Tech

Plantronics Noise Cancelling BackBeat 810 Review – Quality audio on a budget

Plantronics are one of the most esteemed companies in audio history – they’re in every call centre in existence, they were with Neil Armstrong on the moon and you’ll be sure to find them just about everywhere at a corporate level. Their consumer products have always been secondary to the business products they manufacture, but nevertheless they’ve definitely taken a place in the noise cancelling market with the BackBeat range. The 810 headset is a noise cancelling headset at a VERY competitive price point, have a read below;

The good

  • The audio quality is phenomenal even when very loud.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Clean and elegant design with copper trim.

The bad

  • The active noise cancelling is nothing to write home about – hardly noticeable without music playing.

The verdict

After a thorough review, I’ve concluded the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810 is a brilliant wireless headset, but a very mediocre noise cancelling one. If you’re on a budget and want a long lasting, high quality headset – you’re in the right place. But if you travel regularly and/or heavily rely on the noise cancelling function of your headphones, consider something a bit more effective like the Sony 1000XM3 or the Bose QC 35. Value for money has to be considered here and you certainly get bang for your buck with the 810’s. They retail for $239.

AESTHETIC

The BackBeat GO 810 have a wonderfully new age feel to them. The copper trim really adds to the style, giving the headphones a high class feel. The cups and band are relatively basic but it works entirely in their favour – it’s elegant.

There are a few small buttons located around the headset for power, noise-cancelling level and volume controls. You’ll also note a small slot for the microUSB charging port and AUX compatibility.

When reviewing products from a visual point of view, I run two very basic tests;

  1. Do I look like a dope in the mirror?
  2. Does it look better than competitors?

And in the case of the BackBeat Go 810, there is no doubting that it passed both with flying colours. Aesthetically speaking it ticks all the boxes – there are no gimmicks, it’s light and elegant with a polished finish.

FUNCTIONALITY

A set of wireless noise-cancelling headphones has two functions, produce a sound and cancel out noise – simple enough right? To talk you through this, Plantronics are an audio company that have been known for their excellent sound for decades, especially in microphone and echo cancellation tech.

In relation to the 810’s, they’ve taken a budget approach in that while the audio quality is phenomenal, the noise-cancelling leaves a fair bit to be desired. It should be noted that when playing music, the noise cancelling is relatively effective – but so is any properly fitted headset.

Now this stirred one hell of a debate in the EFTM office recently with some members of the team arguing that it’s ridiculous to test a pair of headphones without actually playing anything… but as someone that just hates being in crowds, I would happily walk around a train station with noise cancelling active, without anything playing in the name of remaining calm.

In the name of complete fairness I have to reiterate that the sound quality is really great. I’ve worked in the audio industry for years and have used a whole lot of high quality headphones, so take my word for it, the BackBeat Go 810’s produce a stunning sound.

BATTERY LIFE

Anytime I recommend a wireless audio product to someone the biggest opposition is “Not another thing to charge” and look, I understand… it’s a personal preference. Having used both wireless earphones and headphones, there’s no going back. But what if I could offer the non believers a bridging product? The Go 810’s have an exceptional battery life, with up to 22 hours of active noise cancelling. I couldn’t give you an exact number without noise cancelling mode but come on, how good is that?!

A brilliant piece of tech that Plantronics has incorporated into all of their latest gear is what they refer to as ‘Deep Sleep’. It works in such a way that if you don’t use your device, it will hold it’s charge for up to 6 months! The vast majority of products on the market will wither away after about three weeks.

The quick charge technology that is becoming increasingly more common in consumer products means that you can get a huge 3 hours of listening time after only 10 minutes on charge.

As I’ve said extensively above, the Plantronics BackBeat Go 810’s are a wonderful pair of headphones on a budget. You can pick them up in-store or online at JB Hi-Fi for $239.

Plantronics Noise Cancelling BackBeat 810 Review – Quality audio on a budget
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