Let’s face it, a little less than two years ago, the first version of BackBeat Pro amazed us. At less than 250 euros, it offered very good overall performance and remains to this day a safe bet. However, Plantronics did not want to rest on its laurels with this second version.
More than a simple update, everything has changed, starting with the design. Much less imposing than its predecessor, the BackBeat Pro 2 adopts oval rather than round headphones, better adapted to the shape of the ears.
On the main surface of the left earpiece, three large buttons control pause / play, the next song or the previous song. On the side, a three-position switch activates noise reduction, turns it off or turns on external microphones to listen to ambient noise.
On the right earpiece, the entire surface is in fact just a single button that allows you to pick up or hang up a call, but also to trigger the voice assistant on your smartphone (Siri or OK Google) with a long press. On the edge is a Bluetooth ignition / pairing button and another that can mute the microphone during a conversation.
Another effort on comfort
On the assembly and finishing side, Plantronics is raising the standard a little more, but it cannot quite match that of equivalent models from Bose or Sony. Some plastics still crack a little under the fingers, but this is not unacceptable.
In terms of comfort, the headband is sufficiently padded so that the helmet does not hang over the head. However, we regret that the openings of the two headphones are not a little wider and deep. Depending on the body type, the ears may tend to touch the bottom or top of the earpiece, which can be painful during prolonged use sessions.
Sound quality still as successful
And the sound in all this? It is clear that Plantronics is doing very well, even if you have to like the bass, very present. However, they do not completely crush the mediums; some will even choose to slightly set back the voices, sometimes too intrusive, with an equalizer. The treble is precise and detailed. We would certainly have preferred their rendering to be more sparkling, just to give a little relief to the whole but overall the audio quality is satisfactory.
The insulation of the headphones is far from being as convincing as on the QuietComfort 35 from Bose or the Sony MDR-1000X, the two benchmarks on the market. If the active noise reduction of Plantronics is effective enough, it is especially on passive insulation, frankly less good than the difference is played. On this point, the brand still has a long way to go, in particular by slightly enlarging the opening of its headphones to obtain a true banding of the whole ear. A good way to prevent outside sound from reaching our eardrums.