Earbuds/In-Ear

Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 Review – Best BackBeat FIT Model

Last updated: 2 months ago, Aug. 14. 2019
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    Fantastic value-for-money wireless sports headphones but with 2 issues.

    If you’re looking for wireless sports headphones with a stable fit for an affordable price, Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 are a great option.

    They come with solid battery life, excellent durability which also protects against water (IPX5), and a fun bass-emphasized sound.

    Let’s dig deeper into what these wireless earbuds have to offer.


    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 made into the guide of:

    Best workout headphones

    Best earbuds for running

    Ear hook headphones


    PROS & CONS

    • Super stable fit (suitable for all sports)
    • Water-resistant IPX5 (can wash under tap water but not submerge)
    • Comfortable
    • Effective noise isolation
    • Enjoyable bassy sound
    • Loud
    • Cable noise when rubbing against skin
    • Occasional signal interruptions

    Specifications

    Type: In-ear headphones
    Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 4.1
    Back-design: Closed-back

    Headphones

    Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
    Impedance: n/a
    Weight: 0.53oz (15g)
    Cable length:  About 1.6ft (50cm)
    Microphone & Controls: Yes (in-line)
    Water-protection: Yes IPX5 (sweatproof, water-resistant)

    Wireless

    Bluetooth: 4.1.
    Battery life: up to 6 hours
    Standby time: around 6 months
    Charging time: 2 hours
    Multipoint: Yes (can connect to 2 devices)
    Active noise-cancelling: No
    Charging cable: Micro-USB
    Bluetooth codecs: mSBC (modifiedSBC)
    Wireless range: 33ft (10m)

    Microphone

    Type: In-line mic
    Mic design: n/a
    Mutable: No

    What’s in the Box?

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 unboxed

    Here are the box contents.

    • Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 earbuds
    • 3 sizes of silicone eartips with wings (stabilizers)
    • Micro-USB charging cable
    • A clip attached to the cable
    • Soft mesh carrying bag
    • User manual

    Comfort & Fit – Almost Perfect 4.5/5

    How comfortable are the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350?

    One of the most stable fits for sports, including running, lifting weights, and cycling. Soft, silicone ear hooks provide security even during fast movement. And, proprietary ear tips with wings make sure you stay comfortable.

    The first time you put them on, you need some time because it’s not the easiest.

    The problem is the ear hooks (ear loops) that need to be hooked behind and over the ears. It’s a slightly different approach, but you learn it in no time.

    But once in, they stay there no matter what.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 in a bag

    Sides are marked with colors (and letters). Black ear hook goes to the left, lighter to the right.

    Now, you can choose from S, M, L (small, medium, large) ear tips that come with attached ear wings. These are patent-pending and unique.

    So, in case you lose them you can’t swap them with after-market ones but have to buy the originals.

    Once the BackBeat FIT wireless earbuds are on, you can feel them, but they never become painful.

    The buds stick in ears well and don’t fall out even if you sweat.

    The biggest problem might be the cable, but you can conveniently clip it together or to a shirt to put them out of the way.

    Plus, these are lightweight, only 0.52oz (15 grams).

    Noise Isolation – Almost Great 3.5/5

    How effective is noise isolation?

    Passive noise isolation in BackBeat FIT 350 is above average as the earphones block most of the ambient sound around you. The silicone ear tips don’t go too deep into the ear canal but still do a good job.

    While noise isolation is great and makes these suitable for loud gyms and keeping the music to yourself, they aren’t that good for running in the busy streets.

    The first issue mentioned before is cable noise.

    Cable noise is present and audible when the braided cables rub against skin or jump around the neck.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 behind the neck fit

    Our test runner during a night run. You must use the clip properly to avoid cable noise.

    For this reason, it’s imperative you fix them in position with the attachable clip.

    If you leave them unsecured, the noise from the cable will annoy you.

    On the other hand, wind noise isn’t a problem more than with other wireless sport headphones.

    Bluetooth – Good 3/5

    How’s the Bluetooth connection?

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 have average Bluetooth performance. With a standard range of 33ft (10m) and signal disruptions after introducing the second wall. But occasionally the connection disrupts for no reason at all.

    The buds come with version 4.1, which isn’t the latest (it’s 5.0).

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 wireless sports headphones

    Connection of the BackBeat FIT 350 sometimes randomly misbehaves (for half a second).

    Now the Bluetooth connection is pretty good if not for the unexplained random interruptions of the signal.

    They’re really short, maybe half a second but enough that you notice it.

    Also, there seems to be no reason for them, you can have your smartphone close nearby, and it still happens.

    Thankfully, you may restart (turn on/off) the Bluetooth earbuds, and the problem seems to go away. For the time being.

    So, the conclusion is, Bluetooth connection generally works well but can be spotty at times.

    Doesn’t make it great but isn’t a deal-breaker either.

    Delay in a video?

    Watching videos on YouTube (or other platforms) has zero noticeable delay. These are good for binge-watching your favorite channels.

    No special codecs

    You get mSBC, which is a modified version of the basic Bluetooth codec (SBC). No aptX, LDAC, or AAC.

    It’s fine as these aren’t that expensive and the benefit is improved battery life.

    Baterry – Good 3/5

    What’s the battery life?

    With up to 6 hours of battery life per single charge, the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 aren’t sporting the best battery performance, but it’s more than enough for most workouts. Plus, you can charge them for 15 minutes and get 1 hour of music.

