Words by Chew Yi Heng
Since the official unboxing of the BackBeat FIT 3100, I’ve put it through its paces (does this apply to an earphone?) by taking it out for the full swim, bike and run experience… and I’ve got to say it’s been holding up pretty well!
The BackBeat FIT 3100 really shines whether I’m hammering it out on a tough turbo-trainer session indoors and sweating buckets or clocking up my running mileage in the usual tropical shower. It’s moments like these where I appreciate the comfortable fit and stability of the BackBeat FIT 3100 that allows me to focus my attention on nailing the set without having to worry about the earbuds coming off or shifting around.
The heavy IP57 rating also removes any stress of the earbuds getting damaged from prolonged exposure to sweat or water. As mentioned in my earlier review, the Always Aware ear tips are also a plus point as it allows me to constantly stay aware of my surroundings– even in inclement weather. However, there is a trade-off in music tonality as I’ve come to notice, especially so with bass-heavy songs.
One key point to note however would be that the BackBeat Fit 3100 is not specifically designed for serious swim training due to the open eartip design. The marketing literature makes it clear that the water resistance rating was built to give users the confidence of using it in the rain and the convenience of washing it after use, rather than actually swimming with them.
I was curious however, and since they are waterproof to a depth of three metres anyway I tried swimming with them once. Well, water filled the space between my eardrums and the speaker drivers and I didn’t hear much.
It is, however, great for a recovery dip in the pool and knowing you can just give it a quick rinse after training makes life much easier.
Having been bringing it around for training and races, I daresay that the unique charging case that comes with the BackBeat FIT 3100 is easily my favourite part of the package. Aside from its clean and compact design that is easy to tuck away in my race bag without damaging my earphones, it allows me to see how much juice (battery charging life) I have left in the case by a simple press of a button.
The user-friendly design also makes snapping the earbuds into the allocated slots a breeze, with an LED light coming on to show whether it’s charging. For the active triathlete who often journeys to different destinations for races this is a lovely addition to the traveller’s packing list.
It delivers a solid five-hour playtime. The case act as a battery too, automatically charging and giving another 10-hours of playback when you replace the buds into the case. The combined battery life should last easily a week or more for the average athlete.
It also offers a smartphone app that allows the user to customize the functionality of the taps on each bud – allowing the user to customise their in-workout experience with regards to music playback and other controls. The BackBeat FIT 3100 certainly stands out as a strong contender in the true wireless sports earbuds category.