We’re big fans of the team over at Plantronics (PLT) here at EFTM. From their fitness products to over-ear walk around headsets, we’ve seen and enjoyed them all. The latest in their range of products is the BackBeat FIT 6100 that does it’s best to serve as an all-in-one set of headphones. Unifying the market, PLT are saying gone are the days of one for the gym, one for the commute and for just for the hell of it. On first impression, you’ll note they look a whole lot like previous iterations of PLT headsets;
But when you take a step forward and start paying attention to the finer details, you’ll note that unlike the polished finish of the 810’s, the 6100 is laden with a sweat-proof microfibre-styled material to make it that much more applicable to sports. PLT have also done their absolute best to bring a minimalistic feel to the power, bluetooth and ‘awareness’ buttons on the right hand cup;
What exactly does an ‘awareness’ button do you might ask? Well when running, cycling or otherwise outdoors and need your wits about you, wearing a loud and often sound dampening headset can be a dangerous feat. Hence why the BackBeat FIT 6100 is equipped with microphones around the exterior that are enabled with the push of a button, and will feed the noise around you into the headphones at what appears to be an incredibly intuitive volume.
The awareness settings as well as the EQ for your audio is customized using the ‘BackBeat’ app. They’ve present in their ‘Signature EQ’, which is probably the best of the bunch for mine, with options for high treble and heavy bass as well;
An attribute that absolutely cannot be overlooked in a pair of headphones looking to service the fitness market is weight. Nobody wants to be hitting the treadmill with strain on their neck and head – hence why the 6100 is designed to weigh in at a minuscule 240 grams.
PLT are claiming it’s capable of up to 24 hours of listening time on one charge, which while I didn’t test to the fullest extent, I can attest to never having faced any battery related issues. If you find yourself out of power, a 15-minute quick charge will give you a cracking 6 hours of listening time – with a full charge after approximately 2 hours.
I wasn’t awfully impressed with the controls for the FIT 6100, they’re located on the face of the right-side cup, but aren’t physical buttons. For example to increase the volume, you have to touch/gesture where that up arrow is without any guidance, while wearing the headphones… it’s significantly more difficult than it looks as that up arrow is only a sticker that is meant to be peeled. Imagine trying to change the song while running! I battled to do it from my desk and while on a walk. Previous iterations of BackBeat products utilized physical buttons and I wish they would have kept them for the 6100.
All things considered, the PLT BackBeat FIT 6100 is a good set of cans. The audio quality, lightweight design and craftsmanship do live up to the Plantronics name and the heritage they’ve built. Personally, the $299 price tag is out of my range for what could be considered reasonably priced, but I wouldn’t shy away from the device if you have the money to spend. You’ll find the FIT 6100 over at JB Hi Fi or otherwise on the Plantronics store.