The wireless sports headphone market segment is as busy as ever this year, and into the fray comes the new Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3200, a variant of the open-design 3100 that was released some time back.
This time, sealed eartips deliver better bass extension but at the cost of some situational awareness when you’re out and about with them, and if you have used Plantronics devices recently you’ll feel right at home with the interface here.
Designed for sport and outdoor use, they promise a stable fit and a waterproof design with built-in ear hooks that help them stay in place even during rigorous workouts. Plantronics is one of the better companies at designing these, and the hooks are low profile and non-irritating, even when you use them with sunglasses.
The set comes with three pairs of different sized eartips. The hooks are built into the earbud base so cannot be removed, but really keep them secured when running and jumping. The earpieces also have an IP57 rating, so you can wash them under the tap, but the charging case is completely unsealed so leave that away from water!
Onboard controls are divided between the left and right units. One click of the right earpiece initiates playback, double click skips forwards, and three clicks moves back a track.
The left earpiece only controls volume, with one quick tap raising it and tapping and holding lowers it. It’s a little fiddly and you can go the wrong way once too often.
The earpieces automatically start up when taken out of the charging case, which resembles more of a pouch with a zippered lid. It comes with its own small little micro-USB cable stored inside for the always-available convenience, and there’s a manual Power On button that prevents the case from wasting battery unnecessarily.
The free Plantronics BackBeat app allows you to customise some controls on the BackBeat Fit 3200 and gives three EQ modes to choose from, which include the expected Balanced, Bass Boost, and Bright. The app is also essential for downloading firmware updates, so it’s good to have on hand.
Plantronics claims that the BackBeat Fit 3200 has a playback time of eight hours, with 16 hours of charge stored in the case’s onboard battery.
With a 13.5mm driver in each bud, the music is decently punchy and clear, with very fast connection times to the Bluetooth playback device. The EQ presets preferences will vary depending on individuals, but the standard Balanced mode lets the basic voice of the unit shine through properly. It’s usable on the daily commute too, with enough sound isolation to let you enjoy your music clearly while in the train or bus.
The major complaint is that perhaps the case is a little too big in the face of today’s competition, and may not fit into the little pockets of running shorts very well. But if you value on-ear security, the Plantronics BackBeat 3200 do stay on very well and play music with full-bodied aplomb and no wires, all for just S$249.
Find out more at www.plantronics.com/sg/en