Plantronics BackBeat 505 Review

With some new smartphones having ditched the 3.5 mm headphone jack, there must be some users who are finding themselves looking for Bluetooth headphones. These users, along with others who want to to go wireless for the first time, are the ones that Plantronics wants to target with their new BackBeat 505 Bluetooth headphones.

Plantronics makes a popular range of Bluetooth headphones. They are generally not that cheap, but the new BackBeat 505 bucks that trend. In fact, the BackBeat 505’s low price tag will lower the barrier to entry for first time users.

The Plantronics BackBeat 505 has a nice modern style to it. This is an on-ear model, which means that the ear cups rest on the ears, rather than around it. The body is basically all plastic, but the extensible arm connecting to the ear cups are made of metal.

The ear cups swivel so they can lay flat, making the BackBeat 505, which isn’t bulky to begin with, very easily transportable.

The foam under the headband is soft and breathable, so I’d say the BackBeat 505 is quite comfortable on the head. The foams on the ear cups, however, aren’t quite soft enough, so while listening for short periods of time works just fine, extended listening sessions are not so pleasant.

There are a couple of things on the left ear cups. The playback controls, comprising the pause/play, back and forward buttons, are on the face of the ear cup. On the side, you’ll find the volume control, a Micro-USB port and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

The Micro-USB port is obviously used for charging, and the 3.5 mm audio jack provides you the option of connecting the BackBeat 505 with wires the old fashioned way if the batteries should run out.

The other ear cup has a power slider switch which also functions to activate Bluetooth pairing, and a call answer/decline button which also activates your phone’s voice assistant.

Battery life, rated at 18 hours of wireless listening, is pretty awesome. The BackBeat 505 can also maintain its battery charge for up to six months with DeepSleep hibernation mode.

With an on-ear style, there’s not much in terms of noise isolation on the Plantronics BackBeat 505. You hear much environmental sounds, and your music also leaks out to others if you have the volume up loud enough.

Sound quality on the Plantronics BackBeat 505 is surprisingly good, particularly considering its price point. Its 40 mm audio drivers manage to deliver a good balance of deep bass, energetic mids and spritely highs, with good all-around detail and clarity. This is no audiophile grade headphones, but casual listeners should find the BackBeat 505’s audio very enjoyable.

Unlike higher end Plantronics models or those from other brands, the BackBeat 505 doesn’t have some of the cool intelligence like, for example, auto-pausing your music when you take off the headphones.

But while the BackBeat 505 features are basic, it does support pairing up to eight devices, and connecting up to two devices simultaneously. As more devices connect wirelessly, this multi-device Bluetooth connectivity is very handy.

The Plantronics BackBeat 505 comes with a Micro-USB cable, a 3.5 mm audio cable, and a convenient fabric carry bag for storing the headphones.

The Plantronics BackBeat 505retails at S$139, and is available in Dark Grey, Grey, and White colours from selected Plantronics authorised retailers.

Conclusion

The Plantronics BackBeat 505 is a very affordable, all-rounded, Bluetooth headphones for anyone looking to ditch wired headphones for the first time.

Pros:

  • Enjoyable sound
  • Excellent battery life
  • Multipoint pairing

Cons:

  • Poor noise isolation
  • Uncomfortable for long listening

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