Review: Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 Wireless Earphones
The BackBeat GO 3 is latest Bluetooth earphones from personal sound specialist Plantronics. We’ve been wearing them during match preparation over the past couple of weeks. Here is our World Exclusive review of them!
What Plantronics has to say about the BackBeat GO 3
The BackBeat GO 3 Bluetooth earbuds are designed for stunning audio quality, revealing the rich texture and micro-detail you’ve been missing. Its comfort-fit eartips stay put even when you don’t, sealing in sound and blocking out noise. With up to 6.5 hours of non-stop listening, a sweatproof coating, and portable charging case, you can keep the music going, wherever your day takes you.
What’s in the Box?
Pop the box open on you spanking new Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 earbuds and you’ll be quite impressed by an impressive package. Along with the clearly well-constructed earphones there is a set of three eartips (small, medium and large), a micro USB charging cable and an incredible canvas carrying case that doubles as a backup power supply (more on it later). The GO 3 comes fully charge and ready for business and kitted with a pair of eartips.
The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 has a relatively simple but very effective design. We tested the cobalt black version with gray / blue earbud caps as shown. It’s a relatively unassuming look that isn’t meant to have the bling factor of Plantronics’ well-known BackBeat Fit. As such it’s great for those who prefer a more subdued look for places such as the office or train.
The wired part of the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 contains a standard Bluetooth earbuds strip / microphone with a power button and volume up / down button. The up button also allows the wearer to skip track.
The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 is about a foot and a half in length if spread out from end to end. Probably intended to accommodate different wear sizes, this is pretty long for the average person. As a result we had to adjust the earbuds whenever we put them on to get the positioning of them behind the head to our liking. An easy fix would be to include an adjustable clip of some sort on the wire. Beats by Dre’s PowerBeats 2 and Jabra’s Sport Coach has them for cable management and they work well.
Over the ear earphones like the BackBeat Fit and PowerBeats 2 stay in place during even the most strenuous training as long as you are not wearing glasses. However if you bespectacled or want to wear sunglasses outdoors you end up having to put your glasses temples on top of the earpieces. Alternatively, you can try to fit them next to the next to the over the ear parts of the earbuds in the space between or ear and head. Neither is very effective nor comfortable.
Hence the need for earbuds like the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3. They are totally in ear with soft eartips for comfort. They’ve also got a loop above each earphone that fits into one of the contours of the ear to keep it in place. This combination works very well and keeps the GO 3 affixed with zero movement in every activity that we wore it for. This included running, weight training and working with battling ropes.
The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 provides one of the better sound experiences that we’ve heard in Bluetooth earbuds. While the more expensive PowerBeats 2 remains at the top of the sound quality pile, the GO 3 is a not too far behind and is neck and neck with the BackBeat Fit.
The BackBeat GO 3 handles high and mid frequencies well for a crisp delivery. It can do a better job with bass however. As such it’s great for pop, country and slow jams but doesn’t deliver the full thump of EDM and hip hop.
Getting the right size ear tip for you is essentially to truly enjoying the sound quality that the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 provides. We tried it with the smaller, out of the box ear tips and were thoroughly disappointed by the average sound that came though. Switching to the medium sized tips made a world of difference and locked the sound steaming out of the GO 3 into our ear canals with minimal noise lose.
Lastly, the BackBeat GO 3 can play music louder than most other Bluetooth headsets. We don’t recommend turning it all the way up as this level is loud enough to drown out all ambient noise. This can prove dangerous while running since you won’t be able to hear nearby cars and / or bicycles.
The Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 has a battery life of 6.5 hours. This is on the average side for Bluetooth earphones nowadays. What sets the GO 3 apart from other products in its class is its built-in charger that is built into its carrying case. Fully charged it can provide two full charges (for a total of 13 hours) for the earbuds.
The carrying case has an easy to read LED display towards its bottom that shows the charge level of both charger and the earbuds when plugged into the case via its micro USB cable. This is a definite value add and a never before seen feature in a Bluetooth earphones package. We’ve all run into the dreaded “Battery Low” vocal warning (which the GO 3 also has) during workouts. Keep some power in the carrying case and you can be saved from training in silence or to dreadful, commercial grade gym music.
The range of the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 is absolutely incredible. You can leave you phone playing music on one end of the floor of a big box gym (we train at LA Fitness) and walk its length without the signal to the GO 3 breaking up or being lost. In a distance test we found the GO 3 to have at least 10 feet of range more than the Beats by Dre PowerBeats 2, Plantronics BackBeat Fit and Jabra Sports coach.
We’ve uses the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 for over 25 hour of indoor and outdoor training. It’s held up well against sweat, light drizzles and the wear and tear that comes with running and weightlifting. We’ve seen no physical damage to it and its sound quality is as good as the day it came out of the box. Our only worry is pulling its relatively long connecting wire and loosening the wires to its earbuds. We exercise caution with the wire at the gym as a result.
A great option for anyone looking of a BlueTooth earphones bundle, the Plantronics BackBeat GO 3 can mix it up with the best of them. Vivid sound quality, the best range in the business, a clever carry case for emergency charges, and a great ergonomic fit (particularly if you’ve got eyewear on) at a relatively low MSRP of $129.99 make it must look at if you’re in the market for new earphones!