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Review: Plantronics BackBeat 903 Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Review: Plantronics BackBeat 903 Stereo Bluetooth Headset
[rating: 9]
Soundbite: A solid pair of bluetooth stereo headphones with intuitive controls and a portable-centric form factor.
Buy Link:
Price: $89.95

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.

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I have this headset and love it. It’s great for people who want to work out with their Blackberry because the headphones don’t come off easily when active. I’ll just point out though that though the sound quality is great, they are not designed to block out ambient noise. I like this though because especially when listening to music outdoors, you can still hear what’s going on around you.

  2. I’ve had this headset for a few months now and cannot express how satisfied I’ve been! All of the controls work wonderfully w my tour’s media player, I can skip, fast forward, mute and much more thru the headset it self w/o having to take my BB out of my pocket. It even works great w Pandora even though the controls are limited. The best thing of all was that I got these on for about $55.
    Overall I’ve been more than satisfied w this purchase…one thing that I love is that the iPhone does not get full use of this headset…sucks to be an iPhone right now

  3. Where is the bluetooth chip located on these headphones?

    Do the headphones work when walking around and/or turning your head? – So if the bluetooth chip is in the right earphone and you have your phone in your right pocket will turning your head as you walk make the sound skip?

    This question is one thing that I have never seen in reviews for bluetooth headsets, specifically stereo headsets, and I have noticed it is a problem with the 2 bluetooth stereo headsets I have used thus far (the Motorola MOTOROKR S9 and the Nokia BH-501)

  4. The chip is located on the left side which works for me cuz that’s where I keep my cell phone any way. I doubt that turning your head will cause the sound to skip but since the signals are transmitted via electronic signals if there’s something blocking phone or headset u will get some skippage. This is my second pair of bluetooth stereo headphones (had the Plantronics Voyager one before this) and I find the bluetooth connectivity level the same in both, though this pair are far superior in comfort and durability.

  5. The sound quality is great, but I don’t recommend if you intend to work up a sweat while wearing them. The rubber eartip design makes them slide out of the ear too easily. If the developers would create a tip that grips the ear canal more, I would highly recommend.

    • I totally disagree (and feel like a salesman for these headsets but still… lol). I use these to work out with at least 3 times a week and never had a problem with them sliding out. I’m guessing yours weren’t positioned in your ear properly. I’ve had no problem with them sliding out and I do weight training plus cardio with them including jogging and the elliptical machines. The telescoping earphones swivel and are designed to stay put once you have them positioned the way you like.

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