Review: Plantronics BackBeat 903 Stereo Bluetooth Headset
Soundbite: A solid pair of bluetooth stereo headphones with intuitive controls and a portable-centric form factor.
Buy Link: store.berryreview.com
Sound: The sound on the BackBeat is an nine out of ten–great quality. For mobile headphones, they provide pretty decent noise cancellation by using ear gels that funnel sound directly into the ear. The sound itself doesn’t have much depth because, in reality, its hard for mobile headphones to get enough air power for bass when in such a small form. But comparing the sound to other smaller headphones, it is definitely above average and quite good.
Controls: The BackBeat has some very interesting controls. There is a button on each ear that is easy to press. Initially this had me worried, because the earphones have a gel that go into your ear. Thus, when you push the button you can potentially be exerting pressure, pushing the earphones deep into your ear (see my previous MOTORokr review). But the buttons respond to a sensitive push, reducing the risk of pressure in the ear canal. In addition, there is a sliding button underneath the right earphone that controls the volume. Compared to other control setups on bluetooth headphones, the combination is actually very unobtrusive and easy to use. By separating the buttons that control functions from the nub that controls the volume, the BackBeat controls are more intuitive and easy to learn; a very big plus.
Form Factor: What sets these bluetooth headphones apart from the others I have reviewed so far, is that the BackBeat headphones are connected using a flexible rubber cord–letting you curl them up and fit them in your pocket. This feature can in handy when taking the subway, getting to take headphones out of my pocket instead of out of a bag. Since most headphones use occurs while in transit, portability is actually a very important feature.
Final Word: At a price below $100, the Backbeat wireless headphones are great for music on the go. The headphones are ultra-portable compared to other bluetooth stereo headphones and are easy to use…all in all a solid buy.
Note: We received a demo unit from the company in order to write this review.