Some headphones that we test have swings in certain areas of sound. Some have too much bass, others have too much treble. Listening to music with headphones that pronounce one more than the other by design is not good. The music isn’t how the artist wanted you to hear it. Sometimes a pair of headphones come around with the perfect balance of sound.


The Plantronics BackBeat Sense is a really interesting pair of headphones. They operate wireless (via bluetooth) or with the supplied 3.5mm cable and charge via microUSB. The headphones contain controls on the ear allowing you to answer calls, control volume and play/pause/skip. They have a built-in mic and work well paired to a computer and phone for music and calls without needing to do a thing. If you’re playing music on your laptop and a call comes in on your phone, the music will stop and you can take the call without removing your headphones.


The BackBeat Sense weighs a mere 140 grams yet will bring you around 18 hours of use on a single charge. If you have a Class 1 bluetooth device you will also be able to walk up to 100 meters away and still stream your music. The ear cups fold flat and what is particularly cool is that if you are listening to music and you are approached by someone, when you take your headphones off the music will pause. This way you don’t need to fumble around to pause the song, it’ll also resume when you put them back on again. Extremely handy. In terms of wearing these long term, we managed a full work day over and over again without discomfort.


The BackBeat Sense does not have active noise cancelling and this is something I would have on my wish list if travelling on a flight with these. For use at work though I actually prefer it without noise cancelling, it helps to know what is going on around you, a little. If you want to take a pair of headphones on your next long flight though, consider the Bose QC25.

The company which brought audio to the first man on the moon is bringing you the BackBeat Sense. It doesn’t have the street cred of the Beats by Dre range but it is many moons ahead in terms of sound quality. You’ll have the music played to you naturally and as the artist intended.

At $249 these headphones sit among a large range of competitors. Given that your hearing is something that will never improve and only ever deteriorate we urge you to consider cool verses quality whenever possible.