Plantronics BackBeat FIT 505 Review

When it comes to sports headphones, I always think they have to be in-ear style or earbud style. On-ear or over-ear style headphones that go over your head, they’ll be too clunky right? Then what about getting wet? I’m surprised that Plantronics’ new BackBeat FIT 505 works quite well, for gym and even for running.

The BackBeat FIT 505 was launched last December alongside the BackBeat FIT 305 in-ear style Bluetooth headphone which I had reviewed earlier. The BackBeat FIT 505 supports both Bluetooth wireless connection and conventional 3.5 mm wired audio connection.

Plantronics’ BackBeat range of headphones have been quite popular, and it looks like this BackBeat FIT 505 will prove to be quite interesting, particularly given its price point and how it will serve for sporting use.

When you first look at the BackBeat FIT 505, the dash of sporty style on the headband will be immediately apparent. But apart from that, the BackBeat FIT 505 looks like a regular, more serious type, headphone. In particular, it looks quite similar to its non-FIT version, the BackBeat 505 which I reviewed last year.

The ear cups can be extended out from the headband to suit you. They also articulate so the whole headphone can lay flat for easy storage and transport. The soft, breathable, cushion on the underside of the headband is very comfortable. The soft cushioned paddings on the ear cups feels good and comfortable.

The BackBeat FIT 505 is by no means clunky for an on-ear style headphone, but I was doubtful about how it would work for sports. It turns out that the headphones stay comfortably and quite securely on my head. It doesn’t grip too tightly, yet at the same time, it won’t fall out easily, at least not for running and typical gym workouts.

Perspiration isn’t an issue. The BackBeat FIT 505 is coated with P2i military-grade nano-coating, which should provide protection from sweat, rain, and spills.

There are a plenty of controls on the BackBeat FIT 505. On the right ear cup, you’ll find two buttons, one for power and Bluetooth pairing, and the other for call control. The call button when long-pressed invokes the mobile device’s voice assistant.

The left ear cup has a volume rocker, Micro-USB charging port, and 3.5 mm audio jack. On its side, there’s also the playback control buttons.

The BackBeat FIT 505 supports multipoint Bluetooth, so you can connect up to two Bluetooth mobile devices simultaneously. This is very convenient if you want to, say, listen to music from one device and still be able to take calls on another device.

Even as we move toward Bluetooth wireless connections, I like the idea of a fallback wired connection. If the BackBeat FIT 505 runs out of battery, you can still listen to music using the 3.5 mm wired connection.

The BackBeat FIT 505’s battery is rated for a generous 18 hours of operation.

The sound quality from the BackBeat FIT 505 is surprisingly good, particularly considering its price point. I also tend to not expect too much from sports headphones because music quality tends to be less important when you’re engaged with your fitness activities. On the BackBeat FIT 505, music is clear and detailed throughout the range. Bass comes across deep and rich, but not overpowering. Overall, the BackBeat FIT 505 sounds good enough to use for casual music listening anywhere, not just while running or doing your gym workout.

Apart from the Micro-USB charging cable and 3.5 mm audio cable, the BackBeat FIT 505 also comes with a nice fabric carrying pouch.

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 505 is available at S$169 from Challenger, Sprint-Cass, Newstead, Nubox, Harvey Norman, Courts, Best Denki, EpiCentre, Stereo, Mustafa Centre, iStudio, Inforcom, Parisilk, Gain City, Connect IT, Xgear, Popular, 1stMobile, and Analogue+. There is also a non-sweat proof version available at S$139.

Conclusion

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT 505 delivers excellent music at a very affordable price point, and despite being an on-ear style headphones, work well for gym and running.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comfortable
  • Stays securely while running or working out

Cons:

  • Occasional Bluetooth connection dropouts

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