of this headset is great, there is no getting around that this is an expensive headset. With an MSRP at a drop under $200, this headset is not going to win over the budget-minded consumer. With that said, if spending the least amount of money is important to you, then you should not consider this headset. However, if you are willing to spend a little more to get even more in return, this headset is definitely worth looking at. It isn’t too far out of the realm of gaming headsets out there and sure you’ll sacrifice some gaming only features, but you’ll definitely be getting a more versatile headset that will suit your entertainment and gaming needs with a broad stroke rather than a pinpointed attack. For those that keep an open mind about such matters will find that the Backbeat Pro 2 is more useful than it appears to be to gamers.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 9
As far as handling the headset is concerned, it really couldn’t be any easier since it involves the same pairing process as everything else. Simply put the headset in pairing mode and it is discoverable by anything that utilizes Bluetooth. We’ve tested phones, tablets, the PlayStation Vita and computers and everything we tried worked. In addition, the headset can use a simple stereo cord which is literally plug-and-play. As we mentioned earlier, it really doesn’t get much easier.
As for comfort, the headset is a very comfortable headset and will easily stay on your head comfortably for hours. In addition, the headset does have a slightly snug fit which is part of the passive sound canceling system, but it didn’t bother us after extended testing sessions so we don’t feel it will create any situations for anyone else out there. The cups are padded with a faux-leather finish over memory foam so it should keep you comfortable no matter how long you use it.
Overall, the Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 is a superior headset which delivers a high standard of sound quality, comfort and features to please just about anyone out there with discerning tastes. This headset is definitely a high-end headset and the price does reflect that. However, this headset is definitely worth the price. It is great for watching movies or television where you can’t make any noise and it definitely shows off its features on plane and train rides. We definitely enjoyed our time with this headset and we can very easily recommend this headset to gamers and entertainment fans alike. It is a fantastic headset!