    It would be better if they incorporated USB-C charging, which is the new standard for new wireless headphones.

    Micro-USB is slowly going out of fashion.

    Plus, fast-charging would make it easier to live with the 6-hour battery.

    Contrary to many wireless earbuds that over-promise on the battery life, these actually last for declared 6 hours.

    In our tests, we got slightly over 6.5 h at about half volume (which is plenty).

    Nonetheless, the charging takes around 2 hours, which is typical for Bluetooth sports earbuds.

    And, in case you are wondering, you can’t listen to them while charging.

    Also, for some reason, even if you charge them fully (red LED light on the in-line module shuts down), the battery indicator shows 90%. Possibly, they’ll fix this with the next software update (it doesn’t impact performance).

    Durability – Great 4/5

    How durable are they for working out and running?

    These Plantronics wireless earbuds are well built come with fabric braided cable, quality materials, flexible silicone ear hooks, and IPX5 water-resistant protection by P2i.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 wet

    You can get them wet by sweat and water, but don’t submerge them.

    You can easily use them for all sports. And when they get dirty, you can even wash them under tap water.

    But don’t submerge them in water as the IPX rating is too low.

    The braided wires include reflective lines, but they’re barely visible. Don’t depend on this for your visibility in the dark.

    Furthermore, the earbuds tips are made of hard plastic with “PLT” branding on them.

    Overall, these are sturdy, sports earbuds that you can comfortably take to any sweaty or wet situation.

    Warranty?

    You get a 2-year warranty in Plantronics-certified countries.

    Features – Almost Great 3.5/5

    While the BackBeat FIT 350 earbuds come with an app there’s no equalization, only function to locate the headset and user guide. In-line remote controls are easy to use, and the microphone offers good call quality.

    While making phone calls in normal conditions is suitable, the moment you step into a loud room or street, the mic picks up too much noise.

    It’s the usual in-line microphone performance. It has nothing to do with this Plantronics headset but the design limitations.

    You should use it for every day calling in normal situations but don’t expect to hold conference calls in a loud place.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 in-line controls and clip

    Controls are quite easy to use even with bigger fingers.

    Now, the in-line module is quite bulky (with 2 LED lights), probably because it holds the battery.

    And while it was flapping around in the previous version (FIT 305), you can control it with the stability clip, so it isn’t a huge problem.

    The clip is useful for controlling the cables by attaching both sides or to a shirt.

    Also, the buttons are quite easy to discern even if you have bigger fingers, so you know what to press.

    They have the standard 3-button control features.

    How’s the app?

    The app is called BackBeat, and you can download it for free on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

    There are no equalization or sound signature options. It has limited functions.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 app

    The app has few functions, like how-to guides and “search for my headset” option. No EQ.

    You can make the wireless earbuds beep in case you don’t know where they are. You activate the function in the app, and the buds start beeping.

    It’s audible if you’re close nearby and might help but isn’t super loud.

    In case you lost them somewhere on the way, the app will tell you where to start searching, which might just save you a lost pair.

    The other useful things in the app are the user guides. If you’re unfamiliar with the headset or forgot how to use certain function, the guides are there to help you.

    If the app came with EQ, it would make a big difference. Come on, Plantronics.

    Accessories

    There are no special accessories apart from a soft mesh storage bag which is useful for portability but doesn’t offer a lot of protection.

    Also, you get the 3 sizes of proprietary silicone ear tips with wings and a Micro USB cable.

    Sound – Great 4/5

    Considering Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 are sports headphones the emphasized bass satisfies the desire for deeper lows during a workout. Mids and highs are reasonably clear too, which makes for a fun bassy sound.

    The bass is clearly boosted, and that’s what most sports users prefer.

    Lows aren’t overpowering but get just enough boost to be audible.

    If you’re a basshead these aren’t the best, check the bass earbuds here.

    But if you’re a demanding audiophile, you’ll find many non–sports headphones that sound better.

    When it comes to Bluetooth workout headphones, these are one of the better sounding.

    You can crank the volume up to super-high levels. But it’s really unhealthy, and you shouldn’t do it for too long.

    Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 earbuds

    The BackBeat 350 can get really loud and punchy.

    At medium volume, which is more than enough, there’s little distortion or serious flaws. Even if you increase it to ¾, it’s really good.

    But compared to higher-end headphones, the audio quality isn’t as clear and detailed. And that’s fine.

    You can’t expect sonic fidelity from affordable, under $80 wireless sports earbuds.

    Moreover, the soundstage is about average for in-ear headphones.

    All in all, it’s enjoyable sound with emphasis on bass that will be right up the alley of sportspeople.

    Why Buy Plantronics BackBeat FIT 350 headphones? – overall 3.6/5 points

    If you’re in the market for dependable wireless sport earbuds with a “sticky” fit that don’t cost an arm and a leg, consider these.

    While these aren’t better than higher-end headphones, they’re pretty close.

    If the value for money had a score, it would get 5/5.

    With super stable fit you can use them for all sports, and if you want to listen to music casually, the slightly bassy yet distortion-free sound will make you happy.

    For the price of under $80, it’s hard to find a better combination of build quality, exercise suitability, sound, and wireless Bluetooth performance.

    How happy are with the review? Did we miss to mention something? Let us know.

     

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